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heavy equipment driver

Are Heavy Hauler Truck Drivers Unionized?

Some heavy haul truckers are union members and some are not. Those that choose to do so are members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). Some of the largest trucking companies are unionized, along with smaller trucking businesses. Truck drivers who are classified as independent contractors can’t join the union.

Truck Drivers

Labor unions in the U.S. date back to the 18th century. They’ve been a driving force for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The IBT was officially formed in 1903 to represent horse-drawn team drivers, along with stable hands.

The history and nature of unions has been a rollercoaster ride since Congress passed the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. It deregulated the trucking industry and allowed more low-cost, non-union carriers to enter the industry, which decreased the power of unions.

Combined with that have been the union busting efforts of state governors to strip power from unions and private sector workers, along with bans against deducting union dues from paychecks, and prohibiting unions from participating in collective bargaining.

Current estimates are that only 2 percent of 3.6 million truck drivers are unionized, excluding government workers. Some trucking executives see unionization as the gateway to higher wages for truckers and lower profits for the company. Management of trucking companies say they’d rather take a “relationship building” approach with truckers.

For unionized long-haul truck drivers, the benefits can be worth the dues they pay. They include medical, vision and dental coverage, along with life insurance and long-term and short-term disability. Other heavy haul drivers prefer to negotiate for jobs and terms on their own.

Labor unions have been a topic of continuing contention in all industry sectors. There are some unionized individuals that have given away benefits, while others turned down unionization. Their rationale is that if they don’t have access to those benefits, other drivers shouldn’t either.

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When Flags are Necessary on Your Heavy Haul

Numerous rules and regulations govern heavy haulers. One of those is the use of flags. You’ll need overload flags – and possibly signage and warning lights – if your trailer exceeds 75 ft. in length, 8 ft. 6 in. in width, and/or 14 ft. 4 in. in height.

Heavy Haul

Each state has its own set of rules governing oversize loads and you may also be limited in regard to when you can actively drive. There are some states that prohibit movement on state and federal holidays and rules vary according to state highways and interstate roadways.

Flags of orange or red are typically required during the daytime. Amber or red lights are required at night or when visibility is limited. Your best solution is to display the flags and run the warning lights, just to be safe. Flags can be secured to the load by the corner or displayed with the use of a flag staff and must be either a 12×12 inch square or an 18×18 inch square.

Usually, it’s just the trailer that needs flags, but some states require that flags be placed on the front of the tractor. Flags are normally placed on the extreme outside corners of the load. Warning lights serve the same purpose and must be visible for 500 ft. Depending on the load, an escort driver may also be required.

The requirements are designed to warn other drivers and keep everyone safe on the road. As a heavy haul driver, you need more space for stopping, turning corners and maneuvering in traffic. Those factors are often forgotten or ignored by the drivers of passenger vehicles when driving near heavy haulers. Flags, in combination with rotating warning lights, are an excellent way to remind other drivers and mark the parameters of your rig. It’s also a requirement.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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Understanding the Working Load Limit (WLL)

Trucking companies use a variety of methods to secure loads to the trailer, which are known collectively as rigging. Knowing and understanding the working load limit of the rigging is imperative to ensure a load doesn’t break loose. A failure in the rigging would be extremely dangerous and expensive. Individuals can also be cited by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for failure to adequately secure the load.

However, there’s often some confusion between working load limit (WLL) and breaking strength. WWL is the maximum weight allowance that a piece of rigging, such as wires, straps or chains, will handle under normal conditions. They shouldn’t be used to secure anything over their individual breaking limit. On the other hand, WLL is 1/3 of the breaking strength rating. For instance, a breaking strength limit of 30,000 pounds equals a WLL of 10,000 pounds.

Working Load Limit

In the trucking industry, breaking strength refers to the point at which rigging will fail at its weakest point. That area may be the strap, wire or chain itself, or the fittings or device used to apply tension. Riggers, responsible for securing loads, aggregate working load limits to determine how many tiedowns are required for a specific load.

