Preparing Your Bike for Trailer and Freight Shipment
Many situations arise that call for shipping a motorcycle, and when you are faced with such a scenario it is important to understand your shipping options and what each entails. The following will discuss shipping your cycle on a trailer versus shipping it as freight and outline the steps needed to prepare for both methods.
Trailer shipping is the most common method for domestic motorcycle transport, and whether you are using an open air trailer or the closed variety there are several steps that should be taken to prepare the bike. The first step in preparing a motorcycle for trailer transport is a thorough cleaning. Wash down the bike and in the process note any existing damage. Document this with both a written account and by taking photos. Take your time, as this will be very helpful should anything happen and you are forced to file a claim. Following that, remove any loose items that could possibly be lost while in route. A carrier’s insurance will not cover any missing or damaged accessories, so double check that you’ve got everything.
The final step is a quick mechanical check-up. Even though the bike will probably not be driven much during shipment, the carrier may have to fire it up to get it on or off the trailer so it is important that it is in appropriate condition. Check the tire pressure, fluid levels, charge the battery and make sure it has some gas. If the bike is experiencing any problems or requires special procedures be sure to notify the shipper beforehand.
If your shipment calls for crossing a large body of water, transporting the bike as freight is probably going to be your best option. In this method the bike is crated before being loaded onto an airplane or ship. This greatly decreases the chances of damage and theft, as the bike will be isolated and shielded from the elements. The extra room in the crate will also allow you to include any gear that goes along with the bike, including your helmet, jacket and tools.
Preparing a bike for freight transport is not a tedious a process, as the bike will probably not be driven at all and the risk of losing accessories is minimized. However, be sure to drain the gas tank completely and remove the battery as a safety precaution. Also, because the handler may not need your keys at all in this process, you may want to tie them to the cycle to minimize the possibility of displacement.
Keep in mind that shipping companies vary in their options and policies as much as they do in price. Whenever you are hiring a carrier to ship a motorcycle be sure to do thorough research before handing over your bike.
Written by Ben Leffler of uship.com, an online marketplace for Motorcycle Shipping.
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