Auto transport companies often transport more than just cars and heavy equipment. Companies like A-1 Auto Transport offer safe transport for all types of vehicles, including ATVs (all-terrain vehicles). A professional auto shipping company should be able to give you all of its requirements for shipping any vehicle that you need to be transported. In this article, we are going to look through all the things you need to know about having your ATV transported by a professional company.
What is considered an ATV?
ATV stands for an all-terrain vehicle. An ATV is defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle with lower pressured tires and seat that is straddled by the driver. These vehicles also have handlebars for steering control. Other names used for ATVs are four-wheeler, quadricycle, quad, etc.
ATVs are divided into two categories by manufacturers. These categories have different features from one another, so when purchasing your ATV, you must ensure you are getting the right one for your needs.
- Type 1
- Manufacturers build type 1 ATV models with the intention of only one rider being on it. This means that there is no room for a passenger, and it is not safe to have one on board.
- Type 2
- Manufacturers build type 2 ATV models with the additional seat position behind the driver. This seat allows passengers to ride on the ATV with the driver safely.
ATV models are built for age and size appropriateness. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it comes to purchasing an ATV. The information about your specific ATV will become important when you start the quoting process with auto transport companies.
Popular ATV sizes include youth and adults. The youth sizes have smaller features and go slower to help ensure safety for younger riders. The adult models are larger sized and go faster.
Getting a Quote for ATV Shipments
When you call a professional auto transport company to get a quote for your ATV shipment, it will go a lot like a quote for a vehicle transport would go. There are a few factors that will play into the price of your quote. Make sure when you call in for an ATV shipping quote, you have the make and model of the ATV available as well as the size. This can help the specialist, on the other end, find out the exact weight of your style of ATV. You will also need to supply the origin and destination of the ATV. Anything across state lines is a weighed transaction.
Having an idea of what kind of transport you want to use will also help expedite the quoting process. If you want to crate your ATV for shipment, you will need to decide if you are doing this yourself or having the shipping company do this for you. If you aren’t crating it, figuring out if you want an enclosed trailer or open trailer will adjust your pricing as well.
How do I prepare my ATV for transport?
The purpose of preparing your ATV for transport is to assure that it is safe during transport. If proper preparation has not been completed on your end, it is possible any damages caused during transport will not be the liability of the transport company. This is why these companies give you a list of preparations prior to shipment.
When getting ready to transport your ATV, you will need to follow a few rules. The first steps help minimize the risk of gasoline vapors building up during transport, ensuring safety for both your ATV and the driver transporting it.
Make sure you turn off the fuel valve. Turn on the ATV and run the engine until it no longer remains running. Doing this will help empty the fuel line. If the transport is going to be over a long distance, make sure you drain the fuel tank completely. You will also need to ensure that the fuel valve and tank vent cap are turned off to help prevent any gas vapors from leaking.
If traveling during the winter months, and using open transport, the salt from the road can be problematic to ATVs. These salts can often cause corrosion, ruining the ATV. To help guard against this, spray the axles and suspension with a silicone water dispersant spray or cover the ATV while it is on the trailer.
Secure ATV on a Trailer
If your ATV is being shipped via trailer, your transport professional will be responsible for securing the ATV down to the trailer. There is a certain way in which the ATV has to be positioned on the trailer, and this helps keep the weight centered during transport.
- The transport professional will begin by setting the parking brake on the ATV
- To secure the ATV to the trailer, tie-downs are used because ropes can stretch during transport
- They will always use four straps when it is possible. They will NEVER transport with less than three tie-downs present
- The tie-downs should be cinched tight enough on the ATV that it looks like it is load-bearing
- If any length of tie-down remains, the professional will loop it and tie it in a way that it does not drag the ground off of the trailer
ATV Crating for Shipment
One method of ATV transport is one that is often used for motorcycles. Large wooden crates offer extra protection when shipping an ATV, and some transport companies may not allow for you to ship it without one. You can generally crate the ATV yourself, or you can have the transport company do this for you.
What is a wooden shipping crate?
Wooden shipping crates are boxes that are secure methods of transport. They include places for tie-downs to be secured and often have a pallet on the bottom for easier moving. The majority of shipping crates are ISPM-15 compliant for international shipping.
