Archive for May 23, 2013

When will my car transport be confirmed?

Car Transport ConfirmationMany customers will request car transport quotes weeks or even months in advance expecting to “lock in” an exact schedule for a guaranteed price. It makes sense, right? Especially when preparing a cross-country move, it’s just logical to plan ahead and cross things off of the big “to-do” list. But auto transports are not like bus schedules or other types of transit that have regular, dependable daily or weekly schedules. There isn’t a way to micro-manage the timing of car transports in a way to guarantee set schedules in advance. It’s just a totally different process no matter how much notice you give your broker to arrange your transport for you.

It has everything to do with the transitory nature of car transport customers for door-to-door service. Bus schedules are well-timed from stop to stop or station to station, but car carriers don’t operate out of hubs like buses do. Each and every car transport route is as unique as they individual customers being served with that run. It wouldn’t be cost effect to run fleets of carriers half empty from stop to stop across the country just to be able to have a master schedule. Each car transport scheduled has to include a full truckload of customers from the same general region to the same region going the same direction the same week. Because routes and schedules can vary widely from run to run and week to week, there is no way to guarantee one specific pick-up date months in advance. The car transport schedule is ever-changing.

No matter when you place your order, your schedule will be confirmed the week of your “First Available for Pick-up” date, most often within 24-48 hours of pick-up. And that date is an estimate; the timing can still be affected by traffic or road construction or a few other issues your driver can’t control. As much as your broker wants to put you at ease (and your driver wants to give the specific timing you want) it is realistic to plan on being flexible. We know you have to deal with your work schedule or try to catch a flight or any number of other hassles, but there just isn’t a way to guarantee a transport schedule with perfect precision in advance.

Please give us a call if you have any questions about the car transport booking process: 866-221-1664.

Auto transport times and estimates

Auto Transport TimesOne consideration when shipping a vehicle is the auto transport times. Most auto transport customers have jobs or school to schedule around. Many also have to coordinate moving trucks or air travel, so being able to cherry-pick the exact timing of the auto transport schedule would be ideal. But cross-country transport scheduling does not often allow for exact timing. In this industry, the standard is to provide estimates for carrier arrival.

Auto transport timing is different than a bus schedule because there’s a completely different process at work. In order for auto transporting to be cost effective, a carrier has to have a full truckload of cars going from the same general area in the same direction. But the carrier isn’t going from hub to hub, or even to the same city every time. Each truck scheduled serves unique customers, so timing will vary from the last run. Traffic and weather varies from season to season. And your driver is limited in the consecutive hours he can log in behind the wheel.

Drivers typically provide estimates for pick-up and delivery, rather than exact times and dates, and it is a prediction. Exact timing cannot be anticipated precisely or nor managed en route, so it is realistic to leave a little wiggle room for the estimates. The average transit time from coast to coast is 7 to 10 days, but a transport can be completed in less time or take longer than average. The timing estimated by your carrier at the time of booking is not a guarantee but a best guess.

We understand that it’s hard to plan around a “best guess”, but it is realistic to be prepared for a window of arrival rather than a guaranteed time. Many auto transport customers have to enlist a friend or a family member as a back-up contact. Or you may have to take a day off from work to meet your carrier, as drivers usually work regular business hours Monday through Friday. Your driver will give you an estimate for his arrival, of course. He doesn’t want to inconvenience you but every run is a new and untested route, so he handles what comes as it comes and then he’s got to keep rolling.

If you have any questions about auto transport timing, please give us a call at 866-221-1664.

How To Ship A Car To Another State

nx_logo_mech_digger_map_usa [Converted]With the increased demand for car shipping services, it is important to understand the basics of how to ship a car to another state. There are several factors to consider to ship your car safely, securely and on time to your new location.

