While the majority of the auto shipping industry is dedicated to shipping cars, there is a considerable part that focus on the transport of large or oversized vehicles. Overall, transporting large vehicles is much more challenging that conventional cars because of the specific preparations and specialized procedures required for their shipment.
Since it’s less common to own an oversized vehicle, most people are not concerned with how the transport process works. However, the select few that do own a particularly large vehicle, understand the difficulties and stress that can be associated with needing to transport it. To ensure a hassle-free shipping experience, it’s important that you do the proper research and select the right company for the undertaking.
What Is an Oversized Vehicle?
Before we move along any further, you may be wondering: what exactly is an oversized or large vehicle and does your vehicle fall into this category? As a general rule of thumb, a vehicle is deemed large or oversized if it cannot fit on a standard vehicle hauler and/or if it exceeds road restrictions placed on size or weight. Your average, every-day sedan or even your larger SUV, pickup or minivan is not considered oversized.
Oversized, large vehicles are generally unable to fit on conventional vehicle haulers as they are designed for standard-sized sedans. In this case, these large vehicles require a larger transportation hauler in order to safely and legally transport across the country.
In regards to size and weight, road restrictions are established based on the specific road infrastructure in the US. The Department of Transportation (DOT) imposes the following size and weight limits:
- Width: the vehicle must be no wider than 102” (does not include handholds, mirrors or any other protruding accessories)
- Height: each individual state has its own restrictions based on height that can range from 13’6” to 14’
- Weight: the gross vehicle weight cannot exceed 80,000 pounds
If a vehicle surpasses any of these limits, it is deemed oversized and will necessitate a permit to be driven on a freeway. In some cases, these vehicles may be required to have an escort or even special routing.
Common Types of Oversized Vehicles
The category of large and oversized vehicles is broad, consisting of machines of various shapes, sizes, weight and types. In general, the types that are most commonly transported include:
- Buses, RVs, and large recreational vehicles
- Heavy and large trucks and UTVs
- Large boats and yachts
- Construction equipment (bulldozers, excavators, cranes etc.)
- Large farming equipment
Regardless, every vehicle is unique and require its own logistical approach for proper and effective transport.
Large Vehicle Transport Do’s and Don’ts
The first task in shipping an oversized vehicle is to hire an auto transport company for the job. Adhere to the following do’s and don’ts in order to ensure that you select a reputable auto shipping company for transporting your large vehicle.
- DO be choosy when selecting a shipping company. The best price doesn’t always mean the most reliable or experienced company. On the other hand, the more expensive quote may not always indicate quality service either. Do plenty of research and develop a good understanding of the company’s reputation before hiring them.
- DON’T wait until the very last minute to find an auto transport company. Transporting a large vehicle requires special consideration, knowledge and preparation. It’s important that the right driver is selected and the necessary equipment is available. Keeping these factors in mind, it may be almost impossible to book your shipment with very little notice. Plan ahead and start speaking with transport companies as early as possible.
- DO take your time to gather knowledge and research your options. While you should not wait until the last minute to schedule the transport of your large vehicle, you should allow for plenty of time for research. There will hundreds, if not thousands, of companies fighting for your business. It’s important that you come armed with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
- DON’T undervalue your oversized vehicle. By law, your auto transport company is required to offer a minimum level of insurance coverage. Make sure to verify that what they provide is enough to cover any possible damages that could occur during shipment.
- DO stand your ground on your requirements. If you are certain that you need enclosed transport for the shipment of your large vehicle, do not let a company convince you otherwise. If they’re trying to side-step your requests, cross them off your list. There are many other companies out there that will sacrifice slight inconveniences and jump through hoops to make sure that you are content with the transport of your oversized vehicle.
Ship Vehicles has over 30 years of experience in the auto transport industry and we specialize in many forms of transport including, but not limited to, transporting large vehicles. We have the necessary experience to help manage the shipment of your oversized vehicle to your desired destination. Not to mention, we also have the stellar record and extensive list of previous happy customers to show for it. You can get in touch with one of our large vehicle shipping experts by filling out our online request from or calling our office directly today!
Types of Carriers for Large Vehicles
Transporting a large vehicle means that specialized carriers are required for safe and legal shipping. When relocating an oversized vehicle, there will be four major options presented to you:
- Drive-away service. To be eligible for this option, your oversized vehicle must be operable. A professional licensed driver will be assigned to drive your vehicle to the destination point for you, regardless of distance. This service is the ideal choice for buses, trucks and RVs.
- Having your vehicle loaded and then transported on a suitable truck works great for boats, UTVs, farm and construction equipment, limousines or any inoperable large vehicles. The type of hauling truck will depend on the dimensions and weight of your particular oversized vehicle. These include: flat-bed trucks, lowboy trucks, drop deck (step deck) trucks and big rick trucks.
- Railway Transport. In some cases, it may be too complicated to find a route suitable enough for the transport of your large vehicle. For example, if the weight reaches close to 100,000 pounds or the height exceeds well over 14 feet, railway transport may be the best choice. Railway platforms have a very large capacity and can fit vehicles up to 17 feet tall, 11 feet wide and 500,000 pounds. This option is perfect for construction and farm machinery or any oversized vehicles that fall on the extra-large end of the spectrum.
How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Large Vehicle?
As you’ve probably noticed, transporting a large vehicle requires an individual approach. The non-conventional sizing and various factors involved in the shipping process of oversized vehicles is exactly why we create custom car shipping quotes for all our customers. Once you submit your request online or contact us directly, we can provide you with your shipping options and customized quote in less than 30 minutes.
The only information our team needs to be aware of is: the make and model of the vehicle, the vehicle’s dimensions (weight, width, height and length), whether it is operable or not, and any particular modifications. Give us a call today at (877) 310-6434 for your no-cost, no-obligation shipping estimate!
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