Auto Shipping Glossary: Oversize Auto Transport Services

Lifted Truck 1In the auto transport industry, a vehicle’s size is incredibly important when it comes to determining how much it will cost to ship that vehicle. Though there are other factors that go into your shipping price, including where you’re looking to ship from and to and the time of year you’re looking to ship in, the size of your vehicle will play a rather important role in your overall price. That’s why there’s such a major emphasis placed on gathering the year, make and model of your vehicle, but sometimes more is required in order to properly and accurately quote your shipment. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss what the term “oversize” means in relation to auto transport services you can receive, and why it’s important to let your shipper know if you believe your vehicle might be an oversize one.

Most of the time a standard car – that is, your regular coupe or sedan – won’t be classified as oversize, even if it’s a really heavy car like those old ’60’s and ’70’s American models. Oversize literally refers to the size, or the dimensions, of the vehicle you’re looking to ship, which means we’re discussing things such as large sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and cargo vans. But even then, a lot of the SUV’s and pickup trucks you see on the road today aren’t even classified as oversize vehicles, particularly the smaller ones like the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Silverado or Ram 1500 Extended Cab 4×4. When you get down to it, oversize vehicles are generally much taller, longer, wider and/or heavier than standard vehicles.

Some of the more prominent oversize vehicles include the Dodge Sprinter Van, the Ford E-550 (and higher) Work Trucks, and things such as limousines or school buses. Construction equipment generally falls under the oversize moniker as well as pickup trucks that are lifted and/or are equipped with oversize tires. Typically, vehicles of this caliber can’t fit on a standard auto transport carrier, since those are designed to haul standard-sized cars and trucks. Instead, oversize vehicles will generally require flatbed transportation services, which are typically harder to find and more expensive for several reasons.

As mentioned, flatbed transport trucks are harder to find because there is a smaller demand for their services, making it less cost-effective for a lot of companies to offer flatbed-only trucking services. Whereas there are thousands of different standard car haulers on the road, there may only be a few dozen flatbed shippers that offer nationwide services for oversize vehicles. This directly influences your price, as does the size and weight of your vehicle, because those shippers take less freight on the whole, and have to follow more stringent rules and regulations while shipping heavier vehicles, which in turn decreases fuel economy, particularly on long journeys. All this adds up to higher costs, which you need to anticipate and budget for accordingly.

That said, you can ship a vehicle of any size with one of our helpful auto transport companies, and you can get prices from those shippers emailed to you directly by filling out our free online quote form. It takes only a minute and gets you in contact with some of the best auto transport companies in the industry, all of which can handle oversize vehicles of all types and varieties. If you have questions about our services, or concerns about the quotes you get or the way we operate, or just need some questions about the industry answered or need some advice on how to go about shipping your vehicle, give us a call at 800-930-7417. It’s toll-free and you won’t have to wade through clunky menus – you’ll get to talk directly with one of our helpful agents right away.

Happy Holidays from American Auto Shipping

Christmas 1Today is Christmas, one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States and probably one of the most popular as well. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you probably celebrate some kind of winter holiday – they’re all rooted in the same basic traditions, despite cultural differences across vast distances. Christmas, though, is a time of giving, a time of happiness, a time where everyone can sit back, enjoy the last few days of the year with loved ones, and prepare for the new year to come. It’s also a time to get awesome presents from friends and family, and give them out too, but the most important thing come Christmas time is the fact that you get to spend it with loved ones, and even in an industry run by gruff men driving huge trucks that literally ship other trucks, people still have families that they want to spend time with on Christmas.

What this generally means is that, across the auto transport industry, there aren’t going to be a lot of companies actively running routes on Christmas Day. Some may run routes on Christmas Eve, and some may start back up again the day after Christmas, but usually most drivers are going to be taking 3-5 days off to spend with their wife and kids, which generally results in delays for pickup and delivery around the holidays. This is something that really can’t be avoided, and we discussed this in late November when Thanksgiving rolled around, because it’s the same basic premise: car transport drivers are people too, and they often have families they are supporting, so naturally they’re going to want to spend the time dedicated to spending with family with their family.

Auto transportation services around the holidays are always hit-or-miss for this very reason, and it’s why you can’t really expect anything concrete when Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s come around. In the weeks leading up to those holidays, car shippers are looking to run routes that take them close to home, so there may be some routes that, while normally popular shipping areas, don’t have a lot of shippers in them because that’s not where they actually live. At the same time, routes that may be less popular most of the year might suddenly see some interest from auto transport truck drivers because it takes them relatively close to home, and they’d be more inclined to work a quick shipment into their schedule before they take a few days off.

