Cost to Ship Tractor per Mile

Cost to Ship Tractor Per Mile

Everyone’s been asking how much it costs to ship a farm tractor. So, let’s make it simple by giving you an example shipment. For this example, I have picked the John Deere 5045E 4WD. It weighs 5401 lbs, has a length of 137.8 inches (11.48 ft), has a width of 57.3 inches (4.8 ft), and a height of 61.1 inches (5.1 ft),

For the example, lets say that it is picking up in Hastings MI and is going out Rogers AR. Total miles would be 767.2 miles. We would essentially have to find a flatbed, step-deck, or hotshot that is heading that way and negotiate a price to have them pick this up as well. Knowing that a full sized flatbed is 48-53ft long and has a capacity of 48,000 lbs cargo weight, we could request 12ft of space (roughly 20-25% of their available deck space) and take up less than 7% of their weight capacity. IF we lived in a perfect world, then we would pay 30-40% of the standard rate per mile ($2.00 – $2.25) plus the drivers time to go pick it up, secure it, and drop it Rogers AR.

Unfortunately, everyone is in the business of making money. That means they will mark it up a bit. Most of the time you should expect to pay 50-60% of the total line haul if you are sending a partial load. That means our total cost to ship the John Deere 5045 4WD would come out to be $750.00 – $1000.00. Still not bad when compared to the full line haul rate of $1500 – $2000.

Other Things to Consider

The standard $2.00 to $2.25 a mile doesn’t apply to all shipments. There are a few constraints to consider.

  1. Distance.
  2. Location
  3. Capacity

Distance is a very important factor in price. Coast-to-coast shipments are cheaper per mile than local runs. It is important to remember, whether you are going a long ways or running 50 miles down the road, you will still be paying for the drivers time.

Location is another factor that impacts the price. We get a lot of shipments that pick up in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and other states that do not have a very dense population. This can cause the rate to come up because drivers tend to be situated around bigger cities where loads are most likely to appear. We would essentially have to pay them to drive out and get the shipment (deadhead). This rule also applies to deliveries in remote areas. If you are 200+ miles away from a major city, be  prepared to pay a little more than the usual rate.

Capacity is the final constraint to consider/understand. Driver’s are constantly moving all over the country. When you have a surplus in one city, then the price goes down. The drivers will compete for loads. If you have a shortage of drivers in a city, then the price goes up because the driver will have their pick of the lot. The highest paying freight will be moved first.


We hope that this article sheds some light on shipping partial loads, tractors, booms, or any other type of equipment. We are always fighting to get you the best price with the best service. We are a family-owned and operated company with strong values on the relationships we create. Give us a call and see how we can help you.

(313) 651 7080

Fide Freight Team

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