Pallets Vs Skids: What’s the Difference for U.S. Transport?

pallets and skids People often treat the terms “pallet” and “skid” interchangeably. The two differ in a significant way. We’ll explain the difference between pallets and skids and their respective applications. Knowing the difference will enable you to optimize efficiency when transporting machinery.

What Is a Pallet?

Pallets have a deck at the bottom, making them more stable than a skid. The standard wooden pallet has a weight capacity of about 2,200 pounds. The addition of a bottom deck makes pallets the better choice for heavier machine tools, such as sawmills, planers and grinding machines.

The bottom deck, though, also creates more friction, which makes the pallet harder to drag. This can be problematic as you move pallets around tight spaces in an LTL truck already near its storage capacity. Transportation may require a forklift.

What Is a Skid?

A skid is essentially a pallet minus the bottom wood deck. For this reason, some people refer to a skid as a poor man’s pallet. While less stable than a pallet, a skid provides more mobility. You can also easily stack and store skids not in use. Many warehouses use skids as a permanent foundation for heavy machinery.

Pallets and Skids: Which Is Better?

To improve daily operations, learn when to use pallets and when to use skids. We recommend the former if you plan to place multiple smaller pieces of machinery on a single pallet. The additional stability helps keep the items in place. Use skids for single heavy pieces of machinery if you anticipate constant back-and-forth transportation of the piece.

Schedule Your Next Transportation

Whether you transport machine tools on a trailer or inside a dedicated truck transport, you need to maximize efficiency. This ensures minimal delays that may result in increased fees. Machine Transport has worked with countless manufacturers and understands how to best utilize pallets and skids. Contact us today for all your machine transport needs.

Pallets and Skids: Your Experts in Heavy-Duty Machine Tool Transport

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

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

A Primer on Limited Access Fees in North America

limited access fees

When making an outbound delivery, a carrier may impose an additional surcharge that will appear on an invoice as limited access fees. Many people question this charge, but it’s actually quite commonplace for certain types of machine transports.

Limited Access Fees Explained

Carriers may impose a limited access fee due to any additional difficulties involved in the travel route.

What constitutes a more difficult route? The standards differ between carriers. However, destinations like construction sites and military bases may involve a more complicated than usual route. With military bases, for example, the driver may have to make a stop at a checkpoint. This includes a subsequent inspection of the cargo. This can add to the travel time, which is why a limited access fee may apply.

Are These Fees Valid?

Customers have questioned the legitimacy of limited access fees. Admittedly, some carriers and LTL shippers do not consistently impose the charge. Some shippers may also revise their policy on limited access fees. As such, clients may begin seeing the charge even though it never appeared on prior shipments to the same destination. 

Common Limited Access Sites

We already mentioned construction sites and military bases as examples of limited access sites. However, other destinations may also accrue the fee. Other common areas include:

  • Mines/quarries
  • Correctional facilities
  • Federal and state government buildings
  • Oil and gas fields
  • Power plants
  • State and national parks

Areas may also include non-commercial sites, such as private residences, apartments, farms, and self-storage units. These areas may only be accessible during limited hours, hence the surcharges.

We Pair You with a Compatible Carrier

As brokers, Machine Transport has no control over a carrier’s limited access fee policy. Most truckload line haul services will review their shipping policy with you beforehand. Call us to discuss your project or to schedule machine tool transportation today.

All You Need to Know about Limited Access Fees in North America

Serving manufacturing industries throughout North America

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

What Is a Freight Broker Bond for North American Transportation?

freight broker bond north america To understand machine transportation operations, you must know how a freight broker bond works. We’ll explain.

Freight Broker Bond Explained

A freight broker bond is tricky to explain. It’s basically a contractual agreement between three entities: the broker, the government, and a bond agency. The bond acts as an insurance policy for both carrier and customers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) mandates that brokers issue a broker bond. Why is the bond so important? It financially protects all involved parties. The bond ensures that you have a means to financially compensate the carrier if, for whatever reason, you cannot honor the contract. Likewise, it also protects customers if their goods don’t arrive on time, that is if their freight remains in transit limbo due to a fault by the broker.

In these scenarios, the carrier or client can file a claim with the bond company. The bond pays the carrier/client, and the broker repays the bond agency. Like insurance, bond rates differ depending on factors, such as credit score.

Only Trust a Broker with a Broker Bond

As mentioned, all brokers are required to issue a broker bond to legally operate. All brokers have to go through a complex logistical process. This includes obtaining public liability insurance, acquiring a BOC-3 form from the FMCSA, etc. Don’t work with a broker that isn’t willing to show proof that it has gone through these steps. It might not be operating legally.

We’re an FMCSA-Approved Broker

Machine Transport has gone through the legal channels. Our broker bond ensures that you’re financially covered in the unlikely event a mishap occurs. Freight broker bonds apply for all carrier and trailer types; it’s a win-win for all parties. Contact us today for a quote.

Federally Licensed Broker Bond for Transportation in North America

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

Posted on July 23, 2022 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Freight Bill Pre-Audit and Post-Audit: Why You Need Both in the U.S.

Freight Bill Pre-Audit and Post-Audit U.S. Auditing is a time-consuming process, but it’s key to a successful business. Even with logistics software, it’s still possible to make mistakes in the shipping manifest or invoice. This can result in an overcharge, which ultimately affects your overhead. If you use any type of common carrier or line haul shipper, it’s imperative that you have some form of freight bill pre-audit and post-audit in place. Here’s why.

Reduce Overcharges

Freight bills should always be audited before they’re paid. This is a great way to find new savings opportunities and confirm that all contractual obligations are in place. This in turn helps you apply the correct taxes and rates.

Limited by Contractual Language

A freight bill pre-audit should be supplemented with a post-audit to determine whether there has been an overcharge. Keep in mind that contracts often contain a statute of limitations in terms of when you can recuperate an overcharge. For motor freight like LTL or dedicated truck transport, the time frame is usually 180 days from date of delivery.

Maintain a Tight Trail of Documentation

To implement a successful freight bill pre- and post-audit program, you need to keep a tight trail of all the documentation, including the contract, terms of service, invoice, bill of lading, and so on. 

Protect Yourself with Freight Bill Pre-Audit & Post-Audit Practices

Contact us at Machine Transport to schedule your next shipment of machine tools. We always advise our clients to conduct both types of audits. Too many companies only perform one of the audits or none at all. Carriers are prone to human error and do make mistakes on invoices. You can never be too careful when reviewing the bill of lading. Trust Machine Transport with your machine tool shipping needs and we’ll make sure your shipment is taken care of and that you’re billed correctly.

Dedicated Brokers for the U.S. Advising Freight Bill Pre-Audit & Post-Audit Practices

Serving suppliers in the U.S., Canada & Mexico

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

Headhaul and Backhaul: Do You Know the Difference?

headhaul and backhaul North America Do 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 america Does 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 canada When 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 america When 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