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Best Practices For Shipping General Freight
FR8Star can connect you with qualified brokers and drivers with extensive experience in shipping all kinds of loads, from heavy machinery to lumber to palletized goods. Whether you’re looking for local, regional, interstate, or international transport, FR8Star’s carriers can take the guesswork out of the process.
Provide The Right Information
In order to get the best bids and save time on questions and answers, try to describe your load as accurately as possible. List its dimensions and weight to the best of your ability. This will encourage quick responses from brokers and carriers with trailers or trucks appropriate to the job. If your item doesn’t require all of the space on a trailer, it will save you money as a partial load or LTL (less than load) because the hauler can carry other cargo along with it.
Weight and dimensions
Weight and dimensions are also necessary to determine whether your load requires an oversize/overweight or wide load permit. FR8Star carriers and brokers factor the cost of any necessary permits into their all-in, firm bids. Anything over 13 feet, 6 inches will require a permit for transport and possibly a height-pole pilot car to drive ahead and measure overhead clearance. Haulers often use lowboy or double-drop trailers to make tall loads as low-profile as possible.
Width is also important, because anything wider than 102 inches will require an oversize load permit, and anything wider than 12 feet will require escort vehicles. Depending on what you’re seeking to ship, you might be able to temporarily remove items such as a tractor’s duals or exhaust pipe to reduce your load’s width or height. Other parts might be adjustable, such as an excavator with a retractable undercarriage or a grader that can angle its blade to fit within a trailer’s 102-inch width.
Describe Your Freight
The broker or carrier will want to know whether your load has wheels or tracks, and whether it can be driven onto the trailer (roll-on/roll-off). If a driver understands that a dock is not available at both ends of the journey, they can bring suitable ramps. If the shipment is on a skid or on pallets, a hauler will need to know whether there’s a forklift or crane for loading and offloading purposes.
If your shipment needs to be protected from inclement weather, typically a dry van trailer or straight truck is in order. Well-secured tarps can also offer some protection for flatbed loads that don’t necessarily need to be water-tight. A refrigerated trailer, or reefer, is the ticket for foodstuffs that need to be kept frozen or cool. Open car carriers are usually good enough for passenger vehicles, trucks, and SUVs, but collectibles or exotic cars will be safer in an enclosed car carrier.
Finally, special contents such as corrosive chemicals or hazardous materials might require a permit as well. The better you describe your load, the quicker you’ll hear from qualified haulers.
Prepare To Ship
To ready your load for the road, strap down anything that could come loose during transport. Make sure that any hatches, windows, and doors are closed and properly secured. Cover any openings that could collect debris while traveling down the road. If applicable, remove any tools or personal items from storage compartments.
Book A Hauler With FR8Star
When you’re ready to request shipping bids, FR8Star makes it easy to get free haulage estimates in less than 30 seconds. You can then compare brokers and bids, find the one that suits your needs, and get the best possible rate.
While FR8Star can help you find qualified drivers and streamline much of the shipping process, there are still a few considerations. Ask about the carrier’s risk management policies. If your commercial insurance doesn’t cover the load, UNICO is available to help with tailored coverage.