Nearly all moving companies will move ATVs, but you’ll need to get your machine ready for transport before they show up.
Not particularly handy with wrenches?
Fear not. It’s not that difficult.
Let’s see how.
But first, check out these helpful articles.
- Best Interstate Movers – The moving industry is full of shady players. With so much at stake, it’s worth hiring a top-rated long-distance mover with verified customer reviews.
- How much will your move cost? – Our moving cost calculator is a great resource. Just enter your move dates, origin and destination cities, and the estimated size of your move, and the magic algorithms will do the rest.
- Consider moving containers – It’s simple. You load and unload, they drive, and you save big bucks. These are the best moving container companies.
Let your movers know you have an ATV
Whether relocating locally or to another state, getting your ATV moved safely and affordably shouldn’t be an issue.
Just be sure to tell estimators from prospective moving companies that you have one during the pre-move screening process.
How much does it cost to move an ATV?
According to small shipment specialist UShip, the cost to move an ATV varies based on distance and other factors.
However, the average price is usually between –
- $300 and $500 on long-distance moves
- $100 and $300 on short and local moves
The aforementioned costs are for moving your ATV only. If you ship one along with your household, the cost could be lower.
Moving ATVs on Local vs. Interstate Moves
On local moves, you’ll probably be charged an hourly rate based on crew size.
This means that the weight of your ATV won’t increase the price.
But even so, the estimator needs to know about it upfront for valuation (insurance) purposes, and so he or she can make sure to send –
- Enough crewmembers
- Suitable ramps (2-piece walk boards)
- A truck big enough to accommodate it along with your household goods
On interstate moves, transportation charges are based on weight and mileage, not time.
In addition to being charged for your ATVs weight, you’ll also probably pay a bulky article charge for each all-terrain vehicle you’re shipping.
These charges are built-in to interstate mover’s tariffs to cover large and difficult to handle items like –
- Hot tubs
- Motorcycles and ATVs
- Push and Riding mowers (lawn tractors)
If you’re moving out of state, ask your estimator(s) to give you quotes with and without your ATVs included so you can see the difference clearly.
How to prep the ATV, pre-move
Like other gasoline-powered machines, ATVs need a little attention before professional movers move them.
And you guessed it. It’s up to you to get it done before they show up.
Thankfully, preparing your ATV shouldn’t take more than an hour, even if you don’t know the difference between a radiator and a carburetor.
In fact, it usually just boils down to draining the oil and gas and removing the oil filter.
If DIY servicing isn’t an option, the dealership where you bought it may be able to help.
If you’re moving within town, some local movers won’t require you to do much more than empty the gas tank and make sure the oil drain plug is screwed in tightly.
Again, asking first may save you a lot of unnecessary work.
Either way, spend a few minutes going over your ATV, making sure that the –
- Spark plug wires are disconnected
- The drain plug and oil filter are screwed in tightly
- The radiator cap is on tightly (on liquid-cooled engines)
- Your Gas tank is either empty or no more than ¼ full
Always get your mover’s ATV policy in writing before signing the order-for-service.
On all interstate moves, you’ll need to –
- Empty your ATVs tank by running or siphoning the gas out
- Remove the tank and clean it, or let it air out thoroughly
- Drain the oil
- Remove the oil filter
- Drain the coolant from the radiator
If you’re moving during the winter or haven’t used your ATV in a while, the oil may be thick and difficult to drain.
To warm it up, idle the engine for a few minutes.
Then, wait 30 minutes or so until it cools sufficiently, don heavy-duty rubber gloves, place a suitable container under the oil pan, and slowly unscrew the plug.
Check your owner’s manual to see how much oil is inside and ensure the container is large enough to collect it all.
Remember – hot engine oil can cause severe burns.
Only drain yours if the engine block is cool enough to touch.
When in doubt, wait until it is.
Did you know?
Most ATV engines hold between 1.5 and 3 quarts of motor oil.
Should I move my four-wheeler?
You probably should move your ATV, but you’ll need to decide which way makes the most sense in your particular case.
