Heavy machinery moving services involve a lot of specialized equipment that is utilized by highly trained and skilled professionals. Moving machinery is a huge undertaking that, if planned properly, can and should go smoothly. If not, it can become very costly or even end with someone getting seriously hurt. How well the move goes typically comes down to in-depth planning and equipment selection.
WHY USING THE RIGHT HEAVY EQUIPMENT TOOLS IS IMPORTANT
When you’re moving machinery that weighs thousands of pounds, is top heavy, or has other moving restrictions, safety is always the top priority. Hundreds of people lose their lives every year in accidents that involve moving heavy machinery.
The best way to ensure the safety of workers, equipment operators and the machines is by using the proper tools for the job. Companies that choose Able Machinery Movers as their heavy equipment moving company get the benefit of knowing that our equipment operators take every safety precaution. This starts with selecting the right equipment for the job.
Time is money when you’re moving machinery. Not only is there the expense of moving your equipment, but there is also the cost of loss of production while your equipment is out of service. That is why choosing the right equipment for the move is critical. Improper equipment selection will almost assuredly make the move take longer than necessary.
TYPES OF EQUIPMENT USED FOR TRANSPORTING EQUIPMENT
At Able we have single, double, and triple axle trucks. All trucks are outfitted with air-ride suspensions, as well as equipment containing PTO kits that allow for the use of specialty trailers. Tandem axle trucks are the most commonly used due to their versatility. Single-axle trucks are most commonly used when there is limited space and loads are lighter. Triple-axle trailers are used when transporting heavier loads to reduce surface weight loads.
Flatbed trailers are just as the name implies – flat. They come in lengths normally ranging from 40 feet to 53 feet. Deck heights for flatbed trailers tend to be in the 50” to 53” range, so the height of equipment being hauled is limited to around 9 feet, without the need to acquire permits.
Lowboy Trailer or Double-drop Trailer
Lowboy or double-drop trailers are most often used for transporting heavier or over-dimensional loads. They get the name for their two higher decks.
All three trailer types come with extendable options that are designed to carry and haul truckloads that are too long for the length restrictions of a standard trailer.
At Able, we have numerous specialty trailers, including flip-tail, sliding-tail and sliding-axle trailers – all designed to allow for driving or winching equipment onto them from ground level. Our sliding-axle trailers are also equipped with hydraulic cylinders that allow them to be raised to various heights, which allows loading at various dock heights.
TOOLS COMMONLY UTILIZED IN MOVING, LIFTING, LOADING, OR INSTALLING MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT
There are many types of equipment and tools that are used to push, pull, lift, or move a heavy piece of machinery during a rigging operation.
Jacks are normally used when raising or lowering a piece of equipment. There are numerous types of jacks that are all designed for a specific purpose. Jacks range from simple mechanical jacks with lower lifting capacities, to synchronized hydraulic jacks capable of lifting more than 1,000,000 pounds. There are also air jacks, pancake jacks, and wedge jacks. Knowing what type of jack is the most efficient and safe in your rigging project comes with experience. Able has been providing rigging services since 1957.
Dollies or Skates
Dollies, as with jacks, come in a variety of types and sizes, each designed for a different use. There are pocket dollies, caterpillar dollies, air dollies, platform dollies, and numerous others. The most common dolly systems use two straight skates and a lead dolly capable of turning the load being moved. Generally, dolly systems are used to move a piece of equipment that is too large, too heavy, or in too tight a location to use a forklift or other piece of lifting and moving equipment. Dollies, like jacks, can be mechanical, electric, hydraulic, or air-powered, and can range in capacities from a few hundred pounds to more than 1,000,000 pounds.
Miscellaneous rigging gear.
There are many other smaller rigging tools used on almost every rigging job. When performing a rigging job that requires lifting from overhead, rigging tools such as slings, nylons, wire rope, chains, or eyebolts may be used. To provide floor protection, things such as steel or aluminum plates, poly plates, Masonite, or plywood might be used. Also: steel bars, pin rollers, pinch or Johnson bars, and numerous other smaller pieces of equipment are often used to assist in the relocation process.
TYPES OF EQUIPMENT USED FOR LIFTING
Moving heavy machines can be done by utilizing numerous types of equipment to assist in the lifting, setting, loading, or unloading process. Often, lifting is required to some degree.
Forklifts are the most common piece of equipment used in the moving of machines. They can range in capacity from a couple thousand pounds to a couple hundred thousand pounds. There are also many specialty lifting devices designed and engineered to perform a wide range of specialty lifting procedures. The most common attachment used in moving machines are booms, which allow for picking up equipment overhead. They can be a simple boom that slides onto the forks, or they can be mounted to the carriage and operate by utilizing the forklift’s hydraulic system. Some are also equipped with a winch for even more versatility.
Cranes are one of the most essential pieces of heavy machinery moving equipment in cases where machines or equipment need to be lifted overhead or placed in a location with restricted ground access. Although cranes are great for overhead lifting, they do require more space than other commonly used moving machinery and are mainly used outdoors. Cranes can be very costly to move to and from the jobsite.
Hydraulic gantries provide a safe, efficient way to lift and position heavy loads in applications where traditional cranes will not fit and permanent overhead structures for job cranes are not an option. When used with track or rail systems, hydraulic gantries also provide a means for moving and placing heavy loads. They are particularly useful when lifting a machine from below ground level.
Want to learn more? Check out more of the heavy machine moving equipment used by Able Machinery Movers.