Shipper Zone

How Much Does it Cost to Ship an Excavator?

June 10, 2022

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If you’re wanting to ship an excavator can be a daunting task especially if you do not have a relationship with a trusted carrier who will handle your machine with care and won’t overcharge you. Many factors affect the cost of transporting an excavator.  The four main factors to ship an excavator are:

  • Dimensions of your Excavator
  • Trailer Type Utilized in Transport
  • Distance the Excavator needs to move
  • Loading Assistance and Disassembly

Pricing can vary greatly depending on these factors and that is why it is critical to use an established transport provider to avoid having a terrible outcome when you are looking to ship your excavator.

Where Can I Get An Excavator Shipping Quote?

VeriTread can provide a quick estimate to ship an excavator by using our exclusive heavy equipment freight estimator.   To receive an actual transport provider quote, you can post your excavator to our freight marketing place free of charge and receive vetted carrier quotes from the largest network of vetted equipment transport providers in North America.

We believe it’s always good to know what all is involved in an excavator transport quote, so let’s dive deeper into the factors involved in pricing machinery transport on an open deck trailer.

What Factors Affect Excavator Shipping Cost?

oversize load excavator

The most important factor in the cost to ship an excavator is providing accurate dimensions. Most carriers try to keep their freight at or below the legal load dimensions of:

  • Length = 48 to 53 feet
  • Width = 8 feet 6 inches
  • Height = 13 feet 6 inches
  • Weight = 80,000 lbs

These dimensions also include the trailer.  This is why it is critical for the transport provider to know the length, width, height, and weight of the machine with all attachments. If a machine exceeds legal load dimensions, prices can increase dramatically due to added permits, escorts, and restricted routes. The weight of an excavator can range from 10 to 45 tons, so freight cost will vary depending on whether it’s a mini excavator or a large excavator.

Providing pictures of the excavator to your transport provider is also helpful to assure that nothing critical is missed that could affect the price of the quote.

What Types Of Trailers Are Used In Excavator Shipping?

excavator loaded

Trailers are a significant factor in keeping your excavator inside of legal load dimensions.  Most excavators are transported on three trailer types: flatbeds, step decks, or lowboys RGN’s. The larger the trailer, the more expensive per mile hauled which is an additional cost you will need to consider.

How Do I Save Money When I Want to Ship An Excavator?

lowboy trailer with excavator

Always keep in mind that properly loading an excavator can take extra time but is worth every second to ensure your machine arrives safely. There are far fewer carriers that can move these heavy machines than say an automobile hauler.

If your excavator can’t move under its own power or requires disassembly, expect to pay additional fees for the added time the carrier has to spend getting your machine ready to transport.  You can save a considerable amount of money shipping an excavator if you can provide disassembly and loading assistance (loading dock, forklift, cranes, etc.), so make sure you communicate this to your transport provider. Hiring a reputable carrier will ensure your excavator is loaded and unloaded safely. Heavy Metal Learning shares a great video on this.

Watch their important tips below.

How Can I Avoid Delays With Excavator Shipping?

Everyone wants to be on time.  Delays are costly to everyone involved in the freight process.  With this in mind, you should always firmly communicate your expectations to your transportation provider before you assign them a shipment.

excavators being transported

This includes information like:

  • Where your freight will start
  • Where your freight will end up
  • When you would like to have it picked up
  • When you would like to have it delivered
  • Your level of timing flexibility

If you have a tight delivery window for a large machine, traveling 400+ miles that is picking up in a major metro area and delivering in another congested metro area, expect to pay a premium rate.  The more flexible you are with your pick-up and delivery dates allows the carrier to give you better rates based on the location of their fleet.  Congested metro areas are difficult and time-consuming for large trucks to navigate and can often be impacted by road hazards and rush hours.  The longer the distance, the chance that the driver will encounter an issue will become more likely.

Should your shipment be over the dimensions of a legal load then special permits and travel routes will have to be factored in.  This becomes more complex and costly if you cross state lines due to different regulations per state.

Do You Need Help Or Have Questions About Shipping An Excavator?

excavator on trailer logo

VeriTread is your go-to solution for shipping mini excavators and standard excavators. We can have your excavator delivered to any destination in North America in a safe and timely manner. We are experts in connecting you with a transport provider that can handle all the paperwork, select the right trailer and driver, and chart the most efficient route.

VeriTread moves thousands of excavators every year and can quickly generate a reliable estimate on the go. Our extensive specs and dimensions database of 60,000+ items, ensures you spend less time researching and more time putting your equipment to work. The VeriTread Shipper quote process is the simplest way to receive competitive quotes from vetted transport providers. Follow these easy steps, and you will receive a quote in under one minute:

  • Select Ready To Ship from the Freight Options Page
  • Enter a Manufacturer & Model
  • Verify or Edit Your Machine Dimensions
  • Enter Pickup & Drop Off Locations
  • Your Quote is Ready!

We believe our suite of innovative decision tools empower our customers to make smarter and more informed transportation decisions, reducing overall uncertainty, and saving you time and money. If you have questions contact us at (800) 880-0468 or (863) 226-0903 and let our team of experts help you with your transport needs.