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The Best Heavy Equipment Movers of 2022

By Sarah Horvath

If you’re a business owner who uses heavy machinery in your day-to-day operations, these pieces of delicate equipment are likely some of the most expensive tools that you own. Even a major repair to a piece of heavy machinery can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to complete. This makes it worth the extra effort to carefully consider which moving company you’re trusting with your business’s equipment.

At House Method, we understand that transporting exceptionally valuable tools can be a stressful process — which is why we’ve created a complete guide to everything you need to know about moving heavy machinery. Read on to learn more about:

  • Some of the best companies offering heavy machinery moving services
  • What to look for when comparing heavy machinery movers
  • How much you might expect to pay when moving cross-country

The 7 Best Heavy Equipment Movers

Our top recommended heavy equipment moving companies for 2022: 

Compare The Best Heavy Equipment Movers

Company Website Our Take Our Rating BBB Rating Local Cost
International Van Lines Site Best Full-Service Mover 9.8 B $600 – $1,200
American Van Lines Site Most Transparent Pricing  9.7 N/A $500 – $1,000
Moving APT Site Most Moving Partners 9.6 B
JK Moving Services Site Most Customizable Moving Experience 9.5 A+ Call for a quote
Allied Van Lines Site Most Vehicle Shipping Options 9.4 A+ $750 – $1,350
U-Pack Site Most Widely-Available Container Service 9.3 A+ N/A
North American Van Lines Site Best Pricing Options 9.2 A+ $750 – $1,350

International Van Lines

Best Full-Service Mover

  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

Why We Recommend International Van Lines

International Van Lines (IVL) is a full-service mover with a presence in all fifty states and over 150 countries. If you need to move heavy equipment, they have someone who can do it, whether you’re moving a machine down the street or across the country. How can you know if International Van Lines is the heavy machinery moving company for you? It depends on what you’re moving and where you need to go. If you need a piece of heavy equipment packed into a shipping container and you’re not in a hurry to get it to its destination, IVL’s freight shipping options are a great choice. If you require personalized services, IVL’s team can also arrange those as well with decades of experience.

International Van Lines has won Newsweek’s Best Customer Service Award for 2022, so if there’s anyone who can answer your inquiries about moving heavy equipment, it’s going to be an IVL customer service representative. This distinction can be a  major benefit if you’re moving heavy machinery for the first time and you’re nervous about the process. 

Pros & Cons of International Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • Heavy equipment shipped by land and sea
  • 100% refund policy as long as you cancel your move at least 48 hours in advance
  •  Storage options offered on some long-distance moves
  • Transparent guide to extra fees on their website
  • May contract work out to third party companies if an IVL specialist is not in the area
  • 25% deposit required at booking

Services Offered

IVL is a full-service moving company, meaning that it offers an enhanced range of services over what you’d usually expect from a standard moving company. IVL currently allows you to book the following optional services with your moving process. 

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating
  • Specialized packing services for fragile items
  • Storage solutions for both short-term and long-term periods
  • Packing supplies
  • Auto transportation services
  • Military moving services
  • Commercial moving services

How Much Does International Van Lines Cost?

Like most moving companies, IVL’s team takes a very personalized approach to pricing. To help you get a better idea of what you might expect to pay for moving services with IVL, take a look at the chart of past customer data below. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,400 to $4,400 $1,900 to $4,900 $2,100 to $5,100 $2,400 to $5,400
Four-bedroom home $3,200 to $6,200 $5,100 to $8,100 $5,700 to $8,700 $6,200 to $9,200

State Availability: All 50 states

Get a quote from IVL here.

American Van Lines

Most Transparent Pricing

  • Flat rate pricing
  • Competitor price matching
  • Moving shuttles between major cities

Why We Recommend AVL

American Van Lines (AVL) is a full-service mover that has flat-rate pricing, which is not common in the long-distance moving industry. This makes pricing transparent and convenient, and it also indicates that American Van Lines will want to schedule and execute your move as quickly as possible. They can move your heavy equipment wherever you need it to go and fast—American Van Lines has services in major US cities every day of the week, and their team can move almost anything anywhere in the continental U.S. 

