We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Involved in Shipping Heavy Equipment?

By Paul Reed
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When shipping heavy equipment, careful planning I can be essential to protect the equipment and meet regulatory requirements. Heavy equipment usually requires special road permits if the dimensions or weights exceed specific limits set by government agencies. The equipment owner may also need supplemental insurance to provide coverage in the event of damage or loss to the equipment.

Heavy equipment may have wheels for transport, such as heavy trucks or motorized cranes. These machines can sometimes be driven on and off a transport truck, ship, or train for delivery to another location. This is called roll-on, roll-off (RORO) operations, and can reduce shipping costs because the equipment may not require a special container. RORO ships must deliver to ports that have docks suitable for drive-off operations, which may limit usefulness as a shipping option.

Some equipment may be heavy, but can fit inside rectangular shipping containers, allowing them to be loaded on container ships or trucks. Shipping heavy equipment by container requires careful understanding of the equipment weight, dimensions, and having equipment to load and unload from the container. This type of shipping may be useful for heavy pumps, compressors or machine parts that might be damaged by open shipping.

Equipment owners should contact a licensed, bonded shipping company prior to shipping heavy equipment. Part of the trip may involve transport on public roads, and heavy or oversized equipment usually requires road permits. Careful route planning may be needed for oversized transport due to bridge or utility line clearances, which can be determined by the shipping company.

The owner should determine what pre-trip preparation might be needed for the equipment prior to the shipping date. Some equipment may need to be wrapped with a protective cover, and fuel or other fluids may need to be removed. Oversized equipment may require partial disassembly to allow it to be moved where size restrictions are present either on roads or aboard a ship or train.

Another consideration for shipping heavy equipment is asset protection, or insurance, considerations. Some equipment insurance may not cover damage or loss during transportation, and shipping companies may have limits of insurance coverage for any damage they cause. Owners should carefully research their insurance coverage for equipment they plan to ship, and determine if supplemental insurance is needed to cover damage or replacement.

Environmental damage can be a major consideration when shipping heavy equipment, because parts used on dry land may not be resistant to damage from sea air or saltwater if put on a ship. An owner should discuss protection options with their shipping company, or contact the equipment manufacturer for possible options. Shipping companies are usually not liable for damage to equipment caused by the shipping environment, if the owner has not arranged to cover or protect it.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.