8 Things That Will Affect Your Truck Shipping Quote

6 min to read
Ship truck cost

You love your truck. It’s an important part of your life, whether you use it for work or play or both. So of course, you want to take it with you wherever you go. The only problem? Moving a truck can be a big job, and finding a truck shipping quote can be tough.

When you’re shipping a car, chances are good you’ll have lots of auto transport companies to choose from. But when you’re shipping a truck, finding a company that’s reliable and budget-friendly can be a challenge.

Whether you’re shipping your truck because you want to bring it with you to a contract job, you’re moving across the country, or you’re buying a truck online and need to get it home, figuring out how much shipping a truck costs and then finding the right company to do it takes time. In this article, we’ve outlined some of the factors that can affect truck shipping cost and the ways shipping a truck can be very different from shipping a car.

Shipping a truck is not the same as shipping a car

The key thing that makes shipping a truck somewhat harder and somewhat more expensive than shipping a car is simply that trucks are bigger and bulkier. Trucks are shipped across the country every day, and almost every type of truck can be shipped. However, your choice of auto transport company and the available shipping dates you can choose from may be limited. Not every company that moves cars also has the experience and the equipment to transport trucks. Be prepared to be more flexible when shipping a truck than you’d have to be when shipping a car.

How much does shipping a truck cost?

Cost is usually the first thing on a person’s mind when they start looking into truck shipping quotes, but it’s important to remember that you get what you pay for. In general, shipping a truck will be more expensive than shipping a car. As to how much it will cost to ship your particular truck, the best way to find out is to use an online shipping quote calculator. These calculators factor in all of the considerations that come into play when transporting a large vehicle like a truck, from the make and model to the weight to any alterations that have been made to the body or engine. Here’s how everything adds up:

The size of your truck may affect the cost

The bigger and heavier the truck, the more it will cost to ship it. That’s because shipping a truck is more difficult than shipping a sedan or even an SUV. Larger trucks can be twice the weight or more of a small pickup, and much wider and longer as well. That makes them more difficult to fit onto the standard trailers most carriers use to transport cars. When shipping big trucks, carriers have to use larger trucks, more gas, and special low loader trailers. All of this means that moving trucks is more expensive for carriers and those costs get passed on to consumers.

The type of truck matters

There are lots of different types of trucks, from the small pickup trucks many people drive in place of a regular car to the huge pickup trucks that are the backbone of all construction and remodeling projects. There are also many different kinds of specialty trucks. Light trucks can often be shipped like any other car on a standard ten-car auto transport carrier, but even medium-size trucks (a category that can include vans and motorhomes) can weigh five times as much as a typical sedan and will have to be shipped on a flatbed hauler. The largest working trucks will require even more special handling, and will, therefore, cost more to ship.

Shipping distance will be a factor

For the most part, shipping a truck a longer distance will cost more money. That said, the cost to ship cars and trucks in the United States can vary quite a bit by season and depend on trends in the industry. Also, your truck shipping cost will be lower per mile when it’s traveling further. That means distance won’t always play as big a role in your quote as other factors.

Distance is not just about getting from point A to point B, though. Smaller cars being moved on smaller carriers can usually be transported on local highways, but big, heavy trucks can only be moved on roadways that can handle the weight and width of the largest haulers. When the trucker needs to stick to certain roads and stay off other ones, it can make the overall distance of the trip longer.

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Destination also impacts price

How easy is it to get to the place where your truck needs to go? It may be less expensive to ship your truck to a destination that is near a major highway. That way the trucker only has to pull off the highway, unload, and get the thumbs up from you before getting back en route. A faster drop off may mean a lower quote.

Modified trucks cost more to ship

Does your truck have a lift kit? How about oversize tires? Does your truck have racks that can’t be removed or a ladder? When you contact auto shipping companies for a quote, make sure you let them know that yours isn’t a factory standard pickup. Your truck may require a different kind of carrier, which will then change the price of shipping.

In some cases, shipping a heavily modified truck may mean paying for premium handling and hauling instead of basic service or paying an extra fee because the hauler has to adjust the truck levels to accommodate the height of your truck.

Open vs. closed transport makes a difference

Almost all truck shipping takes place on open carriers because it’s a safe shipping method and most trucks are made to withstand the elements. Open transport is also the less expensive option. But if your truck is brand new, you have a luxury truck, or you have a valuable antique truck, shipping it on an enclosed carrier might be the way to go. Just keep in mind that shipping a truck on a closed carrier will be pricier and you may have fewer options when it comes to your ship date.

Timing is yet another factor

More often than not, the amount of time it takes to ship a truck can vary quite a bit. Drivers can cover 500 miles a day, though if they are loading and unloading many vehicles each day, they won’t get as far.

If you absolutely need your truck to get where it needs to go ASAP, then you’re going to pay more for expedited shipping. Coordinating faster ship times takes additional route planning and that costs more money. The more flexible you can be about drop off and pick up times, the less expensive your truck shipping quote will be. That’s because your flexibility lets the auto transport company organize their deliveries as efficiently as possible.

Timing also matters when it comes to the season. First, the auto transport world has high and low seasons just like every other industry. When the demand for auto transport services is low, prices get more competitive. And second, the literal season matters, too. For example, shipping your truck in the winter may be more expensive because there is increased traffic from snowbirds and more dangerous road conditions due to the weather.

Your work equipment matters, too

There are lots of reasons to clear everything out of your truck before shipping it, but sometimes getting all of your professional equipment out of a working vehicle is a hassle. Some auto transport companies will ask you to remove any and all personal items from your truck but will allow you to transport items that are related to your profession.

Keep in mind that if your equipment is heavy, it can make shipping your truck more expensive due to the added weight. Also, a carrier’s insurance typically won’t cover anything but the vehicle being shipped so if you want to play it safe (and save money) empty your truck.

As you can see, many factors will contribute to the final amount of your truck shipping quote. First and foremost, however, will be the fact that it is a truck and probably will need some degree of special handling or special tools like hydraulic loaders. The shipping process for trucks is simply different, and the heavier and bulkier a truck is, the more the process differs.

The best way to find out how different shipping your truck will be is to talk to a representative from an auto transport company like Montway. The more information you can give them, the easier it will be for them to give you a quote and to line up the right type of carrier for your particular truck so it can get where it needs to go.