How to Transport Heavy Machinery Across the USA

How to Transport Heavy Machinery Across the USA
Kitmondo 01 Sep 2021

There are some situations where it becomes necessary to transport or move heavy machinery, know what to take into consideration to find the ideal company to carry out this service. Whether it is to modify the layout of a particular environment, industrial or not, or to carry out the cleaning of the place, situations where there is heavy machinery and impossible to be moved manually, the contracting of the service of movement and transport of heavy machinery is absolutely necessary. Large equipment also needs to undergo scheduled maintenance, this also contributes to the need for skilled labour in the transportation of heavy machinery.

Heavy loads need a type of vehicle adapted to the machinery and that meet all the necessary safety measures. Canvas trailers and mega trucks are mostly used because of their weight and size.

How to transport heavy machinery across the USA

There are certain steps you can take to make sure your heavy machinery transport in the USA is effective and simple. Most machines must be transported in a standard trailer or on platforms, and in some cases, they can be towed. For larger, non-mobile devices, you probably need more sophisticated equipment.

Obtain the dimensions and characteristics of the load. This type of merchandise can be transported in different ways: towed, flatbed or special transport. Mention all the possible details to the carrier so that it can be adapted in the best way possible to your shipment, also if you have any questions do not hesitate to consult with him so that they can be resolved.

Types of transport of heavy machinery across the USA

Normally the different machines can be loaded in the standard trailer or on platforms. But there is also the possibility of being towed, or for vehicles that are too large and not mobile, special vehicles will be used.


Transportation by platforms is probably the most common method to ship heavy machinery and will be the one that will generally be most available on most conveyors. For most heavy machinery transportation needs, a simple platform should suffice. Platform trucks are available in a variety of sizes and capacity, for better loading and unloading and can load up to 48,000 pounds, or 21,700 kgs. When booking a shipment by platform, make sure the truck is handling the weight of its cargo and having the necessary tools to load and unload it.


For short distance transfers, your machinery could be towed. Make sure you know how to prepare your machinery safely, keeping in mind that the tools are available, and the wheels are in good condition. Cranes companies will have different types of trucks to tow different types of machinery.

Special Trailers

You may need a special trailer to transport machinery that is overweight or oversized. With the help of "Step-deck" and "double drop" trailers, you can easily transport heavy machinery. If your equipment requires a special trailer, it will most likely require a special permit. Check with your service provider so that the necessary permissions and considerations can be anticipated.

International deliveries

When you go to international transportation, you have a few options interstate freight transport, RO-RO and many more. The most common way is known as Roll-on / Roll-off (RO-RO), in which your equipment is driven to the boat using ramps. Another way to carry out the transport is through flat platforms, which are similar to the platforms, where the equipment is placed on them, and from there it is loaded to the maritime transport vessels. These platforms can support up to 88,000 pounds or 39,916 kgs.

Other considerations

Whichever service you choose, make sure the transporter meets the qualities you need for heavy machinery transport and become familiar with the insurance they offer. Confirm that the transporter can load and unload the equipment and that any other special needs are covered. This may include special cranes, or ramps and special permits for large loads.

How to prepare your machinery for transport

There are several steps you must take before sending your machinery to make the process simple. It is not easy to transport heavy machinery, tractors, cranes or field equipment (most of them due to their large size and weight). Conveyors of heavy machinery are experts in their area and have advanced and large-scale equipment to perform the work.

To be ready at the time of pick-up, contact the transporter in advance and make sure you have all transportation permits available. Also, ask how you can have the equipment ready. They will give you advice based on your experience and your particular shipment. For example, the transporter will ask you to cover fragile parts or to secure the doors with zip-ties. Work together with your carrier to make sure you have the necessary permits.

Read the manual

Reading the factory manual is the first step to have your machinery ready. You may have the manual, or you may have to look for the manual on the manufacturer's website. The manual may advise you to take certain measures, disconnect the battery, drain the fluids from the motor or secure loose parts.

Obtain the necessary permits

Keep in mind that there are particular rules on how to hold and secure machinery during transport. Large or overweight machinery will require special permits to be transported by route. Keep in mind that there is equipment that when loaded in trailers can be too high to go under bridges or electric cables. You must work with the transporter before collection to ensure that these permits are up to date, avoid delays and/or legal complications.

Cover vulnerable parts

Keep in mind that your machinery may be transported outdoors. Cover parts that may be vulnerable to wind or rain. In the winter months, prepare for damage to tanks or pipes due to cold or sub-zero temperatures. You should also protect your equipment against heat (read the manual).

Be prepared for collection and delivery

You will need an open area in the collection and delivery locations of the machinery. Also keep in mind that maybe you will need extra equipment for loading and unloading, such as ramps, cranes, etc.