To determine the aggregate load limit, riggers use 50 percent of the WLL for each tiedown attached to an anchor point on the trailer. That’s combined with 50 percent of the WLL of tiedowns that go over, through or around the cargo. There must be a minimum amount of tiedowns in conjunction with WLL. When rolling vehicles are involved, they must also be chocked to prevent them from rolling.

The rules according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are slightly different due to the nature of the cargo. The minimum tiedown rule doesn’t apply to the transport of items such as equipment, trusses, girders or crane booms due to their structural shape, weight, design or size. Those types of cargo must be secured by special methods, but the tiedowns must still meet performance and WLL requirements.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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moving machinery

Moving Machinery Seamlessly

There’s a lot more going on when a company is moving machinery to a new warehouse than simply having it arrive. That’s true whether the machinery is simply being stored or it will be set up at the new site for production purposes. There may also be inventory to move and few companies have the luxury of completely shutting down production for an extended length of time.

Logistics

You’re going to need to work with a logistics company if you plan on moving machinery – usually a third-party logistics (3PL) agency. However, an increasing number of heavy haul companies are providing their own logistics service as a one-stop resource for clients. A large-scale warehouse move can require considerable resources and specialized equipment so you’ll need plenty of time to shop around, review contracts, and perform other necessary actions. Plan and schedule as far in advance as possible.

Moving Machinery Plan

You don’t want your equipment or machinery simply jammed into the warehouse space. Create a floor plan of where you want everything placed and the order in which each piece should be installed. You should also have a schedule/timetable for each task to ensure the entire process is completed in a timely manner.

That includes a plan for your supply chain. You may not be able to handle regular deliveries or shipments during this time. It’s essential that stakeholders be aware of the type of disruptions and challenges the relocation will entail.

Organization

Part of that plan in moving machinery will include having power and other services turned on at the new site and ready to go the minute the first machinery arrives. There may be occupancy permits required, and inspections by various health and safety officials. Don’t forget to have the mail changed.

If forklifts and other equipment will be needed from day one, ensure it arrives first and that it’s fueled and ready to work. Whenever possible, eliminate as much inventory as possible. It will be less to move and aid in providing space for machinery to be installed.

Labor

Every employee should know what their specific tasks and responsibilities will be before and during the move. That’s particularly important if production will continue to run during the move. You may find those extra employees may be needed for packing and handling inventory. Make sure intricate parts of the production process are allocated to experienced employees and managers that are familiar with the business.

Communication

The need for clear and concise communication can’t be overstated. Relocating machinery and/or operations to a new warehouse can be a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved. Communication is the key to a smooth and successful move.

Be Prepared

The potential for snafus, accidents and emergencies always exists. Emergency preparedness should be part of your overall plan. A relocation is stressful and employees will be working outside their normal roles. Working with a heavy haul company that provides as many services as possible will help ease the process.

With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure any and all of your heavy equipment export is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time and will make it our main focus when shipping for you.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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Professional Heavy Equipment Export

Heavy equipment transport is required for most of the heavy manufacturing industries. The transport modes include road, rail and air to deliver the goods to the final destination. However, there are certain countries, which are not able to use the land transportation due to terrain challenges. Therefore, these countries have to export their goods using any of the means available like cargo ships, container ships, tankers, dredges, airplanes, cargo ships, etc. These export-related issues also need a good logistics system to streamline the freight transportation process.

 

For the purposes of facilitating the shipping of goods overseas, it is very important that the shipping methodologies are sound and efficient. The logistics manager should ensure that port and airport services are in perfect order and the shipment reaches the right place. He should use advanced analytics to track the shipment progress every step of the way. If there are any problems along the way, then there will be delays in delivery.

 

When the shipping vessel docks at a port, there are several things that have to be arranged in order to make sure that the shipment reaches its destination safely. If the logistics manager does not have adequate knowledge and information on these aspects, then he cannot ensure the safe delivery of the heavy manufactured goods. Every shipping company has a team of efficient and trained logistics experts. These experts will take care of all the logistics aspects of the shipping process. This includes planning the route, preparing the vessel, arranging for the crew, getting the goods shipped, load balancing and many more.

