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Backhoe Shipping: Unearthing What You Need To Know

January 2, 2024
 By Jacob Lee
Backhoe Shipping: Unearthing What You Need To Know
Last Modified: January 2, 2024
Backhoe shipping can be very stressful for construction companies that need to move their equipment. With our article, you’ll be able to learn everything you need to know to move one.

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association states that backhoe shipping involves specific procedures to transport oversized equipment safely and legally. It requires the right trailer selection, securement techniques, and adherence to transport regulations for heavy and oversized for each state cargo is transported through.

We’ll explain the intricacies that go into backhoe shipping so you know what to expect when using these services. 

How Much Does Backhoe Shipping Cost?

When it comes to backhoe transport costs, shippers can expect to spend somewhere between $500 and $5,000 to move their cargo from one location to the next. The actual cost can change based on the details of the shipment. 

This includes:

  • Distance
  • Equipment specifications
  • Trailer type
  • Permit requirements

The primary cost factor in backhoe shipping is the distance the equipment needs to be transported. Longer distances mean higher fuel costs and more time on the road. 

Weight and size are other significant determining factors in transport expenses. Larger and heavier backhoes require more specialized trailers that  demand additional fuel consumption. Many trailer options will need to be considered before transporting a backhoe. 

Each flatbed will have a unique shipping rate associated with using it. Permit requirements are another factor that can raise costs. Since most backhoes qualify as an oversized load, shippers will need the right paperwork to move their cargo. 

Backhoe shipping might be used to bring this equipment to a country area

What Are the Sizes of Backhoes

Backhoes are versatile pieces of equipment used in various construction, agricultural, and industrial settings. Their sizes and weights vary significantly, catering to different workloads and operational needs. 

Backhoes can have a width between 5 and 9 feet and can be as tall as 8 to 13 feet. Numerous companies make backhoes of varying weights. 

Backhoe Weight Assortments

Backhoe ModelOperating Weight (in pounds)
John Deere Model 310L Backhoe14,669 lbs
Case Model 580 Super N16,589 lbs
CAT Model 41624,251 lbs
Kubota Model B264,001 lbs

Provided by Big Rentz

As the statistics show, backhoes can vary widely in weight. Therefore, shippers will need the right trailers to accommodate this heavy equipment. 

How To Prepare A Backhoe for Transport

Backhoes are very large pieces of equipment and should be moved with caution. Taking the time to correctly prep and secure such equipment reduces the risk of damage and delay.  

Safety Check

Before transporting a backhoe, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough safety check and make necessary preparations.

Conducting a thorough inspection includes:

  • Checking for loose parts: Inspect the backhoe for any loose or detachable parts. Secure them or remove them to prevent any hazards during transport.
  • Inspect tires and hydraulics: Ensure the tires are properly inflated and check the hydraulic systems for leaks.
  • Engine and battery: Check the engine for any issues and disconnect the battery to prevent any accidental operations during transit.
  • Reduce fuel levels: Lower the fuel level to a safe amount. 
  • Check for leaks: Employ any built-in safety locks or pins to secure moving parts in place.

As an extra precaution, it’s a good idea to clean the backhoe and take a picture of it before transportation. If the cargo arrives damaged, shippers will have photographic evidence to argue their shipment was in better condition before delivery.  

Types of Trailers Suitable for Backhoes

Next, shippers will need to consider what type of trailer they want to use for backhoe hauling. Numerous flatbed trailers can be utilized to move this kind of cargo. 

Options include: 

  • Standard flatbed trailers
  • Lowboy trailers
  • Step-deck trailers
  • Gooseneck Trailers

Standard flatbed trailers are highly versatile and can be used for a variety of equipment, including smaller backhoes. Lowboy trailers are ideal for transporting large and heavy backhoes. Since the deck is lower to the ground, hence the name, there will be more vertical clearance for a taller piece of equipment. 

Step-deck trailers are also a great trailer for hauling backhoes. They’re similar to flatbeds, but have a lowered deck. This feature is beneficial for backhoes that might not fit on a standard flatbed due to height constraints. 

Gooseneck trailers offer enhanced stability and are particularly useful for hauling taller and heavier backhoes. Loading equipment on them is much easier since the neck of them can be removed, allowing shippers to drive the cargo onto the deck. 

