Super-heavy hauling is complex and requires many steps to achieve. Careful route planning, precise weight calculations, and the right equipment are critical to a successful project. Perhaps most importantly, working with an experienced heavy hauling company can help you manage all the factors that go into executing a safe move for super-sized equipment.
Heavy Hauling vs. Super-Heavy Hauling: Knowing the Difference
First, let’s look at some definitions. Before you plan your heavy hauling project, you must be able to classify the difference between heavy loads and super-heavy loads. Significantly larger than heavy loads and posing a greater threat of pavement damage in a single pass, super-heavy loads are defined as those that:
- Exceed 254,000-300,000-lbs. gross vehicle weight
- Exceed the maximum permissible weight on any axle or axle group
- Exceed 200,000 pounds with less than 95 feet of axle spacing
Oftentimes super-heavy loads must be carried across multiple states, and each state has different regulations for how such moves are handled. That means contacting the appropriate local authorities is an important part of super-heavy load movement.
At Maxim Crane Works, we deal exclusively in super-heavy hauls and can help navigate all of the components of the project including the crane rental needed to lift and place the load at each destination.
When planning your super-heavy haul, the checklist below will help you partner with your super-heavy haul provider to understand your needs to set up a smooth and safe transport.
Step 1: Sizing Requirements
To determine if your project constitutes a super-heavy haul, you will have to evaluate the total weight and size requirements of your move. A lot goes into this step, as each load has its unique weight and dimensions, and requires different truck configurations to move it.
A few parameters we consider are:
Gross Combination Weight (GCW)
The total weight of every component within the super-heavy haul, the GCW is a key metric for planning your move. Components include the cargo, trailer, truck, and even the passengers, so every possible weight must be accounted for to gain an accurate gross combination weight rating (GCWR).
A load may be classified as a super-heavy haul even if its GCW is below 254,000 pounds, provided that the maximum permissible weight is exceeded on any axle group, or if 200,000 pounds or more are concentrated within 95 feet of axle space.
Such excessive loading in a relatively small space can cause excessive pressure, so check the spacing of each axle group to make sure the weight of your super-heavy haul can be adequately distributed.
Many heavy hauls weigh in at 120,00–180,000 pounds and can be carried out without specialized equipment beyond that of an extra-sturdy chassis, but super-heavy hauls are different.
Loads upwards of 300,000 pounds or more may need a mover that is fitted with planetary axles, auxiliary transmissions, and specialized engines to haul their cargo.
Super-heavy loads come in many different shapes and sizes — another factor that complicates their move. Some cargo may be wide enough to take up multiple lanes, and it’s not uncommon for some to be tall enough that they can’t clear bridges or overpasses. Always know the dimensions of your super-heavy load.
With this information in hand and a solid super-heavy haul service provider, you should have a solid grasp of the magnitude of your super-heavy haul.
Step 2: Route Planning
Understanding your sizing requirements is a prerequisite to determining how your load will be moved, but how you get there is an entirely separate matter. Route planning involves careful planning on many details, including:
Some super-heavy hauls must be carried out across precarious terrain, making safe travel even more difficult. Road grade, urban/rural surroundings, and winding paths are all factors to consider as you plan your path from A to B.
Regulations on super-heavy hauls vary from state to state, requiring movers to obtain a permit for each one they traverse.
Loads over 500,000 pounds may even require consultation from local engineering authorities to determine if the road can handle the weight. Your heavy-haul provider will work with you to check with each transportation authority along your route, obtaining a permit accordingly.
Some roads may be incapable of withstanding a super-heavy load, and other factors like construction and detours may force you to alter your route. Be sure your heavy-haul partner examines the conditions of the road you plan to take early and often to ensure safe travels.
From traffic stops and construction to accidents and permits, there are many variables involved in efficient route planning — and not all of them can be planned for. Holdups are inevitable along any route. The best practice is to drive the route beforehand and check local traffic reports frequently to account for as many delays as possible.
Step 3: Equipment Selection
Once you’ve sized up your cargo and your route, your heavy-haul provider can begin to align your requirements to the right equipment that meets the needs of your super-heavy haul.
The right trailer should not only have all the features needed to keep all cargo and passengers safe, but it should be able to navigate the terrain along your route.
Many different trailer solutions are specifically designed for super-heavy hauling. Some common ones are:
- Trail King Dual-Lane Transport. At 225 feet long, this trailer features telescoping access that extends from 14–20 feet for extra-wide loads.
- Modular Transporters. Designed to haul super-heavy loads on public roads, construction sites, or even across indoor facilities, the Goldhofer THP and PST models can withstand up to 36 tons per axle. The THP comes in a 3 and 6-line module, while the PST comes in 6.
- Trail King 13-Axle. Sporting the unique design distinct to California, this West-coast style trailer weighs in at 85 tons and can haul up to 150,000 pounds of cargo.
The diversity of super-heavy hauling projects and many different transport solutions is a must. As unique as your project is, your heavy-haul partner will help find the trailer right for you.
Step 4: Loading and Delivery
As you’re thinking about your project from beginning to end, you’ll want to partner with a company that can load, haul, and unload your super-heavy object or material. Cranes and other lifting equipment are required to lift and place the load before transport as well as at the delivery destination. Endpoint lifting services are just as vital as transit assessment in super-heavy hauling. Having selected the right moving equipment means very little if your cargo can’t be loaded and unloaded effectively.
The right equipment and personnel must be available for loading and delivery. Some considerations include:
- Having operational cranes and lifting equipment on-site including crawler cranes, all-terrain cranes, rough terrain cranes, and hydraulic truck cranes
- Securing designated loading zones
- Delivery location accessibility
- Meeting rigging needs
- Labor costs
- Ensuring the presence of essential personnel
In super-heavy hauling, no project is complete until all cargo is fully unloaded. That is why companies like Maxim Crane provide comprehensive lift and place services including crane rental and heavy-haul services across the United States.
Step 5: Work With an Expert
With so much that goes into super-heavy hauling, industry experience is invaluable. From sizing assessment and route planning to providing equipment and securing end-to-end services, every variable must be accounted for.
At Maxim Crane Works, we not only specialize in renting cranes that get projects off the ground in the construction and industrial settings, but we also have all the tools it takes to meet every super-heavy hauling need. From design to delivery, we can take care of all aspects of a super-heavy haul. Contact us today to learn more.