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Suggestions on shipping a Helicycle from Bozeman, MT to Boise, ID

Posted By:
Chuck Callahan
#1 Posted: 4/25/2011 14:55:13 Modified: 5/3/2011 07:21:08

Attempting the captioned and looking for suggestions.  Right now, ABF U-Pack and Budget Truck Rental are my options.  I have no vehicle to tow with and preferring an enclosed container,  but open to ideas. Basically an airframe and 5 boxes.   Total wt.  600 #

Update  5/3/11   I have located a shipper for this project,   I will comment on the service once shipping completed at end of May.

Thank you everyone,  who provide valuable information on this project.

The true spirit of EAA shined through.

#2 Posted: 4/27/2011 23:05:56

You can try U-ship.com (google it), but be very careful about your transport hire.

I have had multiple bad experiences, but a couple good ones also.

That is a pretty short trip. Should be easy to find a hauler. I am in Kalispell.



Chris St Germain
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#3 Posted: 4/28/2011 00:12:24

 If you hire this done, you'll need to "babysit" the loading and securing of the airframe. Just yesterday, I saw at my home airport a Light Sport that had been trucked in. The aluminum fuselage had been laid on the trailer floor, then straps put over it and tightened. The tailcone was ripped off, and the skin on the side of and below the cockpit is buckled and torn. This was a new, never-flown plane. Truckers aren't paid for their brains.  I know that sounds really mean, but it's 35 years of observation. Of course, that is not true for all. In fact, I have two great friends that are truckers, and there not stupid like that. But, to many, it's just a load, and they don't understand how fragile it can be.

I would suggest looking in two places. First, check all the EAA chapters in your area. My local one has an enclosed trailer just for airframes. Check sailplane operations and owners, although your mast might be too tall to fit typical sailpalne trailers. Also, check with dragsters owners. Again, these are usually long enclosed trailers.

My friend in our chapter has a mostly-finished HeliCycle. I can't wait to see it fly. Good luck.

Nick Myers
#4 Posted: 4/28/2011 08:20:22

I have a buddy that recently purchased a starduster and picked it up using your method of renting a truck.  One thing to be careful of is the "mother-in-law shelf" in the space is usually calculated in the length.  So if you rent a 20' truck, you will likely only get about 17 or 18' of long usable space...it's only 20' at the very top.

And now my personal feelings...stay away from uhaul...I am beginning to hate them and their "service".

Mike Shea
#5 Posted: 4/28/2011 08:41:23

I might have an option for you. I work for a van line that hauls special products like this. If interested I could get a quote for you. I would need dimensions to give a accurate estimate.

Chuck Callahan
#6 Posted: 4/28/2011 19:05:04

Hey Mike, thanks for your input.

By chance are you with Taz?  Already worked a quote with them.   To this point, freight costs have been a deal stopper.  To reduce this cost,   I am looking now at shipping directly from Bozeman to my home outside Charlotte, NC.

If your not with Taz,  I can advise the dimensions are as follows.

airframe, one piece- less than 20 ft.  width less than 5 feet.  Excluding crates,   the  basic aircraft weight is 500 #

Dan Howe
#7 Posted: 4/29/2011 07:34:41
Chuck Callahan wrote:


Attempting the captioned and looking for suggestions.  Right now, ABF U-Pack and Budget Truck Rental are my options.  I have no vehicle to tow with and preferring an enclosed container,  but open to ideas. Basically an airframe and 5 boxes.   Total wt.  600 #

I recently transported a Glastar kit (jump start) from CA to MN.  I used MI-Logistics to do the transport.  With insurance, it cost less than what fuel alone would have cost to do the run using my own equipment - this also included airfare, hotel and materials for the construction of the crate. I made no allowance for my time.

BTW, MI-Logistics also offered to locate some one to build a crate - but given the load, I wasn't willing to risk someone with other than my interests to build and load the crate with my kit.  

I learned of MI-Logistics through U-Ship (another recommended U-Ship and I echo their caution. Few people have an appreciation for the delicate things we call airplanes).  Contact Roberto Luciano @ roberto@mi-logistics.com, www.mi-logistics.com, or ph. (704) 902-5380. He’s identifies himself as an owner/partner of the company.

I flew to CA and built and crated the kit.  It was a large crate approx. 20x5x7. The Glastar alone was estimated to weigh about 600#s.  I don’t recall what we calculated the crate to weigh but it was around 1K#s, kit and crate. If you elect to do this, I HIGHLY recommend that you build the crate base using 2x4 framing with studs at 16" O/C and sheath BOTH top and bottom decks using at least 3/4" plywood. Make certain too that you attach blocks under the base it to permit pallet jack and forklift access.

The sides and top were framed with 2x3 and covered with ¼” sheathing – the cheapest we could find (consider paneling). While we built the crate to what we thought at the time were 'better than it needs to be' standards, the ONLY issue with the shipment was that all but 3, 2x4 cross members were destroyed.  Hence, use the sheathing on BOTH sides of the base. Other than the cross members, the rest of the crate arrived in pristine condition. Even with the cross members gone, the kit, in its entirety arrived with NO damage.


Roberto at MI-Logistics locates the best company for the job.  He is very thorough and does an excellent job of keeping in touch and ensuring all things are as they should be.  As an aside, since the CA shipment, I have been using MI-Logistics to do other LTL shipping for me and my business. I am very impressed and pleased with everything they have done to date. 


Chuck Callahan
#8 Posted: 4/29/2011 15:48:55


Great information-   i will heed your advise on the crating of the a/c and give Robert a call.

Once again thanks so much for the valuable info.