View Full Version : Air Ride?

04-10-2012, 12:45 PM
We are transporting some art and our curator has requested that we use an art shipping company with an "air ride" van. Is this necessary? Or are all newer vans and cars "air ride"? My understanding is that "air ride" is different than "non-air ride" based on the vehicle's suspension. In the past trucks had leaf suspensions, and the newer trucks have "air ride" or non-leaf suspensions. So, if I rent a newer model van from a national rental company, are the vans considered "air ride" if they do not have leaf suspensions? Is there a difference in renting a van from Ryder vs. getting a moving company with "air ride"? Please advise. Thank you. Tim Duncan

T. Ashley McGrew
04-10-2012, 11:36 PM

That is a really good question. Would you mind if I put it out on the list serve?


04-11-2012, 12:34 PM
Hi Ashley, Yes please. Thank you, Tim

04-11-2012, 03:28 PM
Its possible that companies like Ryder have air-ride vehicles, but I kind of doubt that its standard. I would never transport art in a rented vehicle like that unless I had to. But I guess it depends on what the art is. Im not sure what you are transporting, but think of delicate paper works. A few good bumps could easily seperate it from the mat or backing.

If you use a good art shipping company, not rent vans on your own, you should have air ride, full climate control, gps tracking on the vehicle, and dual drivers. This is what our museum uses (and most museums I assume) in almost all cases. Thats standard.

T. Ashley McGrew
04-12-2012, 08:50 AM
Hi Tim,
An update. I put the question on the PACCIN List serve and there were immediate responses, some with really good details and a lot of consensus on the use of air ride. The problem for me is that I am not sure what the source of that consensus actually is. There is no doubt that air ride is "the standard" meaning that for museums everywhere to even think about loaning objects that its use is required.
While it is important to know the "standards" and therefore be able to fulfill peoples expectations that doesn't mean that they always make total sense. In many instances I would be more concerned about how the object is packed and especially how it is secured in the vehicle than the type of ride. Why? Because there is a lot of evidence reflecting quite the opposite of what non-packers tend to think and say on the subject. Most actual measurements taken in fact indicate that objects are not subjected to the highest levels of shock in transit but instead during the handling both before and after transit. I have seen a whole lot of graphed data that pretty consistently shows shocks measured by accerometers being fairly flat during transit and all sorts of little spikes both before and after.
What I have never seen is comprehensive comparative data on this topic. Hopefully someone will point me to some that I am just unaware of -- soon.
In the mean time I would add with some confidence that both in the case of many Museums and some art service providers there is often what they say and then there is what they actually do and the two are not always the same. Just sayin....

04-13-2012, 12:58 PM
Thanks Ashley,
I could see if the art we are shipping were going across the country, the type of truck suspension would be an issue. I think placing a 2'x3' painting in a travel tray in the back of a station wagon and driving for an hour on the highway would be fine for most of our stuff. But, it is the Curator that has the final say. Professional Art Moving truck it is. You are right more damage probably occurs in handling and packing/unpacking, than in transit. Thanks for the Forum and ListServe opportunities to ask the question. Take care, Tim