Auto Shipping Glossary: Non-Standard Freight
The term “non-standard freight” is a pretty broad term that groups anything that is not a standard car, pickup truck, minivan or cargo van or sport utility vehicle – in other words, thing that can’t fit on a standard, open ten-car carrier. Non-standard freight includes things such as motorcycles, oversize pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, recreational vehicles such as motorhomes and campers, construction equipment, three-wheelers, off-road all-terrain vehicles, golf carts, and a lot more. Because non-standard freight is…well…not standard freight, the process to quote it properly and ensure a five-star vehicle shipping experience deviates from the normal process a fair bit, and understanding how it differs is key in having a good overall shipping experience. If you’re shipping a non-standard vehicle, read on to learn more about how your vehicle will likely be quoted and shipped and what to expect once you start your shipment.
Usually the quotes that you receive to ship a non-standard vehicle will be calculated using a different set of standards than quotes calculated for standard vehicles. While the basic factors still play a major role – for example, where you’re shipping from and to, the weight of the vehicle in question, fuel prices at the time of shipment and the popularity of the given route will all still factor into your price. But what you’re shipping will also factor in much more so than with a standard vehicle, particularly the weight. Motorcycles and ATV’s are smaller, so they tend to cost less, but they are shipped differently than a standard car in that they are generally shipped via a crate, which changes their dimensions and thus requires a different type of transport truck. Motorhomes are very large, requiring the largest of flatbed transport trucks more often than not. A golf cart is not very large, but its small size actually prevents it from fitting on most standard auto transport trucks, thus requiring a different sort of transport truck as well.
What type of truck is required for your shipment depends on who you book with and who they have available. Most vehicles that can be crated like a motorcycle will likely go on a specialized flatbed transport truck. There are some companies that specialize in motorcycle transportation, and many still that offer motorcycle services as part of their overall shipping services. Motorhomes, as mentioned, usually require flatbed trucks, as do things like construction equipment. This is mainly because of their height and weight, and this is where we segue into how weight is a defining factor. Every nationwide auto transport company – indeed, any logistics company that ships freight – is required by law to adhere to specific weight limits for the trucks they use to haul that freight. This is done for several reasons; for one, overweight trucks can cause instability in infrastructure, as they put undue stress on the roadways and particularly on bridge supports and joints. Because of this maximum weight that all shippers have to adhere to, heavier vehicles can be more difficult to ship since the trucks are big and heavy even when they’re empty.
This is where you’ll want to discuss your shipment options with an auto transport professional. They’ll be able to give you a good idea as to what it will cost to ship your vehicle, how long it will take to get it picked up and shipped, and what type of carrier will be required – and all of these factors will influence your price and wait times as well. If you’re shipping something larger than a standard car, truck or SUV, you’ll want to have the dimensions on-hand when you start searching for quotes, as the dimensions of your vehicle could play a vital role in your price. In addition to weight, auto shippers must adhere to specific length and height restrictions, again to ensure the safety of cargo as well as infrastructure – for instance, if a truck’s cargo is higher than the maximum allowed under law, you could see the top of a vehicle or two shear off thanks to a low overpass. There’s a reason why laws are in place – it’s to protect your cargo as much as the roadways.
If you’re interested in shipping a non-standard vehicle and need some help in getting off the ground floor, you should really give us a call at 800-930-7417. If you do you’ll connect directly to a live auto transport agent, who can give you some good advice and information when it comes to shipping non-standard freight, and they can also help you get free quotes from multiple vehicle shipping companies who can handle non-standard vehicles. Of course, you can also fill out our free online quote request form yourself; under the make section, you can get quotes for a motorcycle by selecting the “motorcycle” option and then choosing “Over 600cc” or “Under 600cc.” For motorhomes or any oversize freight, we recommend putting in “other” under the make and also the model section. Once you enter your contact information in the second portion, you’ll receive multiple free quotes from top-rated shipping companies in your inbox within the hour. From there, you can discuss in detail your shipment with one of their live representatives. Our services are completely free and put all the power of your vehicle shipment under your control, so call us today or fill out our free form to see what American Auto Shipping can do for you.