How Auto Transport Pickup Windows Work
Auto transportation companies have a lot to do on a given day. Wake up, check the cargo, get on the road, deliver a vehicle, go somewhere else, pick that vehicle up, load it, secure it, get back on the road, head to another town or city to meet with another customer to pickup or deliver their vehicle, all in a single day.
They’ll stop for lunch or dinner here or there, though usually they just stay in their trucks and eat. And sleep. And many times use the restroom, too.
Operating this way works for some folks, but for a lot of us out there it’d be a hectic and disadvantageous lifestyle, going from one city to another, hauling automobiles around on a bigger, heavier automobile. It’s not the most glamorous job in the world, but someone’s gotta do it, right?
That said, in this blog post we’re going to discuss pickup windows – what they are and how they work and how they’ll affect your shipment.
Pickup windows are used by auto transport companies to let their customers know when they plan on showing up to pickup their vehicle. Delivery windows are a thing too – when the carrier will arrive to drop your vehicle off.
Notice how the term “window” is used, and not “day,” an important distinction because windows generally are 24-48 hours long, as opposed to being a set time on a set date. They do this because they’re rarely on time; you’d be surprised at just how long it takes to pickup one single vehicle, or to deliver one single vehicle.
While most modern carriers can get a car onto an auto transport truck under an hour, sometimes it takes longer, and pickup or delivery, depending on the carrier, the rig, how many other cars are on it and where the driver is loading or unloading can take upwards of three hours or better. That’s a long time to load one car onto a truck (or take one off).
But there’s a good reason why: it’s the safest way to load and unload a vehicle, and the safe way is the right way for auto transport companies.
As far as scheduling goes, it takes time to get from one part of the country to another – how well could you estimate your time of arrival in New York when driving – I repeat, driving – from Los Angeles? That’s the dilemma that auto transportation companies face, to be sure, and also the reason pickup windows work the way they do.
You’ll be given a window of 1-2 days usually, and this is after a carrier has been found for you and they’ve already started heading your way. Your representative will let you know when your vehicle has been dispatched, or scheduled for pickup, and that’s normally when your pickup window starts.
You’ll need to stick close to your pickup location as well as your vehicle, so normally your pickup window necessitates either you or someone you know being at the pickup location directly or at the very least on call. Auto transport drivers are required to contact you and touch base when they first enter your area; this generally refers to the city limits or within the metropolitan area.
Say you’re shipping to Portland, Oregon; your driver may call you once they reach the Oregon border, if they’re coming from the east, or maybe once they get close to the city and hit one of the bedroom communities. Different companies will have different policies regarding when they first contact you to setup a specific pickup time.
And that’s something else you’ll do; once you’re within your pickup window, you need to be ready for the carrier to call you to say they’ll pick your vehicle up within the hour, because they’ll do that, too, at least once they’re less than an hour out. Again, some companies have different policies regarding when they call you, so if you’re unsure make sure to talk to your representative.
Shipping a car from anywhere, to anywhere in the United States is not all that difficult; it’s just that a lot of people, customers and carriers and representatives included, that make things more complicated than they need to be.
We’re here to simplify things. You can fill out our free online auto transport quote request form to get a free quote right away. We price our shipments to move when they need to be moved. We also only work with top-rated, licensed and insured carriers. You can contact us over the phone as well to get a quote, get questions answered, and even book your shipment. Get a quote today and see what American Auto Shipping can do for you.