  1. Properly research the companies that you want to use – You can get a wealth of information from the Internet about the companies involved in this industry. Visit their websites and read through carefully, making sure that you understand all the details. Contact the Better Business Bureau, and ask them for information on companies that they have vetted as being professional in the provision of this service. Contact friends and family who have used these services before and let them give you pointers as to which companies to approach. Online review sites, blogs, and forums, are also a good source of information on which companies to use.
  2. Consider the cost implications – You should get quotes from the companies that you intend to use. The quotes should serve as a guide helping you to select a cost-effective company. However, caution should be upheld so that you do not compromise quality of service, just to spare a few dollars. You should find out if the quotes include an insurance cover for your vehicle.
  3. Make the decision on the company to hire and make your booking – After going through the information you have gathered, make your decision on the company that you will hire, and then confirm your booking. Read the full package before you appending your signature to the documents.
  4. Prepare your vehicle for transportation – The weight of your vehicle is an important consideration when using auto carrier services. The fuel in your car should be about a quarter full. This will greatly reduce the weight of your vehicle. You will also be required to remove all valuables, and loose items from the car, so they do not get lost during transportation. Wash your vehicle before you deliver it to the transportation terminal.
  5. Be present during inspection of the vehicle – The auto transport company will inspect the vehicle when you drop it off at the terminal. This will determine if the car has any existing damage. At the end of this inspection, you will be given a Vehicle Condition Report, which you will have to sign. This is the reason why you should be present during the inspection. You will be required to sign this report, to confirm that you agree with the findings of the inspection.

Upon delivery, make sure to inspect your vehicle to ensure that it is in the condition described in the report.  As always, if you have any questions about how to ship your car, please call us at 866-221-1664.

Door to Door Auto Transport

auto transportIf you were stuck with the duty of getting your car from one side of the country to the other, wouldn’t it be nice if a truck would come right to your home to pick-up your vehicle?

And after transport, wouldn’t it be great if they would drop it off right in front of the delivery address?

That almost sounds to convenient to be true, doesn’t it? In fact, the most common method of transporting your vehicle is door to door transit on a multi-vehicle carrier.

Yes, a truck will come right down your street. As long as it fits, of course. Many neighborhoods can easily accommodate a multi-vehicle hauler, but not all areas suited for big trucks.

While most auto transports can be scheduled for door-to-door, there are some legitimate issues that might affect a driver’s ability to meet you in your neighborhood.

Low hanging trees can damage cars on the top of the truck, so drivers have to avoid that. Steep hills don’t allow for safe loading/unloading, and some mountainous areas are too dangerous to pass. Very busy or narrow or one-way streets in larger cities can be impossible to serve directly.

Military bases can require security checks so demanding that it takes all day for the truck to clear inspection, so drivers usually deliver off base. Low bridges may not provide enough clearance for auto transport trucks or may not be able to bear the weight of trucks, causing detours and delays.

These are just a few issues we experience from time to time, there may be another legitimate reason unique to your hometown that affects your door to door transport.

All drivers would prefer that your auto transport be as convenient as possible, but sometimes there are issues out of their control. Oftentimes, it’s something that you may not notice or be aware of as you go about your town but it could seriously affect a drivers ability to deliver to you at your front door.

In fact we call it “person to person” service, rather than “door to door auto transport”, just in case your driver has to ask you to meet at a nearby shopping mall parking lot rather than at your front door.

If you have any questions about this service, please give us a call at 866-221-1664! We are always happy to explain the process!

How to Get Ready for the Car Haulers

Auto ShippersAfter you have done your research on car haulers, after you have contacted Safe Direct Car Shipping and placed your order, you may be wondering what to do to get ready for the car hauler. Here are the quick answers to the common concerns so you can be ready for the truck and driver on pick-up day.

 Your carrier driver will need your keys on pick-up and throughout the transport.

For standard, operational vehicles your car will be driven onto the car hauler. Since your car will be on a truck with a few other vehicles, it may need to be offloaded briefly during the transport depending on the route and the unique addresses of other pick-ups and drop-offs.  For that reason, your driver will need to hang on to those keys.

Your vehicle does need some gas in it.

As mentioned above, because your car will be driven on to the truck under its own power, it will have to have a little gas in it. A quarter of a tank should be sufficient, but if you have more gas left over when it’s loading day, that’s fine too.

 You do not need to provide documentation.

The driver will bring paperwork for you to sign, but you do not need to provide any proof of insurance or power of attorney or anything like that – even if you are leaving your car to a friend to load/unload.

You don’t need to wash it.

It is going to get dusty during transport. Really dusty.

Taking pictures on pick-up and delivery is a terrific idea!

It’s not required, but in the unlikely event you should need to follow-up on damage, photographic documentation is handy.

We don’t recommend leaving stuff in the car.

Though it would be convenient to use your transport to ship belongings too, we can’t include that in your car shipping quote. While there are some situations for which a bag or two in the trunk might be overlooked, you will have to defer to your driver. Depending on the weight of the entire load you might incur additional fees or you may have to remove your things before the car is loaded.

Still have questions about how to get ready for your car hauler? Give us a call at 866-221-1664, a representative will be happy to help get you the information you need!