Headhaul and Backhaul: Do You Know the Difference?

headhaul and backhaul North AmericaDo you know the difference between the terms “headhaul” and “backhaul”? Perhaps you’re unaware that these terms even exist. Knowing these terms could help you understand shipping fees and shipping industry operations better. We’ll discuss headhaul vs backhaul in North America.

What Is a Headhaul?

Dedicated trucks and truckload transports don’t just charge by the distance or day of the week. They also charge depending on whether the load is a headhaul or a backhaul.

Most carriers prefer having a schedule filled with headhaul shipments. What does this mean? This indicates that a shipment goes to a nearby location, usually within the same city or just to a bordering town.

The main reason carriers prefer headhaul shipments is because the close destination means a minimum return travel distance. The longer a truck travels without freight, the more money the carrier loses on overhead costs.

What Is a Backhaul?

A backhaul is a shipment made during the trip back home. Having ample backhaul shipments ensures minimal travel without freight. Truckers often receive a dispatch for a backhaul en route from a headhaul. Backhaul shipment rates are generally lower. This favors customers, while for carriers this means a lower profit margin than a headhaul.

What About Deadheads?

A deadhead is a related term, one that carriers don’t ever want to hear. This is the opposite of a backhaul and means returning with zero cargo. Remember, more miles traveling with an empty cargo bed equals lost money. In some cases, the deadheads also affect the driver’s paycheck, although this depends on the carrier company’s policy.

We Find You the Top Headhaul and Backhaul Shipments in North America

You don’t need to understand the detailed specifics of these terms. We’ll find you a shipper offering the best rate and delivery time. Contact us at Machine Transport; we’ll handle the headhaul and backhaul details and rates.

Machine Freight Shipment Across North America: Headhaul and Backhaul Experts

Serving customers in U.S.A, Canada, and Mexico

Posted on May 20, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Organize a Laydown Yard in North America

laydown yard north americaDoes your work area include a laydown yard? You probably have one but just don’t call it by that name.  It’s simply an outdoor space within a warehouse site where you store material and equipment. As you can imagine, such areas can be hazardous, hence the importance of organization.

Common Hazards in a Laydown Yard

Slip and trip hazards are commonplace if you fail to organize the area. Staffers tend to have a habit of throwing items around which creates fall and trip hazards. The area may also have struck-by hazards due to navigating equipment and machinery through tight spaces. Finally, laydown yards may have biological hazards in the form of pests, including insects, snakes, raccoons, etc. Address any infestations—such as a hornet’s nest or an opossum brood—in a timely way.

Organization Is Key

First, consider the location. Be sure you have ample space between the yard and the staging area for the trailer when rigging equipment. The yard and staging areas for machine transportation should be completely separate.

Have a standard operating procedure regarding material placement. Adhere to a list of organizational components.

Laydown Yard Strategies for North American Shipping Facilities

  • Keep bulky materials separate from items you need to move frequently
  • Avoid excess clutter by discarding or separating materials deemed unusable
  • Continually reevaluate collected material in terms of your policy for modifications
  • Consider barbed wire fencing around the yard, even if you have an existing fence around the facility premise. Thieves will target whatever they can sell on the black market.

Schedule Your Next Outbound Shipping

A poorly kept laydown yard can create complications when preparing machinery for LTL or dedicated truck transport. This may even cause delays and unnecessary hassles when the carrier arrives for pickup. Machine Transport recommends organizing your laydown yard to reduce downtime. Contact us for more information on this and all your shipping questions.

North American Freight Broker Service: Organizing Your Laydown Yard 

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

Posted on April 21, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Common Shipping and Transportation Terms for Truckers in Canada

common shipping and transportation terms canadaWhen you transport cargo in Canada, there are some basic terminologies you’ll come across in a contract or in spoken conversation with a broker. Learn what these common shipping and transportation terms are to avoid confusion and miscommunication with your carrier.

Glossary of Common Shipping Terms

Accessorial Charge – These charges are added fees for additional equipment or services used, such as the use of ramps, tarps, or dunnage.

Backhaul – Transport vehicle returning to its point of origin after cargo delivery.

Bill of Lading – The paper or digital document issued by the carrier that outlines the details and provisions of the shipment, including but not limited to: weight of cargo, type of cargo and estimated destination arrival

Consignee –The person or company the freight is being delivered to

Dead-heading – A transportation vehicle traveling without freight

Dedicated Truck – A dedicated truck carries cargo for one specific client with no other freight in tow.

