Utility pole transportation brings with it certain issues and complications that aren’t necessarily experienced when hauling standard freight. When hauling utility poles, you’re likely to exceed size and weight restrictions, which will require special permits and specialized equipment.
Before you attempt utility pole hauling, it’s vital to understand how to load and unload this oversize cargo securely, in addition to what specialized equipment and state permits are necessary to safely and legally transport utility poles. Procedures and permits vary depending on the type of utility poles that make up your payload.
With the utility pole hauling tips and information below, you’ll be well on your way to getting your oversize load of utility poles from point A to point B.
There’s a lot that goes into utility pole hauling, from the types of poles you may come across, to the methods involved in shipping, loading and unloading, and best practices for the utility pole transportation process.
Utility poles are classified according to the materials from which they are constructed and their intended purpose. Both of these aspects can impact everything from loading procedures to hauling guidelines and necessary permits. Materials and purposes include:
The necessary equipment for transportation of utility poles can be broken down into two basic categories: trailers and the equipment used to load & unload them.
Trailers: You have a couple of primary choices when it comes to selecting the right trailer to haul your payload of utility poles.
No matter which trailer you choose, knowing the length of your longest utility pole and the maximum weight capacity of the trailer you intend to use is paramount to a successful haul.
We know oversized hauling. Check out our article detailing the different kinds of trailers used for heavy equipment and oversized loads.
Given the size and weight of utility poles, it’s often necessary to use heavy equipment such as forklifts, tractor cranes, or forest machines to transfer the poles from the loading area to your trailer and to remove them once you’ve reached your destination. This equipment varies depending on the materials from which your poles were constructed.
While it is possible to load wooden utility poles onto side-loading trailers via a combination of chains, levers, and a come-along, it is difficult to optimize load distribution when using this method. This can create a greater likelihood of load shifting, which is prohibited to ensure the safety of truck drivers and other motorists.
FMCSA regulations are highly specific in terms of defining the expected efficacy of a trailer’s cargo securement system. The following table lays out how many G forces your securing gear is expected to handle.
|Deceleration||Forward Movement||0.8 g|
|Acceleration||Rearward Movement||0.5 g|
|Acceleration||Lateral Movement||0.5 g|
The regulations governing the necessary amount of tie downs for a given payload are equally strict in order to minimize cargo shift.
Generally, you’ll need two tie downs within the first 10’ of your cargo’s length, and another tie down for every 10’ afterward. Wooden utility poles that are bound together may follow these general guidelines. Regardless of the pole’s material, the use of a bulkhead or other blocking/bracing gear will add significantly to the security and safety of your cargo.
Securing wooden utility poles is best achieved through a combination of chains and straps. The straps should be 4” wide and, if possible, permanently affixed to the trailer for additional stability and so the driver can find them easily. The same straps are well-suited to concrete and metal utility poles, but you should avoid using chains to secure anything but wood and concrete.
Oversize load permits vary from state-to-state in price and the requirements for acquiring one. Circumstances that will likely result in the need for an oversize load or over-dimensional permit include:
If you have determined that your cargo exceeds any of these dimensions, you will need to contact the state(s) or province(s) within which you’re hauling to obtain a permit. Among other things, the permit may require you to:
The cost of transporting utility and telephone poles varies based on the dimensions of your payload and the distance it’s traveling.
You can expect to pay thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to get your utility poles to their destination, a number that can only increase if transportation guidelines aren’t adhered to closely, which can lead to expensive fines, shipment delays, and disappointed customers.
In most cases, your best bet to get your payload delivered promptly and safely is by working with an expert team that can boast years of experience in the nuances of logistics. That’s where we come in.
We’re here to handle the hard part for you. Contact our experienced team at (866) 902-2713 or request a quote via our online portal and rest easy in the knowledge that your utility pole transportation needs will be handled with expert care from loading to unloading. Remember: No job is too heavy for Heavy Haul and Oversized.
Heavy Haul and Oversized
315 NE 14th Street #4122
Ocala, FL 34470