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Heavy haul or stay flatbed

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Young Gun's Comment
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I've been running flatbed for 2 years now from everything like building materials to steel coils cars tractors and everything else I'm getting boerd with the freight now and that's all my company hauls now I'm thinking about doing heavy haul to hopefully get to do new exciting things but that means I would have to switch company's to do so any advice or suggestions.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Bored with freight? Try driving a bus. 😆 Just kidding. But seriously, what if you get bored with heavy hauling? See, I don't really care what I'm hauling. I drive dry van and have hauled John Deere tractors in there (a real tractor trailer), but...well, you can get bored with anything. I guess the real question is; what are you in this for? Then work toward that end.

Good luck!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm a dry van driver at Swift, but here's my idea of what "heavy haul" might be like: Max speed 50mph or less, pulling into every weigh station in the US between New York and San Francisco, stopping early so you can get two parking spaces for your Wide Load. You can talk with your pilot driver, though.

If that doesn't excite you, stick with flatbed.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Young Gun's Comment
member avatar

I'm in to trucking because when I was little boy my grandfather is a flatbed driver and Ive been riding since I was 4 years old till 17 so I guess u can say it got in my blood and stuck also I just hate sheet rock loads lumber and all that jazz I wanna haulet big stuff and new freight I guess u can say

Bored with freight? Try driving a bus. 😆 Just kidding. But seriously, what if you get bored with heavy hauling? See, I don't really care what I'm hauling. I drive dry van and have hauled John Deere tractors in there (a real tractor trailer), but...well, you can get bored with anything. I guess the real question is; what are you in this for? Then work toward that end.

Good luck!

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
Young Gun's Comment
member avatar

none of those things bother me I'm old school stuck in a young man's body I guess u can say the laws were put into effect to keep u safe and others the only one that bothers me is 50 mph but it's in place for a reason

I'm a dry van driver at Swift, but here's my idea of what "heavy haul" might be like: Max speed 50mph or less, pulling into every weigh station in the US between New York and San Francisco, stopping early so you can get two parking spaces for your Wide Load. You can talk with your pilot driver, though.

If that doesn't excite you, stick with flatbed.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

Hauling sheetrock and shingles can get pretty boring, even if it pays the bills. Heavy haul would be a new challenge to keep from getting bored.

Some things are obvious: You have to be very consistent and careful with your securement. And you have to be a much better than average driver -- not just think you are, but actually be much better than average. Whether you're overwidth or overlength or overheight or overweight or some combination of those, you'll have less maneuverability and more easily hit stuff. Every load will require your full attention.

Not all heavy haul is done at 50 mph, at least not in the West. Most of the time those guys are going down the road at a good clip, especially the heavy equipment haulers. I'm not sure what their permits say, but I don't see them pulled over very often. Sure, you pull into weigh stations, but that's just part of the price of admission.

The only big heavy haul company that comes to mind is ATS out of St. Cloud, Minnesota. One of their drivers is on here. They train and work you up to bigger and more complicated loads.

Pat M. does heavy haul. He might have more to say.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Bud nailed it regarding speed and it all varies from state to state really. Every permit load is different which does make it fun in its own right and it has its hassles too but you have to play by the rules. At ATS, even with your previous experience, you'll have to work your way up to that division and it takes 2-3 years on average. They have a Tier system and training that goes along with each one which is nice because they won't just throw you to the wolves. I just like knowing that I can advance as far as I want and have the extra opportunities available. You have to be flexible when it comes to heavy haul and very flexible on the blade crews because they essentially get assigned to a project which might last a couple weeks or it might last 6 months and home time won't be as consistent if that's something important to you.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Young Gun's Comment
member avatar

I have ran local heavy haul before so my skills I do not question or my judgement safety is always number one also ats I cannot work with ATS they do not hire in NC where I reside it will have to be JGR or Bulldog hi way express which are both primary heavy haul company's that hire for my location JGR is more the one I'm leaning with and I haul oversize with the company I work for now so alot about permits and laws I already understand appreciate everything yall are bringing up tho it's good stuff to consider I'm just torn cause iam already an established driver with the company iam with I just don't wanna go to another and waste all the work I've put in but I'm boerd with the same freight every time

Bud nailed it regarding speed and it all varies from state to state really. Every permit load is different which does make it fun in its own right and it has its hassles too but you have to play by the rules. At ATS, even with your previous experience, you'll have to work your way up to that division and it takes 2-3 years on average. They have a Tier system and training that goes along with each one which is nice because they won't just throw you to the wolves. I just like knowing that I can advance as far as I want and have the extra opportunities available. You have to be flexible when it comes to heavy haul and very flexible on the blade crews because they essentially get assigned to a project which might last a couple weeks or it might last 6 months and home time won't be as consistent if that's something important to you.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Maybe take a look into Rowe Machinery.

not4hire's Comment
member avatar

I have done a reasonable amount of heavy haul and oversize; not all on the same load, but up to 20 ft wide, 20 ft high, 160 ft long and 160,000 lbs. I have operated multi-axle, multi-trailer combinations, operated winch, bed and crane trucks in oilfield hauling, hauled all kinds of constuction equipment, cranes, buildings, etc. One thing that seems to separate those that both enjoy and excel at heavy haul is both the ability and desire to solve challenges/problems and not get flusteered when things go sideways. Not knocking anyone, but if your desire is to simply have your travel agent tell you where and when, then heavy haul probably wouldn't be to your liking. If you get really bothered when a plan doesn't work, then you should look to something else.

IMHO, it takes a person who not only takes pride in their driving, but in all aspects of the job... especially planning. You have to have a reasonably high skill level, attention to detail, patience, confidence, ability to "think outside the box", etc. In many respects the most visual part of the job--securement and driving--is the easiest... it's just mechanics. This becomes even more apparent as you get up into super-load territory. Don't get me wrong, securement and driving are absolutely critical, but there is a WHOLE LOT more to the job.

I would look at a company like Mammoet (and their competitors). They are a world-class, professional organization. Sure they do a lot of flashy stuff, but behind the scenes they're like an army of ants. Sometimes there are hundreds of "ordinary" loads that go into crane or super-load moves. The opportunity for advancement and personal and professional satisfaction is very good and you can make a lot of money if you stick with it. I don't have any experience with ATS, although I am aware of them.

Rig moving companies are another good way to get a wide variety of challenging experience in a high-pressure environment. Typically you start out as a swamper and move up from there.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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