Demurrage – Additional fee from prolonged use of carrier time and equipment. This is usually caused by untimely loading or unloading due to inaccurately measured or weighed cargo on the part of the client.

Freight Class – The classification of freight based on the type of cargo, weight, and measurement. This is usually what determines the shipping charges for LTL shipping.

Freight Forwarder – Similar to a broker but also handles logistics as it pertains to international cargo, lost freight, etc.

Line Haul – The rate charged per mile

Over-dimensional – Freight which is above the legal dimensions and/or weight and cannot be broken into smaller cargo

Truck Order not Used (TORD) – A shipment which has been canceled by the client after the transport vehicle is already dispatched. The client will usually be required to pay a fee for this.

Know These Common Shipping and Transportation Terms

Knowing these common shipping and transportation terms helps ensure you won’t be left scratching your head when you review the contract or speak with a broker or carrier. If you’re arranging for the transport of machine tools, contact the professionals at Machine Transport. We’re experts in the area of arranging national or international transportation of delicate machine tools for manufacturing industries in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

Help With Common Shipping and Transportation Terms in Canada

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

Posted on March 22, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business



How Does Partial Truckload Shipping Work in North America?

partial truckload north americaWhen considering your next machine transport, factors like cost, travel route and delivery time are all factors. For smaller items, you might only require a partial truckload rather than a full truckload. How does a partial shipment benefit your next outbound delivery?

What Is a Partial Truckload?

Industry insiders often describe a partial truckload as a middle-of-the-road option between LTL and dedicated truckload. It also goes by the name “volume LTL.”

With partial shipments, you don’t need a freight class to acquire a rate. Freight must also consist of a minimum of six pallets or exceed 5,000 pounds. This is often the best option when you have more freight than a typical LTL can accommodate. The total freight, however, does not warrant a full or dedicated truckload, since that would not be cost efficient.

The Benefits

Partial truckloads have faster delivery times than LTL. Your freight is also all in a single truck for the entire duration of the transit. This means all freight is loaded and unloaded a single time. Plus, since partials don’t require a freight class, you avoid freight reclassification fees. Keep in mind, though, you will need to submit the freight’s exact dimensions.

Is it Right for You?

The volume of your freight determines if partial truckload shipping is the most cost-effective option. This could be the right shipment method for you if:

  • You have mostly low-density freight. This means your freight takes up a lot of space but is relatively lightweight.
  • You have fragile freight. Damage is less likely since freight is only loaded and unloaded one time.

Find Out Your Best Delivery Option

Machine Transport works with various carriers and linehaul shippers. We’ll find a transport method in line with your timeframe and budget. This is just one of many options that accommodate machine tool shipment. Contact us today to learn more.

Partial Truckload & Outbound Transport Across North America

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

Posted on February 18, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Key Points for Wide Load Transportation in the U.S.

wide load U.S.Does your machine transportation constitute a wide load? While specifications may differ state-to-state, a wide load is generally any shipment requiring a trailer greater than 2.59 meters wide. Here are some key points to consider when dealing with a wide load, also known as an oversized load.

Know the Legal Limits

The legal load limit for each trailer type is fairly consistent state-to-state. Freight generally cannot exceed a width of 8.5-feet. Maximum length is 48 to 53-feet depending on the state. Always check your state regulations AND the regulation of any states included in the travel route.

Determine the Weight Limit

Maximum weight is usually 46,000-pounds. However, freight may still exceed the limit even if it’s below that weight. Weight restriction also applies on a per axle basis. You may have to adjust the load to redistribute weight and eliminate the need for a special permit.

Study the Route and Schedule

In some states, wide loads can only be on the road during certain hours. The time of permitted operation is usually 30-minutes before sunrise and 30-minutes after sunset between Monday and Friday. With that in mind, plan your shipment to work around weekends and holidays.

Study the route’s general traffic activity during the hours of your shipment. Delays aren’t uncommon and are all the more reason to plan ahead.

Know the Requirements for Special Markings

Wide loads also require reflective flags or lights to increase visibility and alert other drivers of their presence. If escort vehicles are required, they may also require flags or other markings.

Our Carriers Accommodate Wide Load Shipments

Contact Machine Transport for a quote if you have an oversized load. Most of the carriers we work with have the flatbeds necessary for accommodating loads beyond the normal limit. Wide load transports require more logistics planning, and that’s where we come in. Contact us today for more information about our services.

