Do you have a golf cart that you’d like to take from point A to B? Well, considering they aren’t street legal in most places, driving the cart on the road is likely out of the picture. Thus, the ideal transport option would be a trailer.
But in many cases, a trailer isn’t really an option either. Perhaps you can’t haul a trailer or you are on a tight budget and can’t afford a trailer.
In that case, you might be wondering: Will a golf cart fit in a pickup truck? The simple answer is yes. The not so simple part is planning and getting the right truck. The challenges notwithstanding, we have compiled a number of tips to help you when transporting your golf cart in a pickup truck bed.
Tip #1 – Consider the Size of the Truck
An average golf cart measures 48” by 96”. Therefore, most golf car options will only fit in a long bed truck – since ordinary trucks might have the width but not the length to carry the cart safely. However, even long bed trucks vary in length from 72” to 89”. That means such trucks would not fit your golf cart.
So the first thing you need to do is figure out if you have one of the true long bed pickup trucks. And if so, you need to compare the pickup bed dimensions with the golf cart dimension. When you’re measuring the width of your pickup truck bed, be sure to factor in the wheel wells. In other words, don’t just measure from one side of the bed to the other…the wheel wells will influence your bed’s actual width/clearance.
It would be stupid to go through the trouble of loading your Club Car on the truck, only to find out that it doesn’t fit. Therefore, take the 5 extra minutes to measure your golf cart and the truck before loading.
Pay Attention to the Weight
A full size pickup truck should be able to handle the weight of a golf cart, but we all know what they say about assuming…
An electric golf cart can be quite heavy when you add in the weight of 6 batteries. Check the weight of your golf cart to determine if the truck can handle that extra stress. Usually, the weight is indicated on the owner’s manual for your cart.
Similarly, you can evaluate the truck’s payload capacity by checking either the truck’s manual or the driver’s side door. However, rarely will you find a truck whose payload capacity can’t withstand your golf cart. A standard size golf cart typically weighs anywhere between 500 and 1100 pounds. The standard golf cart weight will vary depending on factors like the size of the batteries, rear seat, and other aftermarket accessories.
Tip #2 – Detach the Roof of the Cart
The first step is ensuring that the dimensions and weight requirements are in order. If things look good on that front, now you can focus on the finer details.
If you’re planning to drive any significant distance at any significant speed, you should remove the roof from the golf cart. That’s because golf cart roofs tend to be pretty flimsy. They aren’t designed to handle the wind you’ll experience when you crack 45mph in your truck.
Leaving the roof in place poses a significant danger to you and other road users. Take the roof off, put the hardware somewhere safe, and reinstall when you reach your final destination.
Tip #3 – Use the Right Ramps
You will need a ramp to get your golf cart up on the truck – but not just any ramp can get the job done safely. To find the right ramp, check its axle weight or capacity. Ideally, a 3000 lbs ramp should be able to handle most golf carts.
Besides the axle weight, you also need to consider whether your golf cart has offset wheels. If it does, are they positively or negatively offset? And can the ramp accommodate the wheels? Most importantly, you want to choose a long enough ramp. Otherwise, you would be forced to set the ramp at a very steep angle, which might cause the cart to topple over as you load it.
You might consider going for aluminum-based ramps. They are usually lightweight, making them easy for you to set up. They also have an arch, which prevents bottoming out as you load and unload your golf cart.
Just don’t pull one of these:
If you don’t want to use ramps, you can back the truck up into a ditch and drive the cart right into the truck’s bed. That would mean the truck’s tailgate as your ramp. However, it’s an extremely risky technique – so only use it as a last resort.
To load the cart, place the ramp fingers on the edge of the tailgate and use safety chains to secure it to the truck. Once the ramp is secure, drive the cart up the ramp until it’s securely on the truck’s bed. An important thing to keep in mind is the space between the ramps. The distance between them should be sufficient to ensure balance.
What to Do with the Tail Gate
It’s okay to leave the tail gate down as you carry the golf cart on a pickup truck. But only if the cart is properly strapped down. However, that doesn’t mean that you can or should transport a golf cart on a standard or short bed truck. Even if you want to leave the tailgate down, the truck should be a long bed so that it can fit the entire body of the cart.
If your rear tire is sitting on the tailgate, that’s alot of stress to put on such a flimsy area. Don’t be surprised if you run into trouble.
Tip #4 – Tie Down the Cart
You want your golf cart as steady as can be on the pickup truck. In that case, we recommend wheel nets that hook to the truck bed. Even if the wheels move, they cannot go very far. The nets are also easy to set up.
Alternatively, you can use tie-down straps (or both wheel nets and a ratchet strap configuration). But ensure they are of good quality. Avoid using elastic materials, like bungee cords, since the cart will have too much movement while you driving.
Steel cables might work too, but you need a generous length to hold the cart down properly. This option also takes more work to set up correctly.
Is it Safe to Transport My Golf Cart for Long Distances?
Most people wonder how safe it is to transport a golf cart on a pickup truck for long distances. We would recommend only using a pickup truck for short distances. If it’s quite the stretch, consider renting an enclosed trailer instead. It’s also essential to go at a slower speed than usual.
Talk to an RV enthusiast as many of them carry golf carts around as they travel. The smart ones put them in a toy hauler 😉
How Much Will it Cost to Ship a Golf Cart?
As mentioned above, transporting your electric or gas golf carts using a pickup truck is often cheaper than using a trailer. But how much money you part with boils down to how far you are transporting your golf cart and the time of the year you’re looking to move it.
If you want to ship a golf cart and save on cost, you might consider shipping your golf cart during the less busy time of the year. There are plenty of websites when you can have carriers bid on your request.
We don’t recommend making it a habit to transport your golf cart in a pickup truck. A trailer would be the safest option (see our golf cart dimensions guide). However, the tips we’ve shared above will come in handy if you’re left with no other option.