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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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.
And my 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.
The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.
When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.
The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.
They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?
So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to 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!
If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.
I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!
The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!
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.
After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.
Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.
By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
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.
We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!
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