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Old 06-12-2018, 06:56   #1
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Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

What's the best way to get a pair of 56' masts from Michigan to Florida?

There is already a trailer for them that the current owner used to drive them up there from Florida.

It overhung the vehicle a bit to keep the total length under the acceptable limit.

I don't want to take my truck into the salted roads. For a lot of reasons it will cause damage to the truck.

Option are renting a truck and doing the trip or having the masts shipped.

Does anyone have experience with this?

Anyone know good places to talk to regarding shipping the masts?
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:40   #2
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Lived in Michigan for a long time and they do use salt there, but it's not that bad for the truck if you wash it off. Once you get out of the salt/snow zone on your way S, take your truck to a self car wash and use the wand to spray the wheel wells and under body then you should be fine.

Weather isn't too bad yet and the longer you wait to move the masts the more snow/salt you will encounter along the way south to FL.


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Old 06-12-2018, 07:56   #3
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

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Lived in Michigan for a long time and they do use salt there, but it's not that bad for the truck if you wash it off. Once you get out of the salt/snow zone on your way S, take your truck to a self car wash and use the wand to spray the wheel wells and under body then you should be fine.

Weather isn't too bad yet and the longer you wait to move the masts the more snow/salt you will encounter along the way south to FL.


Bill O.

I don't know. I took this truck out twice in PA in the winter 2 years ago. I lost a hot water heater solenoid on the RV part and an air compressor for my engine brake and watched my exhaust system go from shiny metal to rust . In 2 days. And sprayed it clean at a pressure car wash. The underbody was nice metal before those 2 days also. Now a fine later of rust everywhere.

No way I'm taking this truck (which is part of an RV) back into salt.

I'll rent a vehicle if anything.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:07   #4
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

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I don't know. I took this truck out twice in PA in the winter 2 years ago. I lost a hot water heater solenoid on the RV part and an air compressor for my engine brake and watched my exhaust system go from shiny metal to rust . In 2 days. And sprayed it clean at a pressure car wash. The underbody was nice metal before those 2 days also. Now a fine later of rust everywhere.

No way I'm taking this truck (which is part of an RV) back into salt.

I'll rent a vehicle if anything.

Had vehicles there for years/many winters and never lost anything in 2 days let alone a few years. Must have been more coincidence and they were ready to go anyway.

Obviously you feel strongly about this, so a truck rental is probably in your future. My only suggestion would be do it sooner than later as your weather windows will be getting smaller.


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Old 06-12-2018, 09:23   #5
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Be sure to verify the contract and insurance if you use your trailer with a rented truck.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:11   #6
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

In the mid-'70's we had to replace the mast on a prior boat and had to get the spar from its manufacturer in the Seattle area to our boatyard in Richmond Calif. The quoted shipping cost was prohibitive so, for the sake of the exercise, I went to a truck stop off the freeway near the spar makers facility and inquired around until I found a trucker headed to the Bay area. I asked him and his wife (they worked as a team) whether he might be willing to carry the spar on the roof of his trailer and drop it off at Richmond Boat Works for $200.00. They were agreeable and drove by the Sparcraft factory where the spar was laid on the top of the trailer and tied down, with suitable padding of course. Forty-eight hours later, they dropped it off, none the worse for the trip.


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Old 06-12-2018, 10:27   #7
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

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I don't want to take my truck into the salted roads. For a lot of reasons it will cause damage to the truck.
This is unnecessary. I live in New England, and have so for my entire life. I have a 12-year-old vehicle I wash maybe twice a year. If I've ever washed the undercarriage, it was because the 2-3 times I've taken it through a carwash in the time I've owned it, had an undercarriage spray.

There isn't a spot of rust on that vehicle. The vehicle would have to live in road salt for 15-20 years to even begin to show signs of rust.

This is a silly southern myth.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:53   #8
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Be sure you check the laws for EVERY state you will be diving through to be sure you meet the length requirements. It varies--by quite a bit. Some states only regulate overall length, and some regulate the length of tow vehicle and trailer separately AND together....

Arkansas has a overall length limit of 53'6"... not sure how you would handle that with a 56' mast... I think that is the shortest, but do your homework.

You really don't want to be pulled over by a state trooper with a tape measure halfway to your destination and be handed an expensive ticket and then be told you are not allowed to go any further until you get an oversize permit...
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:55   #9
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Talk to some yacht transport brokers and try to find someone taking a boat south that can add the masts to their load. Or maybe someone deadheading south. You may have to be patient - are you in a hurry?
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:06   #10
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

It sounds like the OP's rust problem is from aftermarket and RV parts on his truck. But the fear about salt sure was true when I was growing up in the '60s. I remember my mother putting cardboard over the rusted holes in the floor of the back seats to keep our feet dry when riding back there. But the rust pretty much went away 20 years ago. You never see it on a car today unless it's pre 2000.

The OP could try getting a quote from Uship.com. They do well on odd jobs like this. They'll bid on hauling the trailer or putting the trailer with the masts on a truck - and the load permits are their problem not his.

https://www.uship.com
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:44   #11
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Using your own truck will certainly the best way to do it. As for winter salt problem, it is not a problem. One trip won't affect your truck's life and it won't become a pile of rust... Just wash it after your arrival in Florida. I'm alway surprised to discover such false believe... It most be what your president would call a fake news,,,
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Old 06-12-2018, 13:29   #12
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

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Talk to some yacht transport brokers and try to find someone taking a boat south that can add the masts to their load. Or maybe someone deadheading south. You may have to be patient - are you in a hurry?
Good idea. Craigslist in my area lists quite a few individuals who do hauling. They all of course have there own trailers but could use yours just the same. Worth a try. I am sure it is going to be at least a few hundred, thatís a lot of driving.
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Old 06-12-2018, 13:46   #13
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Pay someone to drive them down. Maybe a retiree with a hitch. You likely dont need a truck, lightweight stuff.
But , nothing will be cheaper than you driving your truck. Or maybe your truck eats a ton of fuel?
You could fly up and rent a one way vehicle to bring them down.
You might enquire if there are any boat shippers sending a boat down and see if they can bring them. Watch out though, those guys are famous for damaging masts.
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Old 06-12-2018, 13:52   #14
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

Call local trucking company and ask for the name of a freight broker in your area. The broker will line you up with a trucker who is running empty going south. This may take a while and you will need to be responsible for coordinating the loading at pickup point and unloading at the destination. This time of year, there are lots of truckers looking for return loads south.

Or contact boat moving companies that haul new boats for manufacturers in Florida, like SeaRay, Boston Whaler, Proline, etc. Their drivers usually deadhead back home.

Here is one in Central FL:
https://www.facebook.com/Justus-Boat...-179941342382/
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Old 06-12-2018, 14:05   #15
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Re: Getting 2 Masts From Michigan to Florida

If you do tow it yourself be sure to use bright red flags along the length of the mast. Visibility will be a safety issue. Also, only tow in daylight.
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