Heavy Haulage – What Is It?

Heavy Haulage – What Is It?

Abnormal load movement is required to transport large objects like wind turbines to their destination. The movement of this freight is known as ‘heavy haulage’.

Heavy haulage is a more complex process than simply transporting something from A to B.

It requires a lot of planning, specialist equipment and expert drivers with experience and knowledge of safe heavy lifting.

In this blog, we’ll explore heavy haulage, the lifting services haulage firms offer and how this benefits the industries using them.


What is heavy haulage?

Heavy haulage refers to the movement of abnormal or oversized loads which can’t be dismantled and transported using standard logistics and distribution.

It requires the use of a specialist heavy haulage firm that can plan the transport of these heavy loads around the UK, and abroad.

Unlike regular haulage, which is simply the transport of structures from one place to another, heavy haulage requires more planning (including pre-planning the safest driving routes and organising escort vehicles) to ensure freight arrives safely.


What services do heavy haulage companies offer?

Although heavy haulage typically refers to the transport of abnormal loads, most heavy haulage companies also provide other logistical services too.

They include:

Abnormal load haulage

Transporting heavy and wide loads requires more preparation and expert transit methods to move the freight safely.

Experienced and established haulage firms plan the best route, arrange a private escort to protect the heavy freight and create a lift and loading strategy.

Machine operating systems, cargo handling and haulage

Awkward, heavy loads such as storage containers and excavators need lifting by specially designed haulage machinery.

For example, sophisticated vehicles such as mobile cranes and hydraulic gantry lifts are used by haulage companies to load cargo onto lorries, trailers, and trucks.

Trained operators will control the machinery and plan and navigate the whole lift to avoid damage.


In areas with limited space, a crane may not be viable. Instead, heavy haulage firms will plan an alternative loading method, such as jacking.

Jacking systems use hydraulic jacks to raise the freight vertically from the ground onto a skid track, which skates the load horizontally onto the truck or trailer.

Heavy goods storage

Established haulage companies offer storage at their facility to keep bulky, awkward loads until the client can collect them.

A business may require storage to house large structures whilst moving between sits or after salvage recovery.

Vehicle salvage recovery

Accidents happen, and even the most accurately planned logistics can go wrong.

Events out of our control, such as unsighted debris, may cause haulage vehicles to lose control and cargo to fall.

The most credible heavy haulage firms provide an accident salvage and recovery service to recover loads as safely and promptly as possible.

Hauling companies have specialist lifting equipment and the knowledge to raise fallen cargo from the ground and onto a recovery vehicle whilst preventing further damage.


Industries that use heavy haulage services

Professional heavy lifting services and logistics are used across multiple sectors. These industries include:

Wind energy sector

Due to environmental commitments made by the government to create more sustainable energy, the wind energy industry is growing across the UK.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) found that global wind power projects have “quadrupled in size over the last ten years”.

Only heavy-duty lifting machinery operated by haulage firms can lift and carry heavy turbine parts to their rural destinations.

An experienced company will select the vehicle most capable of safely manoeuvring across unstable off-road hillsides, grass, sand and cliffsides.

Shipyards and ports

Abnormal loads, such as iron shipping containers are raised and loaded at ports.

Other weighty objects like ships and yachts need to be lowered and raised into docks at shipyards.

Experts in haulage have the know-how and specialist equipment to plan and execute these lifts accurately, reducing the risks of accidents.

Civil engineering and construction

Construction firms rely greatly on specialist machinery and transport provided by haulage companies.

Trusted heavy haulage firms support building projects by transporting heavy materials or machinery like forklifts and excavators.


The Aerospace Industries Association concluded that in 2020, the aviation market reached $298 billion in value, a trend that continues to rise at a rate of 7.7%.

As the aerospace market grows in value and expands rapidly, plane manufacturing has increased.

Heavy aircraft cabins and engines are transported across the UK by haulage firms who plan the transit thoroughly.

Agricultural sector

Combine harvesters and slurry tanks are large and delicate objects that require a heavy haulage team to transport them.

Heavy haulage firms have the experience and machinery to do this safely without interfering with routine farming.


Hire a reputable heavy haulage firm

Lifting and loading fragile abnormal loads should only be planned and executed by experienced professionals with specialist knowledge and machinery.

Abnormal load handling and logistics is a delicate operation that can result in accidents and damage to freight if not planned thoroughly.

To avoid destruction to loads, only engage the services of a reputable firm with plenty of years of experience.


Contact JB Rawcliffe, trusted experts in heavy haulage

We have over thirty years of experience handling and transporting heavy loads, so you can be sure your freight is in safe hands with JB Rawcliffe.

To get in touch or request a free quote, call us on 01695 737880 or fill in our online contact form

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