How to Load a Wheel Loader

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Many huge types of machinery are involved in construction work, may it be of a large scale or a relatively smaller scale. And of course, due to the involvement of such large equipment, safety measures and procedures must be carried during the job, and a standard safety protocol must be implemented while handling and working with such machines – especially for wheel loader transport.

There are many construction companies that follow the standard safety protocols such as safety while setting up for the work, while doing the work and while wrapping and cleaning up. Often the authorities focus so much on safety measures taken on-site, that the safety during hauling and bringing the equipment from elsewhere to the construction site gets neglected.

Moving equipment that big and heavy, such as a Wheel Loader, can be one difficult task to handle and execute perfectly. It involves a great deal of risk and should be done by a highly experienced team. Even for a crew that has done it several times, it can’t be said with full surety that they will execute it flawlessly. No matter how professional they are, there is always a certain amount of risk associated with a job of such sort.

What Is A Wheel Loader?

A Wheel Loader is a large four-wheel-drive vehicle that is used for many purposes. They are often called front-end or bucket loaders. Wheel Loaders have a huge carrying capacity and are versatile machines. A Wheel Loader can be used for digging, carrying materials during the construction of a road, or simply clearing an area to make it a job site.

The most common use of a Wheel Loader is to clear the debris created by the demolition of a structure done to build something else. Also, when a forest site is being cleared for construction purposes, a Wheel Loader may be used to clear all the wood logs and chips.

They have a bucket mounted on their front side, which is used to load and carry materials on an off the site. The bucket is raised and lowered by a lift-arm. According to many Wheel Loader manufacturers, a Wheel Loader may be classified into four categories as per the difference in its size;

  • A compact Wheel Loader of 40-100 HP and a bucket capacity of 1-2.5 yd3
  • A small Wheel Loader of 115-180 HP and a bucket capacity of 2.5-6.5 yd3
  • A medium Wheel Loader of 230-400 HP and a bucket capacity of 3.75-15 yd3
  • A large Wheel Loader of a maximum of 1800 HP and a capacity of 30 yd3

Moving and hauling Wheel Loaders to and from the construction sites is a frequent process in the construction line. They make a construction job a lot easier and quicker. That is why construction companies focus a lot on training their workers the right way of operating a Wheel Loader.

Domestic Shipping

A Wheel Loader or other such types of machinery can be transported domestically using a truck. Authorities that have access to or who own flatbed trailers can plan and arrange its logistics, provided that the size and length of the trailers are enough to carry and endure the weight of the Wheel Loader.

The crew responsible for hauling a Wheel Loader on a flatbed truck should be well informed and should have complete knowledge on how much weight their trailer or flatbed truck can take. It also comes under the legal regulations that the weight being loaded upon a trailer should be checked and should not exceed its maximum carrying capacity.

There are two types of trailers used to haul a Wheel Loader; A step-deck trailer and a removable Gooseneck trailer. The step-deck trailer is the safest method of shipping a Wheel Loader domestically. However, a removable Gooseneck trailer can also do the job.

An RGN(removable Gooseneck trailer) is used when Wheel Loaders are comparatively bigger and can’t be transported on a step-deck trailer. Also, transporting a Wheel Loader using an RGN trailer is easy as the Wheel Loader can be driven atop the trailer. A crane is also sometimes used to lift and place the wheel loader onto an RGN, but it is not required if the Wheel Loader is in working condition.

A compact Wheel Loader can be domestically shipped on a flatbed trailer. However, loading a Wheel Loader on a flatbed trailer can be a difficult task as the operator will need to access a dock to drive the Loader up the trailer. It is a standard practice to load the Loader in such a way that its boom faces the back of the trailer.

Shipping Internationally

Shipping a Wheel Loader internationally is an expert’s job, as there are so many things to be kept under consideration. Constant communication is essential in such case as there are custom port duties and different shipping times which needs to be timely checked and dealt with. Also, there can be a case when your vehicle needs to be dismantled, so it can’t be done without an expert.

The most common and easiest way of shipping a Wheel Loader is by transporting it in a ship. This method of internationally transporting a Wheel Loader is considered very cost-effective as the Loader needs to be rolled on in the vessel (ship) and rolled off when it reaches its destination. This method is cost-effective because the vessel’s cost is determined by its size and not its weight. Also, if the Loader is occupying too much space, its bucket can be removed by the shipping company and transported separately.

