DeSoto, Texas-based specialized and heavy-haul brokerage Next Exit Logistics earlier this year arranged a move that ranks as  the biggest in its history — a 100-ton Manitowoc crane, hauled by independent operators from Texas to Virginia. 

At the origin point in Houston, ice storm Kronos made load-out work that much more cumbersome for the five trucks and 200,000-lb. piece of equipment, all told. On the back end, winter storm Leon hampered efforts at Chesapeake, the company says.

The fire-engine red Manitowoc 11000-1 crane was new and already disassembled for transport at pickup. The client in Chesapeake hired Next Exit because their team was able to arrange transport more quickly than the selling dealer, the company says.

While the crane’s boom and jib break down into several pieces ranging from 10- to 40-feet long, it’s the upper works that make the heaviest and widest load. This combo of cab, engine and crawlers that together make up the upper works weighed 90,588 pounds. And as you know if you’ve ever hauled oversize or overweight, “you can’t just load it and go,” says Next Exit President Chandler Magann. “The customer or the shipper has to do a lot of advanced planning. They can’t wait till the last second to hire a trucking company.” In the case of the red crane, the trucks took different routes depending on their permits. Most of the crane went through Louisiana, but the truck carrying the upper works traveled through Arkansas.

Delays on I-10 at the Texas-Louisiana border, temporarily closed by the wintry conditions, threw a wrench into some of the trucks’ schedules. On the receiving end, the Virginia Department of Transportation had also shut down many roads. A civilian escort service was utilized to scout out a safe route through Virginia. Some of the duties of the private service were to escort the trucks, keeping the truck drivers apprised of obstacles in the road ahead and warning other motorists that something big was coming.

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