Direct Cremate

Transporting the Deceased: Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know

Transporting the deceased is a necessary part of death care. Here’s what you need to know about the vehicles, costs and limitations of transport services.
Details on Transporting the Deceased
Details on Transporting the Deceased

There are a few necessary steps involved in death care no matter what type of disposition you choose. Transporting the deceased from the morgue, medical examiner’s office or place where the death occurred is an absolute must. 

In some states the family could do it themselves or hire a private service to handle the transport, but usually the funeral home provides the service. As you can imagine it’s a highly sensitive task that not everyone is equipped to do. Nevertheless, it’s one of the first funeral arrangements that will have to be made, so here’s what to consider about the transport. 

The Deceased Aren’t Always Transported in a Hearse

We’ve all seen a hearse drive by and instinctively wondered if there’s a deceased person being transported inside. The truth is, the deceased aren’t just transported in hearses anymore. You may drive down the road past an SUV that’s been altered so that the back seats are removed and a casket can fit in the back. 

Vans are also used to transport the deceased. If bariatric cremation is needed, often a traditional hearse isn’t large enough for transport and a van is needed. Some transport vans are even outfitted with specialized equipment such as lifts or compartments.

No matter what vehicle is used you may hear it referred to as a “first call vehicle.” 

Transport is Part of the Funeral Costs

When you receive the General Price List from a funeral home the cost of transport should be included. It will note the specific cost, but it may not explain how the cost is calculated. The funeral home may charge a flat rate within a certain area, or they may charge by the mile. 

If you aren’t sure how the cost of transport is determined, ask the funeral director to explain it. It’s also important to know if there are any potential additional costs like using a larger vehicle or ensuring a solo transport.   

The Distance for Transport May Be Limited

Many funeral homes are willing to work with a client to meet their needs, but there are limitations with some services. Transport is an aspect of death care that can be limited, mostly in terms of how far the funeral home will go to retrieve the deceased. Often a funeral home will have a set number of miles they are willing to travel, or they’ll travel within a certain metro area. 

There are going to be different logistics and transport options when a person dies out-of-state versus in their hometown where the funeral services are taking place. In the former, you may find that you need to arrange a flight first and have the funeral home pick up the deceased at the airport. 


At Direct Cremate we make it easy to arrange every aspect of direct cremation, including transport. You can call or text us any hour of the day. 

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