Forklift Transportation: All You Need to Know

Forklift Transportation: All You Need to Know

Forklifts are essential pieces of equipment for many businesses. They are heavy-duty pieces of equipment, weighing from 3,000 to 20,000 pounds, and getting them from the store to your property can be challenging.

Unfortunately, driving them from the purchase site to your business is not an option because they are not considered an automobile. You will most likely need to hire an experienced, transport forklift freight shipping company to help move the forklift from the lotto your property. Transporting a vehicle of this size requires expert forklift hauling and we’ve made a guide to help.

Main Things to Consider When Transporting a Forklift

When transporting a forklift, you will need to consider a few things before moving it onto a flatbed truck to ship from point A to point B. Transporting a forklift can be difficult, time-consuming, expensive, and potentially dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Before any forklift towing begins, you will need to do some careful planning to ensure your forklift is shipped properly.

  • Get Information. There are many different kinds of forklifts, so you will need to communicate with the shipper regarding all of the important information. Depending on its size and weight, freight companies will need certain equipment to transport it. Additionally, they will require this information to give you an estimate as to how much it will cost to transport the forklift.
  • Safety First. Transporting forklifts is not for the faint of heart — it is serious business. Every person loading the forklift must be trained properly to avoid getting seriously injured. Anyone operating the forklift should know how to operate the equipment and use proper PPE.
  • Onto the Trailer. The forklift driver will need to make sure the forklift is in the middle of the trailer or truck used to transport it. When loading, the trailer will need to be on flat, level ground so the forklift won’t slide off. You will have to ensure that the forklift is securely chained to the trailer, brakes are locked, blocks are placed under the wheels, and check that all doors, storage chambers, and tailgates are secured.
  • Forklift Hauling. Consider the distance for the forklift towing. Long journeys can be more complicated. You will need a truck with lots of manpower, which is not always easy to find.

Before you transport forklift, you’ll need to consider these factors. If not transported correctly, things can go wrong quickly and with potentially devastating consequences. Hiring a professional company to move forklift is smart because they know what rules, regulations, and safety procedures are necessary.

There are many different kinds of forklifts

Transporting the Forklift: FTL or LTL?

When forklift hauling, you may need to decide whether to go with full truckload shipping (FTL) or truckload shipping (LTL). Each one offers positives and negatives. FTL shipping services are best for large or high-risk shipments, even if the forklift doesn’t fill the entire truck, because no other items are on the truck to potentially damage yours. It offers extra safety and security for your equipment.

When choosing FTL, you won’t have to pay shipment transfers and it’s faster and more efficient than LTL because they only travel to your final destination. FTL allows for effective freight tracking due to transport management systems not having to track other customers’ shipments and stops.

On the other hand, LTL is a great choice to reduce costs and increase the flexibility of shipment size. However, LTL can run into space issues due to the forklift’s rather bulky size. Even if they aren’t very large, forklifts can take up a lot of space in the truck and limit the number of forklifts that can be loaded on each truck. Yet, if you want to ship many forklifts, LTL offers a more affordable option to ship multiple pieces of equipment on the same truck than FTL.

Factors that Determine the Forklift Towing Costs

When you are figuring out how to haul your forklift, several factors will determine forklift towing costs.

  • Size and dimensions. A larger forklift will cost more to ship due to its size, bulkiness, and difficulty to maneuver. It may be the only object on a shipping load, or one of only a few, due to its larger size. Smaller forklifts can be easier to ship and cost less because they are less bulky and can fit more of them on a truck for shipping.
  • Overall weight. Forklifts weigh anywhere between 3,000 and 20,000 pounds. How much your forklift weighs will impact the cost of shipping. Heavier forklifts will be more expensive to ship versus lighter ones that will be cheaper to move.
  • FTL versus LTL. Deciding whether to transport forklift with FTL or LTL will also impact the cost of shipping.  FTL would only be transporting one forklift, which will make the cost of shipping more expensive. However, LTL would have other customers’ equipment and goods in addition to your forklift. While cheaper, it can cause delays and possible damage to your forklift if something gets loose on the truck.
  • Distance of transport. Despite long-haul shipping being more expensive overall, the actual shipping cost per mile is higher for short-haul jobs. While shipping your forklift over a short distance may be cheaper, you’ll be paying more per mile to transport the forklift.
  • Shipping deadlines. How soon you need the forklift will also determine how much the cost of shipping will be. If you need the forklift sooner rather than later, rush shipping and delivery will incur additional costs and fees. To save money, be sure to plan to move forklifts with lots of time to spare.

Each shipment will have a different price point, so it’s good to understand the different factors that determine forklift towing costs.


When you decide to transport a forklift, it is helpful to know the logistics of forklift hauling so you can make the best decision when choosing a transport company. While it might be tempting to do it yourself, hiring a shipping company that understands forklift shipping logistics is a smart and safe decision.

Now that you know how to move a forklift and the factors determining costs, hiring an expert shipping company is the next step. They have the expertise and experience necessary to get your forklift from point A to point B safely and efficiently. Contact forklift shipping company to get your freight shipping quote today.

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