You can feel confident that machinery movers from American Van Lines will disassemble your machinery and protect each piece before packing it up and loading it for transportation. Upon arrival at your destination, they can reassemble the machine so that it’s ready to get back to work. AVL employs certified packing professionals, so you can rest with the peace of mind that comes with knowing even very expensive shipments are in the best hands. 

Pros & Cons of AVL

Pros Cons
  • Price-matching guarantee
  • Binding estimates so you don’t have any surprises when it comes to pricing on your moving date
  • Vehicles are fuel efficient
  • Certified and background-checked employees
  • No instant online quoting process; you need to call a representative
  • No international services or moving to and from Alaska or Hawaii

Services Offered

AVL currently allows you to book the following optional services with your moving process. 

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Storage unit arrangement
  • Specialty packing services for items like pianos and antiques
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating for large items (like pianos)
  • Moving supplies
  • Military moving services
  • Office moving services and corporate relocation

How Much Does AVL Cost?

Get an idea of what you might pay for service with AVL  using the chart of previous customer pricing below. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,700 to $4,700 $2,300 to $5,300 $2,600 to $5,600 $4,200 to $7,200
Four-bedroom home $4,800 to $7,800 $5,600 to $8,600 $7,400 to $10,400 $10,800 to $13,800

State Availability: 48 States

Get a quote from American Van Lines here.

Moving APT: Most Moving Partners

Most Moving Partners

  • Profiles for most-used partners
  • Price matching and discounts
  • Large pool of moving providers

our rating9.5

Why We Recommend Moving APT

Moving APT is not a moving company itself; it’s a moving services broker that connects moving companies with potential customers. Within their vast network of moving companies, millwrights, and crane services, Moving APT can choose the ones which best fit your budget and needs. Simply come to Moving APT’s team with a list of your moving needs and they will work to locate the best professionals for the job. Since they’re a broker, they have the ability to mix and match movers so that they can find the ones to take you from your origin to your destination in the cheapest and most qualified way possible. You simply let them know what you’re looking for and they can find it for you, which can be especially convenient when navigating the world of heavy equipment shipping.

Pros & Cons of Moving APT

Pros Cons
  • 2,500 partner companies across the U.S.
  • Binding estimates
  • Can connect you with the best machinery moving services in your area
  • Discounts for short-distance moves
  • Although the partners are vetted, it’s still difficult to ensure consistent standards with every move

Services Offered

Moving APT’s partnered carriers currently allow you to book the following optional services with your moving process. 

  • Commercial and residential moving
  • Piano moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Packing services
  • Packing supplies (included for some moves)
  • Appliance connection services
  • Limited furniture disassembly and reassembly

Remember that Moving APT is a moving broker, not a moving company itself. That means that the specific services you’ll have available to you on your move might vary depending on your route and the specific carrier you work with. 

How Much Does Moving APT Cost?

A recent 1,000-mile move for a four-bedroom home was quoted at a price of $7,800 from Moving APT, which puts the broker’s prices about in line with national averages. However, because Moving APT offers price matching guarantees on all of its moves, it can be difficult to estimate what exactly you can expect to pay based only on past customer data. Click here to claim a free quote from Moving APT to learn more about pricing for your residential or commercial move. 

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from Moving APT here.

JK Moving Services

Most Customizable Moving Experience

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Financing available
  • Excellent insurance options

our rating9.4

Why We Recommend JK Moving Services

JK Moving Services is a full-service moving company with some of the most customizable moving plans available. Any plan you can craft alongside your personal moving coordinator can include heavy equipment relocation alongside any other services you might need. If the JK Moving Services on-site staff are not qualified to move heavy machinery, they can find staff who are qualified so your move can be seamless. If you run a specialized business and you’re moving very expensive or important tools, your JK Moving Services’ moving coordinator will ensure that only qualified hands move your machinery. 