A wooden shipping crate is a method of transport that allows for secure transport of cargo such as motorcycles and ATVs. The crates are also constructed to help tie-down and secure such cargo in a way that it will not shift during transport. The bottoms of the crates are composed of pallets so that forklifts or pallet jacks can be used to load and unload the cargo.
What is ISPM-15 compliance?
ISPM-15 is a mark of compliance that ensures the wood has been treated per the regulations set forth by the International Plant Protection Convention. The ISPM-15 mark means that the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 has been met. These treatments help keep foreign insects and other objects that could travel through wood out of the countries they do not belong in.
Much like removing the foreign soil from the undercarriage of a car before taking it over international borders, using the ISPM-15 wood offers the same types of security. Wood that has been treated and has the symbol of ISPM-15, means that it has been heat-treated to the core and treated with Methyl Bromide.
Finding a Crate for Shipping
It may be a cheaper option for you to come up with your crate if you decide that is the best way to transport your ATV. If you can use the original crate, that is often the best method of shipping it. If you do not have the original crating for the ATV, you can check with local dealers to see if they have any that might accommodate your ATV. Those are the two cheapest methods of finding a compliant wooden crate.
If you are going to spend a little more and have a crate that you can keep for future shipments, you may want to look into building your own or buying a professionally made one. Depending on the size needed, crates can cost quite a bit.
Open and Enclosed Transport Options
Maybe crating just isn’t an option that is going to work for you. Professional auto transport companies have two different kinds of transport trailer to accommodate your shipment. These types of transport are open-air and enclosed transport trailers. The reason and type of ATV shipment might be what helps you decide which method is best for you.
How can open-air transport benefit my ATV shipment?
Open-air transport is a cheaper method of auto transport for both automobiles and ATVs alike. These open-air transport trailers can accommodate multiple vehicles at one time, making it a cheaper option for transport.
An open-air transport trailer can haul multiple vehicles of multiple different types. These types of trailers are a cheaper method of shipping because the vehicles on the trailer share the transport costs. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a down-side to these methods of transport. Vehicles and ATVs that are on an open-air transport trailer are going to be exposed to various weather elements and possible debris from the roadway.
Choosing Enclosed Trailer for Shipping
Enclosed atv shipping trailers are the crème de la crème of transport. These types of trailers often come with a white-glove service that offers extra special treatment for your transport. Enclosed trailers help protect the vehicles that it is shipping from the elements and possible road debris. If you have a lot of money into your ATV or it is a brand new model, it might be worth checking into enclosed transport.
Other Things to Consider During ATV Shipment
When you are looking for a professional auto transport company to ship your ATV, you need to vet them as if they are shipping your automobile. The same principles apply when looking to see if a car transport company is legitimate. There are just as many scammers for ATV transport as there are for vehicle transports.
What should check when looking into a shipping company?
When you begin looking for shipping companies to get quotes from, you will need to check into their credentials. These credentials include licensing, insurance, reviews, and ratings. There are many companies out there accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
- Every auto transport company should have a US DOT number and FMCSA number. These numbers allow you to look up and track the safety information about the company and its fleet.
- Any company that transports any kind of vehicle is required to have at least the federally required minimum liability coverage. The company should be willing to share the information with you, even during the quoting process.
- Checking the reviews of past customers and their experiences with the transport company can give you a lot of insight into the company. Sites that specialize in being a user review platform, like Yelp, help you find out on a more personal level how the company treats and interacts with its customers.
- A great way to check into the legitimacy of a professional auto transport company is by checking with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB is an excellent place to see what the company looks like from their perspective. The BBB gives companies ratings on a grading scale based on multiple factors.
Choosing the Right ATV Shipping Company
When you need to have one or multiple ATVs shipped, you need to make sure you are getting a fair price and impressive service. A-1 Auto Transport has been in the auto transport industry for over 30 years, transporting vehicles of every size, make, and model from state to international borders. When you get a quote with our transport specialists, you receive accuracy based on the information you provide.
Make sure when you do make your final choice for an auto transport company, that you are finding one that offers total transparency and peace of mind with every shipment they make. Don’t go with a company because they are cheap, because you will find out that you get what you pay for. Your ATV is important to you, which means it is important to A-1 Auto Transport. When you ship with us, you ship with family. Call A-1 Auto Transport today for a free, no-obligation quote for your ATV transport.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.