LTL Shipping: Limited Access Service for Tight Spaces

One of the instances where a carrier may charge a limited access fee is when they must pickup or deliver from a tight space. In this article we cover the different things you should consider when purchasing your limited access service.

In this article we will answer these questions:

What is limited access service for tight spaces?
What do I get with limited access service?
How do I know if my location requires this service?
How much does this service cost?


What is limited access service?
Limited Access is service purchased when the location you are shipping from or to does not have enough space to accommodate a tractor (normally a day cab) with a full size 53’ trailer.

Carriers charge for this service because they typically have less straight trucks and pups than 53’ trailers. Smaller trucks are less common because they fit less cargo and are less efficient, requiring more return trips to the terminal for unloading.

What do I get with limited access service?
If the limited access service is being purchased to accomodate a space limitation, the carrier will deliver with a smaller truck. Normally it will be either a straight truck or a PUP.

A straight truck is a box truck that has the trailer section (freight section) and cab section (where the driver sits) all on one chassis. Meaning that there is no articulation or turning between the cab and trailer section. Also they cannot be separated. These trucks can range in sizes with the largest typically being around 28’ feet long. I common example of a straight truck is a U-Haul truck.
The term PUP is actually the kind of trailer but when someone references delivering with a “PUP” they are actually referring to the tractor and trailer combination. Carriers will use the same type of tractor (day cab) as they would with a full 53’ trailer but make the unit more maneuverable by selecting a 28’ trailer or ‘PUP.” The difference between a PUP and straight truck is the cab and trailer are not on the same chassis and can be separated from each other.
How do I know if my location requires this service?
If you are scheduling a shipment for a location that you are not at, typically the personnel at the location will be able to tell you if limited access service is necessary. Often they have found out that they need limited access service the hard way (i.e. a driver showed up and got stuck or rejected the delivery). If you are new to your location and trying to make the determination here are some suggestions on making the determination for yourself.
Ask the company that was there before you.
Ask a neighboring business.
Call the carrier and see if they have been to the location before.
Make a judgement call, does it look like a big semi-truck could turn around ok?
How much does this service?
Typically, the charge for limited access is between $50.00 and $150.00.


Thanks for reading our article on Lift Gate Service. We hope it helps you achieve your goals. We have several other resources you may find useful. Feel free to check them out here.

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Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens

Transportation Executive with experience in developing processes and controls for early stage start up companies. Specialties include: Sales, Marketing, Transportation, Trucking, Brokerage, Project Transport and Rail Operations.,Organizational Design, Process Development, Accounts Receivable Management, Leadership, and Business Start-ups.

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