Hitting The Road With Your First Heavy-Load Trailer? 3 Precautionary Tips You Should Follow To Ensure A Safe Trip
If you're getting ready to haul a heavy load, but your experience with trailers is limited, you'll need to take a step back and make sure you're properly prepared for the adventure. It's true that you'll still be driving a semi-truck, but the load you'll be hauling may be quite different from what you're used to. To help ensure a smooth, accident-free trip, here are three steps you should follow while preparing:
Know Which Trailer You Need
If you've never worked with heavy-duty industrial trailers before, you might not realize that they don't come in a one-size-fits-all variety. Before you load your equipment, you'll need to know which type of trailer you're going to need for the trip. If you're going to be hauling equipment that's taller than most freeway underpasses and tunnels will accommodate, you're going to need a drop-deck trailer. These trailers are designed with an elevated deck in the front, for normal capacity loads. However, the back portion of the trailer has a drop-down deck that accommodates taller loads. If your load is also going to be longer than most traditional loads, you'll want to go with an extendable drop-deck trailer. This type of trailer will give you the height accommodation you'll need, with the extendable base to accommodate the longer load.
Plan Your Travel Needs in Advance
Choosing the right trailer for your transport needs is crucial, but so is planning for your travel needs. When you're hauling an over-sized load on a drop-deck trailer, you can't just hit the road and take off across the country. You need to plan your trip well in advance. You'll need to map out a route that takes you on the fewest steep, winding roads as possible. You'll also want to make sure that all tunnels and underpasses along the way will accommodate your load. Even with a drop-deck trailer, there may still be a few unusually low tunnels and bridges that won't accommodate your load. Finally, you'll need to ensure that you have the proper permits for each stretch of your route.
Don't Skimp on the Prep Time
When it's finally time to load up and take off with your load, don't skimp on the prep time. You may be on a very tight schedule, but you still need to provide ample time to ensure that your load is secure. Once you have your load secured, go back and take a second – or even third – look at the tie-downs. Spending that extra time could mean the difference between arriving safely, or suffering a catastrophic accident along the way.