JK Moving Services has provided over half a million moves in the last forty years alone. They pride themselves on creating the perfect moving plan for their clients as well as being accessible to address any concerns throughout the process. If you only need them to move your heavy machinery, they can only provide that service. But if you need them to do a full-service move for your home or office, they can tackle that as well. JK even has financing options so even if the move goes above your budget, you can set up a payment plan.

Pros & Cons of JK Moving Services

Pros Cons
  • Convenient mobile app provides tracking on your move
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Storage facilities with video surveillance available
  • Fully electric moving trucks
  • Does not provide local moves outside of Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia

Services Offered

JK Moving Services currently allows you to book the following optional services with your moving process. 

  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading services
  • Long-term and short-term storage unit arrangement
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Freighting
  • Crating
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly services
  • Specialty services for items like antiques and pianos
  • Specialized services for commercial moves for law firms, hospitals and other specialized workplaces
  • Government moving services
  • Archive services
  • Auto relocation services

How Much Does JK Moving Services Cost?

A recent 500-mile move for a two-bedroom home was quoted with a price range of $2,500 to $5,500 with JK Moving Services, which puts the company at the higher end when it comes to pricing. However, you can’t be sure what you’ll pay for your moving services until you get a quote from their team. Click the link below to claim your free quote from JK Moving Services to access individualized pricing. 

State Availability: All lower 48 states.

Get a quote from JK Moving Services here.

Allied Van Lines

Most Vehicle Shipping Options

  • No hidden fees
  • Vehicle shipping is NOT outsourced
  • GPS tracking

our rating9.7

Why We Recommend Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines is one of the world’s largest moving companies, and they pride themselves on creating moving plans that are specific to their customers’ needs. If you need movers who can prevent skidding and protect your specialized equipment, Allied has custom crating so you can rest assured your machinery will be safe during transport. If you schedule a vehicle relocation and your delivery is late, Allied Van Lines will even provide coverage for the cost of a rental car to be sure that you aren’t inconvenienced after your move. 

Allied serves all fifty states in the country and has shipping to over 130 countries. With every single move, you are assigned a personal relocation consultant who is basically the planner of your move and the liaison between you and Allied. You also get loading and unloading in all Allied plans, along with the minimum insurance coverage required by federal law. However, you have more thorough insurance options available.

Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • Loading and unloading included in all moves
  • New moving container service — you pack but Allied loads and unloads the container for you
  • All vehicle shipping done in-house
  • All moves have GPS tracking
  • Not really any info on the website about storage facilities
  • Pricey short-distance services

Services Offered

Allied Van Lines currently allows you to book the following optional services with your moving process. 

  • Packing services and unpacking services
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Storage for in-transit items
  • Arrangement of long-term storage units
  • Shipment tracking
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Auto and boat transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-value coverage

How Much Does Allied Van Lines Cost?

Get an idea of what you might pay for service with Allied Van Lines using the chart of previous customer pricing below. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,800 to $4,500 $2,400 to $5,400 $2,700 to $5,700 $4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home $3,300 to $6,000 $5,700 to $8,700 $7,500 to $10,500 $10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: All 50 states

Get a quote from Allied Van Lines here.

U-Pack

Best Overall Container Service

  • 240 locations nationwide
  • “Pay for what you use” pricing
  • 3-day grace period for loading/unloading

our rating9.3

Why We Recommend U-Pack

When it comes to getting a free quote and using an easily accessible website, U-Pack is the answer. However, as the name would suggest, U-Pack is a moving container company that allows you to DIY pack and load your items into their containers. You can choose a full-size moving trailer (which you should probably opt for if you’re moving heavy equipment) or smaller ReloCubes. Although U-Pack is a transport service first and foremost and does not provide packing or loading services, they do have a Moving Staffers network that you can use to find qualified movers to help you with disassembly and loading of your machinery. This can provide you with an affordable option for your moving process, especially if you’re moving a few pieces of smaller machinery. 

