3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Flatbed Trucking Company

When you own a construction company or any other type of business where you must transport large pieces of equipment, you most likely don’t have the means to do it on your own. That’s why many businesses with shipping needs rely on the services of a transportation company. If you are in need of flatbed trucking and want to make sure you get the right professionals for the job, make sure you ask the company these three questions before hiring. 

  1. How Long Have You Been in Business? If you have never hired a transportation company before, you might not be aware of the reputable companies that have been in business successfully for several years and the fly-by-night companies that come and go. It is safe to say that you will want a company that has been around for a while, so make sure to ask the company how long they have been in business before hiring. You’ll also be able to find this information by doing a little online digging.
  2. Do You Provide Tarping? Of course it will depend on what you are having shipped, but in some cases you might need a tarp. And if one is needed, you want to know your valuable equipment will be protected. Make sure the company will offer a quality tarp when transporting your equipment.
  3. Will You Use Straps or Chains? Some companies use straps to secure the freight while others use chains. Sometimes a combination of both is used. Both options are fine, but in general chains are stronger. If straps are used, you will want to ask the company what steps they will take to ensure no abrasion will occur, which puts your freight at risk.

Looking for a flatbed trucking service? Contact us today!

April 14, 2017 | | Category: Flatbed, General

How to Use Power Only Trucking Effectively

Companies are always looking for reliable, cost-effective solutions to increase business and make a profit. Power-only trucking helps reduce expenses while allowing you to move your products across the country to fulfill orders and meet shipment deadlines. Great Western Transportation has the availability to trucks and drivers you need to get your trailers to their destinations without the expense of hiring teams of over-the-road drivers. We supply single and team drivers to get your load from point A to point B quickly and safely. Whether your endpoint is the continental US or Canada, our drivers will pick up your trailer and deliver it to your destination in a timely manner.

Increase Efficiency 

It is easier to meet deadlines and move shipments across the country when you know you have reliable, time-conscious drivers on hand. This gives your employees the ability to load the trailer and get it ready to go before the driver gets there. When they arrive, they pick up the trailer and go. This reduces wait time during loading and makes it easier to meet shipment deadlines. Your customers receive their goods on time and you know the products are loaded and packed to your specifications. 

Cost-effective Shipping Solutions

Equipment, drivers, fuel, and the ever-increasing cost of repairs make owning and maintaining OTR trucks an expensive prospect for many businesses. New and small companies find it hard to own or operate these vehicles and turn a profit. Hiring out the delivery process saves time and money on repairs, maintenance, and insurance, not to mention the increased fuel expenses. Outsourcing the drive to a power-only trucking firm helps to reduce these costs as well as employment expenses.

Our drivers serve a wide range of industries from entertainment to government and military transport. We have specialty trailers and sliding fifth wheels to provide the safest, most reliable delivery possible. Contact our Great Western Transportation team here in Pleasanton, CA, to get the quote you need to save time and money for your business.

April 6, 2017 | | Category: Power Only Trucking

10 Keys to Safely Transporting Equipment Bought at an Auction

Auctions have become an increasingly popular source for equipment of all types. As more consumers and resellers turn to auctions as a cost-effective source for medical equipment, farming machinery and construction equipment, there is a growing need to secure a trusted mode of transportation for these valuable items. Below are 10 keys to success for transporting equipment purchased at an auction.

1) Obtain the accurate dimensions of all equipment purchased in advance. These details help ensure that a properly sized vehicle is used to deliver your equipment.

2) Confirm the delivery address, telephone number, and delivery contact person. Accurate contact information is critical for equipment deliveries. In addition to facilitating delivery, a transportation provider will need a means of reaching you if there are delivery delays due to an accident or poor weather conditions.

3) Specify the availability of a loading dock if one is required for delivery. Loading docks make the delivery of heavy equipment easier for transportation companies. Make sure your transportation agent knows in advance whether your facility has a loading dock

4) Determine whether you will need a high cube truck or trailer. If you have purchased items that exceed eight feet in height, you may need a high cube truck or trailer to accommodate the additional height.

5) Ensure that items have been properly packaged for safe transport. Packaging is critical when transporting valuable equipment. Make sure that items have been properly crated or tightly secured using straps and blankets.

6) Outline any special delivery services required. Not everyone who purchases equipment has a loading dock or receiving staff who can facilitate a delivery. Find out in advance if lift-gate or white glove delivery is required.

