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Oversized Vehicle Shipping (Podcast)


Oversized Vehicle Shipping (Podcast)

Mike Marshall, Logistics Manager at PreOwned Auto Logistics, a car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts, discusses oversized vehicle shipping.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Mike Marshall, Logistics Manager at PreOwned Auto Logistics, a car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts. Today, our topic is oversized vehicle shipping. Welcome, Mike.

Mike Marshall: Thanks, John. Glad to be here today.

What is an Oversized Vehicle for Car Shipping?

John: Great. So Mike, what is considered an oversized vehicle in terms of shipping for cars and other vehicles?

Mike: So in very basic terms, anything beyond a normal car, SUV, or a pickup truck. And some of those examples would be a vehicle with a roof rack, a truck that’s lifted or has large tires, an SUV that maybe has a trailer hitch attachment. Anything that is non-stock is basically an oversized vehicle.

John: Okay. And what types of carriers can handle an oversized vehicle like that? I assume that some of them can’t go on just your standard open car carrier that you see on the highway.

Mike: Yeah. There are some different ones, most actually can fit on a regular trailer. The one difference being that, one of those vehicles may take up multiple spaces on that trailer, but there are different types. There’s heavy equipment-type trailers that sit lower, large vans and things with racks have to go on specialized equipment, but generally they end up going on a normal trailer, they take up multiple spaces.

John: Right. Because I imagine one of the issues would be if you have something, like you said, where it has a roof rack or some other tall piece on the vehicle, and you go and you put that on the second deck of a two deck car carrier, you’re going to hit overpasses and bridges and things like that, so there’s some sort of a height limit there.

Mike: Exactly. Yeah. The drivers have to meet a 13 foot six inch requirement, so everything has to be under that. And that’s the reason why there are cases where a large vehicle on a trailer would cause the driver to be able to take one less on the trailer.

John: Right.

Mike: So it depends on the vehicle, the load, where it’s going, and what the current conditions are in the market.

Options for Oversized Vehicle Transportation

John: Is road transportation the only option for an oversized vehicle like that?

Mike: Nope. There are some other options. There is a little bit of rail transport that goes on. Most of those are car carrier trailers that actually get loaded onto a rail car, but that’s a rarity actually, most of them go on some sort of a trailer, be it a specialized trailer for certain equipment or an extra space on a normal trailer. The bulk of the moves go on normal trailers.

John: Do you guys ever do moves for other kinds of trucks and equipment? I’m thinking of a backhoe or a dump truck or things like that. Do you ever do those types of moves?

Mike: We sure do. I can talk about a few of them. Just recently we moved a few campers. We have moved heavy construction equipment multiple times. We’ve moved other trailers. We’ve moved boats. We’ve moved golf carts. We’ve moved jet-skis. If it’s a vehicle, we have probably moved it and we certainly can move it.

John: I imagine that some of those probably go by themselves on a flatbed truck or something like that. Or how do you handle that kind of construction equipment?

Mike: Yeah. So there’s a few different ways. Construction equipment has generally specialized equipment, but can fit on a number of trailers. So it’s another case of, what’s going on in the market at any given time? What kind of capacity drivers have, if it can fit and they can load it safely, we can get it moved, so it really depends. There’s generally not a fixed answer to that. It really depends on whatever is going on in the market at the time of that order.

Right. What would be the typical cost for an oversized vehicle transport? Obviously we’re not talking about the huge construction equipment and things like that, but if I did have a large SUV with a trailer or something with a roof rack where it might take up those two spots on an open car carrier, what kind of premium am I expecting to pay?

Yeah. It does vary a bit, because something takes up two spaces doesn’t necessarily mean we have to charge for two spaces. One of the great things about having such an extensive driver and carrier network is we can negotiate that. Also, seasonality and market rates, market conditions certainly are affected, so to put a number at it, it’s probably 30 or 40% on the average, but that can vary quite a bit at any given time.

John: All right. That’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Mike: Thanks, John. Appreciate it.

John: And for more information or to request a quote for your auto shipping needs, visit the website at, or call 877-542-1955.