Chevrolet truck

Shipping a Truck Across Country is Easier Than You Think


The pickup truck is one of America’s best-selling vehicles. People use them because they’re so versatile. They are powerful and capable of transporting all kinds of items, even towing other vehicles. However, there are times when your workhorse might need a pickup for itself.

This post is about such an occasion and for those times when you’re asking, “How do I ship my truck to another state?”

Basically, if you’re wondering about how to ship a truck across country, it’s much the same as shipping an average sedan, with just a few considerations to keep in mind.

You don’t need to stress about how to send a truck across country because this guide will cover your options, examine the pros and cons, and give you some tips.

How to ship a truck across country

According to statistics, the best-selling light truck in the United States in the first quarter of 2021 was still the Ford F-Series. But it’s not the only truck that is popular in the US. Pickup trucks have been around almost as long as automobiles have and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Here’s a list of the top 10 most popular trucks in the US this year, one of which might belong to you.

  • Ford F-150
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • GMC Canyon
  • Honda Ridgeline
  • Ram 1500 Classic
  • Toyota Tundra
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • GMC Sierra
  • Ford Ranger
  • Toyota Tacoma

The benefits of shipping your pickup truck

If you’ve just bought your new truck online, are moving, in a rush, or don’t want to drive for days on end, shipping your truck makes a lot of sense. There are several advantages to shipping a truck across country with us.

Competitive rates and attractive discounts

Here at SGT Auto Transport, we offer very attractive and competitive rates. To make our auto transport service even better, we also offer a range of great discounts. For example, members of the military, front-line workers, and returning snowbirds may be eligible for special discounts.  

Reliable and professional service

You know your pickup will be safe and secure with us because we only use carriers that we’ve fully vetted. In addition, they have to undergo various background checks before we add them to our list of reliable and professional carriers. 

You can rest assured your pickup will be shipped safely and securely as the carrier will use the right equipment and treat your truck with the attention it deserves. 

In addition, we do everything we can to ensure your truck arrives on time and there are zero complications. 

Saves time

You might be thinking about driving your pickup yourself. After all, what could be nicer than cruising the highway in your truck? Before you start planning your route, bear in mind that driving your pickup across country could take more than a few days, possibly even a week or longer. 

You’ll be much better off choosing to ship your truck. It’s possible to schedule your shipment for a time that suits you. It will leave you to travel across the country by plane or train and be there at the final destination to accept delivery of your pickup.  

Saves money

Other options such as shipping by plane, hiring someone to drive your truck for you, or driving it yourself will cost more than truck shipping. On top of that, you won’t have the worry of the hidden costs of unnecessary wear and tear or too many additional travel expenses.  

Less planning and stress

If you’re moving cross country, there are lots of things you’ve got to consider. However, you’ll have one less thing to worry about if you hire an auto transport company to ship your car. 

A safe and convenient option

With auto transport, the carrier who is picking up your truck will come as close as they can to your home. They will also arrange to deliver it as close to your new home as possible. 

Your truck is protected

If you were to drive your truck several thousand miles it would cause considerable wear and tear. This will eventually lead to additional costly repairs and a reduction in your truck’s resale value. You can avoid these hidden costs by transporting your truck. 

You’re also removing the increased risk of getting involved in a road traffic accident because you won’t be driving long distances. 

You can ship more than one pickup truck at a time

If you’re one of the 33.1% of US households that owns more than one vehicle, you’ll be pleased to learn that you can ship multiple vehicles. 

Different types of auto transport trailers - open vs. enclosed

The most popular auto shipping option for someone who needs to move their pickup, or indeed any other type of vehicle, is open car shipping. For this auto transport service, carriers use a trailer that’s either single or multi-level. 

It’s the type of trailer you’re most likely to see driving on the highway, and it’s commonly used for transporting as many as ten cars at a time. Open car transport is the easiest service to book in terms of pick-up/arrival times and carrier availability. This is a significant advantage of open car shipping, but there are a few downsides that it’s only fair to mention. 

An open trailer has no walls, so the vehicles on the trailer are open to the elements and road debris kicked up by the traffic while in transit. In addition, the greater availability of open trailers doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wait a shorter length of time for your delivery. The higher capacity of these trailers means that several vehicles might have to be dropped off before yours. 

So what about enclosed car shipping? Enclosed trailers protect your truck from the weather and road damage. It’s also going to protect it from thieves looking for an easy target. Fewer vehicles are transported using enclosed auto transport, which means the service might be quicker.

