Salvage Car Transport

Shipping a salvaged vehicle will usually require special equipment. For those that roll and steer, they can be pulled using winch or cable on to a carrier. Special forklifts also can be used to safely load and unload vehicles that do not roll, brake or steer because of heavy damage. This equipment should be available at both the pickup and delivery.

salvage car transport vehicle in yard awaiting pickup

Many look for the vehicle they always wanted by scouring auctions for that diamond in the rough they can fix. Many dealers that specialize in low cost vehicles also buy salvage cars, and sell them to those that don’t mind having vehicle that was rebuilt from an accident. But shipping a salvage or otherwise inoperable vehicle, isn’t a task every auto transport company can do well.

Most auto shipping involves handing over the the keys, and the carrier and they will drive it up onto the truck. Pretty simple. But salvage cars are a different story. In many cases these types of vehicles do not even roll because the wheels are completely damaged or locked in place. So in many cases, specialized equipment is needed. Most commonly if the salvage vehicle is from an auction such ase Copart & IAA, then they will help load the vehicle by forklifting it on for th carrier. But that transporter also has to have equipment that will allow for it to be removed just as easily.

car on long forklift at salvage
forklift salvaged car

Equipment such as forklifts are needed for vehicles that can’t move. If the vehicle just has front end damage like the van pictured, a simple forklift with attachment will grab the front and pull it along to the carrier, where it can be pulled in. For vehicles with serious damage that don’t roll, brake or steer, then a long forklift specially used for moving vehicles can pick them up and load them on the carrier.

The trick is the delivery. If you are having a vehicle shipped to you that cannot roll or is otherwise sitting on the ground, unless it is at a repair shop with the necessary equipment, you may need to hire a tow truck or wrecker to unload it for you if it’s going to your home, which will add tot the cost of transport. Most carriers won’t let you drag a salvage vehicle off their trailer because pieces can get hooked and the trailer and damage the vehicle being dragged as well as the trailer.

Consider everything having to do with moving the car. For example, if you do not have keys then make sure the vehicle is in neutral with just the parking brake on so it can be easily maneuvered.

Most auctions will drain all fluids that can leak in damaged radiators, fuel tanks, etc. But if you are the one selling a salvage car personally, be sure to do this for the safety of the vehicle and carrier taking it.