Shipping an art car from the East Coast

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Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby zeutstarz » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:58 pm

Hiya!

We have an art car going out to the Burn for her 2nd year. She cost us $2-4,000 last year to drive out there and back (including breakdowns) so we're hoping to just ship her this year and meet her in Reno.
But do you know HOW MANY AUTO SHIPPING COMPANIES THERE ARE, ALL STEALING MY EMAIL AND SKEEZING AND SQUEEZING AND FIGHTING FOR MY $$$ and I don't know who to trust.

Does anyone have an auto-shipping company they own, or know well, or have worked with in the past and got great results? Does anyone have experience shipping autos on trains?
If it matters, she has 11' clearance, is about 25' long, and probably around 8000 lbs (est, not sure)

Thanks!
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:02 pm

Hello..

While I don't have specific experience shipping art cars, I did used to sell cars nationally and ship them all over the country and have to find the best transport price each time.

The best way to do it honestly is google. Search "auto transport" and start filling out quote forms. There are some sites that will submit your request to like 20 different companies at one time. Gather as many quotes as you can, and go from there. Trucking and shipping quotes will change daily according to gas prices and load availability and there is almost never one company that will always be cheapest. You need to do due diligence for each and every load and find your best rate at the given time for the given geographic specifications..
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby Sham » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:15 pm

Based on the size of your art car, that will not fit on any standard car carrier. It seems that it might require it's own truck for the trip west. That is going to be very problematic for you on pricing. The regular old passenger cars are picked up and relayed across the country, much like the U.S. Mail works. What you appear to be needing is a dedicated vehicle and driver taking the art car clear across the country. A guess for a quote would be $5000 each way.
I have transported my art car across the country to be in a museum on the west coast, and if I remember correctly, it was about $1500 each way.

You might consider hiring a flat bed truck and driver to make the trip, and offer a ticket to BM for the week, and then have him drive it back east.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby trilobyte » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:34 pm

The height may be a bigger problem than you think. If I remember correctly, once you get past around 14' height, a vehicle starts to get into the 'oversize load' territory in a lot of states. That means the driver's got to look up each state along the way's restrictions, and then file some paperwork/get permits. There may be certain road or time of day restrictions. Bridge/underpass clearances are the main issue, but some cities/roadways don't allow oversized loads through during peak periods because of heavy traffic. I'm not sure what your vehicle's design is, but if you can partially disassemble the vehicle to get it to the kind of height that will work on a flatbed. Good luck!
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:00 pm

Good call, all. I wasn't even paying attention to the vehicle specs.

Yeah.. a 25' long vehicle is NOT going to be cheap. Again.. google it and start talking to as many different companies as you can to compare rates/reactions.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby trilobyte » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:16 pm

I don't think length will be as big of a problem as the height. Over a certain height and you have to start looking for special maps that list the bridge clearances, on the off chance you need to be off the main highway. When I lived in LA and my campmates and I were re-designing and re-building our art car from the ground up (base vehicle just didn't make sense to keep repairing anymore), we made the decision to build her to be partially 'street legal' so she could be driven up. After some research, we found that California and Nevada each had their own rules. California was tougher (and a number of states tend to follow CA's lead on DMV stuff), and we had something like 39 feet max length, 14' wide and 14' high before permits were required. Naturally we ended up coming to within 6 inches of each of those numbers, and then once "final assembly" happened on playa it got quite a bit beyond street legal.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby lemur » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:19 pm

lets see the thing!!!
Don't link to anything here!
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby trilobyte » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:59 pm

I'm curious to see what zeutstarz' vehicle looks like too… but if you were talking about the Space Wench, here's a pic of her in daytime back in 2005…

Image

Then one of my favorite shots, with the fire mast on burn night parked next to our friends' masterpiece, Miracle Gro (when in performance mode, it could reach 80' high with articulating petals).

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A gallery of some of the pics taken during shipbuilding can be found here. Since then, my former campmates have taken her to even more amazing heights - in 2011 they even made a short-lived transformation into an airship..

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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby motskyroonmatick » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:38 pm

Sounds like it needs to be put on a step deck trailer to be at or under 14 feet in height. I've seen some flat bed sail boat transport trailers that are even lower than a step deck and would work well for this situation. The east coast is the most treacherous for low height clearance although clearances under 14 feet are all over the place. Oregon has a freight mobility map that is used for oversize loads. I Imagine other states should have something similar if needed.

