18 wheeler unloading

4 Ways Union Trucking Companies Unload Freight

There’s no end to the list of advantages that a NYC union trucking company holds over other carriers. First, trucking companies that haul freight in NYC are familiar with the busy roads. Because of union-based relationship with on-site stewards, they can also deliver the freight in a timely manner. Above all, they understand how to prioritize freight safety. Upon arriving at the job site, union trucking company drivers must tactfully unload the freight, minimizing the risk of damage. But, how do they accomplish this? Read on to learn about the various freight unloading methods our truck drivers use, depending on the nature of the freight.

1. Forklift

First and foremost, forklifts are our preferred method of unloading freight. Whenever possible, we use forklifts to unload freight because the process moves along smoothly. All of our union truck drivers are certified forklift operators, and when necessary, we send along forklifts with our delivery trucks.

Often, forklifts are perfect for unloading materials from flatbed trucks. Even though the forklift is much lower than the bed of the truck, the forklift operator can raise the forks to the appropriate height. For palletized materials, the forklift operator can easily insert the forks into the side, and lift the pallet. Even materials that are not on a pallet can easily be removed.

Forklifts can also be quite useful for unloading dry van trucks. By driving into the truck, the forklift driver can access the freight, and remove it without incident.

Unloading the truck with a forklift offers a few advantages. First, it is a much faster process than most other unloading methods. It is also safer, and rarely results in any damage. And, after removing the freight, our drivers can station it in any location on the job site.


forklift unloading truck

Final Mile Delivery

In recent years, the NYC Department of Transportation has been deterring over-the-road carriers from making deliveries in the metro area. Final mile delivery has become much more important.

During the course of a delivery, the final step is the most expensive and logistically complicated. For construction unions who rely on local truckers to safely ship expensive freight, this is especially important. We specialize in final mile delivery, and can efficiently transport your freight through the final leg of the journey without conflict.

2. Crane

As a union trucking company, we often transport freight for construction projects in the earlier stages. So, these projects occasionally involve heavy machinery. Often, a crane is required in order to safely extract this type of machinery. This might include boilers, air conditioning units, and other building-essential machinery. These types of freight are shipped on flatbed trucks, rather than enclosed dry van trucks.

Machinery like this is generally too heavy for a forklift to remove without tipping over. A crane, on the other hand, can easily remove this freight without any potential for danger. However, the individual operating the crane should always be certified to do so.

3. Liftgates

While generally used for smaller loads, liftgates streamline the unload process for union trucking companies. Liftgates are mounted on the back of dry van trucks, and are the ideal choice when forklifts are not an option.

Despite their incredible role in the union trucking unload process, liftgates function in a fairly simple way. These steel platforms are mounted on the back of dry van trucks, and are powered by hydraulics. So, after the driver manually moves the freight onto the liftgate, the liftgate lowers down to the ground like an elevator. Once the freight is on the ground, the driver can carefully move the freight to the designated area.

liftgate truck


Liftgates are preferable to manual unloading for a few reasons. First, it eases the stress on people who are lifting the material, and often simplifies the job to involving only one person. It also makes the unload process much safer.

4. Pallet Jack

Generally, pallet jacks cannot be used to unload your freight without at least a forklift or a liftgate. But, when using one of these two unload methods, pallet jacks make transporting the freight to the location much easier for the union truck driver.

While the liftgate can lower the pallet of freight to the ground with ease, lugging along a pallet is not easy. So, pallet jacks are crucial in moving around the merchandise. Pallet jacks can raise the freight above the ground, which makes moving pallets of building materials much easier. Some pallet jacks are electric, and do not require as much muscle as others.

Union Trucking Company

At Iron Horse Transport, our goal is to make the freight transportation process as easy as possible for you. Our drivers are committed to timely and safe deliveries. If your union is working on a NYC building project, then contact us to learn about the advantages of going with a union trucking company!