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HOW to ship an engine or how to ship a transmission

Old 04-05-2019, 03:09 PM
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HOW to ship an engine or how to ship a transmission

This article here was written to help you understand better how to ship an engine or how to ship a transmission safely and affordably. This is a general guideline which includes some of the do’s and don’ts of freight shipping using LTL, and helping to be sure your engine ships and arrives with no hiccups.


of the most important things to protect your asset when shipping automotive parts such as engines, transmissions, doors, hoods, fenders, axles, seats, quarter panels and more. One should always consider the value of an item and the likelihood of it being damaged during transit, and take appropriate steps to ensure that steps are taken to protect your freight.


Crates or Pallets. Most of the car/truck parts a savage yard or individual will ever have to ship will go in a crate or on a pallet. Many people will say “I don’t have a pallet or crate”. There are several places i would recommend to find these items, and often times you can get them for free. Craigslist is a good source of pallets. Just go to your local area, and search for pallets or crates, and in most towns, many skids/crates listings show up, and often times, they are in the free section. If they are not in the free section, usually they are a couple bucks each. Another good place to locate a pallet for shipping your asset is behind buildings and businesses. Many companies just want these gone, and will let you take as many as you want. **WARNING** NEVER take them without asking someone first. People have been arrested for walking off with these materials, and it’s not worth the risk. It is important to make sure that the pallet or crate you use is high enough off the ground for a pallet jack to get under it. Some pallets have a low clearance, and will not work for most LTL shipments.


When shipping an engine, there are several things that need done, and methods to ship which will help the “how’s” of how to ship an engine.
  1. Drain fluids. Engines should be drained of oil and the dipstick tube plugged.
  2. Clean engine. using a pressure washer spray down the engine taking care not to spray water into places its not supposed to go such as the intake for example. Signs of fluids leaking or drops of oil can cause a delay or rejection or even return of your shipment
  3. An old tire is a nice help when shipping an engine. you can take the tire, and place it on top of the pallet, and then place the engine on top of that. This will help give the engine a little cushion as well as keep the oil pan off of the pallet where a forklift fork could puncture it.
  4. Banding. Metal banding is the method of choice, as it does not often break, and holds securely. On the other hand, plastic banding stretches, and may loosen up in transit. If you do not have banding, cheap ratchet straps can be purchased at local hardware stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Harbor Freight for $10 or less. Use a few of these securing the engine to the pallet, and don’t be scared to ratchet it as tight as you can.
  5. Stretch Wrap. Always use stretch wrap/shrink wrap to wrap your engine to the pallet. The entire engine should be covered, with as little of it visible as possible. Black stretch wrap is suggested as it is harder to see through, and hides any leaks or drips that may happen.

Once these items are completed, all that is left to do is to get an accurate weight of the engine on the pallet or crate and schedule the shipment. To get a weight, either put on a scale, if you can, snap a photo of the weight as if there are ever any re-weigh charges, you have evidence to back up the weight you shipped the engine at. If you


At this time, it will usually be your option to add additional insurance or not. All shipments come with a carriers’ Limits of Liability, which usually pays by the pound, and usually has a minimum payout amount, and if you do not go over than amount, there is a good chance you will get nothing. Capital insurance is suggested for engines which you deem to be more valuable and worth the additional money being spend on full coverage insurance. This will cover the purchase cost of the engine and often times will cover the freight charge as well. If the engine can be repaired, the insurance company will ask for a repair estimate, and if it is cheaper than the cost of the purchase price, they will usually cover those costs. If there is damage on arrival, make certain the driver notes the damage before it is unloaded and before you sign the BOL. Document everything well as that information will be needed in order to fill an insurance claim.


Determine the Class of your shipment. Usually an engine on a pallet is going to be a Class 85 with a NMFC code of 120790-1. Be sure to enter the NMFC code if you want it to travel in that class. IF it ships in a crate, the class and NMFC change to a Class 70 with a NMFC code of 120790-2.. You can also use a density calculator to determine the shipping class. Remember, the lower the Class, the cheaper to ship.


A Bill Of Lading (BOL) will need filled out, with 3 copies made. Each pallet or crate will need to have a BOL secured to it before the truck shows up. A packing slip envelope works well for this. Make sure both addresses are clearly visible. When the driver shows up, hand the additional 2 copies of the BOL to him/her. They will at that time put PRO# (tracking) stickers on the pallet and the copies of the BOL. One copy will be handed back to you for your record, and the number that is on the sticker can be used to track your shipment on the carrier’s website.




If you follow these guidelines the next time you ship your engine, hopefully you are better prepared and the engine is better protected and will travel from A to B with no issues on the way.



I have sold and shipped over $2M in auto parts in the last 6 years, and continue to do so on a regular basis. If you are interested in free rate quotes, please reach out and message me here, call me at 269-501-9889, or go to the best website for shipping auto parts at WeLTL.com and send a message or fill out a rate request quote.


Thanks, hope this was of use to someone... wish I had this information when I first started shipping


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Old 04-06-2019, 10:14 AM
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Re: HOW to ship an engine or how to ship a transmission

Also worth knowing:

Truck shipping rates can vary wildly from one carrier to the next, for the same job. Some carriers will have insurance by default, and some will charge for insurance, or for high-value insurance. Get a complete quote for the service and insurance that you want from the carrier, in advance. Never tell a carrier what other carriers have quoted for prices.

Door-to-door pickup and delivery service may be available, so it's worth asking, but it may cost a lot more money. If you can deliver the crate to the truck depot, and have it picked up at the destination depot, then depot-to-depot shipping can be far less in cost than delivered, but these prices will also vary, from one carrier to the next.

It can be very worthwhile to shop around for shipping.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:50 PM
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Re: HOW to ship an engine or how to ship a transmission

None of this belongs in “Site Help and Suggestions”. Please read the description of what this particular forum is for.

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Last edited by Injuneer; 04-14-2019 at 09:29 AM.
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