If you are considering shipping a motorcycle there are quite a few options available. The most popular motorcycle transport option is the uncrated motorcycle shipping option. Another very popular option is known as the palletized option. This article will be focused primarily on the palletized option.
There a many more transportation companies that utilize uncrated roll on / roll off bike shipping service than offer palletize transport. When moving companies ship motorcycles using the uncrated method they usually can fit more motorcycles in their trailer than companies that mount the motorcycle on a pallet for transport. The reason uncrated moving companies can fit more motorcycles in their trailer is they usually position the motorcycles sideways in their trailer. Additionally, they position the first motorcycle in one direction in their trailer and the next motorcycle in the opposite direction and so on. That way the handlebars do not overlap and the motorcycles can be positioned closer to one another. This is an efficient use of space in the motorcycle shippers trailer but it also increases the risk of damage due to the close proximity of one motorcycle to the next in the trailer.
A major advantage of palletize transport is that each motorcycle in the trailer is mounted on a pallet that is longer and wider than the motorcycle that is secured to the pallet. As such, the palletize moving company can position each palletize motorcycle next to each other in their trailer but there is more room between each motorcycle and a lower risk of damage occurring.
A downside of the palletized option is since the transporter has to provide the pallet and have a liftgate and in most cases a pallet jack there is more expense incurred by the palletize company. In addition, the palletized shipper cannot fit as many motorcycles on their trailer as an uncrated mover can. As a result, the shipping rates for movers that provide pallet service generally are higher than uncrated service.
The majority of the shipping companies that ship motorcycles on pallets use wooden pallets. Some motorcycle transporters also use metal pallets. The metal pallet usually is equipped with casters on all four corners so the bike can be moved easily while it is secured to the pallet. The wooden pallets require the transporter to use a pallet jack to move the pallets because those pallets are not equipped with casters. All the shippers that use pallets also have lift gates on their trucks for loading and unloading.
The motorcycle movers that use pallets usually ship bikes on an 18-wheel truck. You will need to take that into account when you determine the pick up and delivery locations when using the pallet shipping option. The pallet shippers will go to a residence or business on each end as long as they can get their 18-wheel truck to the location. If they cannot get to the location they will plan to meet you at a location nearby that is accessible to their truck. Their driver will load and unload the palletized bike but they might need some able-bodied assistance on each end of the shipment also.