Auto Transport Tips: Shipping a Non-Running Vehicle

Inop 3A non-running vehicle can be a real pain to transport for some people, mainly because – you know – it’s not running. Inoperative vehicles account for a good chunk of all the vehicles shipped every single day, though of course not as many non-ops are shipped as vehicles that are fully running and operational. If you need transportation services for a vehicle that is not running, make sure you tell your auto transport representative and let them know what is going on with it. For instance, if your vehicle has a dead battery, go buy a new battery – the $50 you spend on a new battery will save you $150-$250 in non-op shipping fees. Most vehicles that do not run only need some minor maintenance or repair, which can save you a lot of money come transport time. Of course, some vehicles are just plain inoperable, so make sure you know which your vehicle is before you ship it.

Make sure to tell your auto transport company right off the bat whether or not your vehicle is running. They’ll likely ask you, and if you fill out a quote request form – like ours, for instance – you’ll likely have the option of selecting whether or not your vehicle is running. It’s a tiny yet incredibly important detail in the auto transport world, because not all carriers can transport a non-running vehicle. If a vehicle does not start or run, a winch will be required in order to load and unload it, and not all auto transportation companies have a winch attached to their truck. A winch is not standard, and while plenty of auto transportation companies use them, some don’t. They can be a hassle, weigh a lot, and generally aren’t used very often, so a lot of drivers just forego the entire thing and leave it off their truck. If your representative hires a carrier without a winch to transport your non-running vehicle, you’re going to have some problems, namely the fact that the carrier can’t load it and basically just wasted an entire trip – something they really don’t like doing.

Knowing what’s wrong with your vehicle and telling your shipping company off the bat your vehicle is not running are two things that will save you a lot of money in the long run. Even if your vehicle isn’t running because of a problem you cannot fix right away, let your shipping company know of any damages or leaks, as they’ll be able to incorporate that information into the quote you get and make sure everything goes smoothly for you and the carrier. If you’re interested in talking with some auto transportation companies, you can get multiple free quotes e-mailed to you within about an hour by filling out our free online quote request form, and you can talk to one of our live agents by calling us toll-free at 800-930-7417 and getting free advice as well as free quotes right over the phone.

Household Goods Moving Tips to Chicago

Chicago, IL

The city of Chicago is the third-largest in the entire United States, home to over 2.7 million residents in the city proper and 9.5 million residents in the Greater Chicago Area, known as Chicagoland, it is one of the most popular household moving locations in the entire country. As stressful as moving is, shipping your stuff to Chicago from pretty much anywhere is actually relatively easy, as long as you have the budget for it, as Chicago is home to quite a few household goods transportation companies, including quite a few interstate movers. Economically, Chicago has one of the largest economies in the United States, which means that a lot of people are moving to Chicago for work, especially since the U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the recession that it was plunged into six or seven years years ago.

Typically, when you’re shipping to Chicago, you’re likely shipping to or from one of the many suburbs that surround the city proper, and this is easy enough for interstate moving companies to do. Suburb cities have less restrictions regarding larger trucks entering the city limits, and cities that sit on the outskirts are typically younger, which means that their roads are wider and built to handle not just more vehicles, but also larger vehicles, and they’re built for cars in ways that older metropolitan areas are not. This makes it easier and cheaper for you, at least when you’re transporting all your worldly possessions to a completely new area. Shipping into Chicago proper, however, is a bit different, because there are sections of the city that large household moving vans just cannot get into or out of due to their size, or else they cannot get there due to local ordinances that prohibit large trucks from traveling through those specific areas.

If you’re moving to an area like that, your goods will likely be transported to a local depot, where they’ll be unloaded from the interstate moving van and then loaded onto smaller moving trucks, a lot like smaller U-Haul trucks, that will be able to maneuver around those hard-t0-get-to areas or get under those weight restrictions brought on by city ordinance. This is a fairly common practice when moving to a larger metro area, and your moving company will let you know if it is needed, what the additional fees will be (if any; they should be included in the quote you’re given), and they’ll let you know what company they’re contracting with and what trucks will be arriving. Some loads may take two or even three local moving vans, depending on how much you’re moving, so be prepared for that as well. You can read more articles on household moving by visiting our household moving articles page, where you’ll also find our free household moving quote request form. You can fill out that free moving form to get multiple free household moving quotes from reliable and dependable household moving companies, and as always you can call us at 800-930-7417 toll-free with any questions.

