Safely and efficiently moving freight is vital in nearly every industry in North America and the global supply chain. A rail car loading and unloading company not only facilitates the supply chain flow in the United States but also helps utility managers transport and receive essential material. The prompt delivery of utility poles, spools, transformers, and more is a crucial job.
Delayed shipments can delay utility projects, adversely impacting utility companies and their customers. A rail-car unloading company is one solution to help managers overcome delivery hurdles.
What exactly is rail-car unloading? Do you need to hire a rail-car unloading company for your utility project? What should you ask before getting one?
This article will answer these questions and more to help you decide if your project can benefit from hiring a rail-car unloading company.
What is Rail-Car Unloading?
Some of the best hauling companies offer rail-car unloading services, which is simply the act of transporting oversized materials from railroads to job sites. Companies position their trucks at railroads to unload rail cars of freight. The freight is then driven to sites where it is unloaded via cranes that are usually attached to the trucks.
Rail-car unloading streamlines your utility project. Keeping electrical and communications infrastructures up and running are vital in ensuring the world keeps moving. Hiring a company to transport utility equipment and another to unload can take time. You do not have to worry about scheduling an unloader or renting a crane or forklift when you hire a rail-car unloading company.
How Does Rail-Car Unloading Work?
Rail-car unloading is a fairly simple process. Like with most services, you have to know what you want and what available services meet your demands. You should assess what you need to be delivered and if there is room in your project budget to hire an unloading company.
Search for a transloading company that both delivers and unloads equipment at the same time. Some companies will load their trucks and bring your utility materials, but not unload them. In these cases, the project managers are responsible for setting up the final, crucial step. A rail-car unloading company can take care of delivery from start to finish.
Once you hire a company, you will then schedule the transport. Some of the best companies will keep their customers informed about the process as it happens. All you have to do is wait until the truck shows up with your equipment.
What Should You Ask Before Hiring a Rail-Car Unloading Company?
There are a few questions you should ask a rail-car unloading company in real-time before you hire them:
What rail-car unloading experience do you have?
Experience matters when it comes to rail-car unloading. Generally, companies with more experience know all of the nuances of the job. They should know the best methods to transport utility freight as well as the most effective safety procedures. Moving oversized equipment carries many liability risks. You want a company with a stellar record of safety to minimize any delivery delays.
How do you demonstrate your commitment to safety?
You should ask candidates how they safely transport equipment. If a company just tells you that they do without supplying examples, you might want to not hire them. Request examples and information.
Are you a brokerage or an asset-based company?
A brokerage company will connect you with a provider who will transport your materials. They do not own their equipment or hire operators. Communication with drivers could be spotty since you would be dealing with brokers and not the haulers themselves. Brokerage companies sometimes add fees to the overall cost.
An asset-based company works directly with you, ensuring better contact with drivers. Asset-based companies own their equipment. They also typically provide better customer service since they rely on their reputation to obtain future work. Working with an asset-based provider helps ensure an effective supply chain, and these companies often carry the competitive advantage of business transparency.
How much will unloading cost?
You should ask what the entire transport will cost before you accept a company’s proposal. You should also ask if there are any hidden fees. From here, you can gauge whether the cost fits your project’s budget.
What other services do you offer?
You never know what you might need to make your job easier. Consider a company that not only offers rail-car unloading but also utility pole transport and self-unloading. An all-in-one solution saves you the time and hassle of hiring multiple providers, therefore streamlining your project.
A Rail-Car Unloading Company For You
Since 2017, Blackwood Resources has handled the transportation needs of project managers across the country. We recruit high-skilled, experienced operators and drivers with distinguished safety histories.
As an asset-based company, our fleet of high-quality, well-maintained specialized equipment has hauled 100,000 tons in 2021 alone. Rail-car unloading is only one of our service options. We haul wood and steel utility poles, offer relocation services, and provide storm response solutions.
We can answer any questions you have about what we can do for you. Please contact us today.