Completing the transport mission

Three large pieces of a stamping press, weighing nearly three-quarters of a million pounds, were slated to arrive on a barge off of the Ohio River. Contracted to move this load was D & G Heavy Haul out of Valparaiso, Indiana. Owned by Don and Gail Bretthorst, D & G has a combined 45 years of experience hauling specialty loads and other transport needs.


A stamping press is a metalworking machine tool used to shape or cut metal by deforming it with a die. The stamping process works by forming the metal between two halves of the press tool. The upper member is attached to slides of the press, while the bottom member is attached to the stationary bolster plate (or bed).

This particular stamping press was going to an automotive supplier for Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors to assist in making pieces, such as fenders, hoods, and trunks for automobiles. 

D & G Heavy Haul was hired to move the three separate pieces of the stamping press from the Ohio River at Melbourne, Kentucky, to Lorain, Ohio. Two days, three trailers, and 245 miles later, the cargo was delivered to its destination. 

“We usually start these jobs very early in the morning. Our schedules are dependent on when the barges come in and when the cranes are available. The morning that this super load was getting moved was especially beautiful. The mist was just sort of hanging in the air over the river and loading up went as planned,” says Don Bretthorst.


The trailers used for this mission were two 19-axles and a Trail King dual lane trailer. The dual lane loaded up the crown for the press. The load measured at 30 feet 2 inches long, 17 feet 10 inches wide, and was 13 feet 8 inches high. The total weight for this piece was 357, 000 pounds. Next, the slide with die hooks was positioned on one of the 19-axle Trail King trailers. This load was 23 feet long, 13 feet 5 inches wide, and 12 feet high weighing in at 181,000 pounds. Lastly, the stamp bed was loaded onto another 19-axle trailer. Weighing 212,100 pounds, the cargo was 31 feet 2 inches long, 16 feet 1 inch wide, and 12 feet high. 


D & G Heavy Haul started in 1978 as a trucking business adding the heavy haul component in 1990, which is now their bread and butter. 

Don says, “Heavy hauling was the way to go for us financially and I really enjoyed it. Personally, I like to always be doing something different. Every day is a different place with different loads.”

The company’s trucks consist of late model 4-axle tractors with access to flatbeds, single drops, double drops, multiple-axle trailers from 9 to 19 axles, as well as any type of specialty equipment. Their newest trailer added is the dual lane transport trailer that was used on this project.


D & G Heavy Haul work with customers that have custom loads to haul. The logistics for these loads can sometimes take years in advance to plan. Many times, wires need to be raised and roads need to be closed for the oversized loads that D & G hauls, even when the distance is short. Most recently Bretthorst and his team completed a 12-day journey with a 217-foot long rig hauling a super load of 628,000 pounds on a slow, challenging journey. Bretthorst credits the successful completion of these heavy haul missions to the support of his phenomenal team and the trailers that make the haul.

For more information:

For more about D & G Heavy Haul, visit For more about Trail King Industries, visit

Modern Contractor Solutions, January 2020
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