Monday, July 28th, 2014 at
In the course of the life of a vehicle, sometimes catastrophic things happen, like an accident that leaves your precious, most favorite mode of transportation reduced to a crumpled heap. A lot of people have been in this situation: driving across the country to a new job and a new home when BAM! Out of nowhere they get side-swiped or somebody crosses the double yellow line and rams them head-on. It’s not fun being in an accident, even a minor one, and when it comes to fixing it up when you’re 500 miles away from your dealership – not to mention in between homes – you want to try and get your vehicle to wherever it needs to go, usually by shipping it.
However, shipping a totaled vehicle, or a vehicle that can’t be driven under it’s own power due to an accident, is no easy feat. Most of the time the vehicle that has been in an accident does not run and has difficulty even rolling; this can make it ten times harder for an auto transport company to arrange transportation because how exactly is it going to be loaded onto the carrier? Truth be told, any standard carrier probably won’t do the trick – you’ll need an auto transport company that operates flatbed carriers to handle something that doesn’t run or roll. The good thing about flatbed trucks is that they’re designed to load and unload vehicles that can’t get on or off under their own power, and special tools are available to flatbed truckers to help them do the job. The downside, though, is typically two-fold: cost and wait-time. Flatbed shippers can take a while to find because there are so few of them on the road, and because of this they tend to cost more as well.
If your vehicle is stranded in the middle of nowhere and it’s going to take weeks to get it fixed, you can opt for flatbed transportation of it to get to the body shop of your choice; however, sometimes it’s better to just let the local auto body shop take care of the repair job. Your insurance should cover the cost of repairs, but even if they don’t, if you’re contemplating flatbed transportation for a totaled vehicle, chances are you can afford whatever the auto body is charging. The most important thing in that situation is to get your car back on the road, whether it’s on the back of a truck or under its own power. If you’re interested in shipping it, you can give us a call at 800-930-7417 and speak to one of our live agents who can answer your questions and help you get your free quotes; if you’d rather just skip that altogether, you can fill out our free online quote request form and get multiple free quotes e-mailed to you within
Sunday, July 27th, 2014 at
The household moving industry runs on the backs of large household moving trucks hauling people’s possessions from one city to another, and it’s anything but cheap. Household moving services, though, are expensive because they need to be; it’s not cheap to operate a 53′ moving truck, going from one city to another, oftentimes across hundreds if not thousands of miles, and not everyone can afford the high cost of household goods moving. Unlike auto transport services, you’re looking at moving a lot more weight, on the whole, and it takes more time and more effort for the moving company and its employees to handle all your worldly possessions as opposed to simply driving a car on or off the truck. Household moving is expensive because it needs to be.
Your price is based on several factors: where you are shipping from and to, how much you are moving, and what time of the year you are moving. Extenuating circumstances can also alter your price, and we’ll get to those in just a minute, but for now let’s talk about those three things. Shipping locations play a major role in your price, just like with auto transport, and the farther away the two cities are the more it’ll cost. Weight also plays a factor; one-room apartments are going to cost less than a four-bedroom house because there’s less overall weight, and the season you’re shipping can also play a factor as more people move during the summer, so while demand is higher supply is still the same (supply being how many moving companies and trucks are out there), which forces the price up.
Extenuating circumstances, which your moving company will explain to you, are things like where your house is located and how easy it is to get there. Many cities have ordinances on the books that make it difficult for moving companies to get in and out of certain neighborhoods or downtown areas, and if this is the case your moving company will have to contract with a local moving company with smaller trucks in order to get your goods to you. This is just one of many. If a moving company’s truck breaks down, it can take longer for them to get your goods to you, and they may charge you for the extra time wasted – not that many will, but some of them just have less scruples than others. You can get multiple free household goods shipping quotes from our roster of great and reliable moving companies by filling out our moving quote form on this page; you can also fill out our auto transport quote request form and simply select our household goods moving option if you’re shipping a vehicle as well. And, of course, you can call us at 800-930-7417 with any questions or concerns.
Saturday, July 26th, 2014 at
Believe it or not, Olathe, Kansas is the fifth-largest city in the state, with a population of over 125,000 residents, and is the fourth-largest city in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Olathe is one of the fastest-growing areas in the entire nation, and has ranked on several lists of the Top Places to Live, particularly by CNN and Money Magazine. Founded in 1857 and incorporated as a town that same year, Olathe became the county seat of Johnson County in 1859 and has held the position ever since. Growth of the city can be attributed to its being a stop on several westward trails including the Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail and the California Trail, though the transcontinental railroad’s constructing in the late 19th century slowed Olathe’s growth considerably. Suburbanization during the 1950′s and 60′s saw renewed interest in the area, and the city has been growing ever since. Read more about Olathe here.
