How to Avoid Additional LTL Freight Fees

Don’t Get Blindsided by Surplus LTL Freight Fees

To avoid additional LTL freight fees, be certain your machine tool awaiting transport is measured down to a T and prepared for shipment. This is especially relevant when arranging for LTL shipping.

Measure, Double Measure, and Triple Measure

Be Certain your freight is measured exactly and packaged according to LTL carrier specifications. All freight must be securely wrapped so that it can be safely transported on the open road. Once your freight is wrapped and protected from the elements, be sure to get a precise measurement of the height, length and weight. Accurate measurements are vital; carriers will often re-measure and weigh your freight using a laser instrument. If the measurements are significantly different than what you listed, then expect to get hit with a penalty fee.

Finally, have all freight ready to go by the loading dock. This will make the job easier for the riggers, movers, and the line haul driver. It also prevents delays and expedites the process, especially for the riggers. This helps you save money if you are paying the rigging crew by the hour. Continue Reading →

How to Prevent Trailer Creep

trailer creepSafety is of utmost importance. Warehouse injuries account for over 95 million lost work days every year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. One common form of accident, especially among forklift operators, is a situation known as trailer creep. Here’s how to avoid a serious accident from this phenomenon.

What Is Trailer Creep?

In a loading dock, the transport truck or trailer is attached to a dock leveler. This enables efficient loading when operating a forklift, dolly, or pallet jack. When a forklift makes multiple trips back and forth, the repeated motion causes separation between the truck and dock leveler. The gap widens but may not be immediately noticeable by staff members. If the gap widens enough, it can cause an entering or exiting forklift to collapse suddenly to the floor. This can severely injure the operator and damage the forklift.

How to Prevent Trailer Creep

Adhere to strict safety protocol. OSHA has established guidelines in place for trucks, which must be secured using a wheel chock. However, wheel chocks are not 100% fail-proof. The truck can still lurch, or the gear can collapse. Furthermore, wheel chocks can also slip on wet surfaces.

In addition to wheel chocks, we also suggest using wheel-based restraints. These are compatible with most trailers and dedicated transport trucks. Mount the restraint to the dock approach from the rear tire; this prevents the vehicle from gradually lurching forward.

Whatever safety equipment you use, establish a built-in safety check. Perform a visual of every implemented tool. Chocks and other restraint devices can and do wear out over time.

Make Safety Practices a Priority

Arrange your next shipment with Machine Transport. Contact us for a free quote. Injuries are bound to occur in a blue-collar industry such as this. However, you can minimize the incidences by enforcing safety protocols. Trailer creep is completely preventable.

Machine Tool Transport Across North America

Serving the North American territories

Through-Trailer Vs Transloading: What’s the Difference?

through-trailer, transloading, cross-border shippingMany companies that have arranged for across-the-border transport know the immense logistic hurdles. Lack of preparation can result in huge delays once the freight reaches the border. This is where through-trailer and transloading come in. Here’s how to understand their key differences so you’ll be better able to choose the right shipping method.

Understanding the Border-Crossing Process

Any transport to Mexico typically requires what is known as a drayage carrier. Drayage is the process of transporting the freight the short distance from the U.S. border to Mexico’s side of border. “Through-trailer” and “transloading” are two forms of drayage.

Through-Trailer and Transloading at a Glance

With a through-trailer, the freight remains in the same trailer or dedicated truck transport throughout the entire journey.

In transloading, the freight is transferred to another trailer, truck, or van once it reaches U.S./Mexico border.

Which Is Faster?

There is an assumption that a through-trailer is quicker. The idea is that since the freight remains in the same vehicle, delivery time is faster. After all, it does take time to transfer a heavy machine tool to another vehicle or flatbed trailer. In most cases, the additional time is only a matter of a few hours and not days.

Breaking the Seal

Another concern is that with transloading, the seal on the trailer will be broken during the transfer between vehicles. Here’s the reality: due to the complex government regulation regarding cross-border shipment, the seal may be broken anyway.

Availability

Transloading carriers are typically more available. This is probably due to the preconceived notions about the speed of through-trailers being and the seal issue. In any case, availability shouldn’t be a major problem for either the through-trailer or transloading method, provided that you leave the arrangements to a broker like Machine Transport.

We Handle the Border Crossing Logistics

We can connect you with the best carrier for a shipment that requires cross-border movement. Due to the heavier logistics involved, leave it to us to determine whether through-trailer or transloading is best.

Cross-Border Machine Tool Transport

Serving the manufacturing industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

Machine Tool Relocation: Why You May Need to Move Your Equipment

machine tool relocation, machinery relocationAt some point, you may need to move a heavy piece of machinery or an appliance, such as a commercial HVAC unit. After years in the industry, we are familiar with the most common reasons for machine tool relocation. Here are some reasons that may warrant transporting machinery.

Changing Facilities

As a company expands, it may relocate to a new facility. That means all of the equipment comes along. Most materials, such as furniture, can be transported in a typical moving truck. However, machine tools, forklifts, or other prohibitively heavy items, will require transport via trailer, even if it’s just moving a few blocks.

Equipment Upgrading

Like cars, new models for machine tools emerge every now and then. If your existing equipment is nearing the double digits in age, then an upgrade may be in order. You may need to rely on a dedicated truck transport to bring the new machine tool in and haul the old one out. Continue Reading →

What Are the Advantages of Cross-Docking?

cross-dockingSpeed and productivity are the two most important factors when it comes to preparation for an outbound shipment. Cross-docking is one warehouse processing structure that cuts down on time and minimizes errors, thereby reducing labor and saving on costs.

What Is Cross-Docking?

