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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for recommendations for (or warnings against) motorcycle shippers. I'm interested in a company that's on the up and up, that is reliable but not one that charges a fortune to gold-plate the service. Goes without saying that I'm only interested in personal recommendations/warnings from customers, not from anyone with an interest in promoting or bashing a company that is unrelated to terrific or terrible customer service.
 

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You can go online at UShip and submit a request for what and when you want to ship and get bids from many shippers. Some use an open trailer, some an enclosed trailer. You can also submit how much you would like to pay as your highest price and they may get into a bidding war for your business. I had a really good experience with Farmers Transporters (owner, operator -Eric) through them and would highly recommend them for good service at a very reasonable price. They picked up and transported my TW from Arizona to Florida and I could track them daily by their GPS link. Many of these guys travel across the country transporting many bikes at a time and have to arrange their schedule to pick up and drop off bikes along their route. They are pretty well strapped down in a trailer side by side.



After some digging and searching, I found the contact info from 6 months ago--





Service Provider: FarmersTransporting (5454+ Positive Feedback) Gold Power Provider uShip Tracking: GPS by Veriplace

Name: EricFARMERS TRANSPORTING

Phone: (949) 228-0755

Alternate Phone: (949) 228-2643

Email address: [email protected]



Give him a call directly if you want without going through UShip first and then you won't violate their rules. And tell him I said hello (doubt he'll remember one customer from that long ago, but maybe if you remind him it was a TW from Arizona to Crawfordville (Shell Point) Florida by the beach, delivered in the dark at night it'll jog his brain. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This was terrifically helpful, thanks. Eric was fabulous. He couldn't help me (I was hoping to be shipping a bike from WI to VT; he does just coast to coast) but he recommended Dave from Mach1 Expediting, a colleague who handles other parts of the country and who is similarly hands-on. Dave couldn't help me either, geography-wise, but he recommended Galen Bullet from Bullet Bike Transport. This was right up Galen's alley and I had a terrific conversation with him. Unfortunately, while we were speaking, word came that the bike had been sold.



So now I have shippers lined up and no bike to ship. The hunt continues!
 
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Unless I missed it, I didn't see anything on costs.



What is typical range in cost? cents per mile sort of thing or something else
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The little I can tell you from just exploring the issue, is that the big internet companies like UShip gather bids from a lot of random shippers, and those bids for the route I was looking at (Florida to Vermont or Wisconsin to Vermont) were tending in the $450-600 range. But there was something sleazy about the way those companies work. They only give quotes if you give them a TON of personal info and it's very much got a "man behind the curtain" feel to it.



The three guys I talked to today were the haulers themselves, and it sounded like they largely specialize in bikes, and are all DOT registered and heavily insured. Galen, the one of the three who covers the Northeast, said that many of the UShip bidders are guys with vans -- so no registration, no insurance and hence low bids.



The personal/reputable/registered/insured work doesn't come cheap, however: Florida to Vermont would have, if I had bought the bike I saw, cost $650. It was a little too much for me to justify given the particular bike, so I didn't pull the trigger, but I got the sense that if you want the bike to get from Point A to Point B without any doubts, these guys are the ones to work with.
 

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I shipped my TW from Iowa to Utah for something like $110 via Old Dominion Freight Line. I did it through my work and we have a pretty good discount with them so I'd imagine it would be much more than that for somebody else. I looked at uShip before I realized I ought to ask my shipping department head (which I'm very glad I did because it was a third of what I would have been able to get on uShip). Just thought I'd post to give some perspective on what may be possible and how much markup there can be on shipping rates. By the way, I had the seller crate it using a discarded crate from the local motorcycle shop and deliver it to a loading dock, and we received it at our loading dock, so no extra fees for having to use a liftgate truck to pickup or deliver.
 

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If you can find a shipper like you did by word of mouth from me to the reputable shippers and then on from them to others like themselves, you save the fee that UShip charges them, which gets passed along to you, like if I remember, ? somewhere around $75 (but I may be a little high). And a regular freight or moving company may not want to take a bike unless you can assure them that you have drained out all the gas and maybe oil, so there's no fire hazard or explosion, or odor, attached to the shipment.

I don't remember exactly but my TW shipped from Arizona to Florida, about 2000 miles, was about $375-400 (with a good tip) to the transport company and the total Uship cost was about $75 more.

You can get pretty good info on the transport companies that go on UShip - you can see if they are DOT approved and insured, if they have an enclosed trailer, etc., you can converse via email with them and get a feel of who they are. I have used that service twice and have not had a problem (other than ideologically objecting to paying their "fee"). The only "personal" info I remember having to give them was a name and address of where to do the pickup and the same for where it was to be delivered, phone number contact info at both ends, and a date window for both ends, all of which is needed to do this.

Most of these guys, like Eric from FarmersTransport have a big diesel pickup truck with 2 guys in it, and sometimes sleeping quarters in the truck, pulling a long enclosed trailer packed full of bikes well strapped down, transporting across the country in their selected routes, picking up and dropping off along the way, sometimes many at a time to dealers. This is the same as the auto haulers you see on the highways crisscrossing the country and for most of these guys is their main business so they also have to survive on recommendations for a quality service. If you get lucky and you can catch them on a scheduled trip and they have room, and the two stops are not very much out of their way, you can sometimes get a good break on the cost, compared to a hauler doing one bike at a time. I would never consider using some guy with an open pickup truck or regular van scrapping to make some extra money to do this.
 

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Interstate Auto Shippers

Joe or Melissa Lloyd

Goolge that company name.

Great folks to work with.
 
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