Pros & Cons of U-Pack

Pros Cons
  • You only pay for the space in the trailer you use
  • Up front pricing
  • Most affordable long-distance moving option
  • Positive online reviews
  • You have to pack up your machinery yourself or hire someone to do it separately
  • No service for moves under 150 miles

Services Offered

U-Pack currently offers the following services on moves of at least 150 miles.

  • Long-distance moving container services
  • Storage services

How Much Does U-Pack Cost?

Get an idea of what you might pay for service with U-Pack using the chart of previous customer pricing below. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $600 to $1,600 $1,200 to $2,200 $1,600 to $2,600 $2,100 to $3,100
Four-bedroom home $800 to $1,800 $1,800 to $2,800 $2,800 to $3,800 $4,100 – $5,100

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from U-Pack here.

North American Van Lines

Best Pricing Options

  • GPS tracking
  • Dedicated move coordinator provided relocations
  • “Not to exceed” pricing option

Why We Recommend North American Van Lines

North American Van Lines offers special packages for corporate relocations, so if your factory is transferring to another location, this could be your answer. North American Van Lines considers safe driving and customer satisfaction to be its top priorities, and they’ve been in the moving industry for over 80 years. Whether you’re just crossing state lines or you have to move heavy equipment across the country, North American Van Lines can help. They have even created their own driving simulator to make sure each driver is intimately familiar with safe driving practices.

This mover is also notable for its multiple pricing offers and options. For example, North American Van Lines provides “not to exceed” pricing that puts an upper cap on the total amount of money that your mover can charge for service. This can be a lifesaver for companies moving expensive heavy equipment long-distance. 

Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines

Pros Cons
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Debris removal service available after move is finished
  • In-house satellite GPS system called WorldTrac available on all moves
  • Works with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and Move for Hunger
  • Poor overall online reviews
  • Need to call in order to get a quote; the provided online quote system is not accurate

Services Offered

North American Van Lines currently allows you to book the following optional services with your moving process.

  • Full-service packing
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Boxes and moving supplies
  • Appliance disconnection and reconnection
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Custom crates
  • Loading and unloading
  • Crane vans for large items
  • Storage
  • Auto transport
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Full-valuation coverage

How Much Does North American Van Lines Cost?

Get an idea of what you might pay for service with North American Van Lines using the chart of previous customer pricing below. 

  <250 miles 500 miles 1,000 miles 2,000 miles
Two-bedroom home $1,800 to $4,500 $2,400 to $5,400 $2,700 to $5,700 $4,400 to $7,400
Four-bedroom home $3,300 to $6,000 $5,700 to $8,700 $7,500 to $10,500 $10,900 to $13,000

State Availability: All 50 States

Get a quote from North American Van Lines here.

What To Look for In Heavy Equipment Movers

Because specialized heavy equipment is so expensive and often has to be disassembled before being transported, you need to look for the perfect moving experts for you, preferably with years of experience in this realm. What are some factors you should consider when choosing a company for your equipment relocation? Be sure to look for the following features before you select your heavy equipment movers. 

Proper licensing and certifications: Heavy equipment movers will normally have an SOQ, or a “Statement of Qualifications,” that they can show you upon request. An industrial equipment moving company will normally include their years of experience, any certifications and training they’ve earned, and accreditations on their SOQ. It’s also typical for each member of staff to hold a CDL (commercial driver’s license) so that they can drive large vehicles like 18-wheelers.

Industrial moving equipment: One visit to the company office will show you if they are truly qualified to handle your machine moving needs. Do they have the proper in-date licensing on display? Do they have safety measures in the office or warehouse they operate from (eye washing sinks, fire extinguishers, hazmat protocol, etc.)? And ultimately, do they have the proper machinery needed to move heavy equipment, such as cranes and forklifts?

Reputation and safety: It is imperative that any company purporting to use and operate a crane holds a license from the NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) and gets that license renewed every two years. They should also hold OSHA training and certifications to make sure that they are up to federal safety standards. Along with safety, you can vet their reputation. What have other customers said? What do their reviews look like?

What Costs Are Involved with Heavy Equipment Movers?