7) Make sure that personnel is available on the scheduled delivery date. Failure to have staff on hand to receive delivered equipment may result in delays and additional charges.

8) Do not sign for delivered equipment that appears to be damaged. Once you confirm receipt of the equipment with your signature, it becomes more difficult to receive compensation or support for any damage incurred during transportation.

9) Take photos of any damaged crates or items. Having photos of damaged equipment can facilitate claims processing. Be sure photos of damaged boxes, crates, or cartons are clear.

10) Seek the guidance of a trusted transportation service. The best step you can take to ensure safe delivery of equipment bought at an auction is to enlist the help of a transportation specialist.

March 31, 2017 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul

What You Need to Know About Heavy Haul Trucking

Heavy haul trucking is usually considered as merely hauling of overweight shipments or freight, but in the real sense, there is more than what meets the eye. Heavy haul trucking is hauling of oversized, overweight, and over dimensional freight with the use of special trailers engineered to meet these specific requirements of such hauling tasks that require permits from the relevant authorities.

On top of being overly costly, limited availability, and time-consuming, heavy haul trucking is often a complicated and a dangerous affair to undertake. With even the state of the art equipment to carry out the task, you cannot eliminate completely the dangers involved, as there are still many things that could go wrong. Due to such uncertainties, it is, therefore, compulsory to ensure the staff operating these specialized trailers is the best of the best, leaving nothing to chance.

Some of these exclusive trailers include; double drop, flatbed, drop deck extendable, multiple axles, and removable gooseneck (RGN), among other specialized equipment. Each of these trailers fit a specific purpose, hence it is good to evaluate the task at hand before deciding which trailer to opt for.

As a safety precaution, during most heavy haul trucking there is usually an escort which guides the trailer and ensures the safety of the freight being shipped. The routes taken are also predetermined, and as such indirect routes that offer less damage to the shipment and with less traffic congestion will always be used. Also, heavy haul trucking is usually done during the day as a means to reduce probability of an accident or damage to the shipment.

March 23, 2017 | | Category: General, Heavy Haul

The Importance of Flexibility with Flatbed Trucking

When you rely on flatbed trucking to keep your business up and running, it’s important to look at the fleet you’re using. You might have a commitment to have a specific size in place. It’s a good idea to have a contract in place, though flexibility within the fleet sizing and surges is critical.

Orders Change

If you have one size contracted with no flexibility, what happens if an order changes. Suddenly, a major client has decided to double their order. It’s imperative that you take the order and therefore you have to consider how you’re going to deliver. It’s much easier to be able to call your transportation company and switch to a larger fleet than have to reject the order and potentially lose a customer.

In the event you have a smaller order, you also don’t want to pay for half the truck to be loaded. This will cost you considerably, which means you need to explore a smaller truck, at least for this one time. It will save you money without affecting service.


Seasonal Surges Occur

When you’re in a seasonal business, you have to look at fleets, too. What happens if you’re in the middle of a summer surge and your fleet size is no longer adequate? If there’s no flexibility, then you might be forced to make multiple runs and extend delivery times beyond what was promised.

In the end, you have to be flexible with your business and therefore you need your transportation company to be flexible as well.

No matter how much technology you might have at your fingertips, you need to look at the flexibility of your fleet contracts.

March 3, 2017 | | Category: Flatbed

Hire the Best When Transporting Equipment Bought at an Auction

Auctions come in all shapes and sizes, from antique jewelry bidding wars held in rural barns to professionally managed, upscale events where the prices reach into the millions. The chance to bid on an item and win it gives many people a thrill.  It is also a way to buy items at substantial discounts.  This is particularly true at equipment auctions.  After you have won the equipment, though, how do you get it to your office or work site?

Transporting equipment bought at an auction is a unique challenge.  It is not as if it can fit in the your car’s trunk, particularly if it is farming equipment or construction equipment.  This is when you need an experienced, professional trucking service to get your purchased equipment where it needs to go.Heavy Machinery Equipment Shipping for Auctions

Each equipment auction has its own rules about picking up buyer items.  The transport company that you choose has to have information about the auction house, including:

  • Operating hours for item pick up
  • Where to find the truck loading dock
  • The loading dock dimensions

The transport company also has to bring the right kind of truck, a release ticket for the load and the bill of lading.  You want professional, well-trained drivers who know how to load a truck and secure a large load, whether it is a tractor or an office full of desks and chairs.  You want drivers and a company that care as much about your auction items as you do.