Ford Transit Connect 2The new Ford Transit Connect van doesn’t fit on standard rail cars, apparently, which is somewhat of a problem considering Ford uses rail services more than any other company to move vehicles to dealerships and among its many markets. Auto transport by rail services are used mainly by auto manufacturers anyway, so it’s kind of surprising when we read an article that says Ford needs bigger rail cars in order to move their new Transit Connect models within the United States. The tallest of their new vans allows for a 6’4″ man to stand completely upright - that’s pretty impressive. Of course, that kind of design can make it more difficult for auto transporters to actually move them, kind of like how rail companies have to make special cars in order to haul them.

So what does this mean for you? For starters, if you end up buying a new Transit Connect – which comes in three different variants, all of different heights – you’re going to have to consider transportation of it, especially if it’s for a fleet. A lot of fleet managers have to buy vehicles from out of state or directly from the manufacturer in order to get the vehicles that they need, and companies such as construction firms, electrical companies and other types of builders will likely need the taller Transit Connects, if they opt for that particular model for their cargo-hauling needs. At the end of the day the Transit Connect has always been large, but for Ford to come out and work with rail companies to build customized cars just to haul one type of vehicle is kind of bizarre, at the end of the day.

Auto transporters don’t do those kinds of things, but at the very least Ford can now transport their new cargo vans to wherever they need to go without resorting to uncovered rail transportation. This may make prices for the newer Connects a bit higher, due to the increase in transportation costs for the manufacturer, though this is just speculation at this point. If you’ve bought one already, you can get free quotes to ship it by filling out our free online quote form; you’ll get 6-8 free quotes e-mailed to you within about an hour. Make sure you have pictures of your Transit Connect, as well as having the actual model of it – since there are a few different types, with different heights, your auto transport company is going to need to know which specific one that you will be shipping, so they can get the right type of carrier for you. You can also call us at 800-930-7417 to speak to a live representative completely free, and we recommend this if you have questions or are unsure which specific Transit Connect you are looking to ship.

Can Alternative Energies Power the Auto Transport Industry?

Hydrogen 1You know that alternative energy – solar power, hydrogen power, electric fuel cells, biodiesel – is a big thing. It’s been a big thing for a while, now, truthfully, but change is slow in any industry, and that goes double for auto transportation. Alternative energies, particularly electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells, are looking like they’re the wave of the future. Chevy has introduced their Volt, Nissan has introduced the Leaf, and just about every popular personal vehicle sold by any major automobile manufacturer has a hybrid version, from the Ford Fusion to the Toyota 4Runner. The number of charging stations for electric vehicles is increasing every day, getting into smaller cities as well as major metropolitan areas. Even China, the global leader in oil consumption, is getting on board. So, when we’re asked the question of whether alternative energies can power the auto transport industry, we’re inclined to say yes.

 Of course, it’s all a matter of power. Electric and hydrogen cars can only go so fast and for so long; the Model S, by Tesla, can achieve 265 miles on a single charge, but most cars barely top out at a hundred miles. Hydrogen power right now offers a higher range and fuel efficiency, but the infrastructure is slow to develop, and there are concerns about the support of such a vehicle moving forward, especially when electric vehicles are becoming so popular. Electric vehicles are acting sort of as a stopgap; we can’t rely on them outside of normal commuting around town, and road trips are out of the question given how long some vehicles take to charge. Toyota is set to unveil their new hydrogen-powered car next year; this may be a great benchmark for the technology, but it’s also going to act as an experiment, much like the Prius did when it was first introduced. Of course, given Toyota’s track record, their new hydrogen-powered car might just be the thing that finally knocks internal combustion off its pedestal.