Heavy Equipment Export Objectives

One of the main objectives of logistics is to ensure that the cargo reaches its destined place. Therefore, the management of the shipping industry should allocate enough funding and resources to properly manage the logistics aspect of the shipping business. One of the easiest ways to do so is to hire a logistics expert. A logistics expert will help you efficiently plan your routes, prepare the cargo, get the goods delivered safely and optimize the freight costs. Some of the services offered by logistics experts include customizing shipping options, warehousing and supply chain solutions, as well as the development of logistics strategies.

 

If you are a small-scale importer or exporter, then you may not have the required financial resources to hire a logistics expert. If this is the case, then you should consider hiring shipping brokers to transport your heavy equipment. Brokers have extensive experience in the shipping industry and know how to best use their contacts, experience and expertise to offer the best transportation services to their clients. The transportation of heavy equipment is an important aspect of any trade transaction. Therefore, it is imperative for a company to properly organize transportation of their goods.

 

Many shipping companies offer transportation services to small and medium-sized businesses. However, it is also important for you to choose the right company to properly transport your goods. It would be preferable to hire a Heavy Equipment Export and transport company that can offer you comprehensive transport solutions. Hire a transport company that is fully committed to your needs and will always work closely with you. One of the most effective ways to hire the services of a professional heavy equipment export company is to go online and search for transport companies.

 

With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure any and all of your heavy equipment export is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time and will make it our main focus when shipping for you.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and heavy hauling trucking information. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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Heavy Equipment Export | North American Heavy Haul

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How Terrain Factors into your Haul

Whether you’re towing an RV cross country for recreational purposes or hauling equipment across town to a job site, there are a myriad of terrain types that you may encounter. Rolling hills and mountains interspersed with long stretches of flatlands will all affect your haul in different ways. That doesn’t even factor in construction zones, gravel roads and railroad tracks.

Traction

You should anticipate multiple types of terrain and plan for them ahead of time when hauling heavy equipment or pulling a trailer or camper. One of the first things you need are tires that provide appropriate traction, particularly if you’ll be driving on back roads, job sites, or in loose soil. You can easily and quickly lose control of a trailer in those conditions.

Power

Make sure your vehicle has the power to pull the trailer’s weight and cargo comfortably. Don’t overload the trailer and ensure the load is balanced – not too far forward or back. Doing so enables the load to be towed more easily.

Speed

The greater the speed, the easier it is to lose control in loose soil or if you swerve to miss wildlife that wanders into the road. A steady speed is always best and just because the speed limit may state 55 mph, use caution and common sense especially on inclines and during inclement weather conditions. Drive at a speed that’s equitable to the conditions whether that includes rain, high wind or steep inclines.

Braking

Braking systems should be adjusted so they don’t lock up if you’re forced to brake quickly or come to a stop. It takes longer for heavy trucks or a tow vehicle and trailer to stop than it does a passenger vehicle. It’s always a bad idea to depart from established roads or tracks since the shoulders will be far more slippery than the main road.

Clearance

Always know the height of the trailer and cargo you’re hauling. The ground clearance of the tow vehicle is equally important. You definitely don’t want to attempt to pass through an overhead impediment that’s too low or traverse a path with obstacles that can take out an axel or oil pan.

With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure your heavy equipment is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time and will make it our main focus when shipping for you.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and hauling in formation. We welcome any questions, concerns or comments you may have.

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Timing your Heavy Haul Delivery

Timing is an important element of the logistics involved to ensure a heavy haul delivery is transported safely and arrives at its destination in a timely manner. It’s especially important when dealing with heavy equipment or cargo that’s essential for a particular job.

A heavy haul is a complex operation that entails far more than simply loading items on a truck or trailer. There are stringent state and federal regulations that govern how items can be hauled, weight limits and other specifications. Depending on the load, drivers may be restricted to certain traveling times to ensure the safety of other motorists.

Pre-Planning

Planning ahead smooths the process every step of the way. If you know you’re going to need something transported, don’t wait until the last minute to try and get it there. Heavy haulers are in high demand and you could easily find the needed equipment and vehicles aren’t available. Plan ahead and notify your carrier of what you need to do and when the transport will need to be performed.

