Farmer, Darcy Hutchison needed to find reasonable-cost shipping for the used combine he purchased. Choptank’s heavy-haul/over-dimensional division has the knowledge and experience to move even the most massive freight shipments.

CHALLENGE

If you are a farmer, one of the largest expenses you will incur in your career—heck, in your lifetime—is your farm equipment. Combines, for example, can cost as much as a fine piece of real estate, in the hundreds of thousands. That’s why Darcy Hutchison started looking for used equipment for his Maryland farm operation.

There are several reasons why choosing used equipment is a better choice than buying new or leasing. If you are planning on minimal usage for a particular piece of equipment, purchasing a used machine makes a lot more sense. Farmers need to clean their equipment too, which often means downtime. Having a spare combine around as backup can help eliminate this as a problem. Used equipment companies will also let you perform a test drive with the machinery, whereas new million-dollar monsters don’t leave the sellers lot until they are purchased.

But for Hutchison, the main advantage was above all, price. “Out West, smaller, older stuff is much more affordable. You can find good deals on combines, as long as you get decent pricing on the freight to move it East.” The next step was to source a transportation provider that would make the purchase worthwhile.

SOLUTION


Hutchison made inquires with a handful of companies, but Choptank was the most attractive choice for several reasons. “I contacted several companies, but they couldn’t find any backhaul opportunities, meaning loads to get them back out of Missouri. I then remembered Choptank, since it is a local company that I had used on a dry, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipment a couple of years ago. I also had read an article recently about their new freight-matching capabilities, which meant there probably wouldn’t be a backhaul problem. What sealed the deal was that the pricing came in reasonable.”

Choptank was able to accommodate the shipment with no problem and get all the pertinent information to its heavy-haul team to set up a ship date. The combine required an RGN (removable gooseneck) trailer, which was ideal for moving this type of farm equipment. The gooseneck portion detaches in the front. This allows it to be conveniently transformed into a ramp to drive the machinery on and off the trailer.

RESULTS


The proper permits were obtained, including those required by all states through which the shipment was traveling. And even though it had to travel over the five-mile, two-lane Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a white-knuckle drive even on the best of days, no escorts were required. Only shipments that are 16 feet wide and over need escorts. The journey across the bridge was made in the early morning, before 7:30 a.m., just in time to miss most of the daily commuter traffic.

Becca Chambers, one of Choptank’s heavy-haul team, made an interesting observation. “I think that drivers of heavy haul loads are much more present and interactive with shippers and customers throughout the process due to the more complex, specialized nature of the shipment,” said Chambers. “In this case, the driver went to the shipper’s location the weekend before picking it up to take a look at the combine to make sure he was prepared for the haul. I thought that was a step above and beyond for a driver to take. Unlike ordinary dry van, reefer and flatbed shippers, I think the drivers of heavy-haul shipments take a more active role in the cargo they are moving.”

Choptank’s heavy-haul/over-dimensional division has the knowledge and experience to move even the most massive freight shipments. What constitutes such a load? Any flatbed freight that measures more than 8’ 6” wide, 13’ 6” high, or 48’ - 53W’ in length, is considered to be in this category. Choptank Transport knows the permits needed, the rules of the road concerning these loads, and the right carriers to contact relative to the individual items being shipped.

If you have a large freight move, contact our team for a quote today at heavyhaul@choptanktransport.com.