moving heavy machinery

Safely Transporting Food Processing Machinery: Tips & Solutions

Moving heaving machinery is always a complex undertaking, but in some industries, like the food and beverage manufacturing industry, there are additional logistics to consider. In addition to being expertly calibrated, food processing equipment also needs to be kept free of contaminants that could compromise the manufacturing process or even shut production down entirely.  

Whenever beverage and food manufacturing equipment needs to be transported, hiring experienced professional movers is critical for keeping the move efficient, safe and on budget. Able Machinery Movers will take all the steps that are necessary to get the job done right.

Why Safe Transportation Matters When You’re Moving Food Manufacturing Machinery 

Safe transportation is always a priority when you’re moving heavy equipment. From the expense to the sensitivity of your food manufacturing equipment, care and caution must be used to ensure: 

  • Investments are protected – Damaging one component of food and beverage manufacturing equipment could cause the entire piece of equipment to fail, leading to costly repairs or replacement.
  • Downtime and productivity losses are avoided – When equipment is inoperable due to damage or production is delayed due to the move it leads to losses that could have been avoided.
  • Compliance and safety – Safety is a serious issue when moving heavy machinery so that personnel don’t suffer an injury. If your business operates within the food and beverage manufacturing industry there’s also the concern that the move could compromise the safety of what’s produced. 
  • Reputation and product quality are preserved – In the food and beverage manufacturing industry your reputation for producing quality products is everything. Issues while transporting equipment could compromise both if things aren’t handled correctly. 

For all these reasons and more, it’s important to work with a moving team that will take the necessary steps to protect your equipment, your business and your customers. Since 1957, Able Machinery Movers has taken every precaution to ensure the well-being of their employees, customers, and their products.

Step 1: Assessment and Planning Prior to Moving Food and Beverage Manufacturing Equipment 

Professional machinery movers with experience relocating food and beverage manufacturing equipment understand the importance of the planning phase. This is the time when you can make sure all the resources that are needed are available and identify potential problems so they can be avoided. 

During the assessment and planning phase the moving team should:  

  • Complete the necessary paperwork and documentation.
  • Take inventory of every component of each machine that’s being moved.
  • Create a plan for disassembling and crating the equipment.
  • Identify transportation requirements such as the dimensions, weight and fragility of the equipment being moved.
  • Analyze the layout of the facilities where equipment is being moved. 
  • Note the manpower and resources that are needed to transport the equipment. 
  • Identify potential issues that could arise during the move and how they will be overcome.

The better you assess and plan prior to the move the easier everything else will be. That’s why we consider this stage of the process to be the most critical.  

Step 2: Professional Pre-Packaging of Food Processing Equipment

During the planning process, you’ll identify what needs to happen before equipment is packed up and transported. There are special factors for food manufacturing equipment that necessitate extra precautions be taken in the pre-packaging phase.  

Cleaning and Sanitation 

In the food and beverage manufacturing industry, cleanliness is critical for the business. The equipment must be free of bacteria, mold and pathogens at all times. That’s why we recommend cleaning and sanitizing equipment thoroughly before it is packaged up in a sterile container.  


Food processing can involve extremely large pieces of machinery and full assembly lines that must be carefully disassembled. To perform millwrighting services correctly, millwrights need to have specialized training and the right equipment at their disposal.  

Proper Use of Cushioning and Padding Materials  

Before equipment and components can be crated up, a layer of protection should be added with cushioning and padding materials. While it may seem like a simple step, there is a process for getting it done properly. 

Step 3: Custom Crating for Food Manufacturing Machinery 

You can get the food manufacturing equipment disassembled and pre-packaged perfectly, but if the crating isn’t done properly damage could still occur. This is why custom crating services from professionals is essential. It’s the next step in ensuring everything makes it to the new location safely.  