In most cases, your preferred carrier will recommend the best trailer for your load based on its size and the route that it must travel. 

If you want to learn about how oversized goods are moved, read our article on the types of trailers for hauling heavy equipment. 

Loading and Unloading A Backhoe

Loading and unloading a backhoe should be done very carefully. Regardless of the size of this equipment, the slightest mistake could result in the injury of those nearby. 

Steps for loading include:

  • Slow and steady movement: Drive the backhoe onto the trailer slowly and carefully, avoiding any sudden movements.
  • Center the backhoe: Position the backhoe in the center of the trailer to maintain balance and ensure even weight distribution.
  • Apply the parking brake: Once the backhoe is in place, apply the parking brake to secure it during the securing process.

Once the backhoe is parked on the deck of the trailer, it can be secured using heavy-duty chains or straps. Attach these to designated securing points on the backhoe and the trailer. After securing, double-check that all points are tightly fastened and the backhoe is immobile.

When the shipment arrives at the final destination, the cargo can be unloaded. This should also be done with absolute care. 

This includes: 

  • Inspect the unloading area: Before unloading, inspect the area to ensure it’s safe, level, and free of any hazards.
  • Communicate with the team: Ensure that everyone involved in the unloading process is aware of their roles and the safety procedures.
  • Remove Straps and Chains: The chains and straps that were used to secure the backhoe must be removed. 
  • Reverse the loading process: Carefully drive the backhoe off the trailer, reversing the process used during loading.

After the backhoe has been unloaded, the equipment will be ready for operation at the construction site. 

A red semi truck hauling a backhoe and some tires on a step deck trailer

What Are the Regulations for Backhoe Shipping? 

Heavy haul shipping regulations are an important part of backhoe transport services. Each state has various guidelines on how oversized and heavy cargo should be moved. This means shippers will need to be aware of the different regulations that have to be followed when using backhoe shipping services.   

If crossing multiple states, it’s necessary to adhere to the regulations of each one. 

Paperwork Requirements

Proper documentation is crucial to comply with legal requirements and facilitate a smooth transportation process. The first piece of paperwork that’s needed is a Bill of Lading (BOL)

This is a legal document between the backhoe owner and the transport company. It serves as a receipt for the machinery and outlines the terms of the shipping agreement.

Next, shippers have to obtain an oversized permit to ship backhoes. An oversized permit is needed when moving freight that’s over 8.5 feet wide and/or 13.5 to 14.5 feet high. 

Regulations will differ for each state, but these measurement criteria will be roughly the same. A separate permit is also necessary for each state the backhoe will travel through. 

Safety Equipment

Transporting an oversized backhoe requires not just the right trailer and paperwork, but also specific safety equipment. As mentioned, different states have different requirements regarding the type of hardware required for these loads. 

Some safety equipment needed for backhoe shipments include:

  • Flags: Brightly colored flags, often red or orange, are used to mark the corners and extremities of the backhoe and trailer.
  • Banners: These large pieces of fabric are typically set on the front and back of a semi and trailer hauling a backhoe
  • Lights: These are used to increase the visibility of the transport vehicle. They are particularly important for early morning, evening, or nighttime travel.
  • Pilot cars: In some states, pilot cars or escort vehicles may be required. These vehicles help to manage traffic, ensure the safety of the transport, and assist with navigation.

Before moving a backhoe, shippers should get familiar with the different guidelines that a load needs to follow. Working with an experienced heavy haul carrier is the best way to make sure your equipment is transported safely and legally. 

Choose Heavy Haul and Oversized for Your Backhoe Shipping Needs

Moving a backhoe can be expensive and requires adherence to various regulations. At Heavy Haul and Oversized, we can help you move this critical piece of construction equipment. We partner with carriers all over the country that have the equipment needed to move oversized freight. 

The services we provide include:

  • Flatbed Shipping: Ideal for a range of equipment, including small to medium-sized backhoes.
  • RGN Shipping: Perfect for larger equipment that requires more space and weight capacity.
  • Lowboy Trailer Shipping: Best suited for your heavy-duty backhoes, ensuring safe and compliant transport.

If you’re ready to take the next step, then fill out your Heavy Haul and Oversized free quote. You can also reach our team at (866) 902-2713 if you require more information.

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