Safe Shipping Tips for Trucks

Whether you have just purchased a new or classic truck from an auction or a seller in a different city, or state or you have just made plans to relocate to a new home across the country, getting your truck moved safely is going to be one of the most important choices you may need to make. Your choice is going to be based not only the distance between where the truck is now and where it needs to go, but will also be based on the budget you have to get it there. Your options will usually boil down to driving the truck on your own or having someone else drive for you or, having it shipped by a professional.

Driving may not be a good option when you take time to consider the mileage that can rack up quickly and bring the truck value down as well as the costs for oil changes, tires and other maintenance that may be required for a long drive. Add that to the expense of fuel ups and rest stops including overnight lodging, dining out and other expenses when you travel, and you will soon find that driving can be far more expensive than you thought. If you have just purchased a new truck, keeping it in tip top shape is going to be important and driving it long distance is going to rapidly lower the value.

When you sit down and begin your search for reliable truck transport, you are going to find that there are thousands of companies listed online and essentially, they all state the same things about transport. They are the best, the least expensive and have the best services. Your job is going to be weeding through these companies and finding that one trustworthy truck transporter to move the truck for you. This sounds like it can be a daunting task, and it can be if you don’t know how to begin.

To begin, check with company websites and submit for free quotes. Try to get no less than three to five quotes so you can compare not only the price they offer, but the services as well. Safety and quality services are the most important aspect of shipping any motor vehicle and checking up on the company will go a long way when it comes to guaranteeing the safe transport of your truck. Check online reviews and not only the reviews you may see on the individual company websites. Check with companies like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or online auto transport review websites to find out what other customers have to say and to see whether the company has taken time to respond to the comments and reviews. It is also a great idea to check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to verify that the company is registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and has a valid DOT number as well as valid insurance.

Important Information On Transportation

Before you even contact a company to get a quote and schedule transport for your truck, there are a few things you need to know in order to get an accurate quote and really get the best service from the company you hire. The truck size will determine the type of carrier that it can be transported on. For pickup trucks, a standard car carrier or flatbed will work just fine. If you own a truck that weighs more than 7,500 pounds, it will more than likely need to be shipped on a step deck trailer or a lowboy trailer. Other options may also include enclosed carriers that are large enough to carry heavier trucks or equipment. Large shipping containers may be used for trucks that are taller than 12 feet or large tow trucks with the capacity to haul on a flatbed may also be used in cases where the truck is too tall for a standard automobile carrier.

There are two ways to ship a motor vehicle and they include door to door and terminal to terminal. Door to door is going to cost more than terminal to terminal but it saves time and is very convenient for both the vehicle owner and the transport driver. Shipping via a terminal will take longer as you will need to make arrangements to get the vehicle to a terminal or pick it up once delivered. Contacting the transport company no less than two weeks in advance is a good idea and can help ensure that the company will not be backlogged during the time that you need to have the vehicle moved.

Preparing the Truck

As a vehicle owner it will be your responsibility to have the truck prepared and ready to go when the driver is scheduled to pick it up for transport. This means that there will be a few things you must do to physically have it ready to go and these include the following:

  • Wash the car and make sure that all surface areas are free of dirt and grime.
  • Take pictures of the car and keep them for your personal records. If there is any damage on your vehicle, be sure to note the damage before the driver picks it up.
  • Remove all personal content from inside of the vehicle. Personal property will not be covered by the insurance that the company offers and if anything left inside is lost or damaged, they will not pay for it to be replaced or repaired.
  • Be present at the time the vehicle is picked up. A visual inspection will be performed and it is best if the owner is present to complete the inspection and sign all necessary paperwork before the driver leaves.
  • The Department of Transportation requires that the driver has a key to the car and must be able to start the car and unlock the door and trunk while it is in his possession. Make sure that you have spare keys made for the driver.
  • Disable the vehicle alarm system before it is loaded. If it cannot be completely disabled, be sure to show the driver how to turn it off in case something sets it off during transport.

Once the truck has been loaded, you may be able to track it for the duration of time that it is away from you. Many companies offer GPS or satellite tracking and you can easily see the location of your vehicle from a home computer or even a mobile phone during shipment. Be sure to ask your agent about tracking services before the truck is scheduled for transport, especially if this is something that will be important for you.

When the truck is delivered be sure to thoroughly check for signs of damage and if there is any, be sure to report it to the company immediately so a claim can be filed and any necessary repair work can be taken care of quickly. Rest assured however, that damage seldom ever happens when vehicles are handled by a professional auto transport company and your truck will be in good hands as it is relocated. Be sure to have patience once the truck is picked up and soon enough, it will be back in your possession to enjoy driving or even garaging or showing off at car and truck events.

As the owner of the truck it will be up to you to make the final decision on who you will hire to transport it for you. Be sure to take your time and carefully check out the company you plan to hire. Ask plenty of questions and really get to know as much as possible about them so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that the company you hired is going to really take care of your truck while it is in their hands.


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