Heavy Equipment Delivery

Published on
A small earth mover in front of piles of gravel

It shouldn’t shock anyone that one of the hardest parts of dealing with heavy equipment is getting it to its destination. These machines are quite heavy, they're large, and they require serious equipment to ship.

Sometimes you need an open 18-wheeler trailer and a “wide load” banner to move these enormous vehicles. But what if the heavy equipment isn’t so heavy?

What is Heavy Equipment?

The word “heavy” in heavy equipment has nothing to do with weight. “Heavy” refers to the type of work that the machines are built to perform. Heavy equipment moves large amounts of material around to make a difficult job a little easier. 

The intention behind heavy equipment is to make construction and earthwork operations more convenient. For example, a person can use a shovel to carve out a hill to widen a road, but it could take months. The right heavy machinery could do it in a day or two. 

When we talk about heavy machinery, most of the time, we’re talking about: 

  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers
  • Cranes 
  • Trenchers
  • Dump trucks
  • Compactors

Open Road Shipping is the safest, easiest, and most reliable choice for small businesses. One of our specialties is shipping heavy equipment for industries like construction and oil and gas. And the best part is? We can ship directly to the job site. Ship on your schedule. Contact us today to learn more. 

LTL heavy equipment delivery can include skid steers, small dump trucks, and parts

LTL and FTL Heavy Equipment Machinery

When it comes to moving large pieces of equipment, there are two options: less than truckload and full truckload. Also known as LTL and FTL, respectively.

The difference between the two has to do with the size and the weight of the shipment. LTL shipments are less than 10,000 lbs and don’t take up an entire semi-trailer. On the other hand, FTL shipments take the entire trailer and typically have longer delivery routes. 

Related Article: What is LTL Shipping? A Breakdown of LTL and FTL

LTL vs FTL delivery

What Heavy Equipment Can Be Shipped LTL?

While FTL can be used for the largest heavy machinery, it’s not always necessary. However, the weight restrictions for LTL does limit what can and can’t be shipped. These are not just suggestions, they are DOT/FMSCA rules. 

While you really don’t can’t ship giant earth-movers LTL, you can ship machines like skid steers and small dump trucks. Or, use LTL shipping for large parts of ultra-heavy equipment like tires and tracks, excavator buckets, or bulldozer buckets.

Related Article: How Much Weight Can You Haul Without a CDL?

Important Factors When Shipping Heavy Equipment

When shipping heavy equipment, consider the three most important factors:

  • Deliverability
  • Timeframe
  • Pricing

These are going to determine the best way forward to get your equipment where it needs to go safely.

heavy equipment delivery is affected by the cargo deliverability, timeframe, and market pricing


When talking about the deliverability of heavy equipment, we’re discussing how well it will fit on a trailer. Are there parts that may overhang the trailer? Is it difficult to tie down and secure properly? Is it delicate in any way and risks damage during shipping?

These are some of the questions with answers that determine LTL freight class. These classifications aren’t required to ship, but can aid in determining the price of the delivery. 

Related Article: How to Determine LTL Freight Class


A quick delivery is great; a quick and secure delivery is best. On-time delivery is important, but rushed delivery can lead to safety issues. That is why safe, secure transportation—alongside a quick promised delivery—is a win for everyone. 

Make sure when shipping heavy equipment that the load is secured properly to the trailer. The right straps and equipment likely need to be stronger and hardier than what you would use to tie down a regular vehicle. While the driver often supplies their own equipment, it never hurts to double check that the cargo is secure before they set off.

Related Article: The Ultimate Hotshot Delivery Equipment Checklist

Delivery Pricing

The timing and the deliverability contribute to the third factor: pricing. The cost of the delivery is affected the most by weight and turnaround time; the more rushed a shipment is, the more it will cost. 

Breakdowns and equipment failures can’t always be predicted, and they hold up jobs when they happen. When you can have the name shipping partner in your back pocket, you can save time searching for equipment and a delivery service, causing even more of a rush and increasing the cost.

Related Article: How to Reduce Shipping Costs

Heavy Equipment Delivery at Open Road

Not all heavy equipment can be driven from point A to point B. When you need to cross county or state lines, call Open Road. Our experienced hotshot drivers are thoroughly vetted, meaning your heavy equipment cargo is in safe hands. 

When timing is everything, reach out to Open Road. Our platform is easy to use to post jobs and communicate with drivers. Sign up today to get going.

Ship with
Open Road.

Create your account and get shipping.

Being a driver
couldn’t be simpler.

Ready to work your own schedule and get paid that same day? Get in touch with us and we will get you on the road.