Moving a shop long distance

Thought the collective experince here might have some insights that I might learn from.
I'll be moving and of course will need to move my shop, too.
Leaving South Florida, heading North.
Has anyone here done this? What did you do, and how?
I'm thinking of buying a large trailer to put most of my machinery on, and tow it with a U-haul truck that would hold the smaller stuff.
Also wondered about getting a flat bed trailer for a Semi, loading that, and paying a company to haul it to my destination.
I originally thought to buy a container because I could weld in anchor points for rigging the machines, load it up with shop and personal stuff, and drive the forklift right in, locking the doors behind it, but couldn't wrap my head around how it would get on a trailer after that...
Anyone have suggestions? Input? Experiences?
Best,
Weyland
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Weyland wrote:

Unless your shop equipment is really heavy, it should not be a problem for the trucking / container company to pull it up onto the same hydraulic tilt bed trailers they deliver containers on.
Depending on the travel distance they could either move it on the tilt bed, or go to the terminal where the container could be put on a regular chassis.
Pete C.
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Interesting... I've added up the big pieces and come up with approximately 20,000 pounds of weight.
I'm guessing that there'll be another 5,000 pounds in little stuff I could put in there, too.
Is that something they could pull up onto a trailer and move 1450 miles?
Thanks,
Weyland
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Weyland wrote:

Those containers typically handle up to some 50,000# of cargo, the container itself weighs around 10,000# (this is for a 40' container) so your load would be around half capacity. The winch on the tilt bed trailers is probably at least 20,000# capacity so it should be able to drag the container onto the trailer. If it's to move 1,450 miles they would take it to a terminal where it would be lifted by an appropriate crane onto a normal container trailer chassis for the trip. At the far end the reverse would need to be arranged.
If you have a forklift you could just get a regular trailer dropped off for a u-pack-it type move and as the last item load the forklift itself. You do that by having a regular tilt bed tow truck stop by. Load the forklift onto the tow truck, then back it up to the trailer and transfer the forklift across. The tilt bed tow truck has a hydraulic anchor bar that can lift the truck up a bit to match the trailer height.
For my 1,700 mile move I had a 53' semi trailer brought over. I rented a 24' box truck with lift gate and used it to pickup my palletized shop stuff and other big stuff from several different locations and transfer the items to the semi trailer. When all that was completed I called for a flatbed tow truck and used it to load my 3500 dually pickup and my forklift into the semi trailer to complete the load. On the far end I started by calling for the flatbed and unloading the forklift and pickup and then proceeded to unload the remainder of the stuff via forklift.
Pete C.
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already built in

I am in Perth, Western Australia and have moved all my gear in a 40' container, storing it for 9 months between houses, but only a distance of 56 km.
Mine is a 12m/40' hi-roof, which I needed to get tractor/FEL inside to load machinery. Tractor has ROPS/canopy so is quite tall. Container (in those obsolescent things called lb.) Gross    67200 Tare     8950 Net        58250        which is about 26 tonnes
It was delivered to and collected from my old house on a tilt-tray as there was no room to drop it off with a side lift. Made it under the double height carport with 50mm clearance. It was crammed full, 2 radio masts hanging at the top of each side with racks containing corrugated sheets, plastic & metal pipes, chained to the roof tie-down rings, wood & metal lathes, mill, sawbench, thicknesser, 5 workbenches, shelving, about 2 tonnes of steel angle etc., lots of timber & plywood, lots of Jarrah & pine to make furniture, mainly bookcases and doors for wardrobes ( Jarrah is seasoning ), about 1200 books and all normal household furniture. I guess about 15 tonnes all up. Delivery here was on a side-lift, I would have preferred a tilt tray, but it only cost a carton of beer! Make sure that everything is securely lashed down or wedged into place, I filled and held everthing with sheets of cheap ply, lashing tight with ratchet tie-downs, particularly the lathes & mill. The only damage was a broken handwheel on the bandsaw when it fell over when unloading and bashed sheet metal on the dust extractor. Remove all handwheels !!

Forget it for travelling any distance, it will probably take several days to load & pack securely, same to unload, increasing your costs. I have a large trailer to carry the tractor & mini excavator and my normal utility trailer was also packed.

