Need to ship a transmission? You can do it, but it isn’t exactly as easy as shipping a box of books. Because transmissions contain hazardous materials you will need to take a few extra steps to ship safely.
LTL or less than truckload
This is likely how your engine will be transported. Unlike FTL or full truck load, LTL is for freight items that are individually 150 pounds or less. Multiple shippers using pallets or crates will use the same carrier to get goods from point A to point B. LTL generally takes longer to arrive at the final destination since it is a shared load with multiple stops. Prices vary based on distance (how close you are to shipping terminals) and whether you pallet or crate for shipping, but the average is around $300. You may also opt for a service that will do the crating for you at an average cost of about $100.
Prepare your transmission
Protect your engine from transport damage by packing it securely. Crate shipping provides the most protection. To prepare:
- Drain fluids from the transmission (to reduce risk of hazard).
- Secure the transmission inside.
- Add protection such as cardboard or blankets around the transmission.
- Secure the crate with nuts and bolts.
To transport using a pallet you’ll need at least a half pallet, ratchet straps (or ropes), stretch wrap, and 2x4’s or bands.
- Drain as much of the transmission fluids as you can.
- Remove any delicate parts so they are not damaged during shipping.
- Pack removed parts securely.
- Place the transmission in the middle of the pallet for better balance.
- Secure with 2 x 4’s and bolts or bands
- Protect on all sides with cardboard or a shipping blanket.
- Wrap the entire package with stretch wrap (at least 80 gauge).
- Measure and weigh the entire package.
Choose a carrier
You can get online quotes using zip code (pick-up and delivery), weight and measurements of the packaged transmission. Get several for comparison. Understand exactly what the quote includes. For example, is residential delivery available/more expensive, is off/on loading included? If it is not included, you will need to purchase lift gate service or have a few extra hands available to help. Get a bill of lading (receipt outlining contents on pickup) and check for damages on delivery.
Shipping a transmission is common. You should not have any trouble finding a reputable vendor. Your biggest concern will be preventing damage. Pack and secure carefully and drain fluids for a hassle-free experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
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