Do I Need a Flatbed Carrier to Transport My Vehicle
You have three shipping options:
- Open Transport Carriers – the most economical and considered the standard carriers in the industry today. Almost 90% of cars shipping across state or across the country travel on open car transport.
- Enclosed Auto Transports – more expensive and not as readily available as open transport carriers. Enclosed carriers are the upper echelon of transporters as they protect your vehicle against rain, dust, debris, and weather hazards. We generally recommend enclosed transportation services for luxury cars, exotic vehicles, sports cars, and restored classics.
- Flatbed Auto Transports – the least used type of carrier, more expensive than other options, and require longer wait times for dispatch, pickup, and transport times.
So, why would anyone opt for a flatbed transport? Read on as we explain the details of this lesser-known, niche method of shipping your vehicle. We’ll address the cost differential, the rationale for the longer pick-up window, what types of vehicles require a flatbed transport, and how to arrange for flatbed transportation.
FLATBED TRANSPORT EXPLAINED
The auto transport industry is subject to the same laws of supply and demand as other industries. There are far fewer flatbed carriers on the road than either of their open or enclosed counterparts due to the limited demand for flatbed transports.
Supply dictates the higher rates for flatbeds and protracted scheduling, pickup, and delivery. Despite these inconveniences, flatbeds still play a crucial role in the industry. Why? Because of the unique services they offer. Let’s see if your vehicle needs to be shipped on a flatbed.
FLATBED FREIGHT LOADS – A CRUCIAL SERVICE
Flatbed transport carriers haul vehicles that either won’t fit or can’t be loaded onto a standard open auto transport carrier. We think you may be surprised as we delve into the type of vehicles that require this specialized service. The two prominent determining factors are size and weight.
Obviously, things such as heavy construction equipment and tow trucks won’t fit on a standard carrier. But did you know that if you happen to own an oversized stock production vehicle, an extended cargo van, a large pickup truck, or even a small motorhome, you may be subject to needing a flatbed?
Trucks like the Ford F-350 Super Duty Dually and vans such as the Dodge Sprinter have a hard time loading and fitting on standard auto transport carriers. Because of their height, most larger trucks, or lifted vehicles will not fit on the bottom row of an open transport truck and would be too tall on the top rack, subject to damage by a low overpass.
These vehicles are also significantly heavier than the standard automobiles, making them less attractive to standard carriers due to increased fuel consumption.
ARRANGING FLATBED TRANSPORTATION
We have explained that limited supply means it is harder to access flatbed shipping trucks. So be sure to book your shipment as early as possible to avoid the need for expedited shipping. Considering these expanded scheduling times, we highly recommend calling our office at 800-553-1828 if you feel your vehicle might be too large for a standard carrier.
You can fill out our free online form for a basic quote on your shipment, but for the best and most accurate quotes, you should call and speak to one of our representatives. We suggest you be prepared to provide the dimensions, overall height, length, width, and weight of your vehicle. Armed with this information, our expert representatives can compile an accurate transport quote for your situation.
Call 800-553-1828 at your earliest convenience! or request a quote below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a flatbed transport cost?
Flatbed transports are deployed for oversized or inoperable/damaged vehicles. As a result, they usually carry only one, two, or three vehicles. So, instead of splitting mileage costs with seven to ten cars, you are sharing the total fees with one or two vehicles.
How much does flatbed transport cost per mile?
Costs vary depending on the distance. Shorter routes can be $1.00 to $2.00 per mile. Long routes can go from $.60 to $1.50 per mile.
Weight, size, and condition of the vehicle are the primary factors determining cost.
Given the unique circumstances in flatbed transport, quotes are a bit more complicated and require one of expert agents to review the details of your shipment.
For a free custom flatbed quote, please call us at 800-553-1828 or fill out our online quote form and receive a quote in minutes.
FLATBED TRANSPORTS – IN SUMMARY
We hope we’ve sufficiently explained the crucial role of flatbeds and why you should only use them if required for your vehicle. The service is undoubtedly available; however, we only recommend vehicles that cannot fit on a standard carrier be shipped with a flatbed transport truck.
GET A VEHICLE SHIPPING QUOTE WITHIN MINUTES
CAR SHIPPING OPTIONS
OPEN AUTO TRANSPORT
Open auto transport carriers are considered the standard carrier in the industry today.
ENCLOSED AUTO TRANSPORT
Enclosed auto transport carriers are not as readily available as open carriers but…
OUR TRUSTED VEHICLE SHIPPING PARTNERS
Read our guides on shipping your car
HOW AUTO SHIPPING WORKS
REQUEST A QUOTE
First, we post your vehicle through our network, including all National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport. This is where all licensed auto transport carriers can see your vehicle is available for shipping.
BOOK YOUR ORDER
We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service and 100% bumper to bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.
VEHICLE IS PICKED UP
Not until you approve your carrier and final logistics is your deposit due. Your deposit is included in your quote and goes toward the total price. The remaining balance is due at time of delivery. Nothing gets done without your approval.
VEHICLE IS DELIVERED
Your driver will contact you prior to your pickup and delivery dates to schedule a time for loading and unloading. Once your vehicle reaches its destination, you do a final inspection of your vehicle and pay the driver the remaining balance. You and the driver both sign the Bill of Lading and each keep a copy.