This article discusses how motorcycle shippers operate.
Submit Quick Quote or call 866-383-1307.
There are a number of requirements that dictate how motorcycle shippers are required to operate. We will go through some of those requirements in detail.
Most people looking to ship motorcycles are not aware of the requirements that are imposed upon motorcycle transport companies in order to operate legally. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) along with the Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration (FMCSA) sets regulations and guidelines for motor carriers which include motorcycle transporters.
These two federal agencies also set forth the requirements for Motor Carrier brokers as well. In order to be US Department of Transportation compliant, motorcycle transporters are required to have an active and current DOT license number and an active and current Motor Carrier license number. Most motorcycle shippers are required to carry a certain level of cargo insurance coverage on their loads as well. A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is also required for each driver.
In addition to the DOT license, the Motor Carrier license, the Commercial Driver’s license and the cargo insurance, motorcycle transport drivers are also required to have regular physicals to make sure they are in adequate physical condition to operate a large truck on the nation’s highways. If the driver is not in adequate physical condition they will need to take some time off and have another physical that they must pass prior to getting behind the wheel once again.
Additionally, when driving on many highways motorcycle transport trucks are required to stop at designated weight stations along their route. Weight stations are needed to ensure trucks are not overloaded causing a potentially dangerous situation on the nation’s roadways.
Another requirement that drivers are required to follow are maximum hours of operation per day. Drivers are only allowed to drive a certain number of hours per day and then they must take a break for a number of hours. Additionally, drivers are only allowed to drive a certain number of days in a row and then they are required to take a longer break. The reason behind this requirement is to reduce the fatigue a driver experiences while driving great distances. Getting the proper amount of rest each day and each week is imperative to ensure drivers are operating large trucks in a safe manner. This requirement does add time to all motorcycle transporters schedules. Some companies work around this requirement by having tandem drivers. With tandem drivers, two drivers are assigned to a truck and they switch off every so many hours and one driver rests while the other driver operates the truck. There is a trade-off with this method because companies are paying two drivers on the same route but delivery can be substantially faster with two drivers, potentially making up for the added cost of shipping.
As you can see, there is a lot more to moving a motorcycle than going to point A and picking up a bike and transporting it to point B. There are many Federal requirements to follow. Drivers have to trained in the operation of large trucks and they have to be trained in the proper way to fasten motorcycles in their trailers. We always recommend using motorcycle specific transporters like the shippers we refer our customers to when you haul bikes. Our motorcycle transporters have the proper licensing, equipment and training to handle all sorts of powersport vehicle shipments.