How to Transport Emergency Vehicles

How to Transport Emergency Vehicles? Here’s What You Need to Know

Unlike rail, buses, and trucks meant to carry people and loads, emergency vehicles require different ways of transport. An emergency vehicle may include ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and much more. There is a wide variety of emergency vehicles utilized in various situations with different makes and models. Therefore, you’ll need to understand the intricacies […]

Unlike rail, buses, and trucks meant to carry people and loads, emergency vehicles require different ways of transport. An emergency vehicle may include ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and much more. There is a wide variety of emergency vehicles utilized in various situations with different makes and models. Therefore, you’ll need to understand the intricacies involved in logistics to transport emergency vehicles of each type safely. Also, these vehicles need quick transport without any hitch because hospitals, police, and fire brigade need them urgently. 

Emergency vehicles are unique, so other drivers must also be aware of how to drive accordingly and safely around an emergency vehicle. Whether you need to ship an ambulance, police car, or fire truck or need to know how to drive carefully around one, this article is for you. Keep reading to learn more.

Transporting Emergency Vehicles: An Overview

Transporting Emergency Vehicles

Before considering shipping an emergency vehicle across the country, you must be aware of some things regarding their transport. Firstly, depending on the distance and type of emergency vehicle you need to transport, you’ll have to choose a shipping method. 

You may use a trailer, flatbed rack, step-deck, drop-deck carrier, or a hauling truck. Another option is to use a regular car mover, which is less costly than other methods. Secondly, you must know that emergency vehicles have specific rules and requirements for safety that you’ll have to follow for transport. 

Each vehicle has a different design and operation therefore, they also have different safety requirements under federal and state laws. Moreover, the state laws can vary in each state. It’s also noteworthy that emergency vehicles require specific insurance coverage necessary to buy for owners. 

An emergency vehicle also requires more insurance coverage than a regular car. Furthermore, you may have to buy commercial insurance for using the hauling service from a commercial car shipping company. 

Reasons behind transporting emergency vehicles

Reasons behind transporting emergency vehicles

Emergency vehicles also need transportation like regular cars. In some circumstances, you may need to move a police vehicle to an accident scene or relocate a fire truck to a burning building. 

Besides, no law states that emergency vehicles cannot be involved in incidents. In many cases, it has been observed that high speeds and the use of sirens and lights by emergency vehicles like ambulances are the cause of many traffic accidents

So, you may need to relocate the ambulance if it is damaged and needs repair. In other cases, you may be required to move the emergency vehicle used in a criminal investigation or if they are non-operational. If the car is too damaged and beyond repair, you may need to move it to a disposal facility. 

Preparation for emergency vehicle transport

There are three ways you can transport your emergency vehicle. By rail, road, or ocean if you wish to send it overseas. Depending on the type of vehicle, your budget, and other shipping requirements, you can choose one of these options. 

In addition, you should prepare the vehicle before transporting it. You may need to hire an auto hauler to pick up the vehicle from its original location and transport it to another state or city. If it’s badly damaged in some cases, you’ll have to repair it before shipping it to another place. 

To ensure a successful shipment, you’ll have to prepare some documentation that includes your full details. The paperwork must include the following:

  • Full Name and Address.
  • Photo ID and Contact Info.
  • Title of Ownership.
  • Proof of Vehicle Value.
  • A signed legal document allowing the shipping company to handle the shipment.

Types of emergency transport

There are several types of transport that you can choose from to transport emergency vehicles based on their type and your budget. Below is the list of some of these transport methods:

Flatbed truck

A flatbed truck helps haul large or heavy machinery or oversized loads that can’t usually fit in a standard truck or container. It has no walls but support posts to secure the cargo inside the truck. 

You can use a flatbed truck to relocate a small emergency vehicle. Your service provider will load the vehicle from the top or the sides and relocate the truck to your desired location.

Step deck truck

A step deck truck is a large version of a flatbed truck and comes with a raised deck 20 inches above the base of the truck. It is an excellent option for transporting large emergency vehicles like a fire truck or a car that is too long or doesn’t have wheels. Furthermore, it can also be ideal for transporting vehicles that have large wheels. 

Rollback transport

A rollback is a kind of tow truck whose entire body inclines back to pull on the load. This kind of truck usually transports industrial or construction equipment. You can also use it to transport large emergency vehicles that don’t fit inside a standard truck. 

A rollback is also a perfect choice for transporting smaller emergency vehicles that are too large to fit inside a stock truck and too small to look absurd carried by a large trailer.

Things to consider while transporting an emergency vehicle 

There are certain things to consider while transporting and parking an emergency vehicle. Here they are:

Parking location and size

The first things to consider for parking emergency vehicles are location and lot size. In some scenarios, you may need help finding a space to park the vehicle temporarily. 

