A final inspection is more than just a formality. It promotes accountability and transparency and prevents last-minute misunderstandings that may turn your heavy equipment move into an expensive disaster.
Start by reviewing the owner’s manual for specific instructions on preparing equipment for transport. Certain parts that protrude or are exposed to the elements should be covered, and any sensitive components should be wrapped in bubble wrap.
1. Inspect the Machine
If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure that all the moving parts in your equipment are in good condition and working properly, a thorough inspection is a surefire strategy. It’s not just a matter of meeting industry and regulatory standards, it’s about providing optimal performance and ensuring a safe work environment for everyone involved in your operation.
A good inspection begins with a visual walk-around of the machine to check for potential hazards or repairs. Look for leaking fluids, pooling water, or dirt around the equipment, and any rust or damage that may indicate an issue. You’ll also want to ensure that the tires, rims, and undercarriage are in good condition – just as you can’t operate at full capacity on broken feet, a machine hobbled by its tire or track conditions will not perform to its best.
Other important factors to consider include the operator compartment and the equipment’s electrical systems. If there are any issues, such as a loose wire or burned-out bulbs, these should be addressed prior to operation. In addition, the operator should check to see that all warning and console indicators are on and functioning correctly – today’s equipment offers more feedback than ever regarding the status of internal systems, so it’s important to pay close attention and address any issues immediately.
Finally, the operator should be sure that all of the mirrors are clear and set to their preferred position – this might seem obvious, but visibility is critical to job site awareness, safety, and productivity. If the rearview camera is obstructed or disabled, this is another major hazard to job site safety.
It’s important to note that every piece of equipment will have different maintenance needs based on the work environment, frequency of use, and seasonal weather conditions. The manufacturer’s manual will often feature a checklist specific to the equipment and the recommended inspection frequency. When developing your routine maintenance schedule, cross-reference these recommendations to determine what steps you should take to meet the recommended intervals.
2. Clean the Machine
It is important to thoroughly clean the equipment before loading it on a transport vehicle. The cleaner the machine is, the easier it will be to identify any new damage caused during transportation. This will also help prevent the transfer of dirt or debris from one machine to another.
The cleaning process should include washing and rinsing all surfaces that are prone to contaminants, such as hydraulic lines, fuel lines, pins, and iron chains. These parts are often difficult to clean with a hose and can contain stubborn substances, such as grease and grime, which are hazardous to the environment. This is why washing equipment in designated wash bays is essential for companies to follow.
In addition to washing, a thorough inspection of the machine’s mechanical components should be performed. These components can be vulnerable to damage during a heavy equipment move, especially if they are not properly secured or sealed. Look for any cracks, rusting or oxidation, and loose components. Also, check that all wires are properly sealed and attached. These wires can become damaged by high temperatures resulting from overheating, vibrations, or environmental factors like dust and water.
Once all of the surfaces and mechanical components have been inspected, it is time to clean the equipment. Use a pressure washer to remove any accumulated dirt and debris that may be stuck inside or on the equipment. This will make the equipment easier to move, reduce the risk of accidental damage, and protect the professionals who are loading and unloading it for you.
Removing any unnecessary items from the machine is also a good idea. Loose parts can easily fly off during transportation, making the job of loading and unloading more difficult. This can be dangerous for the movers and can lead to a costly repair bill.
Lastly, it is important to check the fluid levels of the machine. It is important to maintain the proper amount of engine oil, coolant, and fuel to ensure safe transportation. If the fluids are low, it is recommended that they be topped up immediately to avoid any complications during transport.
3. Secure the Machine
A lot can go wrong with machinery transport, so it’s important that your team is well-prepared. This includes conducting a risk assessment and documenting it thoroughly. The risk assessment should cover the equipment, the truck or trailer, and your loading procedures. This will help you identify potential hazards and prevent accidents or incidents during transport.
Once you’ve completed the risk assessment, it’s time to secure the equipment. This is especially important for large construction machines, such as cranes, excavators, dump trucks, graders, and dozers. These types of equipment often qualify as oversized or overwidth, and this can lead to extra loading and transportation costs. Fortunately, you can reduce the cost of your heavy equipment hauling by planning ahead and taking the proper precautions.
First, you’ll need to inspect the machine to make sure it’s safe for transport. This means checking the structure for signs of cracks or rust and examining the mechanical systems for leaks or any other issues. It’s also a good idea to empty all fluids, including fuel, coolant, and oil. This will help you avoid spills during transport and protect the equipment from freezing in colder weather.
When it comes to securing the equipment, your best bet is to follow the instructions in the manual. However, if the equipment is particularly delicate or sensitive, you may want to take additional precautions. This could include disassembling the machinery or creating a custom crate for it. You should also cover any exposed components with bubble wrap.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your load will feel different when driving uphill, downhill, turning, and braking. Depending on the size of your vehicle, this can increase the risk of damage to your equipment or the driver.
Finally, you should prepare the area for unloading. This includes ensuring that the truck or trailer can access the area and that it’s large enough to accommodate the machine. In addition, you should put up warning signs for pedestrians and close off the area. This will prevent anyone from getting hurt by the moving machinery or being accidentally struck by a truck or trailer.
4. Load the Machine
When it comes to moving heavy machinery, a number of best practices can be executed to ensure the process goes smoothly. This includes preparing the equipment, hiring qualified machinery movers, and providing clear instructions to the movers so that they know what needs to be done. It is also important to make sure that you have the right freight insurance and choose a heavy equipment transport company with experience in your industry.
Before the day of your equipment move, make a list of all tasks involved and assign responsibilities to each person. This will help prevent any miscommunications or confusion that can lead to costly delays down the line. It is also a good idea to provide a hard copy of the plan to everyone who will be involved in the process so that they can refer to it whenever needed.
Next, prepare the site for the load by clearing plenty of space around the machine and ensuring an open area for loading at both ends of the trip. This will help your transportation logistics specialist get the machine on and off of the trailer quickly and safely. Be sure to pay special attention to securing the load, as loose parts can pose a serious risk for anyone on board the truck during transportation.
Once the machine is loaded on the trailer, it should be secured with proper restraints and bracing to minimize movement during transit. Be sure to follow all state laws regarding securing oversized cargo during public highway transportation and manufacturer guidelines and recommendations for your specific equipment. Finally, reassemble your machinery at its new location and thoroughly test it to ensure all components function properly. Be sure to document all repairs, testing, and inspections in order to keep accurate records and reports. This will help to protect your investment and prove that the relocation process was completed according to specification. This will also help to avoid any disputes with your transportation company after the machine has reached its final destination.