Farm equipment transport is quite common across states or countries during the harvesting season. However, the dimensions and size of farm machinery make shipping it a daunting task.
Safe and timely transport of farming equipment is necessary so that farmers can deliver their harvested crops and farm resources in a timely manner. But with proper planning and the help of a reliable shipping company, you can safely transport your farming equipment to your desired location.
Moreover, considering your equipment type will also help you secure affordable options for shipping. This article will explain the tips for preparing machinery for transport, procuring licenses, and choosing a suitable shipment method.
Types of Farm Equipment you can Ship
Typically, the types of farm equipment you can ship across states or countries include:
- Row-crop tractors.
- Planters and seeders.
- Self-propelled sprayers.
- Four-wheel drive tractors.
- Air seeders.
- Manure spreaders.
- Cotton pickers.
Tips for Farm Equipment Transport
Here are the tips for preparing a safe farm equipment transport:
Plan details for safe transportation
The first step to safely transporting farming equipment is careful planning of details. First, you should decide your budget by identifying how much money you are willing to impart for shipping.
Your budget will determine what kind of shipping company you wish to hire. Professional or not? Secondly, you’ll need to decide what type of shipment method will suit your shipping needs.
You can load and transport machinery through flatbed or lowboy tractors for short distances. For instance, you can use a lowboy hauler if your farming equipment weighs not more than 48,000lbs and has L50 x W9 x H8.66 dimensions.
Next, you’ll need to prepare your farming equipment. Always take pictures before shipping so you’ll have evidence in case there is damage to the machinery during transit.
Find a reliable farm equipment hauling company
The most important thing to consider for safe far equipment transport is to find a reliable shipping company. Nowadays, it’s easy to find one online with the help of legit review sites.
Many companies will also offer you free estimates so that you can ask for a quote about farm equipment shipping. This will help you determine whether your allotted shipping budget is enough.
But be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals. Many companies will tell you cheaper rates only to ask for a considerable amount upfront. So, always check the market for competitive rates. You can easily learn the current shipping prices for farm equipment from the comfort of your home.
Usually, professional shipping companies have their own fleet of trucks and certified drivers. So you can expect them to provide you with high-quality and safe hauling services.
Most shipping companies will also offer you insurance coverage and door-to-door services for safe and convenient transport. You can ask your company for relevant levels of insurance coverage.
A professional shipping company will also take care of necessary licenses for transporting oversized farming equipment. If you wish to transport machinery overseas, your shipping company will also handle documentation and customs clearance.
You’ll need to secure licenses for farm equipment transport. Especially if your machinery is oversized, some states will require specific documentation and licenses. For international shipping, you may also need to secure a special permit if the destination country restricts importing specific farming machinery.
The rules for transporting agricultural equipment can vary between states and in many countries. You’ll have to consult with your local Department of Transportation (DOT) for local transport.
You can also contact the DOT office of the destination where you wish to send your equipment. For international transport, you’ll need to check the customs website or contact the destination country’s embassy. You can also consult with your shipping company about the customs rules of the destination country.
Consider integral parts and components
The next thing to consider before farm equipment transport is your machinery’s integral parts and components. You may have to dismantle your machinery if it’s not suitable to ship as a whole.
But you’ll have to check with your shipping company to know if you can take out integral parts or components like tires and ship them separately. We recommend sending the parts before the main body.
This way, you won’t have to wait for the main shipment to stay onsite and pay additional costs while you wait for the components to arrive. Your equipment’s weight and dimensions will also determine your preferred shipment method.
If the machinery is too oversized, you can remove the tires, wheels, or boom before shipment. Further, you can ship the wheels or boom separately or as part of a consolidated shipment.
Removing some parts will also help in saving shipping costs. Transporting lighter and small machinery is always cheaper than oversized ones.
Properly prepare farm equipment
Preparing your farm equipment for shipping entails dismantling and removing any personal belongings placed inside the machinery. In addition, check your machinery for dents, scratches, or any physical damage before shipping.
Also, determine whether it’s rollable, operational, or non-operational. This will help you choose a suitable shipping method. Next, clean or wash your equipment if applicable and empty it of fuel or oil.
You don’t want any incidents during transit. Wrap the machinery or its small parts, if possible, and seal them tightly. If you are shipping overseas, prepare documentation like the Bill of Lading, Title of Ownership, Bill of Sales, etc.
Farm Equipment Transport Methods
There are many transport methods that are suitable for local or overseas transport. Below are the shipping methods most shipping companies utilize:
RoRo shipping is the cheapest and fastest way to transport farm equipment overseas. You can ship multiple oversized pieces of equipment at once through this method, especially if your machinery has wheels or is rollable.