You’ll not find enough space if you live in a rural town. However, you’ll find plenty of lots with enough room to park an emergency vehicle in a big city. For example, a fire truck will need a 40 feet width lot for parking. 

Ventilation and power requirements

Based on the type of emergency vehicle, it will require ventilation, protection against elements, and an energy source while parking. For example, if you are parking a fire truck, you’ll need to park it indoors to protect against inclement weather.

Or if you need to park a police car, it should be outdoors. You should also ensure that the place you are parking is not a high-risk location. 

Moreover, the parking lot should have enough space to open the doors quickly as police cars must rush after emergency calls. You’ll also require an energy source for emergency vehicles, so make sure there is an outlet nearby or a water pump in case of a fire truck.

Security needs

An emergency vehicle requires security, such as an ambulance carrying expensive medical equipment. Therefore, you must park it in a lot with gates and security cameras installed. Or you can park it in a secluded lot, where there are fewer risks of theft, and request the person in charge to provide security. 

Loading dock needs

You have to ask about reserving a loading dock from the lot owner where you want to park your emergency vehicle. Park the car in a lot with enough room to quickly drive the vehicle to a loading dock or back entrance. 

You must also ensure that the power lines are not too low near the parking space to tangle with your vehicle while driving. Or you may find a place to park for one day if you believe you’ll need your emergency vehicle immediately. 

Drive-thru requirements

If you plan to park your emergency vehicle in a drive-thru lane. You must also make sure not to park in an area that blocks someone’s path or disrupts the restaurant’s work. Or you can park outside the restaurant if the space is enough for your emergency vehicle. 

GPS tracking

To transport emergency vehicles, you’ll need to track where your car is. Therefore, utilizing GPS tracking is a must. This also helps emergency providers to comply with safety regulations and follow specific routes to minimize risks of traffic violations. 

Tracking also helps in controlling the fleet’s speed limit. This information is vital to learn the whereabouts of an emergency vehicle if needed in an emergency situation.

How can AFL help you transport emergency vehicles?

Emergency vehicles are different from regular vehicles and more expensive. AFL remembers this fact and provides prompt transportation services. We also understand that shipping emergency vehicles requires caution. Shipping for emergency vehicles must also take place quickly. 

Therefore, AFL, a car shipping company, ensures that the shipping process goes as smoothly as possible. Our company has been in the shipping business for a long time. 

This gives us the experience and knowledge to transport your emergency vehicles with concern and safety. Our shipping services include the following:

NVOCC Services

Besides standard movers, our fleet carries specialized carriers equipped with liftgates, turntables, ramps, and rollers to effortlessly transport your emergency vehicle effortlessly. Designed for heavy lifting, our carriers can handle various transport needs and even carry delicate medical equipment. 

We also provide customized shipping solutions, so if you wish to ship a smaller emergency car, we can offer specialty vehicles designed to carry a small load. This will also help you in saving transport expenses. 

If you require international transport as an NVOCC license holder, our company offers to book with renowned carriers at competitive pricing. We ensure to clear your emergency vehicle in each state or customs by ensuring that it adheres to federal, state, and customs laws.

Processing Services

We have the necessary resources to help prepare documentation and prevent delivery delays. If you require overseas transport for your emergency vehicle, our experts can help clear customs in both the origin and destination country. 

We will guide you to fill out each form and help you make changes if your paperwork needs corrections. So the customs can approve your vehicle and give it the green light for clearance.

Door-to-Door Services

We are very particular about the staff we choose for relocating your emergency vehicles. Our company only hires qualified and trained drivers after performing a thorough background check. 

They are skillful enough and always mentally prepared to transport emergency vehicles with due diligence. Our company also offers door-to-door services, so we can pick up your emergency vehicle at your stated location and deliver it to your desired destination. 


Moving emergency vehicles across states or overseas requires a lot of effort. It’s essential to understand each vehicle’s type and shipping requirements. With the proper preparation, you can transport emergency vehicles safely and securely. But you’ll need the help of a trustworthy transport company.

If you want to ship your emergency vehicle overseas, don’t handle the shipment process individually. Hire a reliable international car shipping company instead. Only a professional transport company can prioritize your shipping needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to transport an emergency vehicle?

There is no fixed answer to this query as estimated time can vary based on several variables. The delivery time will depend on the type of shipment method, weather, strikes, peak season, and distance. 

However, on average, it may take one week or less for an emergency vehicle to move from one state to another through a truck. For ocean freight, it may take three to four weeks to ship.

How much will it cost to transport an emergency vehicle?

Like time, the cost of transporting an emergency vehicle will also vary and is only an estimate. The shipping charges will depend on the distance traveled, chosen shipment method, size and weight of the car, peak season, and fuel rates.


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