Enclosed auto transport will always be recommended if your truck is brand new, a classic or luxury model that’s very valuable.  

However, such a service does come with a higher price tag, around 30-40% more. In addition, while in some cases it might be quicker, there are fewer enclosed transport carriers which means transportation and delivery might be slower.    

What if I want to ship my truck across country and it’s super-sized?

As we’ve already mentioned, trucks come in all shapes and sizes, but some of them won’t fit onto a standard trailer, so what are your options then?

You have the option to ship your truck on a flatbed trailer. However, you will need to bear the following in mind. Shipping your truck using a flatbed trailer can be very expensive. There are several reasons, for example, they require more fuel to operate. In addition, they are not in quite as much demand as other forms of auto transport. Flatbed trailers are also driven by the most experienced carriers who are used to maneuvering heavy loads safely. 

There is, however, a plus to flatbed auto transport. Flatbeds carry very few vehicles, sometimes only one. What this means for you is that the carrier doesn’t have to make as many deliveries, so you might not have to wait as long for your pickup to be delivered.   

How much does it cost to ship a truck?

Moving a truck from one location in the US to another costs a little more than a standard car because of the size of your truck. A pickup truck typically takes up more space on the trailer than a standard sedan so you’ll have to pay more.

Typically, a truck costs around $1.40 per mile, for up to 500 miles. However, the longer the distance, the lower the price to ship your pickup truck. For up to 1000 miles, for example, the cost drops to $1 per mile, whereas truck transport from coast to coast could be as little as $0.60 cents per mile. 

So, you want to know “How much does it cost to transport my truck?”. Truck shipping quotes vary depending on several factors. Here are some factors that can affect the cost of shipping a truck across country:

  • Type of truck
  • Size of the vehicle
  • Vehicle dimensions - height and weight
  • Modifications
  • Whether the truck is running
  • Season demand
  • How fast you want your truck delivered

Want to learn more about what it would cost to ship your pickup truck across the country? Get an instant quote here.

When you’re contacting an auto transport company to request a quote make sure it’s going to be all-inclusive. This is what you get from SGT Auto Transport, and you should accept nothing less. Our prices include full insurance coverage with zero deductibles, and no taxes or surcharges guaranteed. 

When you get in touch, it’s also important to talk to the shipping advisor about the type of truck you’re shipping, whether it has oversized tires or a lift kit. This information is important because larger vehicles may require a different carrier than the one we’d normally send for a factory-standard pickup. A ladder rack or a large roof rack might also require a larger carrier truck.  

How long does it take to ship a truck?

The timeframe for shipping a truck depends on several things.

  • Distance: This is the most obvious factor as it’s bound to take longer to ship a truck from San Diego to Boston than it would if you wanted to ship it from New York to Boston. 
  • Location: If the pickup or delivery locations are relatively remote, the carrier will have to travel further to reach them.
  • Number of vehicles being shipped: Your vehicle is likely being shipped with other vehicles, which means the driver may have to make several stops before your car is delivered.  
  • Weather: The weather can affect the time it takes for your car to be transported. The flow of traffic will be influenced by snow, ice, hail, tornados, hurricanes, thunderstorms, or heavy rain. 
  • Road construction, detours, and traffic: These can all hamper the carrier’s journey. 
  • Driver’s hours: The Department of Transport mandates that drivers can only be on the road legally for 70 hours per week. This limit ensures that the truck drivers are well-rested and drive safely. 

Average transit times are as follows (bear in mind these are just a guideline, as the factors listed above can have an affect):

DistanceAverage transit time (calendar days)
0-200 miles1-2 days
200-600 miles2-4 days
600-1000 miles3-5 days

1000-1500 miles

4-6 days
1500-2000 miles5-7 days
2000-2400 miles6-8 days
2000+ miles7-9 days


Tips for shipping a truck across country

Let’s finish up this post with a few helpful tips:

  • Do your research: If you want an auto transport company that’s going to offer the best service, you’ll need to make sure you do your research. Make sure the company is licensed, bonded, and insured, and has the proper equipment to properly transport your car. 
  • Plan ahead of time: Give yourself a couple of weeks to make the arrangement. If you plan in advance, it gives the auto transport company time to look for the best possible deal. 
  • Choose the best location: If the pick-up or delivery locations are on narrow streets or the carrier needs to take sharp turns you may have issues. Plan ahead in case the carrier cannot pull into the address you provided. Many companies offer a door-to-door service, but a new location may have to be agreed on if the carrier cannot drive down the street because it’s too narrow or there are low-hanging branches or power lines. 
  • Get your pickup truck ready: It’s recommended that you wash your pickup thoroughly before it is collected. This allows you to check it for damage and note it on the Bill of Lading. In addition, you’ll need to remove personal items, remove or secure accessories, check the tires, battery, and radiator, and check for fluid leaks and mechanical and engine problems. Also, disable any alarms, remove or deactivate toll tags, and empty the gas tank to one-quarter full.  
  • Don’t be late: You need to be on time to meet the driver for both the pick-up and delivery. Having to wait for you to arrive will cause a delay for the driver and mess up their schedule. 

