If you’re considering shipping by truck or trailer, here are 8 things you should know and keep in mind.
- Have all info ready to get a quote (Tape measured dimensions, weight, origin and destination info, value, special requirements, etc.). If a driver expects a machine to be 10 feet of deck and it turns into 16 feet, that can cost more than if originally quoted for 16 feet. And if the destination changes during a load, this can cost more to re-route than it would have if we had the correct delivery info in the beginning!
- How will your item be loaded and unloaded? If your item is something on wheels, can it be lifted to load, or does it need to drive into or onto a trailer? Do you have a forklift or dock to be able to load and unload?
- If your item needs to be tarped, can it be tarped? Are there sharp corners that protrude that will make it difficult to tarp? Tarps only protect well when they can be wrapped tight, like a Christmas present. If they flap in the wind, will that damage the finish? Will it hold up on a flatbed in the wind, or should it go in a van?
- Determine freight costs before purchasing an item. Nothing can be more frustrating than getting a good deal on E-Bay, then realizing it will cost twice as much to have it shipped across the country than it did to buy it! Double-check freight estimates before committing to purchase!
- Same goes for scheduling riggers to load or unload! If you are in a high-demand area and have riggers scheduled to load something, it’s better to determine if a truck will be hard to find before scheduling a way to load. If riggers wait for a late truck or have to re-schedule because there’s no truck available, that can also get expensive.
- The wider the time frame, the cheaper the freight cost. Partial loads require a little time flexibility for scheduling the right truck for pick-up and delivery dates simply because the drivers will have other stops to make along the way to fill out the load. If you need to have something small delivered next-day, it can cost as much if not more than delivering a full load on a more flexible time schedule.
- Determine the value of your item before getting a freight quote. A used piece of machinery isn’t necessarily worth what a new one costs to replace it. In the eyes of insurance companies, your used machine is valued at what you paid for it. A new one can be insured for the replacement cost, but not a used one.
- There are many variables that determine freight rates – origin and destination, the number of miles involved, size and weight of cargo, and the supply and demand for a certain trailer type. All these factors can impact freight costs.