Cement mixers, shovels, protective equipment for your employees and other larger machinery make up the hustle and bustle of everyday life on a construction site and things would obviously progress very slowly without them. When a project comes to an end or for instance you’ve finished a big concrete pour and no longer need as many cement mixers on the site as you currently do you will need to either place them in storage or move them to another project where they can be put to work, in both these instances you will need a reliable, safe and cost-effective way to transport your cement mixers and anything else that goes along with them. In this article we will look at some factors that will affect the type of transport you need and ways that you can properly prepare your machinery for transit.
Cement Mixers Transport: Things to Take Into Account
Location will obviously play a major factor in the type of transport that you will need for your cement mixers. If your current site is in a remote area with rough terrain you may need specialised equipment just to reach you and bring your cement mixers to a safer area where it can then be loaded onto a truck. If the next site or storage area that your equipment is being moved to is very far away you would need to look into the pricing of multiple freight services, the most immediate being by truck or by train, if the next stop is across the country it may well be worth using combination on trucking and the train to ensure your precious cargo reaches its destination.
The weight and the amount of equipment that you are transporting will determine the overall capacity you would need as well as any other logistical complications. If you are transporting cement mixers as well as protective equipment, you need to ensure that the transport you have arranged is able to keep these items separate and avoid any damage during the trip. Some protective equipment also needs to be stored in the correct conditions or they will not operate as efficiently anymore, before approaching any company you need to take accurate stock of what you are moving to ensure they understand everything that is needed of them.
Heavier items will also cost more to transport, so if you are transporting multiple items from a finished construction site you should look into possibly sending smaller items in different containers and with different transport companies. Heavy loads can also affect the routes you can take for delivery as some roads will have a weight limit of what can drive over it. If the machinery you are moving is tall you will also need to take into account any overhead signs or bridges that you could damage.
You need to make sure that you or any company you hire follow any laws during transport to avoid hefty fines or damages. You should have a procedure in place that all employees are familiar with and follow for the loading and unloading of machinery and equipment. Nearly half of all injuries associated with heavy machinery happens during the loading and unloading process when the machines aren’t even running.
All employees should have proper protective equipment when loading and unloading such as hard hats, gloves and goggles if there is dust involved. This is an often overlooked and very costly part of transport as limbs or fingers can get caught in painful places when moving machinery around. Your employees are your most important asset and you need to look after them at all times during construction.
If you own or are renting the machinery can be a small but often overlooked factor when you have multiple different projects going on at the same time, some rental companies will include the price of delivery for larger or even all of their equipment that they rent out whereas others will have different conditions that affect the cost. Therefore, if you are renting some of your cement mixers and don’t want to pay for the delivery you need to ensure that you have your own transport that can handle the weight and size. You should also make sure you are not transporting any rented equipment along with your own, firstly this could cause damage that you would need to pay for and secondly it would extend your rental contract and it may have been cheaper to simply return the current machinery and rent new equipment for the new site.
Cement Mixers Transport: Even Bigger Machinery
The next thing you may need to consider is machinery that is even larger but not stationary, this applies to you if you have access to your own dumb trucks, bulldozers and anything bigger. These specialised machines are built for rough terrain and heavy loads but in most cases this has resulted in a very slow top speed that is not safe for a highway. For short distances your vehicles can be towed but you will need to ensure that the wheels are in good condition and that it is prepared properly for the towing company you have hired as they will have many different trucks to tow each machine.
You need to do research and find a company that is right for your needs and specialises in this type of transport. This will allow you to focus more on construction and less on logistics and the process of shipping. When you work directly with a company you can become more involved if you like to ensure that every precaution is being followed at every step of the way.
For larger machinery and vehicles being towed you will need to look into any local legislation and if any permits will need to be obtained to travel uncertain roads. Dump trucks and cranes can cause damages to roads and will need to be checked before you go drive them to your next site. You will also need to ensure that all noise regulations are followed in the new area during the unloading process.
Cement Mixers Transport: To-do List
If you transport your equipment regularly it will be a good idea to create a checklist of sorts for employees to follow before any machinery is loaded for transport. Firstly they will need to properly clean the machines of any first or debris to avoid any cleaning costs from the transport company or maintenance costs down the line if the machinery starts to rust. Cement mixers need to be properly cleaned of any leftover concrete as this can block handholds or other points that the transport company would use to tie it down.
Next you should do a check of the machinery and take note of any prior damage or faults. If you are using a company for the first time perhaps you should also take pictures to have any evidence of mishandling on the transport company’s part. Next you need to keep your cement mixers properly covered with a tarpaulin or temporary structure to keep them clean until they are picked up for their trip.
All staff must be informed of any large equipment that is being moved to avoid any accidents and so the area can be avoided if they are not needed there. There should also be a clear understanding of who is responsible for what is going on so there are no issues with communication. All other vehicles should be removed and kept away from the area until the transport operation has completed.
If the machinery is going up a ramp be sure to clear it of any rocks or other debris that could hinder the movement or change the course of whatever is coming up it. Make sure it is dry if you clean it to make sure nothing slides back down. Keep all personnel clear of the bottom of the ramp on case equipment comes back down.
If you are using your own transport or a new company you should routinely inspect the vehicle used for towing or transport to ensure it meets all weight requirements and road safety standards. You must ensure the tyres are all the correct pressure for the intended weights, that the brake and reverse lights all operate correctly and that all the points where you will tie down lashes to hold the equipment steady are strong and not corroded. You also need to check that the brakes not only work but are rated for the load that you are transporting as extreme weight can put heavy pressure on your brakes and possibly cause them to fail.
If you are transporting a vehicle or something else with a battery you must unhook it to avoid having a dead battery upon arrival. Make sure everything is latched down correctly and not too tight as to cause any damage during transport. Your checklist should be done and you can now wait for your equipment at your other projects, when it has arrived you can then again do an inspection and compare the report to the previous one and assess if there is any new damage to bring up with the transporters.
Cement Mixers Transport: Hire or Do it Yourself
This question will come up in almost every part of a construction project and is all up to who you are and what you are doing at that time. This will entirely depend on your specific situation and whether or not you already have the capital invested in your company to undertake the transportation of your equipment. Keep in mind that just because you have a truck or trailer that has the space for the equipment does not mean that you have the expertise or skills to keep it safe and unbroken during transit.
Cement mixers and other even larger machinery is obviously extremely heavy, if it is not tied down correctly and with enough restraints it will slide around causing damage to itself and anything else that you are transporting, this can be a danger to you or anyone around you. This will also change the way that the vehicle you are driving operates as it will now have a much heavier load. You need to ensure that your vehicle is properly rated to travel with a load that heavy and if that affects the top speed that you can travel.
To avoid risks and possible loss of life if you are inexperienced it is best to find a company that can handle all of the loading and unloading of your machinery onto whatever transport you have arranged. At this point it may be best to get one company to do it all and start building a relationship with them for future operations. This will also save you the trouble of teaching your staff the correct procedure and precautions that come with moving this type of equipment.