There are many variables to consider when it comes to transporting over-dimensional cargo. Instead of facing roadblocks alone – or even worse, getting snagged along your route – safeguard the transport of your freight by recognizing and planning for any factor. From choosing the right company to work with, to following the regulations and laws in place, to understanding what certifications operators should hold, Kenco is covering it all in our Bucket Truck 101. With over 40 years of combined experienced moving oversized and over-height cargo, Kenco is here to help those who have HIGH LOADS experience OPEN ROADS.
Specialized carriers contracted to transport over-dimensional cargo should consider bucket truck services when the cargo’s traveling height reaches somewhere between 16′ 6″ to 17′ 6″. However, if the load exceeds 17′ 6″ and will be maneuvered through Houston, or surrounding areas including Bryan/College Station, El Paso and even Joaquin County, transport companies are required by a new regulation to have a bucket truck. Mandated due to the rampant damage to traffic signals caused by over-height cargo, the regulation was first instated by the Houston District of the Texas Department of Transportation, and is widely believed it will become a statewide law within a year.
Manufacturers should also be aware of and enforce regulations to ensure their cargo arrives on-time and safely, causing no damage to any infrastructure in its path. Oftentimes, that means confirming the transport company has contracted a trustworthy bucket truck company.
Typically, specialized carriers are contracted by manufacturers to transport their over-height, over-weight cargo from point of origin to the final destination. With that responsibility comes a variety of obligations to ensure the cargo arrives safely and on-time, while following all applicable laws. Carriers will apply for a permit, inspect and survey the route the state provides, request changes to the route, file for a final permit and hire a bucket truck company to clear any aerial obstacles.
Lifting and/or removing aerial obstructions, including traffic signals, signal mast arms, pedestrian cross walk signs, roadside signage, highway signage and communication cables, is the primary service bucket truck companies offer. Industry-leading companies provide a team of trained utility truck operators to assist with oversized cargo to its final destination, ensuring it arrives safely and doesn’t damage any infrastructure.
Bucket truck companies can also provide route surveying and planning for companies who need assistance identifying aerial obstacles in their cargo’s path. They can also coordinate the supplemental logistics of an over-dimensional transport, such as planning routes, communicating with utility companies and arranging police and traffic control escorts.
Most all industries are served by bucket truck companies, including transportation, oilfield, wind energy, aerospace, construction and sub-sea.
Industry-leading bucket truck companies require extensive operator training in the form of on and off-site experience and ride-alongs to ensure all personnel are able to appropriately operate the trucks, tools, equipment and safety apparatuses they are assigned. Additionally, the completion of training programs and certifications courses including the following keep operators at top performance:
Bucket trucks can meet cargo anywhere in the lower 48, including ports, to safely eliminate aerial obstacles.
Without a bucket truck, carriers run the risk of damaging expensive aerial infrastructure including fiber optic cables and entire traffic signal structures. Beyond the cost to repair and replace state-owned property, snags can result in damage to cargo. For example, if a hot wire is broken, it can land on and energize the entire load, compromising welds and electrical components. Mitigating these risks and more, bucket truck companies provide a team of highly-trained and qualified personnel to safely disconnect, remove or raise obstructions.
Because some wires have more slack than others, stripping boards can be placed across the highest points of the cargo acting as a ramp for wires to glide over. Depending on the region, this technique is named differently and sometimes called skidders, snooter boards or stripping material.
The length, width, height and trailer configuration determine the number of trucks needed for a project load. Once contracted, bucket truck companies can recommend how many trucks and operators are imperative to safely and efficiently make delivery.
Since issues can arise that extend the estimated time of a project, it is recommend to bid as pass-through or cost-plus.