In the auto transport industry there exists a specific type of customer that, while quite specific, is actually quite crucial to the success (or failure) of many auto transport company – and that specific customer is known as a snowbird. Simply put, a snowbird is a person who transports their vehicle from the northeast down to the Gulf Coast, primarily Florida. These customers routinely ship down during or just before onset of the fall months (though the season does go into early winter), and they will ship their vehicles back up usually about six months later, to escape the brutal Gulf Coast summers.
These customers are so crucial to the industry because they represent several different types of customers. For one, they are routine shippers, which brings repeat business into an industry where repeat business counts for just 5% of total sales for most companies. Not only that, but they’re reliable – there are always snowbirds, which in turn gives carriers a lot of options in terms of where they want to run their routes during the winter months. Many areas of the country become inaccessible to carriers for stretches at a time during the winter, particularly the northern states; by running snowbird routes in the winter months, carriers can ensure that they have a steady stream of customers and jobs lined up while still running plenty of routes and making plenty of money during the slower winter shipping season.
Sport utility vehicles are great for a lot of different people. Some people need the extra cargo space that they offer, while others want the additional towing capabilities without going with a pickup truck. Still others use them to haul around a lot of passengers, and many SUV’s come with up to eight seats to maximize the number of people you can fit. But regardless of what you use it for, if you need to ship it you need to understand some things. For one, they’re more expensive than a standard car to ship – this is because they’re typically bigger, which means heavier, and they’re usually taller as well. Dimensions make a difference, but most important with an SUV is weight, and many SUV’s are much heavier than a small sedan.
The reason why weight is a factor is because the more weight is on the back of an auto transport truck, the worse their fuel economy is. As most of you know, fuel economy is important, especially when diesel prices are topping $4.00 per gallon in many parts of the U.S. Most SUV’s will only come with a small price increase over a regular car, though larger SUV’s like the Hummer H2 will go for a bit more than even a mid-size SUV. These price hikes come with the vehicle and are usually unavoidable, so make sure you plan your budget accordingly, and also make sure not to misrepresent your SUV and say it’s smaller than it is, as that can end up costing you a carrier if they don’t have the ability to ship something that large.
There are lots of different things out there that aid in the construction of buildings and the like. Whether you’re looking to ship a smaller construction vehicle or something massive, you should be able to get quotes to transport it. However, because of the nature of construction equipment – they are naturally larger and heavier than even larger civilian vehicles – most every piece of construction equipment will need to be shipped via a flatbed auto transport truck. To be clear, we’re talking about construction equipment that has wheels and can be driven – bulldozers, bobcats, things of that nature. They will all need to be transported on a flatbed transport truck.
Flatbed transportation is more expensive than standard auto transport services because they are built to haul larger, heavier vehicles that standard shippers can’t. However, when it comes to construction equipment transport, there is not a lot of demand for it, and since flatbed carriers haul larger vehicles and there are not as many large vehicles out there they need to charge much more in order to break even and keep their business in business. Expect higher prices when transporting construction equipment, and you should also be prepared to wait a bit longer for pickup of your construction equipment. It takes a bit longer to find a flatbed carrier as there are fewer on the road than open or enclosed shippers; as such, they will take longer to find and may take a few more days to get to your vehicle.
Vehicles that cannot start or cannot move under their own power are considered “non-running” or “inoperative” vehicles; chances are you’ll see some type of variant of the phrase “in-op” or “non-op” during your research into transporting your non-running vehicle, but they all mean the same thing. Normally vehicles being shipped are driven onto and off of the auto transport carrier, regardless of what type of carrier it is (open, enclosed, etc). With a non-running vehicle, this isn’t possible, so instead the vehicle will need to be loaded via other means. This is usually done via a special winch, which will be attached to the car and then slowly lifted until the car is in place, where it will then be secured.
The problem with transporting non-running vehicles is the fact that not all carriers have a winch. It is for this reason that you should always tell your auto transport representative that your vehicle is not running, or that you mark any boxes that say “vehicle is not running” or something to that effect when filling out an online quote form. The difference in price between a running and non-running car is usually a bit over $100, but if you misrepresent your vehicle to avoid paying that extra hundred bones it’s a real possibility that your representative will dispatch a carrier without a winch to pick your car up. Well, if they don’t have a winch they can’t pick your car up, which means they just made a wasted trip – this can lead to a canceled order, additional inconvenience fees, and some really upset drivers and representatives. So do yourself a favor and make sure that you tell your rep if your vehicle is running or not.
If you own or operate a company that uses limousines, chances are that unless you build your own custom limos you’ve had to have one or two transported before. Typically, limousines are no different to transport than a regular car – however, because of their length, chances are they’re going to take up two spots on an open car transport carrier, which means that it’s going to cost about double what it normally would to transport a standard automobile. This can’t be avoided – shipping a vehicle that takes up two spots means that the carrier can’t haul as many cars, which in turn means he can’t make as much money as he normally would on the route he’s driving on, which means he has to charge more for vehicles that take up more spots. It’s just the way it works.
If you’re transporting a super-stretch limousine, or one that is really tall, it may not be able to fit on a standard carrier; in that case, it would need a flatbed shipper, which does indeed cost more. However, this is a last resort situation; most limousines, while they do take up more than one space, can still fit on the back of an open carrier just fine. You can fill out our free online quote request form to get your free limousine transport quote or you can also call our toll-free number to speak to one of our live representatives for more information about limousine auto transport services and how we can help you transport your limousine today.
