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How to Ship a Generator: What You Need to Know

May 1, 2020
 By Heavy Haul and Oversized
How to Ship a Generator: What You Need to Know
Last Modified: June 2, 2023
Generators are an essential piece of infrastructure for businesses, residents, and cities. There are numerous steps involved when it comes to shipping generators.

Generators are an essential piece of infrastructure for businesses, residents, and cities. These crucial machines provide must-have energy and power all across the world. Shipping these massive machines is an important process that requires careful planning and coordination. Mistakes made in the planning or execution of shipping generators can have disastrous consequences. 

There are numerous steps involved when it comes to shipping generators. Ensuring that generators remain upright and safe during transportation is a top priority. This is especially true for generators that have fuel remaining in the fuel tank. Many generators also exceed standard shipping dimensions and are classified as oversized. When this happens, heavy haul shipping regulations need to be followed. 

Heavy Haul and Oversized can handle all of your generator shipping needs. Our team has the knowledge and experience to safely ship any and all types of generators. From new and used generators to specialty types like hydrogen and power plant, we’ve got you covered. 

Our comprehensive guide below provides you with everything you need to know to successfully ship your generators. 

How to Ship Generators

As noted above, there are specific procedures that must be followed depending on the type of generator(s) you’re shipping. However, there are a few protocols that should be followed regardless of the type of generators being shipped. Below, we take a close look at each of these steps and go over best practices.

1. Provide Accurate Dimensions When Looking For a Trucking Company

Giving precise dimensions is always important when shipping freight. This allows drivers to procure the right equipment and plan other freight to haul in the same load if necessary. When inaccurate dimensions are given, problems can occur such as using the wrong trailer to transporting unsafe mixed loads. Not properly classifying an oversized load can lead to delays and additional charges for your shipment. 

2. Safely Secure Generators in an Upright Position

Keeping generators in an upright position during shipping is extremely important. Generators contain internal components that require a proper balance. Failure to keep generators safely balanced throughout transportation can lead to system malfunctions and failures. This is true for all generators, but even more so for those that have fuel in the tank. 

While it’s not illegal to ship generators that contain fuel, there are still rules that need to be followed. All fuel valves must be securely closed and prevent any risk of spills or leaks. If fuel valves are not properly closed, significant fines and penalties are possible. This is in addition to the tremendous damage that a fuel oil or spill can cause.

In terms of actually securing your generator in the vehicle, discuss with your freight carrier to determine who is responsible for this. In most cases, the driver and freight company assume this responsibility. However, this isn’t always the case, so be sure to confirm this before shipping. 

3. Ensure Loading and Unloading Equipment is Readily Available

When you’re dealing with extremely large generators, standard loading equipment is often insufficient. Pallet jacks and standard forklifts typically don’t have the loading strength to handle this massive equipment. Instead, lifting cranes, hoists, and other heavy lifting equipment are used to load and unload large generators. Making sure that these are on-site and available at the pickup and destination areas at the scheduled times is vital. Doing this will ensure you won’t face any delays that can lead to detention or other truckload accessorial charges. 

If you have questions about shipping generators, the transportation and logistics team at Heavy Haul and Oversized can help you. We’re here to answer all of your questions and make the shipping process easy and hassle-free. 

generator on a truck covered

Cost of Shipping Generators

In addition to knowing how to ship generators, you’ll certainly want to be aware of the costs as well. As with any freight shipment, the cost to ship will be based on a number of factors. These factors include distance, cost of fuel, additional services needed, and more. However, it’s helpful to know some baseline pricing to get an idea of what you’ll be looking at.

Typically, intrastate shipments and most interstate shipments of 500 miles or less, will be under $1,000. Shipments of a longer distance, especially cross country shipments will come with a higher price tag. It’s worth noting that these estimates are approximate and don’t take into account special details related to shipment itself or the freight. 

You’ll also find that rates can vary significantly from company to company. One of the reasons for this is freight carriers have different arrangements when it comes to their fleet of trucks. For example, let’s say you have a generator shipment going from Georgia to California. A freight company with available trucks already in Georgia will likely be able to give you better rates than a company whose closest truck is in Ohio. 

One of the quickest ways to gather multiple freight shipping quotes is to work with a freight broker. A truckload freight broker has established partnerships with multiple freight carriers. This benefits you as a shipper, since the broker is able to simultaneously gather multiple quotes at once for you, saving you a significant amount of time.

You’ll often save money as well since brokers have pre-established rate agreements with carriers. Heavy Haul and Oversized offers this service and can save you both time and money and get your generators on the road quickly. 

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Mistakes made in the planning or execution of shipping can have costly consequences. Get a fast, personalized quote from our industry experts. 

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Heavy Haul Generator Shipments

Many large generators qualify as oversized shipments based on their dimensions. When a generator shipment is classified as oversized, there are additional steps that need to be followed. While the carrier will be responsible for implementing these steps, it’s important to know what they are to understand how your shipment will be affected. 

Some of the rules and restrictions that heavy haul generator shipments face include:

  • Route Restrictions- There are certain roads that heavy haul shipments will not be allowed to travel on. In order to comply with this, your shipping company will need to make route adjustments as needed.
  • Holiday and Time of Day Rules- Your shipment will also be limited in terms of when it can be on the road. In most cases, heavy haul shipments can’t be on the road while it’s dark out. This is meant to limit accidents caused by low visibility. Holiday restrictions are also in place due to the increased traffic.
  • Warning Systems- All heavy haul shipments must have some type of warning system in place to notify other drivers on the road of the oversized load. This warning comes in multiple forms including banners, flags, and lights attached to the vehicle and trailer. In some cases, pilot/escort vehicles are required to accompany the heavy haul load through some or all of the shipment. 
  • Heavy Haul Permits- All heavy haul shipments are required to have a heavy permit along with them. Permits are state-specific meaning that for each state a heavy haul shipment travels through, a permit is required. This can raise the price quickly for cross country shipments.

All of the above factors contribute to an increased cost and generally longer shipping time when compared to standard generator shipments. There’s also more planning and prep work that goes into heavy haul shipments. This only raises the importance of working with a reliable and experienced logistics partner. 

Heavy Haul and Oversized knows the ins and outs of heavy haul shipping. Our knowledgeable team is fully aware of all of the requirements and ensures that they’re followed for every shipment. We’ll provide you with competitive and transparent oversize load rates and get your generators moving quickly. 

generator shipping

Shipping Generators to California

When shipping generators to California, there are a few more hoops to jump through. When it comes to emission regulations, California is arguably the most strict state in the U.S. The state of California established the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 1967. Since then, this group has made it their mission to reduce harmful emissions in California. This objective covers regulating a wide range of emission producing products and vehicles including semi trucks, passenger cars, and generators. 

For shippers, this means that the generators you ship to California will need to be CARB compliant. Essentially, your generators need to meet the regulation set forth by CARB and also be accompanied by a CARB certificate. This certificate proves that your generators meet the standards and are able to be operated in California. Once you’re in possession of this certification, you’re all set to ship your generators to California.

If you’re shipping other products with internal combustion engines, you need to be aware of other shipping restrictions, speak to one of our friendly consultants today.

How to Ship a Generator with Heavy Haul and Oversized?

Finding a reliable and efficient transportation partner to ship your generators doesn’t have to be difficult. Heavy Haul and Oversized is up to the challenge and can manage all of your generator shipping needs. Whether you’re shipping dozens of portable generators or an oversized power plant generator, we’ll handle everything. 

Contact our transportation and logistics experts today at (855) 490-2433. We’re ready to provide you with a quick, hassle-free freight quote and get your generators moving today

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