At Osage Specialized Transport, safety comes first. Here are seven tips for safe heavy hauling that we follow and that we recommend to everyone in the trucking industry.
#1 Hire experienced operators
What’s the number one cause of heavy haul accidents? Speeding! You don’t want an untested driver who is heavy on the pedal on your runs for heavy or hazardous loads. Trust heavy hauling to experienced operators.
#2 Do a reconnaissance mission before you send out your truck
Pilot cars reduce the overall risk for your heavy loads on the road, and sending someone out to double-check road conditions before you dispatch your truck can save enormous problems later. We always recommend sending out a scout car before driving less-traveled roads to isolated destinations. You may still need a pilot car if your load is unusually wide, unusually heavy, or very valuable.
#3 Invest in telematics
Especially when you are carrying a valuable load, you want to be able to always find your truck. You want instant notification when a truck “falls off the radar.” Telematics systems give you constant location data on every truck in which they are installed. Telematics can also keep a record on driver safety, fuel efficiency, idling time, and even aggressive driver behaviors. They can give you ways to recognize hazardous driving and mechanical issues before they result in losses.
Telematics can make your dispatcher’s life a lot easier. However, you don’t want to install telematics on your own, because it can void your truck’s warranty.
#4 Know the rules
Every state has its own road rules, as does every Canadian province. The more state lines and provincial boundaries you cross, the more rules there are that your driver and your load might break. Be doubly sure you know the regulations for haulers in every jurisdiction where you will travel, and don’t assume that just because you don’t need permits in advance for one state or province, you don’t need them for another. Alternatively, you can rely on Osage to keep track of these rules for you.
#5 Choose the right trailer
It’s critical to match the right trailer to your load. Do you have a heavy load, up to 75 tons? You’ll probably need to go with a gooseneck trailer.
Hauling a tall load, over the legal height of 8’6″? You’ll need a drop deck (or step deck) trailer to haul your load legally without getting additional permits. Drop deck trailers can haul loads up to 10’6″ tall. If your load is even taller, a double drop deck trailer can get you another two feet of vertical clearance, but then it’s extra important to do a reconnaissance run before you send out your truck.
Osage has stretch trailers for loads of 53′ and longer. And of course, we have flatbed trailers for most loads of up to 24 tons and 48’-53 ′x 8’ x 8’ so that we can meet your unique needs.
#6 Pay attention to both length and weight when choosing your trailer
When you are loading heavy equipment, and especially when you are loading pipe, it is not enough to make sure your trailer is rated for the weight of your load. You must make sure that your trailer is rated for the width of your load. If you try to put a 30-ton load that needs to be balanced across 15 feet on a trailer that’s rated for 30 tons but that is only 10 feet wide, you are asking for an accident. You should always work with the hauler who has the trailers and drivers you need.
#7 Secure your load
The AAA estimates that there’s an accident every eight minutes caused by loose debris on the road. You can prevent serious accidents and damages, and save your company liability by properly securing your load before it leaves the yard.
Osage Specialized Transport can help you get there
Osage Specialized Transport, is your go-to heavy haul and specialized equipment trucking company. We carry freight from coast to coast throughout the entire USA and Canada, working closely with larger carriers, heavy-equipment businesses, and energy companies. We have over 40 years of experience in the heavy hauling industry, and have cultivated relationships over this time that allows us to provide a larger variety of heavy equipment hauling than any single company has access to.