Besides the labor costs of moving freight in general, you’ve also got to consider the expertise and training required to move heavy machinery. Naturally, moving services for heavy equipment are going to be pricier than moving something like a piano or hot tub. The following are some additional costs you may not have taken into consideration when originally pricing your move. 

Mileage: If your move is 500 miles or shorter, most heavy equipment movers will charge you about $3 per mile. However, if your move is above 500 miles, the average cost is about $5 per mile. Why such a high cost? Well, the weight of your machinery slows down driving time and it also makes it harder to control the transport vehicle, so a good amount of skill is required to drive heavy equipment to its destination. The longer the trip, the higher the chances of an accident as well, which is why it’s more per mile once the 500-mile threshold is passed.

Additional materials: To begin with, proper licensing, courses, and training are not free. Within your moving cost, you’re paying for the upkeep and overhead for the company to maintain its qualifications and training. Additional materials are also physical materials like tools for disassembly and reassembly, packing materials like wraps and crates, and even pallets.

Fuel costs and insurance: Fuel cost is typically calculated along with mileage, but in case of unforeseen road conditions and the need to alter the original route, you may have to make up the fuel cost difference. There is a federal minimum insurance coverage that moving companies are required to provide for each move if they cross state lines (and local movers have insurance rules as well, depending on the state). But if you want to have more coverage than the bare minimum, you need to factor in that cost as well.

Final Thoughts

Moving heavy equipment can be significantly more expensive than completing a standard household or business move. An easy way to lower the price that you’ll pay for your moving services is to get a quote from multiple heavy machinery movers before you book your moving date. Getting multiple quotes helps you learn as much as possible about average pricing and rates before you book your move. We recommend taking the time to get a quote from each of our recommended providers before you finalize your move.

Heavy Equipment Movers FAQs

Should I disassemble and reassemble my equipment before moving it?

If you have already hired machine movers for your move, it’s best not to jump the gun and start doing things yourself. You can make sure that your heavy equipment is clean and does not present any kind of danger to the movers (oily surface, rust and corrosion, broken pieces), but leave the disassembly to them since they’re going to be the ones to reassemble the machine as well. They should have their own protocol and procedures to follow for that process.

How will a mover transport my machinery during a plant relocation?

Depending on the size of your machine, the heavy equipment movers will use either a flatbed trailer or an open trailer for transport. Flat-bed trailers and open trailers are the most common because they can hold wider and taller loads than enclosed trailers or shipping containers. However, if the machine is disassembled (like a forklift) then it can fit inside an enclosed trailer.

Do movers always need a crane to move heavy machinery?

Not always — they can create a rolling system with logs in order to slowly slide heavy equipment across a flat surface. That’s more of a DIY solution, though. In order to load and unload heavy machinery quickly, safely, and efficiently, most movers will use a crane to move it.

Can you use a forklift to move machines?

Of course. Forklifts exist to move heavy items. However, forklifts should only be operated by trained and licensed professionals. If you try to use a forklift to lift something that is too heavy for it and lift it too high, the forklift can capsize. Forklifts are perfect for racking pallets, and as such, if your machine is in pieces and you don’t need to reassemble it right away, you can use a forklift to store your machine neatly on warehouse racks until you need it again.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched several dozen moving companies so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your move. 

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best moving companies on a 10-point scale based on the following criteria:

  • Moving Services (3.0): Does the company offer international, interstate, or local moving services? Or all three?
  • Additional Services (3.0): Does the company offer additional services such as packing/unpacking or loading/unloading?
  • Insurance Coverage (1.0): What kind of moving insurance coverage does the company offer, such as released value protection or full-value protection?
  • Trailers and Containers (1.0): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer to customers?
  • Benefits (1.0): What additional perks does the company offer? Some examples: storage, packing, free boxes, moving truck rentals, financing, etc.
  • Scheduling (.5): How are customers able to schedule their move, online, through the phone, or both? What is the ease of the scheduling process?
  • Reputation (.5): What kind of ratings does the company have on popular review sites such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Trustpilot?

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