Weigh the pros and cons by asking yourself the following questions –
Do I have the right equipment?
Most ATV owners already have suitable vehicles and trailers to get their machines to and from their favorite offroading sites. If so, moving your ATV locally on your own is probably the way to go. On long-distance moves, however, hiring professional movers may be safer and more convenient.
Do I have enough know-how?
Getting a powerful machine up ramps and onto a truck or trailer isn’t easy. Worse yet, it can be dangerous and possibly deadly. If you don’t feel comfortable, do yourself a huge favor and let movers handle your ATV.
What’s my budget?
Moving an ATV can be relatively inexpensive, but on coast-to-coast moves, the charges can add up quickly.
What is my ATV worth?
If your ATV is 20-years-old, worth less than your weed whacker, and rarely gets used, shipping it across the country on a moving van may be a huge waste of money.
Will I be able to store and use it at my new home or apartment?
How many ATVs have you seen in Central Park? Not many, because city life and four-wheelers just don’t go together. If you’re trading in wide-open spaces for loft living in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, chances are moving and using your ATV is going to be more hassle than it’s worth.
Moving an ATV yourself
We always suggest hiring professional movers, but if you’re determined to move your ATV yourself, you’ll need the following –
- A truck with a relatively low deck
- Or, a trailer with a low deck
- A suitable towing vehicle equipped with a hitch
- Two-piece ramps with a sufficient weight capacity to handle your ATV
- Heavy-duty nylon logistics straps with ratchets or chains
- Gloves and suitable footwear
As an owner-operator, I moved lots of ATVs.
I never had a mishap, thanks largely to the fact that my helpers and I always pushed them up the ramps instead of attempting to drive them.
Here are a few important ATV loading safety tips –
- Make sure your vehicle is capable of handling the ATV’s weight
- Position the ramps so that they’re exactly the same width as the ATV’s tires
- Secure the top of the ramps to the truck/trailer deck with steel pins or logistics straps (failing to do so can spell disaster)
- Put the ATV’s transmission in neutral
- With three or four helpers, push the ATV up the ramps (one person steers)
- Or, have an experienced driver drive it up into the center of the truck or trailer
- Once in place, engage the parking brake and chock the wheels
- Use at least four chains or straps to secure the ATV
- Check your owner’s manual for proper securement points (using suspension parts can cause damage)
- Nobody should ever be between the ramps below the ATV while loading and unloading
On long trips, stop after the first 20 miles to check and retighten your straps or chains, then every hour after that.
Other ways to move an ATV
This only works if you’re moving locally. Of course, you’ll want to check local traffic laws and insurance regulations, after which you may find that it isn’t an option. On the other hand, with permission, you could cut through the neighbor’s field and arrive at your new home without ever driving on a public road.
Get help from friends
Most ATV owners have lots of friends with ATVs. If you don’t have your own trailer or toy hauler, a friend with the right equipment may be willing to help out. Consider offering to fill up their gas tank or take them out for a gourmet burger afterward.
Ship it with a specialized company
Companies that specialize in small shipments are great options when it comes to moving an ATV. On the downside, because most are transportation intermediaries (as in, brokers), service can be spotty, pricing can be all over the place, and capacity may be inconsistent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who should I hire to move an ATV?
If you’re moving an ATV along with your household goods, you’re usually better off letting your moving company handle it. When shipping an ATV by itself, it may be wise to hire a small shipment specialist like U-Ship.
Can I ship an ATV?
Yes, it’s relatively easy and inexpensive to ship an ATV.
How can I move an ATV myself?
If you have the right help, experience, and equipment, moving your ATV shouldn’t be a big hassle. For tips, refer back to the Moving an ATV yourself section.
How much will it cost to move an ATV?
Depending on multiple factors like the size of your ATV and how far it’s moving, the cost is usually between $100 and $500.
Last-minute ATV tips
- Take pictures and note pre-existing damage with the driver before loading
- Remove accessories like rearview mirrors and racks
- At delivery, look over your ATV carefully
- If your ATV was damaged, file a claim as soon as possible.
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