What Type of Insurance Coverage is Provided During the Truck Shipping Process?

When you ship your truck using an auto transport company like ours, your vehicle is covered under the motor carrier’s insurance policy from the time it is picked up to the final delivery. All motor carriers that we work with are pre-screened to ensure that they meet the insurance requirements of the US Department of Transport (DOT) regulations. 

The level of insurance coverage depends on the motor carrier’s coverage, the type of trailer being used, and the value of the vehicle. Generally, carriers providing open auto transport have cargo insurance coverage between $100,000 and $150,000. If the carrier provides enclosed car shipping services, the insurance coverage will be between $250,000 and $3,000,000.

When shipping any kind of vehicle, always ask for a copy of the certificate of insurance to check the details.

Choose to ship your truck with SGT Auto Transport and insurance coverage is included in the cost to ship your truck across country. However, this doesn’t apply to all vehicle shipping companies, so make sure you ask before making your booking.    

How Flexible is the Delivery Schedule, Especially if There Are Unforeseen Delays Due to Weather, Road Conditions, or Other Factors?

Delivery schedules in the auto transport industry are estimates, subject to various factors that can introduce variability. While efforts are made to provide accurate timelines, the dynamic nature of transportation introduces uncertainties. 

We’ve already discussed some of the factors that can cause delays, such as weather conditions, road conditions, traffic, and mechanical issues. The possibility of these factors affecting delivery times is why car shipping services and customers need to be as flexible as possible. Let’s examine the issue of flexibility and introduce some other factors that can affect how long it takes to ship a car or any other type of vehicle.   

Flexible of the Schedule

Auto transport providers and customers must be adaptable to changes. Recognizing the potential for delays makes schedule flexibility crucial. Customers are also encouraged to understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise, and a certain level of adaptability will ensure a smoother experience. 

Auto transport providers maintain open lines of communication with customers, providing updates on any schedule changes. Transparency about potential delays fosters understanding and cooperation.

Choice of Shipping Carrier 

Your choice of shipping carrier also plays a pivotal role in the reliability of the shipping schedule. Established and reputable carriers are more likely to have well-maintained fleets, reducing the likelihood of mechanical issues and improving overall reliability.

Reliable carriers also prioritize effective communication with customers. They will provide timely updates proactively informing clients about any deviations from the initially estimated schedule. 

Efforts to Stay on Schedule 

Auto transport providers employ strategic planning to optimize routes and minimize potential delays. Advanced logistics and route optimization technologies contribute to efficient planning for on-time deliveries.

Recognizing the impact of mechanical issues leads carriers to implement comprehensive vehicle maintenance programs. Regular inspections and preemptive maintenance efforts reduce the risk of breakdowns. 

Contingency Measures

Reliable carriers have contingency measures in place to address unforeseen challenges. This includes efficient emergency response plans for immediate resolution of issues and minimal disruption to schedules.

In the face of road closures or other unforeseen obstacles, carriers may have alternative routes planned. This strategic approach ensures that shipments can proceed with minimal impact on delivery times.

Customer-Carrier Collaboration

Establishing effective communication channels between customers and carriers promotes collaboration. In cases of potential delays, mutual understanding and cooperative efforts facilitate the smooth navigation of unexpected challenges.

Carriers with reliable customer support teams proactively address concerns and inquiries. Customers are kept informed about the progress of their shipments, contributing to a positive shipping experience.

In summary, the flexibility of auto transport schedules acknowledges the inherent uncertainties of the transportation process. The choice of a reputable shipping provider, committed to reliability and effective communication, significantly influences the adherence to schedules. Carriers invest in strategic planning, vehicle maintenance, and contingency measures to stay on schedule as much as humanly possible, prioritizing customer satisfaction and the efficient delivery of vehicles. 

If you’re ready to make your auto transport arrangements, please call SGT Auto Transport at (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat option.

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