Lack of power, availability and infrastructure are three major things that are stopping the adoption of alternative energies in the car shipping industry, but at this point it’s just a matter of time. We may not hear about it much, but do you think there’s not a research firm trying to adapt existing or promising alternative energies to long-haul trucking industries? Auto transport and other types of long-haul, large commercial trucks belch out diesel like they have a stomach flu, polluting the environment and making everyone driving behind them cough and breathe in that black crap. Alternative energies in many logistics industries are needed, and needed badly, but it’s going to take time for implementation to even start, let along overtake current diesel models. However, it’s going to happen; as of now, the momentum is in the hands of electric-powered vehicles and hydrogen, the latter of which is our bet for long-haul industries due to its capabilities. Electric vehicles can increase range with newer technologies, but we doubt it’ll ever be able to produce enough power to haul ten cars around at 60 miles per hour for ten hours a day.

Auto Transport Tips: Know Your Carriers

direct carrier auto transport quotesAuto transportation is an imperfect industry – more of an art than a science, really. This is mainly due to the fact that there are so many car shipping companies out there, each one competing for some slice of the pie that you bring when you start looking for a transportation company. Basically, there are two types: Brokers and Carriers. Brokers are easy to find – they’re all over the internet, and if you fill out our free online quote form you’ll actually get 6-8 free quotes from reliable and reputable auto transportation brokers. Brokers are the companies you hire to wade through all those thousands of carriers and find one for you – that’s literally their job, to facilitate communication between you and a driver and make sure that everything runs smooth. But what they don’t tell you is that it’s up to you to choose your carrier, and while they can give advice on it, knowing ultimately what carrier you should use is kind of hard if you have no idea what the differences between them are. That’s why we’re here: we’re going to break down the basics about the different carriers in the industry and give you good links to each for more information.

Open auto transport carrier
An open carrier is the most common type of truck on the road today (in the car shipping industry, anyway). Capable of hauling up to ten vehicles at once, open shippers minimize their costs and help customers save money by shipping in bulk and lining up new jobs a week or two out. These are typically the cheapest of methods, and as such roughly 90% of all vehicles transported overland are shipped via an open auto transport truck. Open shippers also have a higher rate of damaged vehicles than other types, mainly because they drive so much and the vehicles they ship are exposed to the elements and the environmental hazards of an open freeway. However, damage during open transport occurs in roughly 3.8% of vehicles transported per year, which shows an increase in safety over the past five years.

Enclosed auto shipping carrier
Enclosed transportation services are used primarily to haul high-end, luxurious vehicles for individual shippers that don’t want to see anything untoward happen to their vehicle. Enclosed transportation is more subjective; it costs more, takes longer to ship and to find, but it all but guarantees that your vehicle will arrive without a scratch on it. Enclosed shipping is more expensive because it protects vehicles from the hazards present with open transportation services, but since so few people actually ship enclosed (numbers vary, but it’s anywhere from 8-12% of auto transportation customers), there aren’t a lot of transportation companies operating enclosed trucks. Competition among those companies is more fierce, making prices skyrocket by 50-75% or more in some cases. Talk to your representative for more information about their stable of enclosed auto shippers.

Flatbed auto transporters
I’ve been debating taking this out of our rotation of carriers to know about, but at the end of the day they do come in handy for some people, so we’ll include them on this list. Flatbed transportation accounts for about 1-3% of all vehicles transported in a given year, mainly because they only haul certain types of vehicles. Flatbed shippers handle the automobiles that open and enclosed shippers can’t, namely oversize vans and pickup trucks, vehicles that cannot be rolled on or off a carrier, and oversize equipment (like bulldozers and the like). Flatbed shipping is generally not a method that you can request; your shipping company will let you know if it’s required. It’s the most expensive version, namely because of the size of the vehicles that they usually ship. Keep that in mind.

Knowing what carrier is best for your specific needs isn’t always easy, so if you still have questions or concerns, give us a call or fill out our free online quote form. If you fill out our free form, you’ll get multiple free quotes from reputable and reliable auto transportation companies who can answer your questions about as well as I could and also get you some free auto transport quotes for your troubles. Auto shipping is a pretty fluid industry, all things considered, and the more you know, the easier your shipment will be in the long run. Call 800-930-7417 for free quotes or to get some of your questions answered.

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