Motorcyclists may find it necessary or advantageous from time to time to have their bikes shipped. Don’t let anyone load your bike, though, until your motorcycle transport company answers a few crucial questions. Here are four that you should always ask of motorcycle or auto transport companies:
1) Do you offer door-to-door pickup and delivery? Not all motorcycle transport services offer this. Do you prefer not to have to drop your bike off at a depot? Then make sure you ask this. Choose a company that will pick your motorcycle up on location and drop it off at your destination of choice (as opposed to another depot).
2) How are the bikes transported? Some companies ship nothing but bikes. Others may service both bikes and automobiles. Make sure you know this about the motorcycle transport service you’re considering.
There’s nothing wrong with choosing a carrier that ships both bikes and cars (many do). However, you should ask whether they carry both cars and motorcycles in the same container/trailer.
It’s always preferable to ship a bike in a container that’s made specifically for, and carries only, bikes. A container that’s designed for bikes will have specialized equipment for loading and safely securing cycles. This is important because it helps ensure that your bike is immobilized and fastened so that there’s minimal risk of damage during shipping.
3) What does your insurance cover? Most motorcycle transport companies have their own comprehensive insurance policies which cover their own driver(s) and equipment. They may also have some coverage with regard to their cargo (your bike).
However, you’ll still need to have your own insurance coverage for your bike. A motorcycle transport company will not ship one that has no primary insurance coverage.
If you aren’t sure what kind of insurance you need, ask your motorcycle transport service exactly what you need to cover with regard to the trip. Ask if their policy covers potential damage to your motorcycle in transit. Also ask if it covers theft. What about an accident on the highway that results in a total loss of your bike? This will help you determine what kind of coverage you need to purchase on your own.
For some additional peace of mind, pay for your service with your major credit card. Most credit card companies will reverse charges when you pay for something but then don’t receive it. You may be able to recoup your money from your credit card company if something unexpected should happen to your shipment.
4) How long will it take for my shipment to reach its destination? Most motorcycle transport services can only give you a range of days when it comes to estimated time of delivery. This is because they must plan for unforeseen delays like inclement weather, road closures and other possible issues. Delivery time also depends upon how far your shipment has to travel.
However, you should at least expect to be given a range of days in which your delivery will arrive at its destination. Seven to 14 days is typical. For peace of mind, you should choose a motorcycle transport company that tracks its shipments.
They should be able to notify you when your shipment leaves their depot. They should also be able to locate it at any point en route. Finally, they should notify you when your shipment reaches its destination.
Any motorcycle transport company that truly wants your business won’t mind you asking questions. In fact, they should go out of their way to offer you reassurance and make sure you understand exactly what you can expect. If not, you should probably consider taking your business elsewhere.