Everything You Need to Know About Cross-Border Excavator Shipping

Inside this article:

  • What you need to transport an excavator.
  • How an experience heavy-haul drive can make a huge difference.
  • How to get a quote for cross-border shipping.
  • Why you want to work with a customs broker.

Everything You Need to Know About Cross-Border Excavator Shipping

When shipping large pieces of equipment, such as excavators, you need to be organized and have a good idea of the process, especially when shipping across the border. If you’re new to the process, it can feel overwhelming to think about. There is so much to consider—how do you know what documents you need to cross the border? How do you get a good quote? How do you find a good driver? How do you know what taxes you’ll need to pay? How do you get across the border smoothly?

Cross-border shipping doesn’t have to add extra complications and stress—you just need to know what questions to ask. At Trusted Dispatch, we are more than happy to help you ship your equipment. In addition to being available for customer support by phone, email, and online chat, we also have many informative articles (such as the one you are reading right now) available on our Trusted Tips page. This process shouldn’t be overly difficult. We want to help you become an expert at shipping your equipment across the border.

To get you started on shipping your excavator, in this article, we’ve provided a rundown of everything you need to know about excavator shipping across the Canada-US border. We’ve included information on how to get started with shipping, how to get a quote, and whether or not you should hire a customs broker.

How to Ship an Excavator

Before getting deep into the process of transporting your excavator, you’ll want to ensure that you have a couple of essential things. You need a tough, reliable truck with an experienced heavy haul driver behind the wheel to transport your load. Luckily, with Trusted Dispatch, that isn’t hard to find. All the drivers in our network are fully vetted to make sure they are highly experienced and knowledgeable on heavy haul trucking—and that includes excavator shipping. They are also owner-operators, so you know they will have a good truck to do the job. If you still feel a little uncertain, we understand! Shipping heavy equipment such as excavators can be a delicate and stressful process, which is why we’ve provided images of our drivers in action for you to browse.

The right trailer is also very important for safe shipping. The wrong trailer can cause many complications and make the load unsafe. There are lots of different types of trailers out there. Our knowledgeable drivers will know what trailer to use. For an excavator, it’ll probably be a lowboy or removable gooseneck (RGN) trailer. A lowboy, or double-drop trailer, has two high decks on each end with a low deck in the middle. It can accommodate tall pieces of equipment such as an excavator. An RGN trailer can come in different sizes and can come in the form of a lowboy trailer. RGN trailers can carry enormously heavy loads and are excellent for transporting excavators.

When you start working with a driver, it is very helpful to send them photos of your machine so they can adequately prepare for loading day. When they know what they’re dealing with ahead of time, they can work with you to help loading day go smoothly. To get ready for loading, you can help your driver by cleaning your machine before they arrive, looking for any damages, and ensuring securing points are accessible. You’ll also want to put your machine in an open area with no obstacles and even ground so that there is space to load it safely.

To help prepare further for shipping and to find additional information about the process, you might want to consider consulting the machine’s manual. These can be found with a quick online search.


Why An Experienced Heavy Haul Driver Makes a Difference

When shipping your excavator, you want to know it’s in good hands. Despite the bulky, tough nature of excavators, they are still machines that need to be handled with care. Not to mention, they are also expensive, and you definitely want to avoid any damage possible, which means safety is of the utmost importance. If you feel unsure about the driver you’re working with, the shipping process can be unnecessarily stressful. You’ll end up wasting too much time worrying about the state of your load when you could simply hire a reliable driver from Trusted Dispatch instead.

When you work with Trusted Dispatch, you can relax. You know that your shipment is with experienced professionals. The drivers in our network are fully vetted by Trusted Dispatch and are experienced and knowledgeable owner-operators. They will only pick up your load if they know how to ship it properly, and you’ll be able to communicate with them directly throughout the process to coordinate details.

How to Get a Quote for Cross-Border Shipping

The cost of shipping depends on the equipment you’re shipping and how far it needs to go, but at Trusted Dispatch, we do our best to provide a fair rate for all. We make sure drivers are paid fairly for their work, as they are skilled professionals, and their time is valuable. However, we also want to provide a reasonable and affordable rate for our customers.

A cross-border shipping quote from Trusted Dispatch is no different from any other quote, and it follows the same process. To get a free, instant quote from us, you just need to follow three easy steps:

  1. Input the dimensions of your load: the height, weight, width, and length.
    • If you aren’t sure of the dimensions of your machine, Trusted Dispatch has a powerful Specs Tool available for you to use in order to find those dimensions. It has over 60,000 makes and models of equipment pre-loaded, and all you need to do is search for your model.
  2. Input the pick-up location for your load.
  3. Input the drop-off location for your load.

