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Making Informed Vehicle Transportation Decisions

Making Informed Vehicle Transportation Decisions

By: Ken Strong

If you encounter the need to have your classic car transported, it is important to be cautious of the method and means by which you accomplish this. Whether you transport it yourself, or you hire a professional, there are many things to be aware of. Here are some tips and common problems to avoid:

When Transporting it Yourself

When transporting a vehicle yourself, it is important to make sure you have the right equipment for your own safety and the protection of your classic.

  • Are your trailer axle ratings heavy enough, and is your trailer deck is big enough? Is your truck or tow vehicle rated heavy enough to pull your classic and the trailer?
  • Is your trailer enclosed? If not enclosed, do you at least have a guard to protect against rocks and other road debris?
  • Do you have the appropriate straps for securing your classic? You can secure your vehicle in a variety of ways (i.e. wheel straps, axle straps, frame straps, chains, etc…) Take some time to research the different types of straps and which one will work best with your vehicle.
  • Does your enclosed trailer have enough clearance height and room to exit the vehicle after piloting it into the trailer?
  • Is your classic low to the ground? Does your trailer have an approach angle that is accessible to your vehicle? If your trailer ramps are too steep, your classic may drag in the front or the back when you are loading.

When Hiring a Professional

If you are hiring a professional to transport your vehicle, here are some things to consider:

  • Enclosed car carriers are more expensive, but might be worth it depending on the distance and the value/condition of your vehicle.
  • Shop around for the best price. If you are under a time crunch, you can expect to pay a little more in order to fit your schedule, but if you have more time, you can usually get better rates. If you are dealing direct with the shipper (not a broker), you can often negotiate a better price as well.
  • Be careful with shipping brokers. Their job is to match a load (your classic car) with a shipper (the auto transport) and move it from Point A to Point B. Sometimes they don’t much care about your load, or about the quality of the shipper, which can lead to unexpected problems. Think of it like calling a broker to find you a baby sitter…. Don’t trust your baby to just anyone. Brokers can be very helpful in some situations however, so if you use one, make sure they have a good reputation.
  • Whether you use a broker or not, make sure you communicate directly with the driver, once arrangements have been made. Get the driver’s cell phone number, and don’t be afraid to check in periodically. This will reinforce the special nature of your delivery, and it will also reduce any unnecessary miscommunications about the destination, and delivery time.
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