If you are planning an equipment auction purchase, then plan to hire a company with the skilled drivers, know how and trucks to move your items safely and on time.  We are Great Western Transportation, and we get the job done.

February 23, 2017 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul

Tips For Developing A Long-Term Relationship With A Flatbed Service Provider

Nothing is more important to professional success than the ability to foster relationships with other companies, colleagues and peers. Shippers of all types and sizes often choose to develop a relationship with a flatbed trucking company because it’s less expensive than operating a private fleet. It’s also a great way to obtain a professional logistics staff without investing anything. These relationships can become long-term, and beneficial to both parties, if a few basic concepts are kept in mind.

Communication Is Key

Flatbed service providers work hard to meet the needs of their customers. But they aren’t mind-readers so it’s important that shippers are able to communicate exactly what they want and need. The more direct, and timely the information, the faster the dedicated fleet partner can respond. Likewise, it’s utterly important that the provider shares information that will improve the supply chain’s function with the shipper. When the lines of communication remain open in this way, both parties are better able to achieve their individual goals, as well as working together on their common goal.


Take Immediate Action

As a business owner, you can’t just sit back and watch a situation, hoping it will straighten itself out. If you notice something, you have to get in there and solve the problem as quickly as possible. The same holds true for an outsourced fleet of trucks. Any issue, problem, or concern that you have about the vehicle, driver, schedule, routes, or anything else has to be addressed right away. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call the logistics provider to discuss a solution. Swift, timely action will ensure you avoid further issues, or conflict later.

Realistic Expectations

Shippers should have a reasonable expectation that their cargo will be delivered on time by their logistics partner. While cargo is delivered on schedule the majority of the time, there may be times when things get a bit off track. Any number of factors such as, the weather, road construction, heavy traffic, or an accident can cause a delay. However, it’s realistic to think that only a small percentage of loads encounter this problem. A provider should have the ability to re-route trucks, or otherwise overcome even the toughest of obstacles.

Long-term business relationships are built upon a foundation of communication, trust and mutual benefit. As a shipper, it’s important that you nurture your company’s relationship with your flatbed trucking provider by being a considerate, open, honest partner. In turn, you will receive expert advice, and unparalleled service for every load of cargo you ship.

February 17, 2017 | | Category: Flatbed

What You Don’t Know About Transporting Heavy Machinery Can Hurt You

When you get a great deal on a piece of equipment, or a new machine, to improve your business it’s tempting to continue the trend and save money on the transportation by moving it yourself. However, if you’re not an expert at transporting heavy machinery, however, being frugal may not be a good idea. The truth is, what you don’t know about transporting heavy machinery safely can cost you dearly in terms of injuries and damage to your machinery or other property.

Potential For Injury

Heavy machinery is, by its very nature, dangerous and should be handled with extreme care at all times. In some cases, it may be necessary to utilize a crane, or other piece of equipment to load the machine onto the trailer. Other times, it may be possible to drive it on, depending upon the type of machine and its condition. In either case, inexperience can cause injuries, especially if the machine slips, falls, or otherwise shifts during loading. It’s best to leave this delicate task to a heavy haul trucking company that specializes in moving heavy machinery.


Equipment Damage

Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a piece of heavy machinery, and having it damaged while it’s being loaded, transported, or unloaded. If the damage is minor, it may be able to be repaired, at a cost. However, if it’s severe, the machine may be a total loss, meaning it would need to be replaced. Therefore, protecting your equipment during every step of the way is imperative. This can only be accomplished with careful planning, communication and teamwork, all traits of a professional heavy haul transportation provider.

Property Damage

You can’t simply load anything onto a flatbed trailer and drive away. If a load is too tall, it can cause damage to power lines, street lights, trees and overpasses. Likewise, a very wide loads are difficult, if not impossible, to maneuver in some areas. If it’s over-weight, it can cause cracks and damage to roadway and parking lot surfaces. Not only will you end up paying for the damage, it’s likely that you will also be fined and ticketed. This is where a logistics professional really comes in handy. They know exactly what permits are required, and they’ve got route planning expertise to guarantee a smooth, trouble-free transport.

Moving heavy machinery is inevitable if you operate any type of manufacturing company. Whether you’re moving your current equipment to a new location, or you’re adding to your facility, safety should always be your top concern. Rather than risk someone getting injured, or your machines or other property being damaged, call in professional help. A reputable, experienced heavy haul trucking company will get your cargo delivered in a safe, expedient manner and they’ll take care of all the permits, route planning and other logistical details.

February 10, 2017 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul