An Overview of Oversized Vehicle Shipping, from Agricultural Tractors to Heavy Machinery

Although car shipping services take over a huge part of the shipping industry, a couple of vehicles deserve special attention. Heavy equipment shipping is not one of the easiest tasks, especially without the right tools and experience. In most cases, heavy equipment refers to construction machinery such as tractors, dump trucks, front-end loaders, etc. These items weigh over 18,000 lbs and are over 15” long, 7’ wide and 8’ high. Therefore, there are a few things to learn while transporting such oversized vehicles, as indicated in this article:

Understand the Right Type of Trailers for Shipping

Understand the Right Type of Trailers for Shipping

Choosing the ideal trailers for heavy machinery shipping is pivotal for you. An ideal company should have various items to choose from to make your work easy and assure you that the process will be smooth and you do not have to worry about any damage. Here are three types of trailers used in this type of shipping:

Step Deck Truck

A step deck truck, also called a drop deck trailer, is a type of heavy-duty flatbed truck designed to transport oversized or overweight cargo that cannot be accommodated by standard trailers due to height restrictions. Step deck trucks have two levels, with the front level being taller than the back, allowing cargo to be loaded onto the lower level and then onto the higher level using ramps.

The lower level of a step deck truck is typically 10-20 inches off the ground, making it ideal for loading heavy equipment, which cannot fit on a normal trailer. The upper level, the step deck, is lower than a traditional flatbed trailer, allowing taller cargo to be transported without exceeding height restrictions.

Lowboy Truck

Lowboy Truck

A lowboy truck has a low-profile design with a lowered deck that sits close to the ground. The deck height is typically between 18 and 24 inches off the ground, making loading and unloading heavy equipment easier. Notably, these trailers have various features, such as hydraulic ramps, which make loading and unloading even easier. In other cases, they have multiple axles to distribute the load’s weight, which helps prevent damage to the roadway and ensures safety during transportation.

Flatbed Trailers

These trailers have a flat, open platform allowing easy loading and unloading of cargo without walls or ceiling restrictions. These truck trailers easily accommodate many vehicles, including large trucks, buses, and construction equipment. Their open design makes them ideal for transporting items that cannot be loaded or unloaded with a forklift or crane and requires specialized equipment or handling.

If equipment is about 12 feet in height, you can still transport it using lowboy trailers, for instance. However, you require special types of escort services to ensure the safety of such items. These escort vehicles go in front and behind the trailer, warning other vehicles on the roads and providing an update on the road conditions. Therefore, if they come across height limitation signs, the escort drivers warn the trailer drivers advising them on an alternative route.

The Price

The Price

The shipping costs of heavy machinery or vehicles vary based on the company and the equipment’s weight. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics indicates that in 2017 alone, there were over 119,388 tons of machinery transported in the country, estimated to be worth over $1,051,707 million. Therefore, it shows how big of a business this type of shipping is. Roughly, it will cost you $2-$3 a mile, but these prices are bound to change based on the distance. Talk to your shipping company and find out their charges and factors that might increase the shipping expenses.

Understand the Type of Vehicle You Are Shipping

If your vehicle is modified, shipping companies will charge you more than for a regular heavy vehicle. Here, the transportation cost relies on the following:

  • How heavy is the car
  • The year, model, and make of the vehicle
  • The condition of the car, that is, if the vehicle is operable or not
  • Your specific timeframe for transpiration and expected delivery dates
  • The specific dimensions, that is, the width, weight, height and length

Most companies will also ask for photos of a customized oversize wheedle to understand what they are dealing with and the type of trailers necessary for such shipping.

Ready to Ship Your Moto? Contact Ship A Car, Inc., Today!


Shipping an oversized vehicle or heavy equipment requires careful planning and working closely with the shipping company to get the best services. As you shop around for these vehicles, the goal should be finding a team specialized in these services to avoid delays and keep you at ease, knowing that everything will go as per your expectations. Luckily, with our team, you will get the best services since we have well-trained drivers and well-equipped carriers to cater to your needs.

Contact Ship A Car right away to take the first step toward smooth heavy equipment shipment. Our committed staff is prepared to give you with thorough information and respond to any inquiries you may have. Get your free, no-obligation transportation price while learning more about the knowledge we have and dependable solutions. Contact us right now to explore your options for effective transportation of big machinery.