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The Big Chill For Auto Shippers

2014 Snowstorm in Atlanta

2014 Snowstorm in Atlanta

The recent bitter cold snap blasting down from the North Pole, or what scientifically is known as the polar vortex, reached deep into the lower 48 United States causing enormous difficulty for auto transport carriers. Everything about it is unusual as it appears we are witnessing the harsher side of Global Climate Change. Subzero temperatures and snowstorms have pelted the Plains, Midwest, New England and Atlantic Seaboard. But the reach has not stopped there as now the Southern states are getting hit hard too.

There have been many delays for the “snowbirds” wanting to ship their vehicles south to the usually warmer weather states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and southern California. The number of cars waiting to ship have log jammed the transportation system, as many carriers have little other choice but to park their trucks and wait out one storm wave after another. Customers get frustrated along with the truck drivers. The former are anxious to receive their vehicles as they have already flown to the destination, and they only plan to be there about 4 or 5 months. The latter are missing out on income derived from delivering those vehicles. You don’t work – you don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that.

Why Do Carriers Avoid Freezing Temperatures & Blizzards?

The answer might seem obvious but to many customers it is not, as they still expect their cars to be picked up and on its way in a timely fashion. In freezing temperatures, especially subzero, the oil in a truck engine gets thick and the performance suffers greatly. Nothing works as smooth as it should. The transmission, differential, steering and transfer case all move slower through the crankcase and the truck engine will lose power. And if the brake pads freeze or crack, well does anybody want to watch what happens next on a slippery road? As well, for an auto carrier who absolutely depends on the hydraulics performing to get vehicles on and off, that becomes quite an issue if the hydraulics freeze.

Insurance becomes an issue for a car shipping carrier in freezing weather or snowstorms, because the odds of an accident go way up. The truck driver is responsible for the safe transport of 8-10 vehicles, and the cumulative value is bound to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is risky then to be transporting freight of that value on an icy or snowy road. The smart thing to do is wait it out.

Fortunately most people are understanding of the logistical problems facing truck drivers in frigid or blizzard conditions. What has been unusual in 2014 is the length, breadth and severity of the harsh winter. Eventually the ice and snow will thaw and those hard working guys and gals will be back on the road.

Obama’s New Budget May Benefit Auto Dealers, Transporters

President Obama’s budget plan, which was unveiled a few months ago, includes plans to bolster the automobile industry not just in Detroit but across the United States, and is a major boon for manufacturers of alternatively-fueled automobiles. It’s a tax credit for manufacturers of vehicles that not only run on alternative fuels, but ones that are not commonly used and that also exceed the miles-per-gallon equivalent by at least 25% (per automotivedigest.com). The credit would go up to $10,000 and instead of going to the purchaser of the automobile it would go to the manufacturer.

This is great. Manufacturers of alternative energy vehicles don’t currently have much incentive to explore various avenues and really buckle down and try to make a better car. This is a great move by Obama in the sense that it will definitely bolster the manufacturing and advertising of vehicles that are even better than the ones that are around now. Let’s face it: while alternatively-fueled vehicles are nothing new, they’ve never gotten past the “cheaper-than-gas-powered-cars” hump that they’ve been stuck at. Now, though, they may finally start pushing up the hill and really setting the tone for development into new energy sources and a decrease in our consumption of foreign oil.

This is great for auto transporters as well because the logistics drivers are always looking for new energy sources to power their vehicles. They don’t like being saddled with paying over $4.00 for a gallon of diesel fuel; it’s a killer for large trucks like that. So finding new energy sources that can power their trucks is great, but what’s even more important at this stage is simply getting more people into the mindset that alternative energy is a growing and lucrative idea that should be explored further.

2013 Detroit Auto Show Highlights

corvetteThe 2013 Detroit Auto show was a good indication that the auto industry is back to business as usual. No one really stuck out as doing anything extraordinary, but the overall feeling was that the auto companies are much different than they have been in recent years with the economic collapse that threatened their very existence for the last five years.

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Nissan Leaf: Now Cheaper and Made in the USA

2013-Nissan-LeafNissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn once again showed how his company is committed to electric vehicles by dropping the price on the 2013 Nissan Leaf by 18 percent.  There is a newly added S trim level of the five seat EV which will start at an MSRP of $28,800.  This means a net price in the high teens in states that offer incentive pricing to the $7500 federal tax credit.  Nissan also announced a $199 per month lease deal on a 36 month term.  This is far below other vehicles in this price range.

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Winter Car and Truck Driving Tips

SnowPlow4 I can tell from the fact that my car isn’t quite gripping the road like it does in the summer months that winter is upon us. Snow, ice, sleet and rain cause us to slip, slide and sometimes bump into things we would rather not. As you head out on the roads this winter, we have some tips that will keep you safe and out of the ditch.

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How To Mount Your Devices In Your Car

ProClip mount with iPhoneWe are all on the move these days and our mobile devices keep us in touch with the outside world, but safety is a major concern when talking about cars and mobile devices. We all know we need to keep our eye on the road and focus our attention on our driving. Our mobile devices are becoming much more than just communication devices. I know my iPhone 5 acts as a map, GPS, media device and planner. I never listen to the radio anymore. I just tune in my favorite podcast or playlist on my iPhone and I am good to go!

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The New 2013 Nissan Altima has a tech package that is guaranteed to impress

2013_Altima_rear_camera

Nissan’s introduction of the totally redesigned Altima for 2013 has raised a lot of eyebrows.  The vehicle features a wide range of driver assisted technology that use a variety of sensors.  There are front facing cameras to watch the painted lines on the road to warn drivers of an unintended lane departure.  The rear camera monitors blind spots using sonar arrays to check the area around the vehicle for obstructions.  This same camera will also warn the driver of objects behind them when the vehicle is in reverse. Click here to read more »

The Auto Transport Snowbirds Begin Their Annual Migration Home

San Anselmo, CA – There they go again. It’s March and the “snowbirds” begin their annual migration north, except that these “snowbirds” aren’t just people … it’s their vehicles too. Tens of thousands of retirees choose to use an auto transport service to ship their cars home while they board an airplane. Is that smart? Direct Express Auto Transport says that for most people it is and explains why.

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