Moving Heavy Equipment and Material Tips
When having to transport heavy materials and equipment you face several challenges. The sheer size and weight makes moving it a more involved process than moving an office or a home. Machinery and material moving can be quite intimidating due to its scope and lack of commonality. However, with the below tips you can make the machinery moving process relatively straightforward and learn how to hire a machinery moving service company.
First and foremost, before moving anything there should be a detailed and easy to follow plan of action. In some cases a written proposal may be necessary. Essentially everyone directly involved in the proceedings should be named and their duties identified. Because machinery or heavy material moving is a multi-step process, organization is key. So above all, everyone needs to be working on his or her required tasks and on the same timetable. This also relates to the hiring of a moving company. This assures you’ve gotten all the preliminary steps completed and they can come in uninterrupted and relocate the equipment. You’ll want to avoid wasted time and delays as this only costs you money and draws out the process. So when hiring a mover make sure their availability matches your desired schedule.
Expense is a key concern with moving. After reviewing company resources to figure out a workable price range the next step is to compare movers. Much like other moving services machinery moving companies offer different packages and rates. One thing to look for is what services the movers are providing. Many not only move the equipment they also audit it, take it apart, pack it safely and then transport it. Aside from comparing costs look into what you’re getting for your money. An involved and step-by-step moving process assures efficient and precise work.
Take Care Stock Of Your Equipment & Materials
Before moving your equipment you should take a careful inventory of what you have and its current condition. Having a field engineer do an overall evaluation inspection of your machinery is to your benefit. Not only do you know beforehand what level of ware the machinery has on but this also allows you to plan ahead for any specific moving needs that may arise because of equipment condition.
After careful planning, cost consideration and inspection of your equipment the final step is hiring a professional moving company. This final step should only be undertaken once all the above steps have been followed. Before anything is agreed upon you should have a complete understanding of how the machinery moving process is going to go and all related expenses and timetables. Also be sure to verify all needed permits for equipment transporting have been submitted before actual equipment moving.
As you can see, despite its daunting appearance heavy equipment and materials moving can be an organized and mostly stress free affair. The key reason to hire professionals is they bring the experience and skills needed to get the job done. While you could do it yourself the renting of needed moving equipment plus submission of proper documentation and permits makes the overall process more complex than it needs to be. With a professional service the job is easier and you have far less to worry about.
Working With Machinery Movers
It takes a great deal of skill and knowledge to safely relocate heavy machinery and equipment. This is because many machines are unwieldy, top heavy, and vulnerable to accidental damage. The repositioning of such machinery is a task that is best left to professionals who have the equipment, training, and skills to safely undertake the work of machinery moving.
Here are some points to be aware of when working with machinery moving companies.
Although having the correct equipment is necessary, it’s essential the machinery mover has a team with the suitable expertise and skill set. Significant expertise and experience is required to assess the most effective method of safely moving or installing heavy equipment.
In many situations, access is restricted and it’s often necessary to disconnect and partially dismantle equipment so that it’s more manageable and safe to move. In other circumstances, it’s just not practical to disassemble the equipment and it’s essential to move a large machine in one piece without causing damage or distortion.
When you select a machinery moving company, check on the company’s profile and make sure they employ certified personnel who have the right experience to plan and execute the work safely.
Having the correct equipment always makes the task easier, so look for an organization that owns the basic heavy moving equipment needed. Apart from the mandatory rigging gear, this would include heavy-duty forklifts capable of lifting large loads. Verify that they have special attachments that allow them to hoist equipment that can’t be lifted with forks. Low profile mobile cranes that can access and work in restricted areas may help avoid the need to hire heavy-duty cranes.
There’s a great deal of specialized rigging equipment available, such as special dollies and rollers for moving heavy equipment along with powerful jack sets capable of lifting equipment so that it can be placed on these rollers.
Check the machinery moving company’s truck fleet. Do they have suitable trailers for transporting machinery and enough vehicles to support relocating plant equipment from one facility to another?
No business can afford to have essential machinery out of operation for long periods, and it’s a given that machinery moving companies are always going to be working on tight deadlines. Establish the machinery moving company’s track record for completing jobs on time and within budget. Verify that they have the capability to handle the scope and volume of work that is required. An effective way of establishing this is to speak to previous customers. You can ask the machinery moving company to provide you with references and contact previous customers to find out how the work was handled.
It’s essential the machinery mover carries adequate insurance. Although the goal is to avoid incidents or accidents, these can happen. The insurance should provide adequate coverage for the equipment while it’s in the care of the machinery moving company. There should also be insurance against the risk of damage to nearby plants as well as consequential damage. Apart from ensuring the machine moving contractor is adequately insured, you may also need to consider arranging additional insurance in the unlikely event of some sort of a catastrophic incident.
Choose the Right Machine Mover
When moving critical machinery, it’s always better to choose the company that has the expertise to do the job right the first time. The consequences to your business of delays due to poor workmanship or possible equipment damage are far greater than the equipment cost. So when choosing a machinery mover, choose a company with the right track record.
Crane Safety – Protect Against Accidental Drops
Every day on job sites around America, workers count on heavy machinery to help them perform important jobs. Whenever a crane moves a heavy load, there is a risk to people and property that cannot be overlooked. A common saying states that “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” To be sure, an important link in the safe operation of any crane on your job site involves the safety training your rigging company has received.
A quick review of the data shows that 90 percent of all crane-related accidents are the result of human error. That is why training your team in the safe operation of a crane and its rigging are imperative to running a safe job site.
The Risks of Careless Rigging
The most dangerous risk that comes with unsafe rigging is serious injury or even the loss of human life. The heavy loads that cranes are asked to take on every day must be treated with great respect.
Beyond the risk to the people who work with heavy equipment every day, there is also a risk to the load that the crane is carrying and the crane itself. Damage to property or loss of life carries heavy prices for all involved, both financially and otherwise.
Causes of Accidental Drops
One of the more dangerous risks associated with crane operation is the accidental drop. Most often, accidental drops are caused due to an unsafe angle load or the angle of the load being lifted in relation to level ground. Crane operators need to be careful to ensure that such angles never exceed 10 percent and try to stay as close to zero as possible. The risk of load slippage increases exponentially above 10 percent and, with it, the risk of an accident.
Another cause of accidental drops is the use of an improper or damaged sling. Whether the sling is made of wire rope, chain, metal mesh or another synthetic material, it should be checked for damage before each use. Worn wires, corrosion of the sling’s finish, breakage of any type, wire kinks, crushed components or relaxing strands can all present hazards.
In addition to making sure your load angle is proper and your sling is not damaged, you should also observe the hooks that connect the crane to the sling. Never use a hook with a broken or missing safety latch. If the hook is bent in any way, you should also consider replacing it before attempting a lift.
Communication Is Key
Cranes and the environment they operate in are noisy by nature. Therefore, it’s important that your team knows how to communicate with each other without speaking to prevent accidental drops. The use of correct hand signal gestures as a means of communication resolves any miscommunication errors.
Anyone that will be working with your rigging company should be trained in the proper hand signals, and they should be used any time the load is in the air.
General Safety Rules for Crane Rigging
There are some other general rules for helping your rigging company avoid accidental drops as well.
Don’t operate a crane when lightning has been spotted in the area.
Lifting should always be performed with the crane arm after a full understanding of the load chart
Before lifting heavy loads, make sure the total weight of the load does not exceed the capacity of the crane.
By respecting the observed safety rules for crane operation, you can help limit or eliminate the number of accidental drop incidents experienced by your rigging company.