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How to Find Affordable Utility Rail-Car Unloading Services

Utility pole transloading is a critical step for utility projects. Given the equipment required and the challenges of utilty rail-car unloading, the best solution is to work with rail-car unloading professional.

A transloading company has the tools, expertise, and knowledge to transload your utility materials from rail car to truck, and then to your final destination.

However, one important consideration for project managers is the cost of rail car unloading. While you want to work with a reputable, quality company, you also need to stay within the budget for your project.

So, how can you find an affordable utility rail-car unloading service?

Keep reading to find out.

How Much Does Utility Transloading Cost?

Transloading, or the process of moving freight from one mode of transportation to another, is an important logistical step for delivering your utility materials. It requires trained operators and specialized equipment. How much can you expect to pay for rail-car unloading?

The exact cost of transloading varies depending on several factors. Here are some of the most important considerations for determining the cost of a rail-car unloading project:

  • Distance traveled: How far do the items need to be transferred?

  • The number of transloading instances: How many times do the items need to be translated? For utility projects, it’s commonly only one time. In other industries, materials may have to be transferred from sea to rail then again from rail to truck, etc.

  • Type of commodity: Exactly what is transloaded plays a major role. In the utility industry, the commodity is often wood poles, steel poles, or concrete poles. As you may know, these require oversized trucks and special equipment to move due to their size.

Given the great variation in transloading processes, there is no clear-cut number for what you should expect to pay. That’s why it’s so important to know how to find an affordable option.

Qualities You Need in a Rail-Car Unloading Provider

While price is an important consideration, you do not want to sacrifice the importance of quality when choosing unloading solutions. There are some important criteria that you need from a transloading provider. Here’s what to look for:

  • Experience: Look for a company with adequate experience with both transloading and the utility industry specifically. They should have completed many similar jobs in the past, and have a range of experience with utility pipes, transformers, wood poles, steel poles, and concrete poles.

  • Asset-based service: You don’t want a broker who just acts as a middle man between you and the company serving you. Opt for an asset-based transloading company that owns its trucks and trains its drivers.

  • Comprehensive service area: Choosing a local company is great, but make sure you choose one that covers the necessary service area. This ensures they can take your materials to your job site.

  • Customer service: There’s always a chance of delays or unexpected factors when transloading. You need a company that is on your side, attentive to your needs, and dedicated to your project.

  • Committed to safety: Utility pole transloading is not without safety risks. Due to the large equipment and proximity to rail cars, it requires careful attention to safety. Opt for a company that is dedicated to safety.

  • Self-Unloading: What happens when the poles make it to your material yard? The last thing you want to do is pay more money hiring people and renting equipment to unload them. Unfortunately, many companies do not unload for you. Choose a self-unloading hauling company to help keep the cost of your project down.

Steps for Choosing an Affordable Transloading Provider

Now that you know what to look for in a rail-car unloading company, here are the important steps for finding an affordable one:

Gather a List of Quality Options

The first step is to gather a list of companies with the qualities above. At this point, do not worry about the cost of the service. Focus on creating a list based on the offering of the company.

Request Quotes

After you’ve created a list of viable options, then you should request a quote from each provider. Provide as many details about your project as possible so that you can receive an accurate quote.

Be sure to clarify what the quote includes. For example, does the quote cover the self-unloading process or is there an additional fee? Ask for a list of potential additional fees or factors that could affect the price of your project.

Make Your Selection

Once you have the prices of all of the top companies, it’s time to make your choice. While it may be intuitive to simply choose the cheapest option, this does not always ensure you receive the best value.

Consider both cost and quality of service when choosing. For example, if one company offers cheaper utility pole transloading but does not self-unload for you, then it may be better to opt for one that’s slightly more expensive and includes self-unloading.

Schedule Your Rail-Car Unloading

After you’ve made your choice, contact the company to schedule your job. Doing this ahead of time helps keep the cost down and ensures a smooth process.

In addition to the steps above, here are some other helpful tips:

  • Check online reviews and testimonials. See if anyone discusses not only the price but also the quality of service, for the companies you research. Reviews are a helpful way to get real feedback from other customers, and they can help you make the right decision.

  • Look on their website. Examine the website of the provider. Read about the services they provide, and look for how you can find out about the cost. Additionally, consider the quality of their website

  • Ask for quote details. Obtaining a quote is the first step. Once you have the quote, discuss it with the company. They should be able and willing to explain the price, factors that influence the price, and more.

Affordable Transloading with Blackwood Resources

The cost of rail car unloading is something to consider when planning your utility project. It’s important to choose the right rail-car unloading company, or a utility hauling company that includes transloading. Look for one that delivers quality service as well as affordable transloading.

For all of your utility hauling needs, Blackwood Resources is here to help with our cost-effective loading and unloading. As an asset-based hauling company, we use our specialty trucks and highly trained operators to handle any job. Since 2017, we’ve been providing quality utility hauling services including rail-car unloading.

We are happy to discuss your needs and provide you with a detailed quote for the cost of rail car unloading your utility materials. Contact our team of hauling experts today to learn more! Contact us at or 812-676-8770



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