Is Shipping a Truck Different Than Shipping any Other Vehicle?
The idea of shipping a truck may seem strange, but it really isn’t that hard.
Shipping a truck is a common procedure, especially for individuals who use their trucks at their jobs, like construction contractors, truckers, and subcontractors. Even if you have never shipped a truck before, the process is easy to understand.
The most complex thing that you can do is think that the process is complex, so don’t worry.
Almost any truck can be shipped. The only difference will be the shipping method, and that is really dependent on the type of truck that you have.
While shipping a truck is sometimes different than shipping other vehicles, how much it differs depends on the following factors:
- The vehicle a truck is being compared to
- Size and weight of the truck
- Type of truck
- Shipping distance
- Shipping destination
Smaller pickup trucks like Ford Rangers are easy to ship and the process is fairly similar to shipping a normal car.
However, if you are shipping a repurposed ambulance, a large dually truck, or class A motorhome, the process will be very different.
The Vehicle a Truck Is Being Compared To
There are various rules and regulations that you must abide by, depending on the vehicle you are shipping.
Shipping a truck will be a different process for you than shipping a boat. As we mentioned above, the process is fairly similar to that of shipping a car, with a few key differences.
These changes often result in different prices.
The Size and Weight of the Truck
The larger and the heavier the truck you are shipping is, the more difficult (and therefore more expensive) the shipping process will be. While small trucks are often no bigger than a pickup, an SUV, or a sedan, larger trucks can be twice the weight or more.
It is not uncommon for companies to ship trucks using larger trucks as well, often using low loader trailers.
Shipping a truck that weighs 2-3,000 lbs. is easier than shipping a truck that weighs 6,000+.
Why does this increase my price?
Heavier vehicles like trucks use more gas to transport. We all wish gas was free, but it’s not. Heavier shipments will consume more gas and auto shipping companies are forced to price shipments with that in mind.
The Type of the Truck
Trucks come in many different types. You’ve probably driven pickup trucks in your life. There is nothing more American than a large pickup truck.
The everyday type of trucks that we drive are usually small/light trucks and can be shipped just like any car!
Other trucks, however, are larger. Medium-sized trucks, for instance, can weigh anywhere from 15,000 lbs. to 26,000 lbs. Medium-sized trucks include box trucks, vans, platform trucks, some types of firetrucks, and even motorhomes.
Very heavy trucks weigh more than 33,000 lbs. Generally, very heavy trucks are meant for industrial usage like construction, like haul trucks and ballast tractors.
The Shipping Distance
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that longer distances tend to cost more. Read more about shipping truck overseas here.
But is this really true?
In some ways yes. The further you need to ship a vehicle, the more expensive it will be.
There’s a caveat though
Auto shipping prices are extremely competitive in the United States. Because of this, shipping your vehicles a little bit further may cost more, but it doesn’t go up by that much.
The Shipping Destination
Depending on the size and weight of your truck, you may or may not be able to transport your trucks using the local highways. The truck may simply be too large to fit the lanes, or bylaws may prevent you from shipping along certain routes, due to the sheer weight of the truck and transport.
You can lower the cost, and increase the ability of a vehicle shipping company, by ensuring that your destination is simple to arrive at.
Driving along country roads or on narrow bridges may not be feasible when shipping a truck. However, choosing a destination near a major highway will make the shipment much easier.
Common Truck Shipment Methods for Small and Medium Sized Trucks
The larger the truck, the more difficult it will be to ship. However, small and medium sized trucks will be able to be shipped just like a commercial passenger vehicle. The two common methods for shipping such a vehicle is open air transport, or enclosed transport on the bed of a low loader.
Open Air Transport
With open air transport, your truck is loaded onto the bed of a low loader, and shipped to its destination. The benefits of open air transport include:
- The ability to ship multiple trucks
- Regular vehicle checkups by the driver
With open air transport, your vehicle is secured on a low loader and shipped to its destination. Being open air, your vehicle is able to be inspected by the driver multiple times during the shipping process.
This method is also cheaper than enclosed transport, which is a huge benefit for clients looking to save some money.
With enclosed transport, your truck is loaded into a trailer on the flatbed of a big rig, and shipped to its destination. While enclosed transport is more expensive, and it is harder to ship multiple trucks using this method, there are some benefits to enclosed transport. They are as follows:
- Protection from the elements
- Avoid damage
- Eases stress over a vehicle
Of course, shipping a heavier truck will require more equipment, and with that a higher price. However, with enclosed transport, your vehicle is shipped in its own trailer.
Once it is locked up after loading, it is not unlocked until it arrives at your intended destination. There is a sense of security in knowing that your vehicle is key safe throughout the entire journey that no amount of money can compensate. This is primarily the reason why people choose enclosed transport.
What Does This All Mean?
In this article, we have discussed the different ways how shipping a truck is different than shipping any other vehicle. With the information, you are now ready to start calling up car shipment companies to get the best rates for your needs.
What You Should Remember
Many factors go into considering the differences between shipping a truck versus any other vehicle. Sometimes, shipping a truck will be very similar, like when shipping a small quarter-ton pickup truck. In such a comparison, the shipment details will be identical. However, the larger and heavier the truck is, the more the shipping process will differ.
Once you start shipping really heavy trucks (medium and up), the process diverges. You will start to need specialty vehicle shipping companies, as well as specialty tools like mechanically or hydraulic detachable low loaders. At that point, the shipping details will have to change, the shipping time will be longer, and the shipping costs will be greater.
Let’s cut to the chase
A-1 Auto Transport is ready to help you ship your truck across the country. Whether your shipping a vehicle because your moving, or for business, we are going to offer you the best price and service.
Give us a call today and we’ll provide you with a fair quote, an exact delivery date, and the peace of mind that you need to get going.
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.