And just like that, you’ve got your quote! It is important to note, however, that quotes do not cover additional tariffs or taxes that will be associated with cross-border shipping, and those will need to be figured out separately. In this case, your quote won’t quite represent the final amount you’ll be required to pay.


How to Determine Import Tariffs and Duties

Going from the United States to Canada is a slightly different process than going from Canada to the United States. The process varies further depending on what province or state you leave from and enter into. 

A crawler-mounted excavator is considered a non-regulated vehicle, as it is a vehicle designed strictly for off-road use. This means they are exempt from the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Still, Canadian Border Services will need to confirm the excavator as a non-regulated vehicle, check it for soil contaminants, check ownership documents, and collect any appropriate taxes. The excavator will also need to undergo extra inspection if it is a used piece of equipment.

When it comes to calculating taxes, the amount required to pay will depend on the value of the machine and the circumstances of the purchase. It can also depend on which direction you’re travelling and where your point of entry is. However, instead of trying to figure this all out on your own, we highly recommend hiring a customs broker to help you out. Customs brokers are experts at figuring out the logistics of cross-border shipping, and they can save you a lot of grief and time, as well as money since they help you avoid extra taxes and fines at the border.

Why Hiring a Customs Broker Can Save You Time

Hiring a customs broker can really save you a lot of time in the shipping process. They already know the requirements of cross-border shipping extremely well and can save you the time, stress, and confusion of figuring out the process on your own. 

Imagine working without a customs broker. You’ll likely find yourself spending late nights at the kitchen table, staring at your computer screen full of endless open tabs, trying in vain to figure out the seemingly-contradictory rules and regulations of cross-border shipping long after you should’ve gone to bed. With a customs broker, you can skip that whole frustrating process and get your excavator on the road sooner. And if you have a deadline for your shipment, this could be really important. In the event that you complete your paperwork incorrectly, you may face delays in crossing the border. Delays can lead to extra shipping costs and your time, as well as your driver’s, wasted. 

A list of specific documents is required to get through customs, and it includes an invoice, a cargo control document, a bill of lading, and a shipper’s export declaration. A customs broker will know exactly what each of those documents is, how to get them, and what exactly is required. Customs brokers also help you predict extra costs so that you don’t have to worry about any surprises. With a customs broker, you can guarantee you won’t end up with accidental fines. The amount of stress avoided by hiring a broker is truly worth it. 


When to Hire a Customs Broker

To get a jump on the shipping process, you can reach out to a customs broker as soon as you know you need to ship something across the border, regardless of whether or not you have a shipping quote. We highly recommend hiring a customs broker if you’re running on a time limit and need to get your excavator on and off the road within a certain time frame and if you are new to the process of cross-border shipping. Even if you’ve shipped without a broker before, it is worth your time to give it a try and save you valuable hours. To help you get started looking for a customs broker, we have provided a list of trusted customs brokers on our website.

Do You Really Need a Customs Broker? 

Shipping heavy equipment can be a stressful process, to begin with, and crossing the border adds even more stress. If you’re shipping an excavator, we know you’ve got a busy and stressful job already and don’t need that extra stress. If you want your machine to arrive without delays and hassle, you need to hire a customs broker. You won’t have to spend hours on the phone trying to figure out how to get your machine across the border because your customs broker will have your back. You don’t need to learn everything about cross-border shipping from scratch, and you don’t need to worry about making preventable mistakes.

We are aware that hiring a customs broker is an extra expense. However, consider how much your own time is worth. Your time is valuable, and the hours of time you will save with a customs broker are worth a lot. Further, you will avoid unexpected fees and fines that could very well cost more than a customs broker.

Shipping Heavy Equipment Anywhere in North America

If you need to ship an excavator or any heavy equipment anywhere in North America, Trusted Dispatch can help. We care about you and your time, and we are committed to making the cross-border shipping process as simple and stress-free as possible. We have excellent drivers working in our network, and you can trust that they will take very good care of your load. 
Our trusted customs brokers will save you time and money, and our customer support is available via phone, email, and online chat during regular business hours to answer any and all questions you might have. We want to clear up any confusion for you and provide an unparalleled shipping experience. Our fair rates, experience, and customer connection all lead to customer satisfaction. Get started with your free, instant quote today!

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