What's it like transporting heavy equipment?

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Ddr1992 579, May 17, 2020.

  1. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    A Tale of Caution.

    Was at a port a few weeks ago. Standing in line waiting to get checked in with the morning rush. There was a driver with a 53ft step that backed up to the step deck dock. He finds his escavator and drives the escalator up the ramp to the top of the dock and hangs the tracks over the edge. Driver gets out of the escavator, and walks around both sides of the truck with his measuring tape.

    I get up to the window and I am checking in. One of the drivers behind me asks another, “Is he gonna reposition the truck?” Yep, you guessed it. Ain’t never seen that done before. He starts driving the escavator on the the deck of the trailer starts buckling under the weight. You long timers in this forum will remember discussing this. Someone asks, “How heavy is that machine?” Another responds, “Probably around 30k.”

    Driver finally gets the escavator on, folds the boom as far as he can and puts the boom down in front and near the step. This centers the escavator over the front axle of the trailer spread. I get my stuff from the window, and I run to go help this driver.

    Hey guy, how heavy is that machine?

    “47000”

    (GEEZ! No wonder that trailer is buckling)


    Hand, I don’t mean to tell you your business but you are wayyyyyy over axle on the trailer. You need to move the machine to the center of the trailer and spin the boom around to the rear.

    “You sure? I will have an overweight permit.”

    Yes, I am sure. An overweight permit isn’t going cover how far over axle you are.

    I guide him forward, and get him centered.

    Alright, hand. Secure your load before trying to spin the boom around. And go really easy on the spin.

    Hey guys, don’t do this...do not try to load such a heavy machine on a step. The strongest part of a trailer is the frame, and that’s an incredible amount of weight sitting at the farthest point away from the frame. Do not attempt to spin an escavator boom without securing the load, that load WILL slide off.
     
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  3. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    No. Our own machines are supposed to get cleaned off by the operator if he knows it's going to be moved. The guys get paid for it so its usually not an issue. An hour of driver's time is a whole lot cheaper than a damage claim from some pissed off motorist.
    A customer's machine that requires cleanup before it's moved gets charged for the extra time it took. If the tracks are full of frozen mud or rocks the drivers take pictures of the mess.
    If there's a water truck around we'll use it to blast the tracks and the under carriage.
     
  4. shawnhhllc

    shawnhhllc Light Load Member

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    this has turned into a really enjoyable and informative thread
     
  5. Gearjammin' Penguin

    Gearjammin' Penguin "Ride Fast-Truck Safe"

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    Is there some point where it'd be cheaper to just build an entirely new road into the facility rather than switch out equipment?
     
  6. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    Noob question asking for a friend... What would be the difference between say loading 47k of shingles or other palletized material , centered in the trailer on a stepdeck, and loading a piece of equipment that weighs the same ? Is it because its moving on top of trailer ? Versus being placed by a forklift
     
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  7. Nostalgic

    Nostalgic Road Train Member

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    All of the weight of the equipment is concentrated outside of the frame and only supported by the crossmembers.
     
  8. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    Correct. 47000 lbs of shingles is a full load, butted up in the middle of the trailer, sitting on the frame of the trailer. Heavy equipment, whether tracks or wheels, is going to ride on the end of the crossmembers.

    The guy I helped at the port, the escavator was 10 wide on an aluminum trailer. The weight was centered out at the rub rail. Flats and steps are not designed to carry that much weight that far off the frame...it’s where they’re the weakest at. When he drove the thing on, you could literally see the crossmembers bend down and the rub rail buckle and deformed under the weight. And then, he tried to spin the boom around...scary to watch a trailer bend and pitch sideways.
     
  9. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    @D.Tibbitt , in the picture that @chriskc posted, he has an escavator on aLandoll trailer. That’s a completely different trailer than what I am talking about. If you look at your average flat and step, you will see the big, thick frame with a bunch of crossmembers on top. The Landoll has that extra thick beefy frame section directly underneath the rub rail...like the rgns do. So, it’s actually made to support heavy loads at the rub rail.
     
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  10. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

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    Wow !! Thanks for the info , makes sense
     
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  11. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

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    If you look at his picture, and look at his cat scale weights, you will realize that he’s really good at what he does. Take a look at the picture that @shawnhhllc posted. Now, I didn’t say that you couldn’t use a step for heavy equipment. But that escavator on the landoll is much heavier than the 3 pieces on the step and all concentrated on the rub rail.

    Even with a beefier trailer, @chriskc took precautions when he spun the boom to the rear.

    Now, here’s a piece of trivia for you: If instead of the wheel loader, @shawnhhllc had one of those farm tractors with the 10ft wide hubs, could he legally purchase a permit for that load, and why?
     
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