Buying a 20 foot 10,000 gvw car trailer and towing it out might end up being the least expensive if you have a tow vehicle. A little overhang on the front and back should not make a big difference just make sure the load doesn't hit the tow vehicle when making sharp turns.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby Sham » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:48 pm

The logistics of making a large playa vehicle and then having to transport it 3000 miles to get to this event is daunting. In a "normal" vehicle traveling across the country, you have to figure on at least 5 solid days of driving. In a funky, homemade Munster Mobile, you need to add at least 3 extra days for this adventure.

You might try to find a place in the Reno area to store this vehicle to make things easier in the future. The two way expenses, and the wear and tear on the vehicle makes commuting coast to coast a bad idea.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby gyre » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:06 pm

I'm on some auto forums that have used some people repeatedly, though I don't know how they would do with that oversize.

I have a friend equipped to move something like that, but it's a full rig, so smaller might be cheaper.

I needed to move something a while back and semi truckers were cheaper than movers of any type.
It was 6" too big for a van.
You wouldn't believe the quotes.

There are also the truck broker sites.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby Elliot » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:58 pm

trilobyte wrote: ...something like 39 feet max length, 14' wide and 14' high before permits were required.

I think there is a typo here. Maximum width is 8' 6" (102").
I agree this sounds like a job for a step deck semi, or a HD trailer such as used for a back hoe or dozer.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:45 pm

Did you say step duck semi?

Whoops, I guess you didn't. I flunked reading comprehension...
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:20 pm

I used to run step-deck and lowboy semi-trailers as part of a company I had. Look up "Trucking Brokers" in your area. Request a rate quote for a partial load with those dimensions, and they'll give you a rate. Here's the kicker: They don't REALLY want to post a load until shortly before it's ready to ship because the trucks that are looking for loads don't know that they'll be in your area that far in advance. They won't be able to get a quote back from a trucking company. But you need a planning figure now, not a week before the burn. You might get them to give you an estimate, say $1.50/mile or whatever, that's good for planning purposes.

Given the dimensions and distance, it is likely cheaper to drive it or trailer it on your own trailer. I've hauled a similar load on a flatbed equipment trailer behind a dually pickup. My trailer is rated at 12,000lbs, and behind a diesel pickup with a trailer brake controller, such a load is no big deal. If you put a camper on the pickup bed, you just gave yourself accommodations at the burn.

We have one art car that's coming up from south Florida. We will store it in Gerlach for $400/year rather than drive it back to FL. This will save about $3900 in fuel, based on last year's prices.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:33 pm

Oh, and with a broker, the more desperate you sound, the higher the rate is. Their goal is to pay the trucker as little as possible and charge you as much as possible. You can also find a trucking company in your area that specializes in flatbeds and see what they have to say.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby smittydc » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:48 am

I'm facing the same problem - but mine is much smaller...

Take a look at uship.com. You post your shipping details (size, weight, origin, destination, etc), and truckers bid on moving it for you.

U-ship is also the basis for the tv reality show "Shipping Wars" on which they ship all kinds of crazy shit (art, train cars, boats, etc).

The trickiest part is probably the drop off on-playa. I know you used to be able to get delivery passes for contractors - but I don't know the current status on those.

Good luck!
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby Elliot » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:55 am

smittydc wrote:The trickiest part is probably the drop off on-playa. I know you used to be able to get delivery passes for contractors - but I don't know the current status on those.

I just read, somewhere around here, that deliveries will be accommodated. But you should have your own unloading equipment and not count on DPW to unload for you. I'm guessing it was on the main web site.
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Re: Shipping an art car from the East Coast

Postby mshaman » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:12 pm

smittydc wrote:I'm facing the same problem - but mine is much smaller...

Take a look at uship.com. You post your shipping details (size, weight, origin, destination, etc), and truckers bid on moving it for you.

U-ship is also the basis for the tv reality show "Shipping Wars" on which they ship all kinds of crazy shit (art, train cars, boats, etc).

The trickiest part is probably the drop off on-playa. I know you used to be able to get delivery passes for contractors - but I don't know the current status on those.

Good luck!
-Smitty


Yay! This seems worth investigating. The commercial load boards cost $100/mo for membership IIRC, so a solution that is geared toward consumers is awesome.
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