For non-wheeled equipment, the shipping company will use racks or ramps to transfer it on the ship’s deck. Further, the laborers will strap it securely on the deck and roll it off when the ship reaches its destination.
Another method to transport farm equipment is through LoLo. This option is ideal for cabotage and transcontinental shipping of non-operational machinery. The LoLo ships come with built-in cranes to lift on and lift off the machinery from the ship. They also have tremendous space at the ship’s top and deck to stack the equipment.
Flat rack shipping
Flat rack shipping involves transporting heavy farm equipment on a flatbed trailer when the machinery cannot fit inside a container. You can use this method for both local and overseas transport. The rack consists of only walls and posts where you can load the equipment from the top or sides.
The safest method for transporting farm equipment is container shipping. However, an enclosed container will come with additional costs. You’ll have to pay for container rent, labor, and loading/unloading costs.
But for higher security, this method is worth the extra money. You can also send other goods alongside your machinery in container shipping. There are two more options in this method.
FCL or Full Container Load shipping involves paying for the entire container. You can ship as many items as you can possibly fit inside. Although this method brings peace of mind as you don’t have to share the container space with anyone, it is quite expensive.
If you are tight on budget, LCL or Less than Container Load shipping is an ideal option for transporting farm equipment. You’ll have to share the rent and container space with other shippers. But you can only ship a few pieces of small equipment with this method.
How long does it take for Farm Equipment Shipping?
Professional shipping companies are renowned for fast deliveries. However, if the shipment method and final destination have been decided, it is easier to determine the exact shipping time frame.
But on average, it may take one to three business days for short-distance and a few days for long-distance far equipment transport. However, international shipping will take around 3-4 weeks for the farming equipment to reach its destination.
Farm Equipment Shipping Rates
Transportation companies usually calculate shipping rates based on per mile. But many factors can affect these rates, such as the tractor’s weight, load, height, destination, shipment method, etc.
However, on average, farm equipment transport costs between $1.75 and $5 per mile. A shipping company may charge $1.75 for short-distance and $5 for long-distance deliveries.
Factors affecting the cost of Farm Equipment Transport
Below are the factors that can affect your overall shipping costs while transporting heavy farm equipment. Some are controllable, while others are not.
Whether you are shipping farm equipment locally or internationally, the shipment method you choose will decide your transportation costs. As mentioned earlier, RoRo is the cheapest shipping method for overseas transport as it doesn’t require additional loading/unloading and labor costs.
However, for local transport the flatbed rack option is a cheaper option. Container shipping is a little more expensive than RoRo. But a container will provide additional security if you wish to ship other items alongside your machinery overseas.
Heavier and larger machinery takes up more space in shipping, so fewer items can be loaded, which means less profit for the shipping company. The company will quote a higher price for bulky equipment to compensate for this loss.
In addition, heavy items also require effort in loading/unloading, consuming more fuel. This will also impact the shipping costs. If you are shipping machinery in a container, the overall transportation cost will increase with increasing container size.
The distance the shipment will cover
The shipping company bases its transportation cost on the distance traveled per mile. Therefore, if the distance is greater between the origin and destination, it will affect the overall shipping costs. Greater distance also means more fuel consumption, leading to an increased shipping rate.
Oversized machinery permits
If you plan on shipping oversized farm equipment locally, you’ll need to apply for a permit. DOT regulations in many states limit the load weight to 80,000 pounds with 65L x 13.5H x 8.5W feet dimensions.
But you’ll have to check with your local DOT office as the length limit can vary from state to state. Acquiring a permit is an additional cost that you’ll have to pay for shipping oversized machinery across states.
Customs tax and duties
Each state or country has its own inspection or customs rules. If you are transporting your farm equipment overseas, expect to pay duties and taxes per the destination country’s regulations.
There might be some restrictions on shipping agricultural machinery in some countries. So, you’ll have to acquire additional permits from relevant authorities for customs clearance.
Purchasing insurance coverage for your farm equipment transport is not mandatory. But the machinery is expensive. In case of an incident, you’ll have to face monetary and physical loss of your machinery. However, purchasing additional coverage means in case of damage, you’ll at least be able to recover the value of your machinery in case of damage.
Farm equipment transport needs proper planning and searching for a reliable shipping company. You’ll also need to know how much your equipment weighs to choose a suitable shipping method and secure permits. Whether you need to transport locally or internationally, make sure to remember several cost factors that can affect your shipping rates.
Consider hiring AFL, an equipment and car shipping company, for professional transportation services. Our experienced specialists can handle all kinds of oversized farm equipment and will ensure a hassle-free shipping job.
With the help of our logistics partners, we can handle both ocean and inland freight. Whether you want to hire our door-to-door services or require us to prepare documentation or clear customs, your convenience is our top priority. Get your free estimate today for transporting farm equipment!