A lot goes into properly crating heavy machinery like food manufacturing equipment. Standard crating is rarely sufficient, especially if your food processing equipment was purpose-built specifically for your operation. Custom crating is often required to ensure equipment can be securely loaded and transported. Subpar construction can also leave your equipment susceptible to unnecessary damage.  

Below are a few key considerations when it comes to crating equipment in the food manufacturing industry.  

Use of Quality Crating Materials

A crate is only as good as the materials it’s built with. Various materials are used to build a custom crate including lumber and metal hardware. The primary construction material is plywood. There’s a range of plywood products that can be used, which directly influences the integrity and strength of crates. The thickness of the plywood is a significant factor in terms of strength. There are also different kinds of plywood, so it’s important to use the appropriate type of plywood based on what you’re moving and how it’s being moved. 

Secure Fastening Methods (h3 tag) 

Another important consideration is what fastening methods are used to ensure the crate stays secure during transit. The fastening method will depend on how the crate is constructed, but common methods include: 

  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Adhesive
  • Staples
  • Bolts

The most secure fastening method will depend on a few things like the weight of the equipment in the crate and environmental conditions. 

Proper Crate Labeling 

Labeling crates seems like a given, but it’s an important task that is often overlooked. Crate labeling is needed for easy identification and proper handling. Without it, machinery could be loaded for transport in a way that increases the risk of damage. It will also make assembly more difficult if components for a piece of machinery are in multiple crates.  

At Able Machinery Movers we’re equipped to provide a full spectrum of machinery crating services, including custom crates that are constructed at our facility or onsite if needed. Most clients in the food and beverage manufacturing industry choose us because they know they can trust our team to crate their equipment with the utmost care.  

Step 4: Loading and Transportation the Food 

Once it’s time to load the crated equipment you have to be just as diligent to avoid causing damage, delays and potential injuries during transit. Because of the logistics and variables involved, it’s always advisable for food and beverage manufacturing companies to hire an experienced transport company. 

At this stage, safety measures need to be taken while loading the equipment. Depending on the size and weight of the equipment this could involve rigging services and specialized trucks that can handle the load. The movers should also be trained in the proper safety procedures, follow OSHA regulations and wear personal protective equipment at all times.  

Once the cargo is in transit, the condition of the machinery should be monitored regularly.  No matter how carefully you load crates and equipment, there’s a chance for things to shift, get unbalanced or move during transit.  

Benefits of Opting for Experienced Food and Beverage Manufacturing Equipment Movers  

All of the steps above are much easier when you’re working with experienced machinery movers. There are countless moving companies out there, but not all of them specialize in machinery moving. Even fewer have experience disassembling, crating and transporting food processing equipment.  

When you are working within the food and beverage manufacturing industry, many precautions need to be taken. For example, you may need clean room services to ensure components aren’t contaminated. Or you may need to work out the logistics of an entire factory relocation if you are moving to a new facility.   

Ultimately, you are going to be best served by a team that has experience making complex moves within your industry and fully understands the unique challenges that are faced.  

How Able Machinery Movers Can Help in Transporting Food Processing Equipment 

Able Machinery Movers has earned the reputation of being a solution-oriented transport team that can get the job done safely. We are a full-service machinery moving company that can expertly execute every stage of a move from the pre-planning to configuring equipment after it’s reassembled at the new site. We set ourselves apart from other transport companies by offering advanced services. These services include mobile clean room capabilities, custom crating and can even storage at one of our three secure warehouse facilities.  

You know you’re working with an experienced team because we have the credentials to back it up. We’re a certified crating company with ISPM-15, IPPC HT, IPPC MB and IPPC MB/Dunnage certification stamps. All of our team members are also trained in proper safety procedures and have either an OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 certification.  

With Able Machinery Movers you get a partner that understands the challenges of transporting food and beverage manufacturing equipment and how to overcome those challenges as safely and efficiently as possible. If you’d like to discuss a project that involves moving food processing machinery, contact one of our five locations and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.