Better idea, but you will need a ramp to load the heavy stuff and move it inside unless you have room to load from each side with the forklift and you will need much more lashings. Most of my stuff was taken into the container on pallets and lifted to stacking height with the FEL forks.
I only have 15 more boxes of books, 12 sheets of ply, 2 large bits of furniture and my 12 x 2.7m model railway modules to unload - and nowhere to put them!
HTH, Alan
Alan, in Gosnells, Western Oz. VK6 YAB VKS 737 - W 6174
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Weyland wrote:

Depending on what you want to move, you should at least consider selling a lot of stuff in Florida (where machine tools are scarce) and rebuying at the other end. I know, it took years to collect the stuff, but you should at least think about it.
GWE
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I can appreciate the logic in that, but the only machines I could reasonably part with would be the manual Bridgeport and the benchtop CNC I made.
I'm not really willing to try and find the other stuff all over again. (most especially a V2XT with 24 hours on it...) (:>)
Thanks,
Weyland
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I moved from chicago to las vegas in 2003 a 1750 mile trip, shipped everything i wanted to keep via:
http://www.roadway.com/services/sealedtrailer.html
A sealed trailer shipment, 28 foot trailer and 31,000 pounds. Total cost 2,800.00 including 500k insurance on the load. They spoted the trailer and it took a day to load with a rented fork lift, 4 days transit time. They spoted the trailer in front of my new house and i unloaded it with a rented fork lift in one day. Won't do it any other way, no hasstle, no lodging, no driving, no liability in case of an accident. When i calculated the cost of renting a truck and making the trip, lodging, fuel, food, etc. it was a no brainer for me.
Good Luck with your move. Tom.
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Hi Tom,
ROCKIN'~! Thanks~! Sounds exactly like what I may need. How did you rig your machinery? Were there anchor points you could attach to in the trailer?
I don't have a loading dock, but I imagine that I could palletize all the big stuff, place it in the trailer with my forklift, and jockey it around with a pallet jack.
I could then have a flat bed tow truck pull up the forklift, level out the bed, and then drive the forklift in.
Thanks much for that link.
Anyone else have experience?
Best,
Weyland
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I used to unload trucks at the conventions in Las Vegas. Both flatbeds and boxes. Some caveats follow from years running a forklift:
If you can load it on a flat, and have it all shrunk wrapped, or tarped over, unloading it will be really easy. Binding it down will also be a lot better because a flat won't flex as much as a box.
If you have to go with a box for some reason, palletize things with things that can be handled with a pallet jack. You just sit it up on the tail of the box, and then position it in the trailer. Reverse on unloading. If you have some really really heavy items, you would load them last where you can reach them first with the tines, or with a "grizzly", a chain device to pull the pallet to within reach of the tines.
We used to use high dollar aluminum ramps to run up and down from floor to box height. They ain't cheap, and I don't know if they rent them where you are, or not. Point is, if you can position everything in the box so that it can be muscled around with a pallet jack, or picked off the rear, that's good, too. You have less wrapping, better weather protection, and less pilferage.
Remember that you will have to have a ramp, or be parked next to a dock with a dock plate so you can run in and out of the box. You can't turn around in there with a forklift.
Keep us posted.
Steve
Just some options.
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Interesting. Y'know, I've been in and out of 18 wheeler trailers more times than I can even recall or count, and can't believe that I've never taken the time to actually *look* at one.
Do the insides typically have any anchor points or provisions for tie-downs?
If you were to stick a Bridgeport or two in a box trailer, how would you secure it?

??? Really? I would think that load distribution would be important on such a large load. Is it not? I was thinking of loading the manual and CNC Bridgeports to the front part, the two lathes to the middle area, the surface grinder right behind them, and the forklift toward the rear, with everything else filling in the gaps in an effort to distribute the weight more or less evenly.

Yeah, that was my line of thought, as well.

Will do. Thanks for the insight and suggestions.
Weyland
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wrote:

I commonly see high value pieces secured in a trailer by using wooden blocking nailed to the floor. You could be creative and make anchor points or secure your machines on heavy wooden skids and then secure the skids to the trailer floor.
Shawn
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Shawn wrote:

When you order your trailer, specify a "logistics trailer".
These come with e-track on both sides, in vertical or horizontal runs, you can get serious ratchet straps and load bars that lock into the e-track. Coupled with blocking nailed into the floor, you can keep a load in place quite easily.
Stuart
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Good point. A logistics trailer can be decked, also. This means e-track load bars are fastened in the e-track on the walls and pallets or plywood is used to stack lighter weight items on.
An e-track load bar can be used in front of and behind tall machines to help stabilize them.
You can lower the center of gravity on your machines by adjusting them to their lowest profiles. Bridgeports can adjust their heads upside down, for example, and the tables lowered. Use 16P nails to fasten 2X4s around the basses of the machines. Most load shifting occurs to the front when heavy braking is applied. Keep this in mind when bracing your load.
Ron Thompson On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
http://www.plansandprojects.com My hobby pages are here: http://www.plansandprojects.com/My%20Machines /
Visit the castinghobby FAQ: http://castinghobbywiki.plansandprojects.com /
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wrote:

I have been inside HUNDREDS of boxes. (what a box trailer towed behind a semi is called.) They usually have a good hardwood floor when new, but after the first day, it gets shoddy quick. I've been in them where you had to watch a hole that your forklift wheel could get stuck in.
They use jacks that expand side to side, or roof to floor. They CAN tie stuff off to the sides, but there is a lot more flex in those boxes than you think. They are made of thin aluminum, and they flex a LOT. They are terribly easy to poke a hole through, and the reinforcing struts are just stamped aluminum, and the whole thing is riveted together.
There's lots of give, lots of shifting, so the big thing is to pack your stuff good on a palette first, then, yes, you can tie it off. But if DOES move, and I'd think you'd have a better shot at tying it down on a flat, where you can get ahold of some real metal. There's a frame around it where those big straps are put on. Also, look next time, and see where they put on those heavy chain binders. (called boomers)
If you recall, most of the heavy stuff you've seen on semis has been on flats, right? I mean, you can't see what's inside semi boxes, and we can put some heavy stuff inside there, but not nearly what a flat will carry. Remember, you only have a 3500# capacity forklift that will fit inside a box. There are ways that us pros can load heavy boxes and oversized stuff into boxes, but it usually involves two forklifts and two very experienced operators.
What you want to do can be done, and I believe with a box. It will just take some special attention.
Steve
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Yeah, I'm aware of the "flexy flier" part, and was more wondering if there were points on the floor for anchoring. I wouldn't feel overly confident in those bars (jacks?) to hold a milling machine from tipping over...

I was hoping for four points of restriction on each machine, but am having a hard time envisioning it with a box.
I agree that the flat bed would be best, but I was hoping to be able to get away with the box as I could then throw *everything* in there, stacked upon each other, including my household stuff.

I'm looking at approximately 25,000 pounds of shop stuff, I think.

I'm not clear on what you mean, here. Do you mean that the largest forklift that will fit in a box is a 3500# one, or that you think my forklift is only a 3500# one?

I was thinking along the lines of loading the machines up with my forklift, and then jockeying them around with a pallet jack. After everything is loaded, I'd put the forklift at the rear, by the doors.
Thanks,
Weyland
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There are no anchoring points on the floor. It's like the old pickup beds. An oak plank, then a strap with carriage bolts, then another plank. There ain't much to a box floor. Flats are better, and you have the frame on a flat to bind things to.
Steve
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Mostly true, but there are no metal straps with carriage bolts. The entire floor of modern trailers is oak. Depending on the trailer, some do have floor anchors. It depends on what you order from the trucking company. There are all kinds of trailers for special loads.
Steve is correct that you need to watch what they send you.
Ron Thompson On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
http://www.plansandprojects.com My hobby pages are here: http://www.plansandprojects.com/My%20Machines /
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A typical trailer load in a road truck is 40,000 to 45,000 pounds. This plus the weight of the truck and trailer is typically 80,000 pounds. You do need to space out the weight as much as possible so the driver doesn't have an overweight axle, but this isn't as critical as you might think. Most trailers have sliding axles just for this reason. Don't confuse "load locks" and e-track load bars. The former jack out against the sides and aren't very strong, but the latter are much better. When they are locked into the e-track, they won't yield unless physically broken, like in a wreck.
Ron Thompson On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
http://www.plansandprojects.com My hobby pages are here: http://www.plansandprojects.com/My%20Machines /
Visit the castinghobby FAQ: http://castinghobbywiki.plansandprojects.com /
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I have been an over the road driver most of my life. Most of what you say is true, but the forklift capacity is just bullshit. I think the smallest one I have ever seen is 4000 pound, and I have seen them that will barely fit through the door. Drink manufacturers like Coke and Budweiser have forklifts that pick up four pallets at a time and barely fit in the door. Paper mills ship multi-ton rolls of paper that require special forklifts that are huge.
All this is pretty much moot, as the guy has his own forklift.
As for the condition of the trailer, if you pay for the ride, you can turn down crappy equipment.
Ron Thompson On the Beautiful Florida Space Coast, right beside the Kennedy Space Center, USA
http://www.plansandprojects.com My hobby pages are here: http://www.plansandprojects.com/My%20Machines /
Visit the castinghobby FAQ: http://castinghobbywiki.plansandprojects.com /
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