Let’s get real for a moment, heavy hauling trucking companies are a completely different animal with specific requirements to even get a job. The cargo you haul is much bigger, often wider, and even higher than the normal load that gets thrown in the back of a trailer. Often you’re hauling specialized equipment that costs a ton of money to replace.
So let’s dig into what you need to know about your heavy hauler trucking insurance program before you buy it.
What makes it a heavy haul?
First, we’ll break down what exactly a heavy haulers insurance company is, without this basic knowledge we won’t be able to get to the good stuff. Here is a list of criteria that needs to meet in order to be considered a heavy haul, oversized or wide load:
- 8.5+ feet wide
- 13.5+ feet tall
- 80,000+ lbs
Now that we’re aware of what it takes to be considered a heavy haul let’s look at the type of equipment you may need in order to take care of that job:
- Double Drops
- Extendable Double Drops
- Extendable Trailer
- Removable Goosenecks
- Stretch Trailers
- Trailer with 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13 and even 20 axle
What’s needed for a heavy haul load?
It’s apparent that heavy hauling isn’t the same as a normal load, it’s bigger, heavier, and more difficult to drive. That said there are a few things that you’ll need to get before you land the job.
Here’s a list of things that you may need for heavy hauling:
- CDL T (double/triple trailer) Endorsement
- Special permits issued by government agencies or state
- Escort vehicles
- Additional safety equipment to indicate that you have an oversized or wide load
If you don’t typically haul heavy loads take special precautions to ensure you do it correctly and safely before taking the job.
What coverage do you need to protect your load?
Now that you have the job, the equipment, and credentials you better make sure you have the right insurance to protect the load. Remember, you’ve been contracted to haul a large piece of equipment or product from point A to point B without any damage. So what happens if you get in a wreck and destroy the cargo?
Here’s a few heavy haul, or oversized load examples:
- Mining equipment
- Bridge Beams
- Wind energy equipment
- The list goes on
Looking at this list, it’s obvious this isn’t cheap stuff, which means you need to ensure you have the right coverage in place in case something happens.
Purchasing motor truck cargo coverage to protect your heavy haul is essential in this line of work. Motor truck cargo will pay for the damages done to the cargo you are hauling if you were involved in an accident regardless of who is at fault. Something you need to consider is the limit of coverage you’re going to purchase.
Here is a list of the standard limits for cargo coverage:
Do you see what’s wrong with the list? Think about it. The equipment you’ll be hauling will most likely be much, much more expensive than what comes standard. We recommend reviewing the policy you have now comparing it to the most expensive loads you’ve hauled in the past. If it doesn’t cover it have your agent increase your cargo coverage to a limit that would.
I’ll break it down a bit more through an example. Consider this for a moment, you get a job to haul a Dozier crane from MI to CA. During the trip, something goes terribly wrong and the crane is completely wrecked. You come out unscathed of course but now you’re worried about the company that hired you. Will your insurance cover the cost of the $700,000 crane?
You immediately call your agent, only to find out that you carry $250,000 in motor truck cargo insurance. Guess who gets to pay for the $450,000 difference?
A specialty heavy haul truck insurance broker will be able to help you not only secure the proper coverage but also make sure you have a solid risk management plan in place. It’s imperative you make sure that you have the right equipment, permits, licenses, endorsements, and coverage before getting into the heavy hauling business.