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Natasha Post, Author
Whether you are a small or large-scale farmer, there will come a time when you will need tractor transport services. Perhaps you are moving to a new place, hauling the tractor to a new farm, getting it to an automobile shop for repair, or moving it into storage. Driving even the smallest tractors, tractors, and other farm equipment is usually discouraged, mostly allowed over short distances. But even then, a tractor transportation specialist must satisfy stringent requirements and be licensed, bonded, and insured to handle such moves. That said, the easiest, safest, and most convenient way of shipping a farm tractor is using a specialized trailer. The trailer is then connected to a pickup truck, prime mover, or sedan based on your tractor’s size and weight.
What Type of Trailers are Required to Ship a Tractor?
Farm tractors and other machinery vary in dimensions and horsepower, just like the specialized shipping trailers used to haul them. Some of the common trailers used in shipping farm tractors include:
- Flatbed Trailers
Generally, flatbed trailers feature a flat surface where the farm machinery is driven and loaded. The platform is supported by a strong steel frame with wheels for mobility. Flatbed trailers come in various lengths, commonly measuring 20,40,48, and 53″ and offering the utmost versatility to ship a wide range of loads. These shipping equipment are perfect for shipping tractors with low horsepower, provided you have a loading dock or platform. Alternatively, you can use forklifts and cranes to facilitate easy tractor loading.
- Step-Deck Trailers
These types of flatbed trailers are equipped with two deck levels. One of the decks is short but high, located in the front near the shipping trailer’s rear wheels. The other one (main deck)is located much lower but near the ground level. This main step deck makes it possible for the trailer to accommodate taller loads. In addition, the lowered step deck and open platforms allow the trailer to ship extra tall tractors or any other high-powered farm equipment.
- RGN Trailers
Short for Removable Gooseneck Trailers, RGs are semi-trailers with two drops. The trailer’s front can be detached, allowing the middle of the trailer to drop to the ground creating a ramp where you can quickly load your farm tractor up the ramp. Generally, these trailers are perfect for shipping larger tractors weighing 18 to 66 tons. The largest trailers have up to 20 axles to transport oversized cargo.
- Intermodal Shipping Container
This is a perfect option to protect your farm tractor from harsh environmental conditions such as intense sunshine and hailstones during transit. These containers come in various sizes with standards ranging from 20, 40, 48, and 53 Ft. You can also find higher cubes (usually 40 to 45 Ft), which add an extra 1 foot to the overall unit’s height, making it easy for you to ship taller tractors. Other types include open top or side containers that facilitate easy and safe loading and offloading farm tractors and other heavy loads. You will require such equipment as cranes and forklifts to load your tractor safely and conveniently onto the containers.
Preparing to Transport Your Farm Tractor
Your load is only as safe and strong as its weakest link. Here are various ways of preparing your equipment for transport:
- Find a hauling expert to perform and record a risk assessment
- Ensure that the loading and hauling team wears PPE (Personal Preventive Equipment) for utmost safety during the loading, securing, and offloading.
- Inspect and confirm the trailer’s ability to ship heavy cargo.
- Secure your truck wheels with tire chock to prevent them from moving forward and backward while in transit.
- Once the machinery is safely loaded, positioned, and secured onto the trailer, engage its parking brake for safety.
There are various ways of shipping small tractors from one point to another, each of which has its benefits and disadvantages. If you are unsure of the best shipping method for your farm equipment, talk to your heavy equipment shipping provider. The logistics specialists will evaluate your load and choose a safe, reliable, and cost-efficient shipping hauling option for your shipment.