For most freight, any old truck will do. But when it comes to the big stuff, you need the big boys, so rates can be astronomical sometimes. It is a well known fact in the trucking industry that the best drivers are the ones doing heavy haul. The trucking companies that cover these loads are the highest rated companies as well. And, the old adage is still true- you get what you pay for. That’s enough of that for now. If you want to know more about heavy haul trucking, check out this article over at LogisticsPage.
On both sides of the spectrum, whether you are the shipper or the trucker, it pays to do a little research before you ship an oversize load, or accept the shipping duty. I’ll talk about both sides, because either one can get ripped-off easily in this area of trucking.
If you are reading this because you have a heavy load to ship, please get a few quotes before you move it. And get the details ready! You’ll have to measure every dimension. If you are wrong about any dimension, it can drastically affect your freight rate.
If you are a trucking company that’s tired of hauling cheap freight- just don’t do it. I know you can’t afford to sit still, but at the same time, what good is breaking even and tearing up your truck for nothing?
There is no general rate for heavy hauling. Permits are expensive and escorts are too. Everything is relative. You can ship a heavy load for anywhere from $5.00 a mile to $50.00 a mile. There are really too many variables to give you a basic rule of thumb here, but I will try.
My personal experience: When I was doing heavy haul (2006 to 2010) my average load paid about $4 a mile. These were mostly loads that were 10-feet wide, and that was their only over-dimension. When it required another axle (heavy loads up to 100,000 pounds) it usually paid a little more- about $5 a mile. If it required escorts, it paid even more- about $6 to $10 a mile. Like I said before, you have to add in all the costs and it varies a lot. escorts not only cost money, they cost time, and we all know time is money too. I remember filling out my truck driver trip envelopes, and there were many times I had to take longer than usual routes. Sometimes, when the delivery was near a state-line, I’d have to write down the mileage at each state-line, even if I went in and out, and back into a state. It was confusing because I had strict instructions for which route I had to take legally. But the problem was, the customer was quoted a mileage rate that was the shortest route.
The point is, there are a lot of variables in the heavy-haul business.
If you are an independent driver or a small trucking company, it’s easy to fall prey to the under-bidders out there in these backward times. It’s better to over-quote your freight rate and lose your chance to haul a heavy load than it is to under-bid one, and wind up losing money. This is business after all, and you are in it to make money.
And for the customer shipping an oversize load, getting a low mileage quote isn’t always the cheapest cost. There will be permit charges, and those can vary because many trucking companies will overcharge you on those to cover the cost they lost giving you such a low mileage quote.
It’s not an easy load to ship, and it’s even harder for the trucking company to move it. So both sides need to be patient and do your homework.