A Wheel Loader can also be shipped internationally by dismantling it and putting it into a container. But of course, this cannot be the case with every Wheel Loader. Not every Wheel Loader can be dismantled, so it must be confirmed with the shipping company that after dismantling it, they must reassemble it successfully upon arrival. If your machine can be dismantled successfully, then you’re good to go. It is good to invest in a Wheel Loader that can be dismantled as it can be easily shipped to different locations too and at a relatively cheaper cost.

Shipping A Wheel Loader Safely

While shipping your Loader, the one thing that you will try to guarantee is its safety. Of course, your loader will be an investment in your business, and you will try to take complete care of it. For that purpose, it is better to talk about it in detail with your shipping company. Of course, you have selected a shipping company after detailed assessment so they must be the master of their work, but still, it is better to get surety from them that your Loader will be tied with ropes or chains and covered with tarps so that it doesn’t take any damage during the travel.

Even after that, if anything happens to your vehicle, the shipping company must be held responsible for it, and they should bear the repair cost. If your Loader is secured and tightened up by ropes, it is very unlikely that it will move from its position. A renowned shipping company will never compromise on its logistics and will ensure that your Loader along with its all parts is tied up properly, so it doesn’t get damaged

As per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a Wheel Loader has an acceleration and Deceleration check that it should clear before being transported. By doing so, it can be guaranteed that the risk is minimized and all the load will be kept intact and under control.

Summarizing it All

Before loading and hauling your wheel loader or shipping it internationally, you should do a lot of research on the company carrying the logistics. If the research part is not done properly, it can cost you a fortune. So, it is always better and safe to pay an extra buck and get the work done by an experienced and professional company. Also, you should do a bit of research on shipping times, costs and reviews by its customers.

Going with a trustworthy source means that you have transferred more than half of your worries to the other party. Now, all that you have to worry is about timely payment and your Loader’s shipping times.

To avoid any wear and tear that might affect your productivity, you must ensure that the transportation process is carried out safely. For domestic transportation, you must select the size of trailer to carry the weight and size of your Wheel Loader.

As mentioned before, removable gooseneck trailers are used to transport large Wheel Loaders while the small and compact ones can be transported using a step-deck, hotshot or a flatbed trailer. Shipping and transporting agents can guide you better on the size of the trailer that will suit your Loader’s size.

A final check on the Guidelines and some Extra Precautionary Measures

Following is a list of execution guidelines that are crucial to follow to ensure the vehicles’ and operators’ safety.

  • Make sure that your Loader is packed and loaded on a levelled plain.
  • Make sure that the ramp can handle the size and weight of your Wheel Loader. If you are unsure of it, place some extra support underneath it.
  • Check on for any debris or mud stuck in the trailer and Wheel Loader’stype, and clear it to prevent the Loader from sliding.
  • Travel up the ramp with the Wheel Loader while driving it up the ramp.
  • While loading the Wheel Loader, start its engine and move it at the slowest speed.
  • Check if the Wheel Loader’s size and weight is evenly distributed. To check that, the best possible way is to check the transporter’s suspension. If the suspensions are balanced, it means that your Loader is ready to be transported.
  • Once the Loader has been loaded on the trailer, lower the bucket and other attachments(if any) and stop the engine.

It is very important to secure and ensure the safety of all the Wheel Loader’s attachments and accessories. If possible, they should be chained to the Wheel Loader even if the Wheel Loader is partially dismantled. If not, then the attachments, especially the bucket, must be placed in such a position that they can be chained. Other minor attachments should be checked that they are not interfering with each other. All such things should be placed with some gap so that they don’t collide with each other during the journey.

These are all the things that you need to know while loading and transporting a Wheel Loader. By following the discussed safety measures and instructions, one can minimize all the risk if not avoid it completely.

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Justin Tyme is a seasoned marketing expert with a focus on the supply chain, logistics, and heavy machinery transportation sectors. He serves as the Senior Director of Marketing at Titan Worldwide, where he manages the company's content marketing strategy and lead generation. You can connect with Justin via his email.
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