If you’re looking to transport a pickup truck, you’re definitely reading the right blog then. Pickup trucks can be pretty easy or pretty difficult to transport, depending on what type of pickup truck you’re transporting. Pickup trucks come in all different shapes and sizes, and with pickup trucks the specific models and submodels are going to be a lot more important than it is for most other vehicles when it comes to calculating a specific auto transport quote for you. Some pickup trucks are small, like the Ford Ranger; others are big, like the Chevrolet Silverado 3500, and there’s a major difference between shipping a 3500 and a small Ranger. The biggest one is the size – the 3500 is a lot bigger and a lot heavier than the Ranger, and while the Ranger may get away with paying only a small oversize shipping fee – if one is owed for that vehicle at all – while the 3500 can see overweight fees in excess of $300, depending on whether or not it’s been modified.
As you can see, that’s a big discrepancy – and there are a lot of other pickup trucks in between that will cost different amounts. This is why we recommend talking to a representative about exactly what type of pickup truck you are looking to transport and what types of auto transport trucks are available to you. Most pickup trucks will be able to fit on a standard open or enclosed auto transport carrier just fine; however, some trucks won’t be able to fit on one at all, and will require flatbed shipping services in order to haul them from one location to another – which is a lot more expensive than standard transport. But for some pickup trucks it is the only option, so keep that in mind.
Brokers are one of the most important components of the auto transport industry. They provide a valuable service for customers and carriers alike by being able to facilitate transportation of vehicles between the two. Brokers are what most carriers rely on to find new loads to transport, mainly because they don’t have the ability to advertise and reach as many customers as a broker can. Carriers are tasked with transporting the vehicle itself; as they are on the road all day every day, unable to even talk on their phones while driving, they are hard-pressed to find new clients and new customers that they can transport vehicles for, get paid to do so and keep their businesses up and running.
So they rely on brokers. Booking with a broker is the best way to save money on your shipment (carriers will charge more if you ship with them directly as opposed to through a broker) and will ultimately get your vehicle picked up and shipped that much faster. We highly recommend searching for an auto transport broker, not only because you will save money and your vehicle will be picked up faster but also because you will have a lot more time to talk to your representative and will be able to call and ask questions at any time, as opposed to waiting for a call back from a carrier that can only talk during specific times of the day.
Flatbed auto shipping is not a type of transport service that is usually available on demand. What we mean by that is that unlike open or enclosed, which you can choose between, you can really only “choose” flatbed shipping if there are no other transport options available for your vehicle. Typically vehicles that require flatbed transportation are much too large to fit on the back of a standard open carrier or inside an enclosed container, so there is no other option available but to ship it via flatbed truck, which are designed to transport heavier or larger vehicles.
Vehicles that may need flatbed shipping include larger pickup trucks and SUV’s, as well as larger cargo vans. Construction equipment and other types of vehicles that may not be street legal but are still large and heavy may also require a flatbed carrier in order to transport them. Some smaller pickup trucks may need flatbed shipping if they have been lifted or modified in ways to make them longer, heavier or taller than usual. If your vehicle falls into one of these categories, you should always make sure you let any representatives know right off the bat so they are able to get you the most accurate auto transport quote for your specific vehicle.
Auto transport companies do a lot to help you get your vehicle from point A to point B. They are imperative for the success of many different companies associated with automobiles and automobile shipping, and customers hail from around the world. There are literally thousands of different auto shipping companies out there that you can pick and choose between, and deciding on which one is ultimately the best for you and your needs can be a real challenge. There are a lot of different factors that go into people’s decisions to book with a company or not, but one thing that you should never do is book with a company that says you should pay in full up-front. Most auto transport companies will take a deposit when they dispatch your vehicle and let you pay the carrier the rest of the balance at delivery. So if your total order was $800, and your deposit was paid upon dispatch and you paid a $200 deposit, the remaining $600 would be paid to the carrier upon delivery. This is standard operating procedure in the industry and how a good 80-90% of carriers and brokers operate.
But there are some companies that do “pre-pays,” or payments in full up front to the broker. This puts the onus of paying the truck, or the carrier, on the broker and not you, and makes you pay for the entire shipment at the outset, as opposed to a bit here and a bit there. Some people will undoubtedly prefer this method, but it is not recommended for several reasons. For one, carriers don’t like taking pre-pays – they don’t like not getting their cash on delivery, so unless it’s a major carrier that your broker is looking at, chances are the carrier will avoid taking any pre-paid loads. Secondly, once the broker has your money, their incentive to work for you drops drastically; many “shady” brokers will take payments in full up front and then leave you to rot. Make sure you avoid these scam artists by only booking with companies that take deposit either at dispatch or at pickup of your vehicle.
When you’re transporting a car it’s best that you are prepared for what you’re about to experience. Transporting a vehicle is not something to be undertaken lightly; it’s important that you budget accordingly and make sure that you have another means of transportation while your vehicle is on the truck being shipped. When your auto transport representative calls you and lets you know that your vehicle has been assigned to a truck, you should make sure that you do not wash it. You should clean the interior of your vehicle – make sure there is no trash, personal items (unless your representative specifically told you that personal items were allowed in the cab of your vehicle), loose change, sentimental or valuable items, etc. in the car. However, you should leave your vehicle’s exterior dirty, as the dirt and grime already on it will help prevent minor scrapes and scratches as your vehicle is trundling along the highway on the back of a big truck.
Your carrier will have some paperwork that you should read and make sure you understand before you sign it. You should stay with the carrier throughout the loading and unloading of your vehicle, and make sure that both you and the driver do a thorough inspection before it is loaded and again after it is unloaded. The inspection is important because it is your evidence of damage if you need to submit a claim. Damage during transport is rare, but it does happen on occasion and it’s always best to be prepared. And lastly, make sure that you have the appropriate means of payment for your carrier upon delivery. Carriers will only accept cash, cashier’s checks or money orders – no personal checks or traveler’s checks or anything like that.