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Hot Tub Transportation: Expert Tips for Oversized Loads

December 12, 2023
 By Joe Weaver
Hot Tub Transportation: Expert Tips for Oversized Loads
Last Modified: January 18, 2024
Find out how to transport your hot tub safely with our expert advice. We’ve got the answer to the question, “How are hot tubs moved?” and more.

Hot tub transportation presents unique challenges, particularly for those inexperienced with hauling oversize items. The process involves more than just physical strength; it requires expertise in safely moving big, bulky cargo. This complexity highlights the importance of seeking professional assistance to avoid potential damage and safety risks.

The International Association of Movers highlights that hot tub transportation demands specialized handling. Given their size and fragile materials, transporting a hot tub poses unique challenges for movers. Proper equipment and experienced personnel are key to ensuring safe and secure transit.

Join us as we take a detailed look at how hot tubs are transported, including the best way to choose a professional mover.

Hot Tub Transportation Needs Explained

Hot tub transportation as illustrated by a crane holding a new hot tub above its installation area.

Transporting a hot tub is a more complex task than some people assume. Designed for relaxation, these luxury items can become a source of stress when it comes to moving them from one place to another. 

Hot tubs, with their bulky size and delicate components, require careful handling and expertise. It’s easy to damage a hot tub during transit without experience and the right equipment. Using an expert delivery service is a smart way to protect such an expensive investment.

As we continue to examine the nuances of hot tub transportation, let’s clear up some confusion about three related terms: hot tubs, spas, and Jacuzzis.

Hot Tubs, Spas, and Jacuzzis: What are the Differences?

These three terms are often used synonymously: however, they have specific definitions. Let’s explore these definitions before moving on.

  • Hot Tubs: Traditionally made of wood and/or acrylic material, hot tubs are large tubs designed for relaxation. They usually have at least a few built-in jets, lights, and molded seat.
  • Spas: Sometimes this is used to refer to a hot tub, but technically it’s a destination that provides a number of rejuvenating services. This may include a hot tub, but that’s just one part of a spa. 
  • Jacuzzis: Jacuzzi is actually a brand of hot tubs. If you know how to move a Jacuzzi, you know how to move a hot tub, too.

This article will deal specifically with moving hot tubs, which may or may not be Jacuzzis depending on the manufacturer.

If you enjoy being out on large bodies of water, then read our article jet ski shipping.

How Are Hot Tubs Shipped?

Shipping hot tubs requires heavy-duty gear and vehicles that not everyone can just find in their garage. Let’s check out the various ways hot tubs are transported, including the vehicles and equipment involved in the process.

  • Flatbed Trucks: These are the most commonly used vehicles for transporting hot tubs. Their open and spacious bed makes it easier to accommodate the tub’s formidable size.
  • Cranes and Lifts: For loading and unloading hot tubs onto the transport vehicle, cranes or lifts are often employed. This is especially necessary for particularly large or heavy tubs.
  • Moving Dollies: These are used to maneuver the hot tub to and from the transport vehicle. A specialized furniture dolly can handle the weight and provide stability during movement.
  • Tie-Down Straps and Padding: Securement is crucial to prevent movement on the road. Tie-down straps help keep the hot tub in place during transit, while padding prevents damage to its surface.

Options for moving the tub range from DIY methods, where homeowners might use their own trailers and equipment, to professional services that provide all necessary vehicles and tools for a safe move. 

While the cost to move a hot tub can make a DIY solution seem appealing, doing the job yourself without the right gear can put your expensive relaxation station at risk. 

Why to Choose a Professional Hot Tub Moving Company

Professional movers transporting a palletized hot tub with a crane and straps

Deciding to hire professional hot tub movers is a smart way to make sure your delivery goes smoothly. Doing so has several advantages that can bring you peace of mind.

Chief among these advantages are:

  • Expert Handling: Professionals are trained to handle tubs delicately during each step of the moving process.
  • Proper Equipment: They use the right tools and vehicles designed for such tasks, reducing the risk of damage.
  • Insurance Coverage: In case of any mishaps, professional movers are often licensed and insured to cover damages.
  • Time and Effort Saving: Outsourcing the task saves you from the physical exertion and time involved.

While DIY methods seem less expensive, they’re risky for those inexperienced with transporting large items

Here are ways a hot tub can be damaged during a DIY move.