Logistics for Wide Load Shipments in the U.S.

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

Posted on January 17, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

The Truth About the Truck Driver Shortage in the U.S. Carrier Industry

truck driver shortage U.S.The U.S. is currently facing a truck driver shortage. There are larger numbers of drivers leaving than new drivers entering the workforce. We’ll fill you in on what’s happening in the transportation industry and why fewer people are taking jobs as truckers.

Trucker Driver Retention at All-Time Low

We don’t have precise figures with respect to machine transport carriers. However, the American Trucking Association estimated that by the end of 2021 there will be a shortage of over 80,000 workers. Carriers and line haul shippers are even offering signing bonuses for new recruits and paying raises for current drivers. It’s still not enough to offset the loss of much-needed, highly qualified drivers.

Cause of Truck Driver Shortage

Why is it so difficult to fill a job that doesn’t require a college degree? The answer is simple: Truckers have a hard life. Being on the road 24/7 means little time at home with family. In fact, divorce rates among truckers are quite high, with estimates at 19.5%.

Truck drivers are also at a higher risk of health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This is due to the long hours of sitting with little opportunity for movement. Furthermore, their meals consist of what’s available at greasy spoons and truck stops. The average weight of a truck driver, by the way, is 240 pounds.

As far as a driver’s income goes, the annual average salary is $40,000 to $80,000, which is above average. Even with the above-average pay, the stress just isn’t worth it for many people.

Appreciate the Driver Behind the Wheel

We share this news to inform you of what’s happening in the industry. The stats apply to all drivers, including LTL and trailer operators. Machine Transport understands the truck driver shortage and would like to take this moment to acknowledge the country’s hard-working truckers. Contact us today to have your trucking questions answered.

Truck Driver Shortage in the U.S.? Our Drivers Operate Year-Round

Serving U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico

Posted on December 20, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Freight Shipping Seasons—When Is Freight Transportation at Its Peak in the U.S.?

freight shipping seasons U.S.With the holidays many think it’s the busiest time of year for the freight industry. Not so. We’ll break down the freight shipping seasons by industry. Knowing when shipping is at its peak will help you plan shipments accordingly.

Winter: January through March

This is the slowest freight shipping season of the year. We like to think of this as a hangover for the industry. Carriers were extremely busy during the holiday season. With that out of the way, the trucking sector sees a drastic decline in shipment placements. For the customer, this is also when carriers and linehaul shippers have flexible availability dates.

Spring/Early Summer: April through July

This is when businesses begin picking back up. This is also harvest season for many types of produce, so agricultural shipment is high.

Summer/Early Fall: August through October

This is the peak shipping season for numerous reasons. The retail industry sees an explosion due to back-to-school month. This is also when retailers begin preparations for the holidays. Warehouse suppliers can expect high-volume shipment orders. LTL truckers and dedicated truck transporters have no trouble finding work during this time.

Fall – November through December

This is when malls, retail and online stores go into overdrive. For suppliers, though, most retailers have already placed their orders the prior season. However, you can still expect last minute orders from retailers processing short-notice requests. Suppliers and carriers are busy but not like they were in summer or early fall.

We Arrange Freight Shipping For All Seasons

Contact us at Machine Transport any time of the year. We’ll do our best to find you a carrier even during the peak season. We’ll help you navigate the often-unpredictable freight shipping seasons and recommend the ideal timeframe for your next outbound shipment.

Freight Shipping Seasons: Freight Brokers for Year-Round Shipments in the U.S.

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

Posted on November 11, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Does Your Freight Require a Pilot Car Escort in the U.S.?

pilot car escort U.S.Depending on the nature of your freight, your machine transport might require one or more pilot cars. When does a carrier require such escort services? We’ll explain the ins and outs of using a pilot car escort and its general purpose.

What Is a Pilot Car?

The term “pilot car” refers to an escort car that accompanies an LTL truck or other carrier. A pilot car is usually a pickup, SUV, or van that accompanies the truck, either in front of it or behind it; sometimes an escort vehicle is necessary in both positions. People who operate pilot cars are trained professionals who do this type of work for a living. Escort car drivers are also in constant communication with the carrier driver during the journey.

The Role of Pilot Cars

Pilot cars may drive ahead and warn the carrier of potential street closures, accidents, or obstructions up ahead.

