Last week, I decided to transport a John Deere excavator from North Carolina to northern Pennsylvania. The broker informed me that it was over dimensional and that they would take care of ordering the permits. The excavator was 10' wide, 10'7" tall and the weight was 44K. Freight that makes your unit over 13'6" tall and 8'6" wide is over dimensional.
Here's what went wrong:
- The equipment was 6" taller than what I was told
- I ordered permits for 14', not 14'6"
- I chose interstates all the way to destination (unnecessarily) which added 70 miles to trip
- I didn't realize that the state would change my desired route if it wasn't safe
- I quoted a rate that didn't include the 70 additional miles
Here's what went right:
- The broker handled the permits. That was something less to worry about.
- The shipper was able to make an adjustment on the excavator boom to lower the height to 13'7" which was very important as I encountered a 14'1" and a 14'3" overpass within 10 miles of the destination.
- I safely delivered the load with no problems
- I learned a lot
Other things I learned:
- My fuel mileage suffered because of increased signature of equipment (height and width) and warning flags waving in the breeze.
- I had to drive a little differently due to the increased width especially around merging traffic to my right.
- The extra money that these loads pay can quickly disappear as the restrictions, fuel mileage and routing can negatively affect the bottom line.
- On this particular load, no driving at night.
For next time:
- I won't seek out loads that route me away from an interstate
- I will examine the proposed route very intently before I agree to a rate
- If I have to obtain permits myself, I will allow $50 per state to be added to my rate to adequately cover the permits and time involved.
Another successful delivery!