  • Improper Loading and Unloading: Without the right techniques and equipment, you might damage the tub’s structure.
  • Inadequate Securing: Failing to secure the tub properly on the transport vehicle with moving straps could lead to shifting and damage during transit.
  • Incorrect Transportation Methods: Using the wrong vehicle or loading the tub on its side can cause imbalance and stress on the hot tub.
  • Physical Damage: Scratches, dents, or cracks can occur without the use of professional padding and protection in transit.
  • Internal Component Damage: The components inside the hot tub can be damaged if it’s not kept stable and secure during the move.

Considering the size and expense involved, it’s easy to see that hauling even one hot tub can be demanding. The process only becomes more involved in a wholesale or retail situation where multiple tubs are shipped at once.

How to Move Hots Tubs: A Step-by-Step Guide

A pallet jack being used to move a hot tub.

Moving multiple hot tubs from a distributor to a retailer involves planning and coordination between all involved parties. Without care and attention, expensive mistakes can occur.

These guidelines for hot tub shipping should be used to ensure safe, dependable deliveries.

  1. Assessing the Load: Determine the amount and dimensions of the hot tubs to be transported.
  2. Selecting Vehicles and Equipment: Based on the assessment, choose suitable vehicles and equipment. 
  3. Assembling Personnel: Gather a team of professionals with experience handling oversize items. Confirm all members are trained in safety techniques.
  4. Preparing for Transportation: Distribute the weight of the hot tubs evenly across the flat surface of your trailer. Securely fasten each tub with straps to limit cargo shifting.
  5. Transportation Process: Select the best route, considering road restrictions and traffic patterns. Use tracking software to keep an eye on its location in transit.
  6. Unloading at the Destination: Communicate with the retailer to prepare for delivery. Use forklifts, cranes, or a loading ramp to safely unload each hot tub.
  7. Post-Delivery Checks: Conduct a final count and inspection of hot tubs with the retailer to ensure all items are delivered in good condition. Get feedback from the retailer for possible areas of improvement.

People sometimes ask if it’s safe to haul a hot tub on its side. While technically possible, it leads to more risk of damage to the tub and the vehicle itself. To avoid damage to your hot tub, it’s best to haul it flat.

Professional heavy haul services use these basic steps as a guideline for transporting large loads. It’s also important for such services to use the most up-to-date gear and technology to refine their processes and provide top-notch service to shippers and sellers.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Weigh and Why Does It Matter

On average, a medium-sized hot tub weighs approximately 500 lbs empty. This matters because the weight of a hot tub is an important factor affecting how to transport it. 

The overall dimensions of the hot tub must also be taken into account. You’ll need to measure your hot tub or tubs prior to shipment, but some common dimensions can be seen below.

Popular Hot Tub Sizes


Source: bullfrogspas.com

These dimensions are crucial during the loading process. Depending on the amount and size of tubs in transport, you may need a special license or permit on certain roads.

When choosing a professional hot tub moving company, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

Choosing the Right Hot Tub Transport Service

An installed hot tub next to a potted fern.

Choosing the right hot tub shipping company is crucial to ensure its safe and efficient relocation. Here are key qualities and qualifications you should look for in a hot tub transport company:

  • Experience with Oversized Items: Companies that move hot tubs should have a proven track record of successfully moving extra-large cargo.
  • Appropriate Equipment: Ensure the service has the right type of vehicles and equipment, such as flatbed trucks, cranes, and securement tools.
  • Positive Customer Reviews: See what past customers have to say about the company’s reliability and quality of service.
  • Safety Record: Check for any notifications of past safety complaints. The service should have protocols in place to ensure the safety of their cargo and staff.
  • Professional Communication: Effective communication is key. Choose a service with automated tracking systems and responsive customer service.
  • Customized Service Options: Every hot tub move is unique. The delivery service should have customized solutions based on the size of your hot tub and other requirements.
  • Knowledge of Regulations: The company should be well-versed in state and local regulations regarding the transport of oversized items, ensuring a hassle-free move.
  • Premium Services: Check for add-ons like storage, hot tub installation, or assistance with obtaining necessary permits.

Remember, entrusting your hot tub to a reputable and qualified transport service can provide peace of mind throughout the moving process.

Heavy Haul and Oversized: Your Partner in Trouble-Free Hot Tub Transportation

Whether it’s one tub or several, hauling these large, fragile products is best handled by experts with hands-on experience and the best available equipment. That’s where we come in.

Heavy Haul and Oversized specializes in the safe, reliable transport of oversize cargo across the USA. With our nationwide fleet operating out of dozens of warehouses and distribution hubs, we have the resources you need in an oversize logistics provider.

Our services include:

Don’t take chances with hauling hot tubs. Call us today at (866) 902-2713 or get a risk-free quote online. We’re ready to help with all your oversize transportation needs.

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