Not all buildings are optimized for cross-docking. Cross-docking warehouses require that inbound docks be on one end of the building and outbound docks be on the opposite end. The freight is unloaded from the inbound dock where it is screened, processed, and sorted in the warehouse. When the freight is ready, it is moved into the outbound dock for loading.

The Advantages

As mentioned, cross-docking results in less handling, which cuts down on labor time and handling. This reduces the chances of damage; the time saved also cuts down on the outbound truck’s waiting time. Most carriers and linehaul shippers charge a surplus fee if the waiting time exceeds a pre-established limit. This is especially true for LTL transports, which contain time-sensitive freight from other customers. Continue Reading →

Acknowledge the Hard Work of Drivers for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

national truck driver appreciation, truck driver appreciation, driver appreciationNational Truck Driver Appreciation Week is actually in September. However, we don’t mind mentioning this in October because we believe driver appreciation should be year-round. Drivers—whether they be common carriers or linehaul shippers—sacrifice far more than we give them credit for.

Trucking Industry Statistics

The trucking industry is a big contributor of the economy and supplies jobs to able-bodied individuals all over the country. Here are some interesting food-for-thought figures:

  • Trucking comprises 5.8% of full-time jobs in the U.S.
  • Freight trucks moved more than 10.8 billion tons of cargo in 2017
  • The average trucker drives more than 100,000 miles per year
  • In the past decade, emissions from freight trucks have been reduced by half
  • The industry generated over $700 billion in 2017
  • As of 2019, there are approximately 3.5 million full-time truck drivers

The above figures are made possible due to the dedication of drivers that make up the backbone of the industry. Continue Reading →

North American Shipping Regulations: How Guidelines Differ Between Countries

North American shipping regulations, shipping regulationsMachine Transport serves industries all over North America, including the USA, Canada, and Mexico. However, the exact regulations may differ slightly between these three countries. Here are some of the North American shipping regulations that differ and how this impacts cross-country transportation.

Seasonal Weight Restrictions

The USA and Canada have colder climates, whereas Mexico has a warmer temperature. Why is this relevant? For the first two nations, the colder weather means constant road frosting and defrosting. The roads weaken during spring when the roads defrost after winter. Due to the changing road conditions, the USA and Canada impose season-specific weight restrictions. Mexico’s weight guidelines, however, remain constant year-round. Continue Reading →

Flatbed Freight Shipping: A Beginner’s Guide

flatbed freight shipping, flatbed shippingAt some point, a broker may suggest flatbed freight shipping. This is a term that few people are familiar with. Here is some helpful information about the ins and outs of this method and why it’s often the recommendation for many machine tool transport companies.

What Is Flatbed Freight Shipping?

A flatbed is a type of trailer designated for machine tools, cars, and construction vehicles. The trailer may be necessary for transporting freight that may not fit within the confines of a typical LTL truck.

Many machine tools, such as commercial metal lathes, hobbing machines, and drill presses are exceptionally large and irregularly shaped. These require transport on an open flatbed trailer.

Preparing Your Freight for Flatbed Shipping

When speaking with a broker, provide as much information as you can about your freight. This helps the broker determine whether a flatbed is necessary and if so, which type. The nature of the freight also determines other shipping requirements. For example, some freight may require a tarp. Continue Reading →

Factors That Determine an LTL Freight Class

LTL freight class, freight class factor, LTL freightWith LTL shipments, all freight is given a classification code number in accordance with the National Motor Freight Classification. Your freight will be assigned one of 18 possible LTL freight class designations. Here are some of the factors that determine this classification. Generally, the lower the class the lower the cost.

Factor #1: Density

To determine density, divide the freight’s mass by the volume. If you can keep the density down, you’ll receive a better the rate. However, this may not always be possible with a heavy machine tool.

Factor #2: Handling

How easy is it to transport the freight without causing damage? Sensitive items may require special handling instructions. This can raise the freight class and therefore, the shipment’s cost. Some machine tools have sensitive parts that may require special handling. This may require the use of certain equipment during unloading, such as a hand truck or lift gate. Continue Reading →

Pallets Vs Crates: Which Is Best for Your Machine Tool Transport?

pallets vs. crates

An item is seldom loaded as is onto a truck. Most carriers and linehaul shippers require placement on a pallet or skid or in a crate. This leads to the discussion of pallets vs crates. Which method is ideal for your next scheduled transport?

Crates

Crates are essentially wooden boxes. Manufacturers usually provide custom crates so they accommodate your machine tools perfectly without using excess space.

Compared to pallets, crates provide more protection since the machine tool is completely enclosed inside a wooden frame. One drawback, though, is that crates are heavier than pallets, which may add to the shipping cost. Fortunately, most crate manufacturers now offer corrugated crates, which are lighter in weight. Another option is a frame crate, which is exceptionally sturdy and intended for storing heavy objects.

Pallets

Pallets are usually the go-to option by default. They are readily available, sturdy, and convenient. They are especially useful for transferring items in bulk. They are also easily transportable using a pallet jack or forklift. 

In place of pallets, some people opt to use skids instead. Skids are similar to pallets but lack the bottom deck. This makes them less mobile but allows them to serve as a good long-term base and foundation for heavy machinery.

Pallets Vs Crates at a Glance

If maximum safety of your equipment is priority, then go with a crate. If convenience and saving money is your concern, then you can’t go wrong with pallets.

Keep in mind that most truck load line haul services have regulations regarding how pallets and crates must be prepared.

We Help You Prepare Your Next Outbound Shipment

Contact Machine Transport to schedule your next freight transport. We connect you with a carrier best suited to your needs. Request a quote today. Study the differences between crates and pallets to determine which is most efficient for your shipment.

North American Machine Tool Transportation

Serving manufacturing industries throughout North America