Tractor Transport 101: How to Prepare Your Tractor for Shipping

Shipping a CAT D6R Dozer on a lowboy trailer
May 18, 2021 Renan 0 Comments

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Whether you’re a large-scale farmer or a hobby farmer, inevitably, there will come a time when tractor transport services are needed. You could be moving location, putting your tractor into storage, visiting a show, or needing flatbed trailer haulage to get a tractor to a repair location. Whatever your reason for wanting to ship a tractor, there are a few things to think about before you take the plunge and book a tractor transport service.

Commonly Asked Questions about Tractor Shipping Preparation

How Much Does It Cost To Ship a Tractor?

Unfortunately, there’s no ballpark figure to offer for tractor shipping since there are so many deciding factors that contribute to the cost. Larger tractors will cost more to ship; likewise, deliveries that travel a longer distance will be more expensive, especially if customs checks are involved. The transport method will also play a massive part in determining the cost, but if you want the most affordable option, it typically involves open-air transport.

Shipping a CAT D6R Dozer on a lowboy trailer

Where Can I Get The Right Materials for Tractor Transport?

If you’re looking to ship tractor components on a pallet and need packing materials, these are usually available from local hardware stores. New or used pallets can be used, as long as the pallet is sturdy enough to withstand your equipment’s weight without breaking.

For shipping tractor components, hardwood pallets are recommended because they provide more stability than softer pallets. Steel pallets offer the most longevity, and they are also ideally suited for heavy equipment transport, however, they are a more expensive option.

What Information Do I Need To Provide for Tractor Transport?

    • Typically, before a shipping company can transport your tractor and any additional parts or attachments, there are a few things you need to be prepared to tell the people who are potentially organizing your shipment.

      Tractor type: One of the essential pieces of information you’ll need to pass along to the transport provider is the size, weight, dimensions, etc., of the tractor in question, so an accurate quote, labor costs, and trailer can be accounted for. To save you trying to take awkward measurements of your oversized tractor equipment, supplying the tractor make and model is often enough for the transport company to plan a prospective shipping solution effectively.

      Working order: There are two ways transport companies may load your tractor onto a flatbed trailer. Working models will be towed or driven, while non-working models may need to be crane-loaded, so transporters must know which loading methods are possible based on your tractor’s working order.

      Tractor condition: As part of the transport process, tractor transporters will often document your vehicle’s condition at the beginning and the end of the journey. It’s useful for owners to do this too before transport, and photo evidence is beneficial, especially if you’re moving an antique, collectible, or expensive tractors. That way, in the unlikely event of damage in transit, you’ve got evidence that you can use to bolster your case.

Preparing to Ship a Tractor

Shipping tractors, and tractor parts, especially internationally, has its own set of challenges. Preparation guidelines can vary between tractor manufacturers, so check the manual for your specific model to determine how to undertake critical tasks, such as disconnecting the battery, draining tanks, and how to detach or re-attach essential components.

The cab should be emptied of personal belongings. Smaller items can be covered in bubble-wrap or other packing materials and shipped in a box or on a pallet. Cab doors should be secured shut, preferably taped to prevent a leak in the door seals from allowing water to enter the cab if it’s transported on a flatbed trailer in the open air during inclement weather.

Packing Tips for Small Tractor Components

    • When there are smaller implements to ship alongside your tractor delivery or loose components that need to ship alongside the tractor, one of the best ways to send the additional pieces securely is to palletize and wrap them. When shipping on a pallet or inside a small crate:

      • Cover the surface with corrugated cardboard or similar
      • Center the equipment
      • Secure straps underneath the pallet and over the equipment
      • Attach the inventory to the pallet or crate
      • If using the same pallet for multiple items, safely stack and secure items
      • Use ribbons, adhesive tape, or plastic foil to prevent movement
      • If crating, use packing peanuts, crumpled paper, and other cushioning items.