How Auto Transport Works (A Beginner’s Guide)

WWTIMy name is Dave and I am one of the dispatchers here. First and foremost my job is to make sure you equipment arrives safely and on time. I took time to pull up your company and I see you are a company that ships heavy equipment and an occasional boat.

I understand this is new to you and rather than trying to overwhelm you with the terminology let me take time to explain how the industry runs and how we get the job done for you. l’ll keep it brief but informative.


First of all it is critical to have the exact dimensions of what you’re moving , and obviously your pick up and drop off locations(to determine mileage).These trucks / trailers are specialized and there are far fewer of them than the normal trailers you see on the road. Often times your pick up and drop off locations are so far off the beaten track it is necessary to compensate the driver for the fuel burned and the time spent to reach you. Keep in mind these guys are not parked up the street waiting on you. The size and the locations are the determining factors when it comes to billing a load. Our drivers bill their loads by utilizing the cent-per-mile approach. By doing so they are assured that their overhead is covered, and a small profit realized. Therefor prices are figured not at 9,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars but at 3.00 dollars to L0.00 dollars even 20 dollars a mile, depending on the size and weight of the load.

The reason that the dimensions are so important is that not only are there numerous types of trailers (which I will discuss later). Also there are limits to the height, length, width, and weight, As a rule of thumb permits are required on any load that exceeds 8 and a half feet wide or L3 and a half feet tall. The permits required by each state vary in price but on average they are 20 dollars apiece and 5 dollars for each 1000 pounds overweight These permits designate which highways to be traveled , hours of travel, and when or if flagmen are required. ln the event the load exceeds the permit allowance, bn escort will be needed, Escorts are licensed individuals who have been certified by the Escort Vehicle Driver Certification program. Their purpose is to either lead or follow the load so as not to endanger others on the highway due to it being larger than what is covered by permit. For example on a load that exceeds L2 feet wide on non-interstate road requires an escort in front and in back. Interstate only one in the rear. lf the load exceeds l-4 feet wide, non-interstate road requires 2 in front and L behind – interstate requires only one in front and back. 16 feet requires 2 in front and two behind .You also need one at 85 feet long also it changes at 150 feet long. ln the event you have a front overhang of L0 feet or more or a rear overhang of L5 feet an escort is required. Any load that exceeds L8 feet wide or 200 feet long are taken on a case – by – case basis.

As I said I would get back to you on the different types of trailers. l’ll be mentioning only the most widely used but believe me there are many others we have access to if none of these are sufficient. The most widely used are the FLATBED – THEY ARE 60 INCHES OFF THE GROUND AND COME IN 48.53 FOOT LENGTHS 48,OOO LOAD CAPACITY… THE LOWBOY IS BEING REPLACED BY THE RGN SLOWLY BECAUSE IT SERVES THE SAME PURPOSE BUT DOES NOT DETACH FOR EASIER LOADING… THE RGN ((REMOVABLE GOOSE NECK) HAS 29 FEET OF WELL SPACE – YOU CAN FrT EQUIPMENT 12 FOOT TALL AND 8 FEET 6 INCHES WIDE THIS OPERATES BY DETACHING IN FRONT TO FORM A RAMP FOR LOADING …. EXTENSIONS AND A BOOSTER ON THE BACK CAN BE ADDED SO THEY CAN INSERT THEIR EXTENDIBLE… THE STEP DECK YOU HAVE 10 OR 11 FEET OF DECK SPACE THEN THE TRAILER DROPS 24 INCHES AND THEN YOU HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 42 FEET OF TALLER FREIGHT.

The weight the trailer can handle is dependent on the axles the number, the number in each grouping and the distance between the groupings. For example no single axle can exceed 20,000 pounds also 8 feet between 3 axle groupings allows for 42000 to 64000 pounds between 4 axle groupings 12 feet allows for 50000 to 80000 5 and 6 axle groupings allow for 58000 to 85 and 66000 to 90000 respectively so it is the number of axles and the space between groupings that determines how much weight the trailer can stand.

Boats on the other hand follow the same pattern. The size weight and whether or not it is on a trailer are the factors considered when pricing a boat also the mileage traveled. In the event you do not have a trailer, you need to make arrangements to have a crane at both ends to load and again to unload.

I appreciate your interest and I hope to be able to move anything you may have to transport.

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