The Team

Top 10 Questions For Shipping A Car using a Shipping Company

shipping a car to another state

Shipping a Car is easy as 1, 2, 3 …

These days people are using online tools to ship vehicles. Often times you’re moving to another state or buying online from places like eBay. Hiring a company to transport a vehicle from A to B is much easier compared to driving the vehicle yourself. With this, certain questions start to come up. Lets take a look at some of those now.

1) Is the company licensed?

The Department of Transportation is where the auto transport service provider will need to register. This means that you should be able to see the shipping company ‘DOT’ number. There is also the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website where you can check their Motor Carrier number. For shipping abroad you would want to check out the Federal Maritime Commission. It can be checked here - http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_menu.prc_menu

2) What does the transport offer for services?

When first talking to the shipping company ask them what services they offer. It might be that they have restrictions on the type or size of vehicle that they are willing to transport. Also, ask about enclosed or open. Enclosed Trailers keep cars out of the elements, but is more expensive. Open Trailers are the most common mode of transportation.

3) What is the cost?

This is not the same for everyone. Costs may vary depending on the company. It might be good to get quotes from a few companies for comparison and make sure that you understand exactly what’s included. This helps you understand any extra charges that you didn’t know about. Companies in general should be willing to provide you with a free estimate. With every price you might want to ask if the price can be negotiated since you may or may not have more then one vehicle to ship.

4) What about insurance?

Your personal vehicle insurance will probably not cover the transport. Ask the shipping company about their insurance and make sure that you will be covered. It would be good to know at what level your vehicle will be protected while being shipped. See if it is possible to adjust if the insurance does not seem to be enough.

5) What documents do you need to provide?

Check with your transport company to find out exactly what papers they will need.

6) How would you get your car ready to be transported?

You need to make sure that the car is empty of belongings. Shipping companies are not allowed to have household items in the car during transport. Also, Department of Transport requires keys to be provided to the transporter while being transported. It is recommended that you have a quarter tank of gas so that you can avoid any extra charges for weight.

7) How much time will it take to ship?

Shipping will vary depending on the company, how the vehicle is being shipped and distance. There are times when it is difficult to guarantee a delivery date. In general, coast to coast can take 1-2 weeks while shorter distances a few days.

8) What about payment arrangements?

This depends on the shipping company. Some will want the money up front in full. Some will take a deposit and the rest payed when delivered. It will be important to ask about what method is being used and if they prefer check or credit card. It is never a good idea to pay for services, in full, before services are rendered.

9) What actions does the company take to make sure my car is protected?

The company, upon picking up the car, with conduct an inspection and often times take pictures. You both will agree on the condition of the car. When the car is delivered a similar inspection of the vehicle will be conducted.

10) What will happen if the vehicle is damaged in any way?

At delivery you will want to take pictures of the damage, if any, and inspect the car. This would be a good time to use your smart phone or camera to get those pictures. This should be documented and signed by the driver. With this information you will be able to make a claim through the service provider.

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Auto Transport GPS – Carriers should use Truck-Specific GPS

FMCSA issues warning – Please use Auto Transport GPS unit.

Truck Hits Bridge

Truck Hits Bridge

Why use auto transport GPS? Imagine driving down the road while looking at the GPS when all of a sudden “BOOOOM”! You hit a bridge.

Truck Smashed under Overpass

Frustrations storm up in your mind as you wonder what went wrong. You think, “I was following the GPS?”

The auto transport GPS that you are using may not be for trucks. Actually many GPS units are  built for cars and not transport trucks.

These GPS units don’t take the height of your truck or trailer into consideration

The same holds true for bus drivers and anyone that has a tall vehicle.

truck in underpass crushed

Truck Trailer Crushed

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration started distributing cards to truck drivers warning them that using GPS navigation can be very dangerous. They also note that these devices are designed for smaller vehicles and if used by truck drivers is in fact dangerous.

The FMCSA posted a printable guide on their website, a visor card, which is meant as a reminder. Click here to see the FMCSA page

The visor card promotes the use of auto transport GPS devices specific to large trucks that allow for road restrictions (this includes low bridges). These auto transport GPS units help guide drivers around the obstacles safely.

