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Challenges of Hauling Utility Transformers

Transformers are a key component of electrical energy throughout North America. Transporting high voltage power transformers can be a challenging task for several reasons. As one of the most vital elements of utility networks, hauling transformers safely is extremely important. While the design of transformers is to take a beating, exhaustive care is still required when handling them

There are many considerations to take into account when it comes to hauling electrical transformers.

Here are some of the top challenges of transporting transformers:


The immense weight of large-scale transformers makes them difficult to transport. These utility transformers can weigh between 200,000 and 800,000 pounds. Their heaviness can often exclude them from certain roadways or bridges.

As a result of this, it is more common for these transformers to travel via a specialized railroad car. This freight car, known as a Schabel Railcar, can transport heavy loads and accommodate the increased height. This specialized vehicle is often the only way a transformer can travel via railway.

Common, roadway (single-phase) transformers are much easier to transport. These smaller pieces commonly weigh between 200 - 1000lbs. These can move via freight truck relatively smoothly.


In addition to the heaviness of the transformer, utility companies must also consider their size. Due to needing a large amount of space, logistical concerns can arise. Depending on the distance needed for the transformer to travel, the may present higher or lower levels of concern.

As the distance increases, so too does the likelihood of tunnels, weight-sensitive bridges, and other concerns.


Getting the transformer to the location is only half the battle. After a successful journey, this heavy piece of equipment will still need unloading. Depending on the hauling company, this may be something required of you.

This can be troubling due to the special equipment often needed and the weight of the equipment involved. Some companies work around this by hiring additional help.

Vehicle Limitations

Very few vehicles can haul something as heavy as a transformer can be. It’s not as if you could rent a flatbed trailer and put a 200,000 lb piece of metal on it. For something so heavy, it will need special, heavy-load-bearing equipment.

As mentioned above, this typically involves the Schnabel Railcar but there are only so many of these. Additionally, sometimes these are not required if the transformer is lighter. In these instances, utility companies may elect to do roadway transportation.

When this is the case, specialized trucks are still necessary and may involve the need for spotter vehicles as well.

Local Regulations

Regulations will warrant consideration regardless of the mode of transportation. Whether going by road, sea, or railway, you will need route surveys and permits

The route survey serves to make sure that you are following the regulations of the various parts of your journey. These can include bridges or roads with weight limits, tunnels or bridges with height limits, narrow roadways, and more.

Finding a Hauler

Utility transformers are more than just heavy, they’re expensive. It’s vital to take the job of finding the right person to haul your equipment seriously. Entrusting them with such a heavy piece of equipment requires a company you believe in.

Hauling utility transformers and equipment is a highly specialized job. Due to that, few companies are providing this service. Utility companies often find themselves spending too much time trying to find a legitimate hauling company.

Often, these turn out to be brokers which can feel deceptive. Brokers do not own any of their own equipment or employ any of their own drivers. Their sole function is to connect you to a company they work with and collect a commission on the amount the company pays you.

Sometimes, these matches work out very well and the equipment is successfully transported. Other times, the experience may not be as favorable. That is the main concern with brokers: since they connect you to a wide range of companies, there’s a wide range of quality as well.

Turn to Blackwood Resources for Utility Hauling!

Luckily, utility companies don’t have to keep looking for someone to haul their equipment now that Blackwood Resources is here. Our certified women-owned trucking company is here to haul and unload all your utility needs.

We are an asset-based company that employs truckers and owns our equipment. Unlike brokers, we believe in investing in a team we can trust and vehicles we can rely on. That means that every one of our employees is a hauling professional of the highest caliber we can find.

Regardless of what you need help hauling, we’ve got you covered. Call us today at 812-676-8770 or email us at We’ll offer you a consultation and go over the ways that we can be of assistance to you.

When you hire Blackwood Resources, we have the equipment, knowledge, and strategy to handle utility hauling. You don’t have to think about these challenges when you work with our certified women-owned specialty trucking company.



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