What You Need To Know About Shipping A Semi Truck
If you need to ship a semi truck to another destination to sell it, prepare for a freight shipping job, or for any other reason, you may wonder what to expect when shipping a semi truck. In this guide from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll help you learn a little bit more about the basics, and what to expect.
How Are Semi Trucks Shipped?
Semi trucks are shipped by using… semi trucks! Whether your semi truck is inoperable or you just want to transport it to a different area without driving it yourself, it will be loaded onto a flatbed and then driven to its destination by a semi truck.
Flatbeds are ideal for transporting semi trucks, as they can accommodate loads of up to 80,000 lbs, and can usually handle loads exceeding 48 feet in length. The typical semi truck weighs between 10,000 and 25,000 lbs unladen, and is between 20-30 feet in length, so flatbeds can accommodate one – or sometimes more than one – semi truck at once.
How Much Will It Cost To Ship My Semi Truck?
The cost of shipping a semi truck is similar to the cost of shipping other types of heavy freight, and is usually charged at a per-mile rate. This rate will vary depending on a wide variety of factors, including the distance of the shipment, the size and weight of your semi truck, whether or not it’s running, and whether you choose door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal transport.
- Distance of shipment – The price you’ll pay per mile for shipping is higher for short hauls. For example, you may pay $3 per mile for a 100-mile trip. But this price would drop as the distance grew – a 1,000 mile trip could be much lower per-mile.
- Size and weight of semi truck – The size and weight of your semi truck are important when determining how much it will cost to ship. As a rule, a smaller semi truck – like a day cab truck – will be cheaper to ship than a heavy-duty sleeper semi truck.
- Operability – Shipping an inoperable truck will incur much higher costs, since it will not be possible to simply drive it onto a flatbed, and it instead must be lifted using a crane or other specialized equipment. If possible, you should avoid shipping a non-functioning semi-truck.
- Door-to-door vs terminal-to-terminal – “Door-to-door” shipping means the semi truck is picked up and dropped off at a location of your choice, such as a business parking lot. It’s usually more expensive than terminal-to-terminal shipping.
In terminal-to-terminal shipping, you will drive your semi truck to a freight terminal, where it will be loaded for shipping. Then, it will be sent to a destination freight terminal, where you can pick it up.
- Additional insurance coverage – Heavy haul companies must have at least $100,000 in insurance due to federal law, but some semi trucks can be worth up to $150,000 or more, in some cases. You should contact your heavy haul carrier and check to make sure they have enough insurance to cover the value of your semi truck.
How Should I Prepare A Semi Truck For Shipping?
There are a few basic steps you should take to prepare your truck for shipping, such as documenting its condition with photos, removing all of your personal items, and draining most of the diesel fuel from the tanks.
- Document its condition and take photos – It’s a good idea to take photos of the outside and interior of your semi truck in order to have proof of its condition before it’s shipped. It’s not very likely that your truck will be seriously damaged during shipping, but this can help you prove damage to your semi truck in the rare case of damage.
- Remove all valuables and personal items – This is particularly applicable for owner-operators. Make sure you remove valuables like TVs, computers, gaming consoles, and other such items, as well as any personal items you want to keep secure. The risk of theft is low, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
- Drain fuel, if required – Draining diesel fuel from the truck’s tanks can save hundreds of pounds in weight, and may be required for safety purposes by your heavy haul carrier. However, you should not drain the tanks completely, to ensure the truck has enough fuel to be driven on and off of its flatbed trailer.
Need Help Shipping Your Semi Truck? A-1 Auto Transport Is Here For You
At A-1 Auto Transport, we work with a wide network of heavy haul trucking providers throughout the United States. If you need to ship a semi truck – either within your state or across the entire country – we’re here to help.
So don’t wait. Find a heavy haul trucking carrier near you with the help of A-1 Auto Transport, and make sure your semi truck reaches its destination safely, on time, and on budget. Give us a call at (800) 452-2880, or contact us online for more information.
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.