We are a non-asset based licensed and bonded motor carrier broker specializing in motorcycle shipping. As such, we follow Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines when booking your shipment. Adhering to DOT rules is complicated and expensive for brokers and motorcycle transport companies but it’s important to only deal with a DOT compliant bike shipping company.
The point of the Department of Transportation is not to collect fees from motorcycle moving companies, but to ensure the safety of our roadways. DOT compliant motorcycle shippers drivers must have semi annual physicals to make sure their health is adequate to operation large transport trucks. Drivers must also pass a commercial drivers license test to legally operate a commercial truck. Bike transportation trucks and trailers must be inspected at regular intervals for safety. A cargo insurance certificate is another DOT requirement. DOT rules require drivers to keep a drivers log noting the hours and miles driven per day. For safety reasons, drivers are limited to driving a certain number of hours per day and a certain number of consecutive days and then are required to take a few days off from driving. A DOT compliant motorcycle moving company is also subject to periodic reviews of their operating authority.
Unlicensed illegal transporters risk the safety of everyone else on the roadways. The only way a motorcycle mover can obtain cargo insurance to cover your motorcycle during transport is to have an active and current DOT license and be in compliance with all DOT rules and guidelines. If a motorcycle transit company is transporting a motorcycle across state lines and are not DOT licensed they are operating illegally. DOT officials can impound an illegal transporters truck and impound your motorcycle also. Always ask for a DOT number and Motor Carrier (MC) number when considering a specialized transport company. Be sure to check the the DOT and MC number on the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration website to make sure the license numbers are active and current and the numbers match the company you are considering.
There are number of bid type websites currently active on the internet where you post your bike shipment and shippers bid to transport the bike. These bid type websites claim to be “neutral venues.” Use extreme caution when dealing with such websites. It appears that there are vast quantities of transport service providers who bid on bike shipments on these bid type websites who are not DOT compliant. Again, always ask a shipper for their US DOT license number and their Motor Carrier license number and get a copy of their cargo insurance certificate to make sure they are active and current, they are operating legally and not putting your bike shipment at risk.
Many of these illegal transporters have been involved in other illegal activities such as vehicle theft or non-payment of damage claims. If a shipper tries to pass off a commercial driver’s license (CDL) only that is not good enough to protect your bike while it is in transit. Additionally, if they are not DOT compliant they cannot have cargo insurance. They may have liability or collision insurance on their truck and trailer but unless they have cargo specific insurance, their truck and trailer insurance will not cover the vehicles that they are transporting on their truck or trailer for damage or theft claims. Please be aware of this fact when selecting a motorcycle shipping company.