back to articles | August 03, 2022 | Roy Cohen

Categories: Useful Automotive Information

How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Large Truck?

Businesses in logistics and delivery often have a fleet of trucks that transport products and resources all over the country. But what happens when a truck needs to be shipped somewhere else?


Businesses in logistics and delivery often have a fleet of trucks that transport products and resources all over the country. But what happens when a truck needs to be shipped somewhere else?

Transporting a truck is very similar to shipping a car, but the size and weight of the much bigger vehicle would increase the rate significantly.

The Cost of Shipping a Truck

The base rate for automobile shipping ranges from 55 cents to $2.30 per mile. This popular truck shipping company explains that the final amount per mile will depend on several crucial factors:

  • Size and Type of Truck
  • Location
  • Timeline
  • Weather
  • Distance
  • Type of Delivery Service

For example, a truck that will be moved across the state (around 500 miles) may be rated at $1.25 per mile, but a cross-country trip of over 2,000 miles will be rated at $0.55 per mile.

Adding in all the other elements that affect the cost, the average cost of shipping a truck can reach $500 for short-distance transport to $1,700 for cross-country shipping.

Other Factors that Affect Shipping Costs

The final price you will pay for shipping a truck may increase beyond the average cost because of its size. After all, trucks can be 5 to 10 times larger and heavier than an average car.

The shipping company may also charge additional fees—transporting a full-sized truck has an average additional cost of $150.

Here are other factors that will affect the transport rate of your truck:

The Vehicle’s Condition

If the truck’s engine does not work or it needs to be forklifted or winched onto a much larger transport truck, additional fees will be charged.

An operable truck is much easier to transport and does not require complex logistics or additional equipment.

Closed Shipping

Enclosed shipping means the truck will be protected from the elements during transport. On average, this type of shipping costs 80% more than open shipping.

Season or Time of the Year

Significant variances in shipping costs occur during certain times of the year because of high demand.

Shipping vehicles during the holidays is much more expensive. Summer also means high demand for many transport companies, so rates are higher than at any other season. If you schedule your truck transport during these periods, you can expect a difference of $100 to $800 in total expenses.

Weather conditions also affect shipping rates—the winter months often have higher rates than spring or fall.

Pickup and Delivery Locations

The pickup location and final destination also matter, especially if either of them is outside well-known routes or in a rural area. The rates could double depending on how far the pickup location is from a highway.

Some carriers offer terminal-to-terminal delivery, so your truck can be delivered to a port or station, and you can pick it up from there. This option will significantly reduce the shipping fee.

Economic and Global Conditions

Global and economic conditions highly affect industries that rely on oil for logistics and delivery. The current war in Ukraine has increased gas prices, so shipping rates for trucks and other vehicles have risen accordingly.

Transporting a Truck: The Options

If you want to ship your truck to another part of the country, you have several options:

By Train

The railroad is a good option for many shippers, largely because trains have the space and equipment to store trucks and other large vehicles. According to the Association of American Railroads, 75% of all cars and trucks manufactured in the US are transported via freight train.

Specialized rail cars have auto tracks and ramps with two to three decks that can carry as many as 20 cars. There are two-deck tracks that can safely carry trucks and SUVs.

By Truck­

Truck transport is another great option, especially for larger and heavier trucks. Tractor-trailer automobile transporters can carry more than a dozen vehicles and one or two heavy trucks.

These transporters have double-deck trailers with hydraulic ramps. Hiring these rigs requires complex loading and unloading operations since vehicle size, delivery schedules, and timelines of different clients must be coordinated.

All the loaded trucks must be organized logically—the first truck loaded will be the last one delivered—with the load weight balanced throughout the rig, with no risk of damage to any of the vehicles being transported.

By Personal Transport

Some people prefer to transport their trucks independently, either by driving them to the final destination or hiring an auto transport company. These companies manage all the logistics of shipping large vehicles to their final destination.

When choosing a transport company, you must do your due diligence and ensure they have the experience, necessary licenses, and insurance coverage to safely take your truck from point A to point B. Dig deep into their policies and protocols for shipping large vehicles and what you can expect from their services.

Ask If You Are Eligible For Discounts

Moving a heavy truck can be very expensive, so you might want to know if there is a way to lower costs. Some transport companies offer discounts to certain clients, so inquire if you are eligible for any of the following:

  • Discounts for military personnel
  • Student discounts
  • Senior citizen discounts
  • First responders
  • Multi-car shipments
  • Vehicle fleets

Don’t be afraid to ask your shipping company of choice about the discounts they offer. They may be very generous, especially if you are a returning customer.

Move Your Truck Your Way

If you need to transport a truck for your business or personal needs, it is best to hire a reliable, well-established shipping company with the personnel and equipment to take care of all the details. Discuss the trip's costs and how the company will mitigate potential damage to your vehicle during the journey.

Once you’re satisfied with the shipping terms, simply schedule pickup and delivery, and you can meet your truck at your agreed-upon destination.