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Why Ground Clearance Matters In Car Shipping

Saturday, Feb 3, 2024 by Professional Car Carriers
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You may have heard the term “ground clearance” in the automotive and off-road vehicle industries, and it’s important to understand what it means, especially when shipping your vehicle to a new city. 

So what is ground clearance, and why does it matter?

We’ll tell you: 

What Is Ground Clearance?

Ground clearance, or ride height, is the space between the ground and the bottom side of the vehicle, excluding the tires. The minimum ground clearance will vary depending on the type of vehicle. In addition, many factors can influence your ground clearance, such as a front spoiler or valance, air dam, radiator, or a low-hanging part on the chassis. 

Whenever a car manufacturer lists the ground clearance for a vehicle, it’s usually referring to the distance at a time when the vehicle is empty. You’ll likely have much less ground clearance if your vehicle is filled with passengers and/or cargo. 

Why Ground Clearance Matters for Car Shipping 

When shipping a car to another city, it will get loaded and unloaded onto various modes of transportation, including transport trucks, enclosed trucks, trains, etc. Each mode of transportation has its own set of requirements to ensure your car is loaded/unloaded safely. 

Some open carrier transport trucks or trains use ramps with different degrees of incline, which can limit the types of cars they can carry due to their ground clearance. When a vehicle with low ground clearance approaches a steep incline, the bumper or other low-hanging parts of the car can potentially scrape against the ramp. 

That can cause damage. 

Your vehicle could also receive damage if it transitions from the ramp to a level surface. The last thing you want is for the tires and bottom of your vehicle to get scuffed up. Therefore, a minimum ground clearance of 13 cm / 5 inches is recommended for safe loading and unloading. 

To avoid this issue, enclosed transport trucks use hydraulic lifts and low-level ramps when loading and unloading vehicles. This mode of transportation is ideal for luxury cars, antiques, and vehicles with low ground clearance. 

What To Do if You Have Low Ground Clearance 

There are some things you can do if you want to ship your low-clearance car somewhere in Canada. 

For starters, you may consider raising your vehicle to avoid low ground clearance. You can do this by using larger tires or boosting your suspension. Some people install coil spring spacers, also known as assisters, which is a piece of rubber that sits between the coils on a spring suspension system. The spacers should reduce expansion and increase the ground clearance of your car. 

You can also remove any body kits installed on your vehicle, as they can change the shape of your automobile and alter the distance between the ground and the bottom of your car. 

Another available option is to ship your car via an enclosed truck. As mentioned earlier, enclosed trucks have equipment that can load your automobile safely, like hydraulic lifts or low-angle ramps. As an added benefit, an enclosed transport truck can protect your vehicle against the elements, road debris, and potential damage. 


If you’re looking for reliable car shipping in Canada, you’ve come to the right place. Professional Car Carriers has gained experience and understands the regulations involved. Contact us today to book your car for shipment or get a free quote. 

If you are interested in shipping your vehicle, you can get an instant quote today!

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