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How are Cranes Transported: A Complete Guide to Crane Shipping Services

June 9, 2020
 By Joe Weaver
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How are Cranes Transported: A Complete Guide to Crane Shipping Services
Last Modified: February 21, 2024
The right heavy haul partner offers seamless crane transport services. See why working with Heavy Haul and Oversized is a wise choice when you have equipment to move.

How are cranes transported? Moving these gigantic machines from one site to the next requires not just the right equipment, but also specialized training and experience. Drivers must manage the sheer size and weight of cranes, navigate crowded traffic routes, and ensure safety at every turn.

According to the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, transporting cranes involves breaking them down into manageable parts. These are loaded onto specialized trailers, often requiring escorts and route planning to traverse roads safely. A reliable heavy haul shipping partner will ensure your shipment complies with these regulations. 

For a complete understanding of how crane transport services work, read through our complete guide below. You’ll also learn how Heavy Haul and Oversized can manage all of your crane transportation needs.

How Are Cranes Transported? Crane Freight Hauling

Before you select a company to ship your crane, it’s important to know and understand how cranes are transported. This information enables you to refine your search and know what to look for. When it comes to domestic shipment of cranes, over the road (OTR) trucks are used more frequently than any other type of transportation method

Road transportation is the preferred choice to haul heavy equipment, including cranes, for a variety of reasons. 

  • Truck trailers can accommodate the oversized dimensions of many cranes in terms of height, length, width, or weight.
  • Trucks are nearly always involved in at least the final leg of transportation. Unless a rail yard is extremely close to the final destination, it’s simpler to use a truck for the entire journey to avoid multiple touchpoints. 

When handled properly, cranes are also safe and secure when transported via trucks. Cranes are attached to truck trailers using many tools and mechanisms, including:

  • Heavy-duty hooks and straps
  • Durable steel chains
  • Additional trailers
  • Pilot vehicles

The process of physically securing cranes to trailers is an extremely important and a delicate step in the process. Missteps that occur here can have disastrous consequences. Heavy Haul and Oversized works with top flatbed carriers to ensure all precautions are taken when shipping a crane

Before providing further details about shipping cranes, it’s worth noting that the term “crane” can refer to a few different pieces of heavy equipment. The type of crane you need to move has a big impact on how it should be transported.

truck loaded on a trailer

Types of Cranes Used in Construction

Cranes can be broadly categorized as either fixed or mobile in design. Mobile cranes have a built-in mode of transportation, while fixed cranes (also called construction cranes) are semi-permanently built on a single location.

Examples of mobile cranes include:

  • Crawler cranes
  • Loader cranes
  • Floating cranes
  • Rough terrain cranes

These cranes have a built-in means of transportation that dictates how they’re moved. This separates them from fixed cranes, which are usually found on construction sites.

Fixed canes, which don’t have their own means of transportation, include the following.

  • Tower cranes
  • Hammerhead cranes
  • Telescoping cranes

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on fixed crane transportation. These large pieces of construction equipment pose a number of challenges during the shipping process.

What Are the Challenges of Shipping Cranes?

As briefly noted above, transporting cranes comes with a unique set of challenges that need to be planned for. Below, we take an in-depth look at a few of these challenges and discuss the best ways for cranes to be transported safely.

1. Choosing the Right Shipping Equipment

This is a broad challenge of crane trucking and transport, as there are many different pieces of equipment used when shipping a crane. Everything from the type of trailer to the tools used to secure the crane are vital to shipment success. 

While you, as the shipper, can have input on these decisions, an experienced shipping provider should advise and recommend the best options when providing a transport quote.

In order to do this, you must provide an accurate description of the crane you’re shipping. Specifically, precise shipping dimensions need to be given. Doing this will guide your shipping partner to selecting the right type of trailer and other necessary equipment for transporting heavy loads. 

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2. Shipping Speed

When it comes to oversized shipments, transportation takes a bit longer compared to smaller freight. In most cases, this is just the reality of shipping oversized equipment, including cranes. 

Shipping oversized equipment typically involves trucks driving at lower speeds. There are also state-specific restrictions on when heavy loads can be on the road, along with route adjustments that sometimes need to be made.

All of these factors push back the delivery date when compared to standard-sized shipments. This puts increased importance on choosing a reliable shipping partner. Working with an experienced logistics company like Heavy Haul and Oversized provides the most time-efficient option. 

Our vast and trusted network of heavy haul trucking companies ensures that we’ll have high-quality trucks and drivers available to promptly pick up and transport your crane.

3. Transportation Costs

In addition to a longer shipping time for oversized freight, the cost to transport these items often comes with a higher price. 

The increased costs that come with oversized shipments come from a variety of factors:

  • Specialized equipment to handle cranes
  • Additional training and certification that heavy haul drivers possess
  • Increased shipping time and resources needed

While the cost of shipping cranes can be high, the equipment still has to move. A logistics partner that has relationships with multiple high-quality carriers can often counteract these high costs. 

When you have a crane that needs to be shipped, Heavy Haul and Oversized uses our network of trusted carriers to gather multiple quotes for you, saving you time and money.

truck with a boom

Choosing a Shipping Partner

The final decision to select a company for crane transportation involves careful thinking. While there are many common factors for all crane shipments, you’re going to have your own specific needs related to your shipment. 

You’ll need to ensure that the company you select can meet those needs. From shipment tracking to expedited options and more, transportation companies can vary widely in terms of what they offer. 

Crane Trucking and Transport Services From Heavy Haul and Oversized

When you need to choose a shipping partner, look to Heavy Haul and Oversized. As a 3PL shipping partner, service offers are diverse and will suit your needs. 

From heavy haul and oversize shipping to truckload freight and more, you’ll find Heavy Haul and Oversized is ready to deliver to your job site and beyond.

Our oversized hauling services include:

Are you ready to experience the Heavy Haul and Oversized difference? Reach out today by phone at (866) 902-2713 and a live, friendly agent will help you get a risk-free heavy haul quote and make crane transport services simple and hassle-free.

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