Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
I don’t transport pipe very often, but last week I had two pipe loads back to back. Both were in support of big power line projects on the east coast. Pipe is round and it can roll very easily, which makes transporting it more challenging than freight with a flat surface.
While at my first shipper, I loaded four 32′ pieces of pipe. They were banded together and loaded on 4’x4′ timbers especially constructed to keep everything in place with no side to side movement. Extra scotches were nailed in place to ensure a smooth ride and further mitigate the risk of a piece coming off in transit.
At the receiver, the unloading process coudn’t have gone smoother. I unstrapped my load and a piece of equipment that resembled a boat lift came around my trailer and lifted the entire load off at once. What took four hours at the shipper, (including waiting in line for my turn) only took about 10 minutes at the receiver.
My next load was a 10.5′ wide/tall pipe going to another job site. This load was beyond the legal dimensions so I had to order oversize permits and properly mark the over-dimensional load for transport. These loads have many restrictions regarding routes, speed limits and hours of the day that the load can be moved.
After the pipe was loaded on trailer, the pipe was held in place by the two forklifts until we could build the scotches needed to keep it from rolling. A lot of lumber and nails were used until I felt the load was free from movement. I then secured the pipe with 30′ straps that barely reached the other side. After tightly securing the load, I was on my way toward the destination.
Delivery was challenging at this site because of the mud. I was a little nervous driving a 53′ step deck with an oversized load through the woods, down a dirt road to get to the site, but I finally made it. Once there, a crane was set up to unload me and I was quickly out of there on my way to the next challenge!