Why the Visor Card?

According to the FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) the GPS recommendations are highly recommended because of a Scarsdale N.Y. bridge that is often hit by trucks.

Schumer stated, “These brand-new federal standards for GPS use among commercial truck drivers will be the first major steps to thwarting life-threatening bridge strikes that have been causing massive delays and imposing significant costs on taxpayers for far too long,”.

FMCSA Visor Card

FMCSA Visor Card

He was thankful that the FMCSA was proactive in recognizing this serious issue and providing education for drivers. He also noted that 80% of bridges that are hit in New York result from large vehicles that do not use the correct type of GPS who was citing a 2009 study.

 To download the GPS visor card please click here.

 

Are You Ready for the New Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations?

New Hours of Service (HOS) regulations were put into place by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in July of this year. Many in the auto transport industry believe that while these regulations might have been implemented with good intentions, the negative will more than offset the positive. Like the old saying goes, “If these wheels are not rolling, we are not making any money.”

The new HOS regulations were designed specifically to reduce the number of hours a driver is allowed to log over the course of a 7-day period. Specifically, the regulations affect any commercial drivers who have reached 70 hours of driving within a given week because the new regulations only allow commercial drivers to resume driving if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. They also require that a driver take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of a shift.

According to the Auto Haulers Association of America (AHAA), these mandated reset periods and forced downtime are starting to impact the drivers’ bottom lines. Members claim that by taking drivers off the road, the HOS regulations are reducing the number of hours they can work, as well as limiting the flexibility of transport schedules. It is also important to note that the FMCSA claims that the new rules should only impact the most extreme schedules. They also estimated that more than 85% of the truck-driving workforce will see little to no changes. In fact, FMCSA expects the changes to help the industry as a whole by saving hundreds of millions of dollars on fewer truck crashes and improved driver health.

While safety is especially important to the auto transport industry, concerns that rates for transport will go up due to tighter regulations continue to threaten drivers, brokers, and carriers who will have to work even harder just to break even or make a profit. It is important for everyone impacted to understand these new regulations and plan for their businesses accordingly. To find out more information on this subject, check out the following links:

http://www.automotivelogisticsmagazine.com/home-page/us-hours-of-service-rule-could-change-outbound-business-models

http://www.automotivelogisticsmagazine.com/news/us-court-upholds-hours-of-service-regulations

http://www.worktruckonline.com/article/print/story/2012/12/how-will-the-hours-of-service-revisions-affect-your-fleet.aspx

http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/10/turnover-rose-at-large-truckload-fleets-in-the-second-quarter.aspx

http://www.jjkeller.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/content____bi-hoursofservice-newrule-FAQs

Software for the Auto Transport Carrier | A True Story

We had the unusual experience yesterday of having a carrier question the language of the Privacy Policy governing use of our software. Our policy is pretty much industry standard and we were actually quite surprised that someone took the time to read and question it!

In any case, once the language that he was concerned about was explained to his satisfaction, the conversation moved in a different direction:

Carrier: OK. That sounds fine to me. We’ll give it a try.

AutoLoadLogic: Great, thanks!

Carrier: Do you guys think you can really pull this off, though? I keep hearing about Auto Load Logic and everybody seems excited about it; but are you really going to be able to change the way things are done? We’ve needed this sort of change in the industry for a long time!

AutoLoadLogic: I know. Nobody’s really done anything for the Carriers in a long time. But we think we can. We know we’ve got a product that can really help. We know it might take a while for people to believe we’re for real and be willing to give it a try. That’s OK. We understand. We’ll just have to prove ourselves.

Carrier: Well, if you really have what you seem to have, they’ll come around.

AutoLoadLogic: Yes. We think so too. And we’re just going to keep at it and show the industry that we’ve got a product that delivers what it promises. We’re not just another glorified load board being sold with a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Carrier: OK. We’re in. We’ll sign up this afternoon and get that car moved.

AutoLoadLogic: Thanks, man. Call anytime if you need anything. We’re here.