The pilot car’s job is also to alert surrounding motorists that the carrier is carrying extremely heavy or wide loads. Pilot vehicles may have signs at the rear warning drivers to maintain a safe distance.

Pilot Car Escort Requirement Laws

Does your outbound shipping require a pilot car escort? The laws differ, depending on the states your freight travels through. If your carrier passes through California, for example, then it requires one pilot car if loads exceed 12 feet in width. Other states might require pilot cars for both the front and rear if the trailer load is more than 14 feet wide. If the load exceeds a certain height limit, then escorts might require a special vehicle called a “height pole car.”

Depending on the state of travel, pilot car operators may require licensure. This includes the states of Washington, Florida, and New York.

We Make Carrier and Pilot Car Arrangements

As freight brokers, Machine Transport determines the appropriate carrier for your needs. We also help you determine whether escort vehicles are required. Pilot car escorts ensure safe and timely arrival of your freight. Contact us today for more information.

Machine Transport and Freight Pilot Car Escort Brokers

Serving U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico

Posted on October 24, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Freight Insurance Vs. Freight Liability: What’s the Difference in the U.S.?

freight insurance U.S.When you ship out freight, you would be wise to insure the cargo in the event it incurs damage in transit. You ask: “Don’t carriers cover you automatically? The answer is both yes and no. We’ll discuss freight insurance and freight liability and how they differ.

Freight Insurance and Freight Liability Explained

Insurance and liability coverage are similar but not exactly the same. Federal law requires all truck transports to have basic liability coverage. Depending on your freight and personal assessment, this may or may not be adequate.

Basic liability coverage differs from carrier to carrier. It covers a specific amount of damage, usually calculated by a dollar amount for every pound of freight. The maximum coverage amount may be less than the monetary worth of the freight.

Coverage is usually limited to incidents that are deemed negligent on the carrier’s end. The carrier’s failure to properly secure the pallet once inside the truck or trailer is one example. Liability coverage typically doesn’t include other scenarios, such as theft or nature-induced damage.

What About Freight Insurance?

Insurance essentially covers most or all other scenarios that basic carrier liability doesn’t cover. This is optional, so it’s up to clients whether they wish to purchase additional coverage for their freight. The insurance is in effect from the time the freight leaves your warehouse until it reaches the destination. Insurance may also cover the freight while it’s sitting in overnight storage.

Coordinate with a Freight Broker

Contact us today at Machine Transport to schedule your next outbound shipping. All the carriers we work with follow federal laws regarding basic liability coverage. We can help you if you choose to apply for additional coverage. Freight liability and freight insurance protect your investment in the event of a devastating in-transit scenario.

Experts in Freight Insurance & Freight Liability Serving all 50 States

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

Posted on September 22, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Preparation Tips for Heavy Haul Freight in the U.S.

heavy haul freight U.S.In the transportation industry, the term “heavy haul freight” refers to an exceptionally large and wide load. Machinery, warehouse vehicles, and manufacturing equipment fall under this category. Due to the freight’s extraordinary size, weight, and dimensions, special preparations are in order.

Arrange the Appropriate Carrier

LTL is likely insufficient for transporting heavy haul freight. Depending on the nature of the freight, the cargo may require a certain type of trailer with a flatbed. In some instances, the carrier may classify the freight as a “super load.” The definition of a super load differs depending on the region. In any case, you’ll need to acquire a state oversize permit. Visit this site for specific definitions of a super load by state.

Heavy Haul Freight Preparation Tips

  • Plan ahead—this cannot be overstated. Plan all heavy haul shipping weeks or even months in advance. This gives you ample time to handle permit requirements, which can take several weeks for approval.
  • Know the exact dimensions—Be sure to have the measurements down to a T. The difference of a few inches can completely change the type of permit you need or alter the route.
  • Identify loading requirements—does the freight require the use of a crane? Do regulations require the use of specific materials, such as a tarp, braces, or tie down points?
  • Identify other requirements—depending on the freight and state rules, regulations may call for additional requirements. These might include a shipper’s letter, pilot car escort, route and engineering survey, and sketch of shipment.

We’ll Square You Away

As a freight broker, Machine Transport will help you organize a heavy haul or super load shipping. We’ll identify the exact type of carrier you need and explain all the logistical requirements. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Best Carriers for Heavy Haul Freight in the U.S.

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

Posted on August 19, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business