One of the first issues you may encounter when you buy a go-kart is transportation. Whether it’s your first kart that you want to take to the track, or if you’re just looking for some tips to make your race weekends a little easier, it helps to learn how to properly transport a go-kart.
The best way to transport a go-kart is with a trailer towed by your vehicle, inside which your go-kart will be strapped down securely. You can convert old horse trailers and such for this purpose, or you can buy dedicated go-kart trailers. Aim to transport your go-kart in an enclosed trailer.
Below, we go through the ins and outs and the dos and the don’ts of transporting a go-kart safely and securely. We’ll give you some transportation tips, before going into more detail on the security aspect of go-kart transportation.
Transporting A Go-Kart – Use What You Have
One of the delightful and novel parts of go-karting is just how resourceful racers can be. It’s a very affordable motorsport all things considered, especially if you compare it to any form of car racing out there.
Kart drivers all over the world have made the best out of lacking means ever since the sport started back in the 1950s, and my family were no exception back when I was racing competitively as a teenager.
They’re Small & Lightweight
Go-karts are very lightweight. They’re designed that way to be racy with as few heavy components on the rig as possible, making them both simple and mechanically-friendly. Beyond being fast on the track, this design aspect also means you can, rather remarkably, stuff a go-kart into just about any vehicle!
In fact, there are whole forums dedicated to the most whacky ways that kart drivers transport their karts to the track. Some people strap the rigs to the roofs of their cars, while others take off the wheels to put the karts inside of the vehicle itself. Having a larger car will obviously help in this endeavor, but it isn’t a requirement by any means.
I’ve turned up on many a practice day to see Toyota Corollas with adult karts packed inside without an inch of extra room and nobody bats an eye. You can make a kart fit into just about any vehicle that can be driven to the track, and it’s that aspect that makes the sport so endearing to many people.
Disassembling The Kart
As you can imagine, this route does come with a few drawbacks. Depending on the size of your vehicle, you might have to take off more than just the wheels to make the kart fit, and that means a lot of assembly will be required at the track.
Compare this to having a large van, truck or trailer available, which you can roll the kart into without dismantling anything, and it isn’t very practical. But having something is better than nothing, especially when you’re first getting started. You’ll definitely appreciate a trailer far more after lugging a kart inside your normal road car!
Transporting A Go-Kart With A Truck Or Trailer
While often much more expensive, it may be more practical for you to invest in a truck or general-use trailer rather than buying a dedicated karting trailer, as you can use it for more purposes. You’ll find that having more space at your disposal will help you breathe easier, and every knock or bump won’t be a concerning sign that your rig might have been dented or battered.
Not only that, but having more spare available means that you can also transport all of your tools, oil, fuel and spare tires without it flowing over into your front seats (as it likely would in a normal road car).
I’ve known people to take multiple cars if the whole family is headed to the track, so some people will take the tools, others will bring the tires and so on, but it isn’t very practical and leads to a lot of logistical work that can easily be cut down by buying a second-hand van or truck.
Go For Something Smaller
Another option that I’d classify as an improvement on using what you have, yet not buying a full trailer, would be to invest in a small, open trailer such as an ATV variety.
Go-karts are all a pretty standard size, and you’d be surprised how easily you can fit it onto even the smallest of open trailers. These bits of kit are easier to find than enclosed ones, and they’re normally much cheaper too. Just fasten up some good, strong straps and other important safety measures (more on these at the end of the article), and you’re good to go!
The drawback to all of this will still relate to a lack of space, even with a bigger vehicle or a separate transport trailer. Compared to an enclosed trailer, in which you can store multiple karts and your necessary tools/extras, this option isn’t quite the best you can get.
Transporting A Go-Kart With An Enclosed Trailer
You’ve probably seen enclosed trailers on highways and streets, and it’s easy to see how much more spacious they are compared to the previous means I’ve talked about.
This is easily the gold standard of transportation for your kart(s) that’s out there. It won’t be as easy as just buying an old horse box, because you’ll need to make some modifications to make sure the karts will be secure, but the work will be worth it in the end.
Protection From The Weather
Housing your karts in an enclosed, spacious location will protect them properly from the elements, something you wouldn’t have if you were transporting via roof straps on your car or an open trailer. You also won’t run the risk of being pulled over for a method of transportation that isn’t road-legal!
You’ll also have room for every tool you could possibly pack, plenty of spare tires, and everything else that you’ll need at the track. It won’t encroach into your car or truck, and you’ll have a great means of storage when you’re not out racing.
KEY POINTS• The best way to transport your kart is with a dedicated trailer
• You could also use a truck or open trailer
• The best and most secure option is an enclosed trailer
5 Go-Kart Transport Safety Tips
1. Tie The Kart Down Securely
The last thing you want is a wayward kart, not only because it’ll get damaged if it comes loose, but it’ll unbalance your trailer or vehicle which can lead to the whole thing flipping over. So, ensure it’s tied down securely before you head to the track.
2. Replace Old Tie-Down Equipment
This point links closely to the above tip regarding keeping your trailer level and it will stop breakages of the tie-downs themselves. New straps are pretty inexpensive in the grand scheme of things, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
3. Get Insurance
Even if you aren’t anywhere near a renewal for your insurance, start calling around to add trailer cover to your policy. It’s also essential to ensure that this insurance covers the contents of your trailer, just in case there is any damage during transit.
4. Secure Your Trailer
After spending a good chunk of cash on buying a trailer in the first place, you need to make sure that it’ll stay secured to your vehicle. Securing it properly will ensure it stays firmly attached and gets your kart to the track in one piece.
5. Store Your Gear Securely
Whether you have a trailer or a regular road car, you really don’t want flying wrenches or tires to contend with. Make sure to get padlocks for your toolboxes and put all your race gear plus tires into bags, before strapping them down or securing them in another way.
The best way to transport go-karts is using dedicated trailers, ideally ones that are fully enclosed. Alternatives include using open trailers, a van or truck, or to simply transport it in your car if it will fit. The safest way to transport a kart is with a dedicated, secure trailer.
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