9 Factors To Consider When Contracting A Heavy Haul Trucking Company.
So, you are looking for a company to handle all your heavy haul transportation needs? When searching for the RIGHT company to manage your heavy haul needs, you will discover that there are hundreds of competitors all vying for the same clients. And each of these companies share the same handful of basic requirements on their respective websites. I could forgo some of these to create a clean 5 Must Have Requirement List, but each requirement is important and non-negotiable.
1. Proper equipment/load handling/capacity: “Use the right tool for the job,” applies here. Your heavy haul transportation choice must have the specific equipment you need. This includes correct trailers that will haul your equipment appropriately and safely. Do they have a wide variety of trailer and machinery choices? Finally, can they cover a large number of regions?
2. Safety/Insurance: It is imperative to investigate the safety practices and record of any of the companies you consider for your heavy haul needs. This is especially true when you consider the cost of the equipment you are trusting said carrier to transport. Additionally, the heavy haul transportation company you choose should be properly bonded and insured to cover any unforeseen accidents.
3. Use of experienced heavy haul drivers: Along similar lines of, “Use the right tool for the job,” is use the CORRECT driver for your transport. Why would you trust a high-dollar heavy equipment load (i.e. overweight, oversize, etc.) to a driver who has only driven a reefer for a couple of years?
4. In depth regulatory knowledge: Because heavy haul companies are heavily regulated, it is essential that the company you choose is well-versed in all regulatory aspects of heavy haul trucking. For reference: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), https://www.transportation.gov/ (US Department of Transportation)
5. Ability to plan/run routes in advance: To prevent unanticipated problems while in transit, your heavy haul company should plan/run routes in advance. Today, much of this is accomplished using GPS technology. This implementation of such plans is meant to eliminate delays and damaged goods/equipment which ultimately means possible losses for BOTH you and the heavy haul company.
6. Efficient paperwork handling (Permits): Efficient business dealings of all kinds depend on proper paper/document handling. To make your experience with the heavy haul transportation company of your choosing smoother, they should be able to promptly deliver needed documents, including permits, in a timely fashion. A solid heavy haul transportation provider will be able to obtain all permits needed for each state the load passes thru.
7. Transparency: The company you choose, should be transparent in all things, meaning their business practices should be open and honest. They should be able to provide answers to any questions you may present without hesitation. You also want to make sure they are willing to show examples of work previously done in the past and are wiling to explain the cost of the heavy haul load in detail.
8. Customer service: Good customer service is a MUST. Things do not always go according to plan, therefor having a well-educated customer service department led by knowledgeable heavy haul agents with exceptional communication skills is an added bonus. You want to make sure that once you are working with a heavy haul transport company, there will be support and service during the entire process of the over sized load.
These above stated requirements are generally agreed upon by most heavy haul transportation companies if you peruse their websites. So, all things being equal, why should you choose one over another? What is the one thing that sways your decision? I believe it is the singular thing we have not discussed (save the best for last).
9. EXPERIENCE. When everything else appears the same, then experience trumps all else! If the transportation company in question is manned/run by brokers/broker agents who have limited experience in the heavy haul field or little to no knowledge about trucking in general, are these the people you are going to trust your high dollar equipment and reputation to?
If they only have knowledge of a select few types of trailers/equipment or they do not understand proper load techniques or do not fully understand the types of loads, is this who you will trust your equipment to? If your carrier choice is not familiar with and up to date on the necessary regulations needed to haul your freight, are you ready to pay possible fines down the road? Are you willing to lose money because the carrier of your choice is mediocre at document handling, including permits? What if the chosen transportation company can only operate in 2 or 3 states? If your broker/broker agent is unfamiliar with all avenues available to plan/run routes, your trip will be a disaster and could possibly end up costing everyone involved large sums of money and damaged equipment.