18 wheeler unloading

4 Ways Union Trucking Companies Unload Freight

There’s no end to the benefits that a NYC union trucking company has over other carriers. First, trucking companies that haul freight in NYC are intricately familiar with the busy, congested roads. Also, because of union-based relationships with on-site stewards, they can deliver the freight swiftly and efficiently. Above all, they understand how to prioritize cargo safety.

Upon arriving at the job site, union trucking company drivers must skillfully unload the freight, minimizing damage. But how do they manage this? Read on to learn about the various unloading methods our drivers use. Essentially, their procedures and methods depend on the nature of the freight.

1. Forklift

First and foremost, forklifts are the most efficient method of unloading freight. Whenever possible, we use forklifts to unload freight because it makes the process very smooth. All of our union truck drivers are certified forklift operators, and when necessary, we send along forklifts to accompany our delivery trucks.

Often, forklifts are perfect for unloading materials from flatbed trucks. Even though the forklift is lower than the truck bed, the forklift operator can raise the forks to the necessary height. For palletized materials, the forklift operator can easily insert the forks into the side, and lift the pallet. We can even easily remove materials that aren’t on a pallet.

Forklifts can also instrumental in unloading dry van trucks. By driving into the truck, the forklift driver can smoothly access the freight. Then, they’ll remove it without seamlessly and without incident.

Unloading the truck with a forklift offers some advantages. First, it’s a much faster process than other unloading procedures. It’s also safer, and seldom ends in any damage. And after the freight’s removal, 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. Therefore, final mile delivery has become significantly more important.

During a construction site delivery, the final step is the most expensive and logistically complex. For unions who rely on local truckers to safely ship expensive freight, this is especially important and provides enormous benefits. We specialize in final mile delivery, and can efficiently transport your freight to its destination without any damage or conflict.

2. Crane

As a union trucking company, we often transport freight through the earliest stages of construction projects. Therefore, these projects often involve heavy machinery. Often, a crane is necessary to safely extract this type of machinery. This may 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 pivotal role in the unloading 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


Liftgate service is preferable to manual unloading for a few reasons. First, it eases the stress on those lifting the material, and limits to one person. It also makes the unload process a lot safer.

4. Pallet Jack

Generally, pallet jacks can’t unload your freight without at least a forklift or a liftgate. However, when using one of these methods, pallet jacks make transporting the freight to the location much easier for the driver.

While the liftgate can easily lower the pallet to the ground, lugging along a pallet is not easy. So pallet jacks are crucial in moving 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 don’t require as much muscle as others.

Iron Horse Transport – A NYC Union Trucking Company

At Iron Horse Transport, our goal is to make the freight transportation process as easy as possible for you. Our drivers and back office support staff are committed to timely and safe deliveries.