Motorcycle transport companies are required to conform to federal regulations when transporting vehicles across state lines. The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) enforces regulations pertaining to vehicle transportation.
Bike transport companies must have an active United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number and adequate cargo insurance in place with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Motorcycle shipping companies must ensure that their trucks and trailers are in compliance with all federal ICC regulations.
Motorcycle shippers must also comply with federal and state weight restrictions when handling vehicle shipments. Additionally, these shippers must also make stops along their route at designated weight inspection stations to ensure they are in compliance with all federal and state weight requirements. Non-compliance can possibly lead to significant fines and impoundment of their truck and trailer.
If a non DOT compliant transporter is caught transporting vehicles for hire across state lines by United States Department of Transportation officials, the likelihood of their truck being impounded is very high. The DOT guidelines for transporters are very stringent and DOT officials take their job very seriously, safe roadways are their paramount concern. A shipper may incur large fines and significant storage fees if they are caught operating illegally and their truck gets impounded.
We recommend that you always ask a transporter for their DOT license number, their Motor Carrier license number and get a copy of their cargo insurance certificate. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) and or liability insurance does not protect you and does not make the transporter DOT compliant. Additionally, if they are not DOT compliant and have insurance on their truck and trailer, chances are high that their insurance only covers their truck and trailer not the vehicles that they are transporting on their truck or trailer. We recommend that you do your due diligence and check out the licenses and cargo insurance on any transporter you are considering using and make sure their licenses and cargo insurance are active and current.
Safety inspections are also performed on a random basis during motorcycle transit. If vehicles being transported are not secured adequately, fines can be assessed for any unsafe conditions found during routine safety inspections.
Drivers are also required to keep a log of hours driven and are limited to the number of hours/days they can drive over a defined time span. They are also required to have routine physicals to ensure they are healthy enough to operate long-haul vehicles in a safe manner. Prior to these regulations accidents were much more common due to driver exhaustion and overloaded trucks. Drivers are also required to have certain safety equipment on-board their trucks at all times.
The point of this article is to inform our bike shipping customers of the advantages of dealing with a DOT compliant motorcycle transit broker like Shippingmasters. Additionally, we want customers to be aware of the risks involved with shipping through an unlicensed and uninsured vehicle shipping company. If the motorcycle moving company you are considering does not have an active DOT number they cannot have cargo insurance. If they happen to have comprehensive and/or liability insurance, their insurance only applies to their truck and trailer, it does not apply to your vehicle. Remember, always ask for a DOT number and verify cargo insurance with any shipper you consider.