At this point, there’s not a lot you can do – it’s Christmas, after all, and most every company in the industry is going to be closed. There will likely be a few places open, as there always are, but auto transport isn’t fast food and most transport companies are going to be closed. You can still get multiple free quotes to ship your vehicle, though, if you want to fill out our free online quote request form. It’s free, and you’ll still get multiple free quotes from top-rated car transport companies, though probably not as many immediate quotes as you would if it weren’t Christmas. Today, our offices are closed, unless someone decides they want to stop by to do a few hours’ work, but that’s not likely to happen, so don’t be surprised if no one answers the phones today. We’ll be back tomorrow, likely a bit larger from all the food and a bit happier from all the presents and the day off, so give us a call then. Today we’re spending with our families, and you should be too. Happy holidays from American Auto Shipping!

Auto Shipping to Lawton, OK

Lawton 1Lawton is a city in as well as the county seat of Comanche County, Oklahoma, and is currently home to a population of over 96,900, making it the fifth-largest city by population in the state. Lawton was founded in 1901 on lands that were once reserved for the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Indian tribes. Though much of Lawton is characteristic of the Midwest – in other words, flat, with some gently sloping and rolling hills – the Wichita Mountains sit a bit north of the city, which can have a small effect on the weather of Lawton. It sits near Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which was first erected in the late 1860’s to help combat Native Americans in the area. Lawton, as is known today, was founded in 1901.

Despite being the fifth-largest city in the state of Oklahoma, Lawton doesn’t anchor a very large metropolitan area, not like Oklahoma City does. A city’s metropolitan area is almost as important as the city itself, as it’s where the largest concentration of the area’s population is located. This is an important distinction in the car shipping industry due to the fact that carriers need to stay where the people are in order to keep their trucks full and maximize their profits. Lawton, due to its size (or rather lack thereof when compared to other popular auto transport locations) tends to get overlooked for Oklahoma City, to the north, which may be easier to ship to or from depending on what you’re shipping, when you’re shipping and who you’re shipping with.

Oklahoma is not the most popular auto transport location within the United States, and Lawton is not the most popular auto transport location within the state of Oklahoma. This can lead to longer pickup times and also longer transit times, since auto shippers don’t really want to run a route that takes them through the middle of nowhere, and will generally lead to higher prices as well. That being said, it sits southwest of Oklahoma City along Intestate 44, which may not be the most popular of interstate highways but does connect Lawton to the rest of the world, notably Oklahoma City to the north and Wichita Falls, Texas to south. Access to Lawton is limited to one minor interstate and one minor state highway, though, so keep that in mind if you’re wondering why the price is so high or why it’s taking so long.

One of the nice things about Lawton is the weather, at least from a car shipping perspective. While the city is relatively small in terms of major metro areas, and is not all that easy to get to or from, at the very least it’s warm during most of the year. Summers get hot and humid, with average highs well into the 90’s, and winters can get cold, with average lows usually dropping down into the low 30’s. However, snow is relatively uncommon, though not unheard of, and this is usually a good thing for car shipping services because most auto transporters can handle a dusting here and there – it’s the snowstorms that wreak havoc on the northern states that they want to try to avoid. Lawton does a good job of that, though, so winter shipping shouldn’t be all that difficult to or from Lawton.

If you’re looking to ship a car, truck or SUV (or any other type of vehicle) to or from Lawton, Oklahoma, you’ve come to the right place. You can fill out our free online quote request form and get multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transport companies e-mailed to you within an hour. Each quote will include a total price for door to door services on an open car shipping carrier unless you specify you want quotes for enclosed shipping services, which you can do right on our website. If you have questions or concerns about our policies, our practices or the companies that advertise with us, you can give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions, give you free quotes and help you get the most out of our services. So what are you waiting for? Call or fill out our free online form and get your free quotes today.

Auto Shipping FAQ: How Can I Prepare for the Wait?

Clock 1The auto transportation industry is a lot different than many of the other service-based jobs that are currently out there. The United States’ economy is based heavily on retail and shopping and spending money, and a mindset that “the customer is always right.” You hear it all the time, in cartoons, watching a movie, and while you’re out on the street. But the problem is that the customer isn’t always right, and sometimes the customer is wrong. There are too many times I’ve answered the phones here and someone’s told me that they need to get a car shipped thousands of miles within a matter of days, which – barring some type of logistical miracle – is not going to happen. It takes time to ship a car, and as a customer you need to become familiar with what is known as “waiting.”

Waiting is never fun, but it’s pretty much par for the course in the car shipping industry. When you first start the process of shipping your car, you need to find a company that’ll help you from start to finish – that’s what we help with, so make sure to fill out our free form or give us a free call for more information. These companies are known as brokers, and brokers are the guys that you want to book your order with. If you think wait times in the industry today are bad, you can rest assured that pickup times would double or even triple in length if a broker wasn’t handling the shipment. You’re going to have to wait for dispatch (which means a carrier has been assigned to pick your vehicle up), wait for pickup, wait while your vehicle is in transit and then wait while your vehicle is being delivered. That’s a lot of waiting.

