Whether you want to ship a residential generator to your property, or you’re looking to ship a generator as part of an industrial or commercial project, you may be wondering what to expect from the process. In this blog from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll answer a few common questions about shipping generators, including both residential and industrial generators.
How Are Residential Generators Shipped?
All but the largest residential generators can be shipped using a standard semi-truck trailer. Most portable generators and standby generators are small enough that they can easily fit into a semi-truck, and be lifted out of the semi using a liftgate.
However, you may need to work with your shipping company to ensure that the generator can be unloaded properly. In most cases, your generator shipping company will not unload the generator for you – so you may need several able-bodied people, handcarts, dollies, and other such equipment to unload the generator properly.
How Are Industrial Generators Shipped?
Large commercial and industrial generators are usually shipped on a flatbed, such as an RGN (removable gooseneck), lowboy, or step-deck flatbed. Large industrial generators can often weigh tens of thousands of pounds, and are typically too large to be loaded into a standard semi trailer.
In addition, these generators are usually designed to be installed outdoors and to hold up to the elements, so there is no need to use a covered trailer. A flatbed is more than adequate for moving large industrial and commercial generators.
How Much Will I Pay To Ship A Generator?
The answer can vary quite a bit, from a few hundred dollars for a small, residential standby generator, to thousands of dollars to ship a large industrial generator. Typically, generator shipping is charged at a per-mile rate, with shorter trips having a higher per-mile rate. In contrast, longer trips will have a lower per-mile rate, but will still cost more, since more distance is being covered.
There are a lot of different factors that can affect the cost of shipping a generator. Here are just a few of them.
- LTL shipping for smaller generators – Some smaller commercial or residential generators may be shipped using LTL (Less than truckload) shipping. This means that your generator will be shipped with other freight, since it won’t take up a full flatbed or semi-trailer. This results in a lower cost for your shipment, but is not practical for large shipments.
- Total weight and dimensions – A heavier, larger generator will always be more expensive to ship, particularly if it exceeds oversize load regulations. In contrast, smaller and lighter units will not be as costly to ship.
- Additional insurance – You may need to purchase additional insurance depending on the value of your generator, and the coverage limits provided by the transport company. Always inquire about coverage limits so that you can ensure you’re covered in the rare event of an accident during the shipping process.
- Domestic vs. international shipping – Domestic generator shipping is much more common than shipping generators internationally, and is a lot simpler and cheaper, since your generator will simply be transported on a truck.
International shipping, though, involves customs, as well as multiple modes of transport including trucking, rail, and ocean-going freight, and will be a lot more expensive.
How Should I Prepare A Generator For Shipping?
If your generator manufacturer has any special instructions that you need to follow for shipping, make sure you follow them. However, there are a few general steps you’ll usually need to take before shipping a generator of any size, such as draining fluids, taking photos of the generator, and securing and locking all doors and latches.
- Drain fluids – Fluid leaks can cause damage to your generator, and most shipping companies will require the generator to be completely drained of fluids like fuel and oil before the unit can be shipped.
- Take photos – We highly recommend taking photos of your generator to make sure that it is not damaged during the shipping process. If you do notice damage, this will make it easy to prove your claim and get compensation.
- Secure doors and latches – Any latches, doors, or other loose elements on the generator must be fully locked, latched, and secured. Failing to secure doors and latches could result in serious damage to your generator.
Generally, the transport broker will be responsible for the generator while it’s transported, and will have to weatherproof it and cover it with a tarp, and take other required steps to keep it safe and secure if it’s exposed to the elements.
Need Generator Transportation Services? Contact A-1 Auto Transport Today!
At A-1 Auto Transport, we work with heavy hauling companies who can handle any kind of job – including moving generators. From small, residential units to massive commercial and industrial generators, we can assist with shipping projects of any size.
So don’t wait. Get the help you need to move your generator safely to its destination. Give us a call at (800) 452-2880 or contact us online to get a quote for your job, and get started with A-1 Auto Transport right away.
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.