Selecting an Equipment Hauler
Equipment losses in transit can be more than just a dollar loss. Down time on projects creates delays that have a ripple effect on others and your reputation. As the value and criticality of the equipment goes up, your due diligence in selecting a motor carrier should also increase.
Tips to Help Qualify a Motor Carrier
- Does the motor carrier have motor truck cargo legal liability insurance in force and what limits are carried? Ask for a certificate of insurance and review the policies in force. There should be auto liability as well as cargo liability coverage in force. The value of your equipment should fall within the cargo liability limits shown. Keep in mind certificates of insurance are not proof of insurance coverage. If you have specific coverage questions, ask for a copy of the policy.
- Review the motor carrier’s authority, safety record and accident records that are available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can access a Company Snapshot that has a concise electronic record of a company’s identification, size, commodity information and safety record, including the safety rating (if any), a roadside out-of-service inspection summary, and crash information. You can access these records at no cost via the DOT’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) at www.safersys.org
- Will they use their own equipment and staff to make this delivery? It is common for motor carriers to use leased drivers and equipment to make trips or parts of trips. How many different hands will your equipment pass through? If the carrier uses leased drivers and equipment, how do they qualify these other carriers? Do they review motor vehicle records for the drivers, verify experience and check references?
- Does the carrier have any form of GPS monitoring of the truck, trailer or cargo?
- Do they have proper tie downs and load securement tools? Equipment must be properly secured to make the trip safely.
- What route will the shipment take? Are there any known theft hot spots along this route? What about low bridges, rail crossings and other potential caught in/ between and under hazards? Knowing where the trouble spots are can help you avoid them.
LC 10-340 H