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How To Ship An ATV

Published by Joe Webster.

How To Ship An ATV

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are designed for exploring life off the beaten path. And the popularity of these vehicles is on the rise, with more than $3.8 billion in sales per year. Thrill-seekers and off-road travel enthusiasts invest thousands of dollars into their all-terrain vehicles. So when they move, they don't want to leave them behind.

You can't take your ATV to the post office, so shipping brings up a lot of questions like who ships ATVs, how much does it cost, and how do you prepare your ATV for shipping? Let's take a look at the ins and outs of shipping an ATV.

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Shipping an ATV requires a little bit of legwork to find a transport company and choose the appropriate service. Take the time to ask the right questions so that you understand how the process works. Follow the carrier's preparation instructions to a T and always make sure you are protected in the event of damage.


Find a Shipper

The first step in shipping an ATV is finding a provider that can meet your needs. Before you start looking up reviews, you need to know what services are available and what you are looking for in a shipper. This will help you manage your expectations. 

Consider your timeline and decide if there is flexibility in your dates. A largescale shipper may be able to offer you expedited shipping services or more availability on shipping dates, while a smaller operation may need several week's notice.


Start with Reputation

When vetting shipping companies, there are a few credentials you will need to check into—licensing is the first thing you check. Every auto transporting company will have an FMCSA and a US DOT number. These will allow you to look up and keep tabs on the company's safety information and its crew. 


Get Quotes for ATV Shipping

Get Quotes for ATV Shipping

Gather a list of transport companies and the details of your shipment. Before dialing the phone, you should know the make and model of your ATV, as well as dimensions and total weight. You will also need precise details on where the vehicle will be picked up and dropped off. Once you have compiled this information, make a few calls and see what the rates are. It is a good idea to get three to five shipping quotes to compare. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What fees are included in the quote?
  • Will there be fuel surcharges or residential delivery fees?
  • How far in advance do you need to book?
  • What is the average transit time?


Choosing the Right Company

Price is only the starting point, and it is only to make sure you are getting a fair price. Don't make a mistake by defaulting to the lowest price offer because you often get exactly what you pay for. Look for a company that will give you peace of mind and trust when they are handling your ATV. Your vehicle is important to you, and picking a company you can trust will help make sure your ATV will arrive safely.

The first step in choosing the right company is finding a provider that can meet your needs. The second step is checking independent reviews and online testimonials to see if the company lives up to expectations. Ultimately, choosing a provider is a personal decision based on how important services, reputation, and price are to you.


Protection Planning

Basic valuation coverage is fairly standard with large equipment transport companies. In most cases, this should cover the value of your ATV. However, protection for your assets is not something to make an assumption about. Make sure that your shipping contract spells out the details of any promised coverage. 

Some transporters will offer additional levels of protection that are designed to meet different needs. The key to choosing the right coverage option is in understanding what you are paying for. For example, are there limitations to coverage in either amount or by product type? In some cases, the higher levels of valuation coverage may simply offer a higher cap on payouts which may not be necessary if it exceeds the value of your ATV.

Before shipping, always be prepared in case you need to file a claim later on. This means documenting the before shipping condition with time and date-stamped photos taken from multiple angles. You may also want to get your property appraised to document the value. And, be clear about documenting any pre-existing damage so that it cannot be used as a loophole to deny coverage.


Preparing Your ATV for Shipping

Preparing Your ATV for Shipping

The purpose of taking precautions when transporting your ATV is to make sure both your vehicle and the person transporting it are doing so safely. If you do not ensure that this is done correctly, then possible damages and injuries can happen that will not be the liability of the shipping company. 

Your shipping company will provide a detailed list; here are some things to expect:

  • Wash, service, and inspect prior to transfer
  • Empty the fuel tank and clear the lines.
  • Move the fuel valve and tank vent valve to the closed position.


Trailer Options

Your trailer options may be limited by the provider or service that you choose. If one method is important to you over the other, take that into consideration when choosing a shipper. Most carriers use either an open or enclosed trailer. Open trailers leave your equipment susceptible to dirt, debris, and salt from passing traffic on the roadways. Some carriers may allow tarping to protect your ATV on an open trailer so don't for to ask and plan accordingly. Enclosed trailers offer another layer of protection to keep your equipment safe in transport, but they also cost more. The trade-offs between price and risk are individual choices. 


What to Expect at Pick Up and Drop Off

The process may be a little different for each company, but you should plan to be available to meet the driver at pick up. Your pick-up time will be confirmed at least one day prior to pick-up. When the driver arrives, a preloading inspection will be performed, and the vehicle's condition will be noted. In most cases, the pick-up address needs to be accessible by a semi, and additional residential area fees may apply.

The driver will take care of loading your ATV on the trailer and properly securing it. Once you sign the paperwork and transfer the property to the shipper, your job is done. The process for drop-off is similar and generally requires a person to meet the driver and accept the delivery. Even if the shipper doesn't require it, make sure to take pictures before loading onto the trailer and immediately following delivery. Appropriate documentation will be necessary for insurance purposes if there is damage.

The Bottom Line

It is possible to ship an ATV. Although you should do some research when choosing a carrier, there are many transport companies that can handle the job. A tractor-trailer transports most ATVs on either an open or enclosed trailer. By choosing a reputable transporter and taking the time to understand their process, you can take the mystery out of shipping an ATV. From booking dates and choosing services to prepare your vehicle for shipment, there are many detailed steps to shipping an ATV.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
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We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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