The best way to prepare yourself for your wait is to have a second vehicle handy so you’re not stuck without a mode of transportation. Of course, not everyone can afford a second vehicle, so you’ll want to discuss transit times with your shipper directly as well as how long you will be without your vehicle. This is important, particularly if you’re relying on the vehicle you’re shipping to drive you around everywhere. Whether it’s your neighbor, his second vehicle, a friend or family member, or if you’re calling a cab every morning or taking a cab to work, you need to have some way to get around while your vehicle is being shipped, so make sure you make arrangements prior to pickup.

Other than that, it’s basically just a waiting game. Do whatever you want while you’re waiting for your vehicle to arrive, what do we care? You should of course keep up-to-date with where your vehicle is and the like while it is being shipped, but there’s not much else you can do if it’s in transit, so you can kick back and relax and wait for your carrier to arrive. You should know that you’ll receive pickup and delivery windows that you (or someone you know and authorize to do on your behalf) need to be there to meet with the carrier at pickup and also at delivery. This is the door-to-door part of the shipment kicking in. Your wait times will depend heavily on where you’re shipping from and to and the conditions of the roads and traffic and weather and much more.

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle, don’t forget that you can get multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transport companies absolutely free by filling out our free online auto transport quote request form. It takes only a minute to fill out and submit, will give you a free price range that your quotes should fall within and also get you in contact with some of the best auto transportation companies in the industry today. Have questions about our website, our services, or just need some help filling out our free form? You can call us toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents who can answer your questions and help you get your free quotes today.

Differences Between Open and Enclosed Auto Transportation Services

Carrier 13As you likely know by now, even if you’re new to the car shipping scene, there are several different types of auto transport trucks on the road today, and not all of them provide the same type of services. While all of them will provide you door-to-door auto transportation as their standard method, the protection that your vehicle gets from an open carrier as opposed to an enclosed carrier will be much different, and carrier availability will depend very much on where you’re shipping from and to and also the time of year and what type of vehicle you are shipping. These different factors can play a major difference in the prices that you pay and the services that you receive, as well as how well those services are performed (though this has more to do with the competency the employees of the company you hired exhibit and less to do with what type of carrier you choose to ship your vehicle, so there is that).

The type of auto shipping carrier truck that is the most common on the road today is what is known as an open auto transport carrier. Open carriers are the ones that you see taking new cars to dealerships, or not even to dealerships – just the huge trucks that look like someone played a crazy game of car Tetris to load them onto the back of the truck. These are the standard auto transport trucks on the road today, and this generally means that you’ll find the cheapest prices with the fastest pickup times via an open carrier because of how prevalent they are on the road today. As the standard shipping method of an entire industry, it’s not all that surprising that it would be cheaper and faster than the major alternative.

Speaking of alternatives to open vehicle transportation, enclosed auto shipping services are exactly that: an alternative to open car shipping. Enclosed carriers aren’t as common as open shippers, namely because their services aren’t required nearly as often as an open carriers’ is. Open carriers are standard in the industry because they’re so much cheaper than any of the alternatives. Enclosed transportation is used mainly be people who need transportation services for really rare, nice or expensive vehicles (or a combination of all three), as enclosed transport trucks help to protect the vehicles they are hauling much better than open services. Enclosed transportation literally takes place on a truck that encloses all the vehicles in a trailer, to protect them from the elements.

The main difference between open and enclosed, aside from the price, is the level of protection they give the vehicles that they transport. Though open carriers expose the vehicles that they ship to the elements, they do offer some basic protection, along with the fact that you won’t see any mileage or other wear and tear put on the vehicle’s engine. Most any problems that come with open transport will be cosmetic in nature – dents, dings, and scratches from spending five or ten or fifteen days on the road. Enclosed carriers prevent a lot of those minor dings and dents by putting walls and a roof over the vehicles. Damage is fairly rare on an open car shipping carrier anyway, but there are some vehicles where even the risk of damage isn’t worth it, and it would be better to spend a bit more money to ensure no damage will be done to the vehicle. Most regular cars, though, can be shipped via a standard open carrier, since their values are still fairly low (remember, cars tend to depreciate in value before they start appreciating, and not all vehicles appreciate in value) and damage, if any, will almost always be minimal and cosmetic in nature.

If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle, you can get multiple free quotes to ship it by filling out our free online quote request form. If you do, you’ll get in touch with multiple American auto shipping companies who can help you get your vehicle shipped and give you helpful tips and advice on which type of carrier would be right for you. They know all the ins and outs of the industry, so you can rest assured that the quotes you get will not only come from top-rated car shipping companies but that they will all be competitive and priced to ship. Have questions before getting quotes? You can call us at 800-930-7417 toll-free to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions and help you get your free quotes today.

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