Need to ship a transmission? You can do it, but it isn’t exactly as easy as shipping a box of books. Because transmissions contain hazardous materials you will need to take a few extra steps to ship safely.

LTL or less than truckload

This is likely how your engine will be transported. Unlike FTL or full truck load, LTL is for freight items that are individually 150 pounds or less. Multiple shippers using pallets or crates will use the same carrier to get goods from point A to point B. LTL generally takes longer to arrive at the final destination since it is a shared load with multiple stops. Prices vary based on distance (how close you are to shipping terminals) and whether you pallet or crate for shipping, but the average is around $300. You may also opt for a service that will do the crating for you at an average cost of about $100.


Prepare your transmission

Protect your engine from transport damage by packing it securely. Crate shipping provides the most protection. To prepare:

  • Drain fluids from the transmission (to reduce risk of hazard).
  • Secure the transmission inside.
  • Add protection such as cardboard or blankets around the transmission.
  • Secure the crate with nuts and bolts.


To transport using a pallet you’ll need at least a half pallet, ratchet straps (or ropes), stretch wrap, and 2×4’s or bands.

  • Drain as much of the transmission fluids as you can.
  • Remove any delicate parts so they are not damaged during shipping.
  • Pack removed parts securely.
  • Place the transmission in the middle of the pallet for better balance.
  • Secure with 2 x 4’s and bolts or bands
  • Protect on all sides with cardboard or a shipping blanket.
  • Wrap the entire package with stretch wrap (at least 80 gauge).
  • Measure and weigh the entire package.


Choose a carrier

You can get online quotes using zip code (pick-up and delivery), weight and measurements of the packaged transmission. Get several for comparison. Understand exactly what the quote includes. For example, is residential delivery available/more expensive, is off/on loading included? If it is not included, you will need to purchase lift gate service or have a few extra hands available to help. Get a bill of lading (receipt outlining contents on pickup) and check for damages on delivery.


Shipping a transmission is common. You should not have any trouble finding a reputable vendor. Your biggest concern will be preventing damage. Pack and secure carefully and drain fluids for a hassle-free experience.

Categories: Car Transport