Getting the Most When Shipping an Oversize Vehicle
Shipping a standard vehicle can be stressful enough, but what about shipping an oversize vehicle? Well, it can be a hassle, or it can be easy, depending on what it is and how much we know about it.
The thing about shipping oversize vehicles is that they very so greatly. Whereas a Toyota Corolla is always the same size regardless of the year, oversize vehicles vary in their dimensions. For instance, an F-450 tow truck is a lot different than a lifted F-450, despite being the same model.
And it’s not just factory vehicle. Pretty much anything that’s too big is considered oversize. This includes construction and farming equipment, lifted or extended vehicles, food trucks, and more.
These size variations make a big difference when it comes to the price you pay to ship a car. That’s why we’re going to break down the process of shipping an oversize vehicle and what you can expect. So read on to get the most when shipping an oversize vehicle.
The basics of shipping an oversize vehicle
When you ship a standard sized vehicle, they fit on standard sized trucks. What is a standard sized truck in the auto transport industry? Typically, they’re open ten-car carriers. Enclosed transport trucks are also available for standard vehicles.
But when you’re shipping an oversize vehicle, they don’t fit on a standard sized carrier. But there are a few different options available for oversize vehicles.
The first is the typical flatbed auto transport truck. These come in two main sizes: tow truck and lowboy. The tow truck size is mostly used for local transportation services, for instance, within a state. The second kind of flatbed truck is the lowboy, and you see these hauling construction and farming equipment more than anything. They also tend to handle really long vehicles, or really tall vehicles.
The second type of transport truck that handles oversize vehicles is the wedge trailer. You’ve likely seen these before: they look like giant ramps that are hitched to the back of larger pickup trucks. Wedge trailers are great for oversize vehicles because they can be adjusted for height and are already long enough to handle longer vehicles.
We may need pictures of your oversize vehicle as well. Make sure you have the ability to send any pictures of the vehicle to us if we need them.
The difference between a flatbed and a wedge
The cool thing about flatbed trucks and wedge trailers is that they can both handle large vehicles. However there are some differences you need to be aware of.
Your typical flatbed tow truck can’t handle really tall vehicles. Taller vehicles, such as a Sprinter van, have issues with overpass clearance heights. No carrier wants to run the risk of shaving the top of a car off because they can’t fit under an overpass.
Not only that, they tend to cost more per mile as they can’t get more than one vehicle on the truck usually. Wedge trailers solve both of these issues. Wedge trailers are usually of the three-car variety. Now, they sometimes can only take one or two depending on the size of the vehicles, but that’s okay. There’s room for them.
For wedges that are taking multiple vehicles, prices tend to go down. But for a vehicle that takes up most all the wedge, it’s going to cost more. However, a wedge is so much easier to find and they are a lot easier to load and unload vehicles from. This makes them the go-to carrier type for oversize vehicles.
On the whole, they’ll be priced about the same. Flatbed shipments are almost always priced on a price-per-mile basis. This can make finding cheap auto shipping quotes for flatbed services trickier. Luckily, we know all about how to do it, and we can get you priced properly for your shipment.
Sub-models: what they are and why they’re important
So far we’ve talked mostly about really big vehicles. Now, all oversize vehicles are large, but sometimes, they’re not food trucks or equipment. Instead, they’re factory-built trucks, like a Ford F-350, that have been modified in some way.
These tend to be the most commonly shipped oversize vehicles, as people love to lift or extend their pickup trucks. If your pickup truck is lifted, extended, or has oversize tires, chances are that we’ll need the dimensions.
But what about a big – yet stock – pickup truck?
This is where sub-models come into play. When it comes to pickup trucks, you likely know that there are multiple sub-models that you can choose from. It’s not enough to say you’re shipping a Ford Pickup – we need to know what kind of pickup it is. This helps when figuring out your auto transport prices, especially if you need it done at a cheap rate.
This is crucial because each different sub-model of, say, the Ford F-Series, is going to cost a different amount of money. A Ford F-150 can usually fit on a standard carrier. But, the price will differ depending on what kind of F-150 it is.
And it can get confusing because for new F-150’s you have the XL, the XLT, the Lariat and the King Ranch. Each of them has a different configuration, different body style, and different engines. All of these will affect the dimensions of the vehicle and larger ones may not be able to fit on a standard carrier.
This is why it’s important that you let us know what the sub-model of your pickup is. Whether it’s a Chevrolet Silverado, a Ford F-Series, a Ram pickup, it doesn’t matter. The sub-model will allow us to properly quote your shipment and be able to find the right carrier to haul it.
Dimensions, dimensions, dimensions
Now let’s talk about oversize vehicles that aren’t factory or stock. We’re talking about things like food trucks, or construction/farming equipment, or anything else that’s really big and heavy.
When it comes to these kinds of vehicles, the price is going to depend greatly on just how big and how heavy they are. as such, we need the dimensions in order to even give you a quote. This is because these have to be quoted on a per mile basis.
It’s not enough to say that it’ll be $1.00/mile or $1.25/mile without knowing exactly what it is that’s being shipped. Here’s a good example of what we mean:
A food truck is a food truck and they tend to be roughly the same length, width, and height. Some are longer or a bit taller so we do need those dimensions, but the real kicker tends to be the weight. A fully loaded food truck, with all the kitchen equipment in it, can weigh thousands more than one that’s empty. This will most definitely affect your price per mile, and could also impact what kind of truck or trailer can haul it.
For anything that is oversize, we need the dimensions. But if it’s a box truck or a food truck or some other type of commercial vehicle, it’s that much more important that we have the dimensions.
The most important dimensions when it comes to shipping an oversize vehicle are the length, width, height, and weight. If you are unsure of the dimensions of your oversize vehicle, get a tape measure and measure them yourself! Or, if you don’t want to put that work into it, you can usually find them online.
American Auto Shipping is here to help
No matter what kind of oversize vehicle you’re shipping, we can help you out. We need the dimensions in order to get you a quote, but we ship oversize vehicles often and know how to get them moved.
As such, you really should call us if you need a quote to ship an oversize vehicle. You can get a free car shipping quote right now via our online form. However, our quote form really doesn’t allow you to put all that information in and, besides, speaking to a representative about your oversize vehicle will give you more information on the process and what to expect. It’ll also make your quote far more accurate.
So give us a call at 800-930-7417. It’s free and easy and there’s no obligation to book with us. Just don’t be afraid of the price, because oversize vehicle shipping services are a lot more expensive than shipping a standard vehicle. Regardless, we can help you get it moved.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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