The same is true at the cargo’s destination. Be sure that the project manager or other official knows that the cargo has been shipped and when it’s due to arrive so there will be someone available to immediately take charge of it. Time is money in the heavy hauler industry and you could find yourself with some extra charges should the hauler have to sit idle at the destination.

Specifications

You’ll need to know the dimensions and weight of what you’ll be shipping. If you need heavy equipment transported, it may be considered an oversize load. That will require special permitting, banners, safety lights, and may even require an escort vehicle. The hauler will need time to obtain the proper paperwork and work out a route that’s quick, efficient, and one that won’t run afoul of any infrastructure limits.

With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure your heavy equipment is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time and will make it our main focus when shipping for you.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and hauling in formation. We welcome any questions, concerns or comments you may have.

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Why Heavy Equipment Operator is a Good Career

There are dozens of opportunities in the heavy equipment operating arena. Heavy equipment operators are responsible for operating a wide range of equipment ranging from hydraulic truck cranes, forklifts and bulldozers to cargo trucks, backhoes and dump trucks. Qualified cargo haulers are always in high demand.

Job opportunities are available as independent operators, with private employers and government entities. Individuals have options that include those that are local in scope or long-haul jobs that may take them anywhere across the nation. Florida requires individuals to keep their certifications and endorsements current. Some equipment may require a specific license in Florida, along with passing a DOT physical.

Heavy equipment operators on salary in Florida typically earn between $51,000-$71,000 per year. Those that are paid by the hour make an average of $17.60 per hour. Overtime opportunities are available and some companies offer signing bonuses. Insurance benefits are usually offered and some companies may even provide parental leave and assistance with personal development or relocation expenses.

Individuals contemplating a career in operating heavy equipment will need a high school diploma or GED and be required to complete an approved heavy equipment training program. Passing a written and skills test is also required. A commercial driver’s license also known as a CDL is required and there are three levels of CDL endorsements.

  • A Passenger (P) endorsement enables the carrying of passengers
  • A Tank (T) endorsement allows the operation of trucks containing liquid cargos
  • A Hazardous Materials (H) endorsement is for operating trucks containing flammable liquids, explosives or radioactive substances.

There are also different classes of CDLs. A Class A is needed for vehicles with a gross weight combination of 26,001 or more lbs. It includes tractor-trailers, flatbeds, livestock haulers, and tank vehicles.

A Class B is required for a vehicle not hitched to a trailer with a cargo weight greater than 26,000 lbs. encompassing passenger and segmented buses, tractor-trailers, and dump trucks with small trailers.

A Class C is needed to operate a single vehicle with a gross weight less than 26,001 lbs., towing a vehicle that weighs 10,000 lbs., or transporting 16 or more passengers including the driver. It includes passenger vans, small HazMat vehicles, and vehicles not included in Class A or B.

With the many opportunities available for heavy equipment operators, there’s an option to accommodate a wide range of personal interests, income desires, and in multiple fields. Individuals can choose to work in areas ranging from mining and construction to hauling heavy equipment.

North American Heavy Haul is a full-service Heavy Equipment Transportation and Machinery Shipping Firm. With Professional Heavy Equipment Drivers in All 50 States, we have more experience transporting oversized and over-weight machinery than anyone in the industry. North American Heavy Haul is dedicated to providing our clients with professional, personalized services and guidance in all your heavy equipment transportation needs.

With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure your heavy equipment is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time and will make it our main focus when shipping for you.

Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and hauling in formation. We welcome any questions, concerns or comments you may have.

CONTACT US TODAY

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North American Heavy Haul Luanches New Site

With over a decade of transporting and Heavy Haul experience, we ensure your heavy equipment is transported safely. Our skilled logistics team understands it’s mission-critical to get your load where it needs to be on time, every time, and will make it our main focus when shipping for you. Contact us today for Free Shipping Estimates and hauling in formation. We welcome any questions, concerns, or comments you may have.

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