Located about 20-30 miles southwest of Kansas City, Olathe is a major suburb of the city and accessible by a variety of state routes that make it easier for auto transportation companies to get to and from it, but it’s generally cheaper to a ship a vehicle to the outskirts of Kansas City due to the fact that the largest city in Kansas has several major interstates going in and out of it, namely I-29 and I-70, which are popular auto transport routes. The Federal Aviation Administration operates one of the largest Air Route Traffic Control Centers in Olathe, and economically the city has made great strides to diversify, though industry and manufacturing make up a good portion of the city’s economy.
Auto shipping companies are more likely to run routes into and out of Kansas City due to the interstates that service it, though Olathe is still easily accessible for a slightly higher price more often than not. Some auto shipping companies may not even charge more due to the short distance from Kansas City, a major stop, and Olathe, which isn’t as big a city. However, with a population count of over 125,000, Olathe sees more auto transport requests than you may think, so it’s entirely plausible to get a great deal right into the heart of the city. You’d need to speak to an auto transport company for more details about it, and we can help you with that – simply fill out our free online quote request form and get 6-8 free quotes from reputable and reliable auto transportation companies e-mailed to you within about an hour. You can also call us toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to a live agent about transportation to or from the city as well.
Friday, July 25th, 2014 at
The auto transport industry is slow to change. Ask anyone – we’ve been in the industry for fifteen years and our basic model is exactly the same as it was fifteen years ago, and this goes the same for many auto transportation companies. As it stands, the way that automobiles are transported, be they from the manufacturing plant to the dealership, the dealership to the customer, or from one customer to another, is done exactly the same as it has been for the past fifty years, though some of the technology that shipping companies utilize has changed drastically. As technology gets more and more advanced, more and more automobile shipping companies are looking to save money on the back end in order to utilize profits on the front end, and everyone is looking for a way to get away from diesel prices, which – as of this writing – are topping close to $4/gallon in many areas of the country.
The method of auto transportation likely won’t change any time soon. What we mean is that auto shippers will still operate big-rig trucks that can haul 8-10 cars at a single time, and because of federal regulation the size of them won’t change. Auto transport trucks can only weigh a maximum of 80,000 pounds, can be no longer than 75 feet long and no wider than 102 inches per law. The load height can also be no higher than 13.5 feet due to overpass height – in the west it’s 14 feet, and some carriers can get away with taller loads because of the higher overpasses in states west of the Rockies, but seven inches really isn’t a whole lot of extra clearance, so most shippers stick with the 13.5′ max.
What most auto shippers will do is upgrade their trucks technologically. Trucking companies are already seeing electric-hybrid technology entering long-haul trucks, and Walmart, oddly enough, has been the first to really implement the new technology. Electric drivetrains are more prevalent in cars that auto shippers are moving, but the future looks like it’s trending away from diesel fuel and toward cleaner, more sustainable engines, which is fantastic for everyone in the industry. Prices will likely drop for customers and brokers, and trucking companies can focus on getting from A to B without having to know where all the refueling stations are. If you’re interested in learning more, read more of our blog posts; otherwise, you can call 800-930-7417 for free quotes or you can also fill out our free online quote form to get quotes e-mailed to you within about an hour.
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at
You may not be aware of this, but the U.S. transportation system is falling apart, to the point that eleven different former Department of Transportation secretaries penned an open letter to Congress telling them something must be done. Congress will be voting on a new transportation funding bill soon, but if their track record is any indication they won’t do anything with the bill, and it’ll likely die out. Funding used to be pretty much automatic; every six years, Congress would extend transportation funding via the Department of Transportation to help fix bridges, fill in pot holes and maintain railroads, among other things. Now, however, Congress funds these things in “fits and starts” – the last major transportation funding bill was passed over a decade ago. This has led to a crumbling Interstate Highway System, disused and ill-maintained railroads and less money for everyone involved in keeping things up to snuff.
The IHS is perhaps the most concerning for our industry, because it can lead to safety problems and much more. Bad roads by themselves can cause auto transport companies thousands of dollars per year in additional maintenance because of undue wear and tear, and guess who they pass those savings on to? That’s right: you. Right now the U.S. moves over seven billion tons of freight every year, including automobiles, and according to that letter that number will double by 2050, with 100 million new people added. This will put a lot of strain on our infrastructure and could lead to even more disastrous consequences later on.
Things like badly maintained interstate highways not only can lead to wear and tear for auto transportation companies, but it can also lead to damaged freight, particularly when it comes to automobiles. Barring a catastrophic accident, things such as pot holes, dull lane markers, badly designed on-ramps and off-ramps and dangerously constructed stretches of road can plague auto shippers along certain routes. These problems can lead to accidents with other motorists, thus damaging the cars they are hauling. Pot holes can cause damage to the trucks themselves, and could lead to breakdowns and blown tires that can take days or even weeks to fix properly. Hopefully this letter from those former DOT secretaries has some impact on the people running this country; right now, stop-gap measures aren’t getting it done, and it’s not just auto transport drivers that are feeling the strain.