The Day to Day Worries of a Car Transport Driver
When you ship a car, chances are you don’t really think about the day to day worries of your car transport driver. And that’s okay, sort of. It’s a part of being a consumer or a customer – you just expect that they’re going to do their job. Some of us may have more empathy for them than others, but really, shipping cars is a thankless job.
That’s why today we’re going to break from tradition a bit and focus on what a car transport driver actually worries about. With any luck, we can shed some light on why they take freight they do, why they work the way they do, and why they charge what they do.
The worry of a car transport driver
That’s what David Green, a long time driver and trainer at Werner Logistics says. And Danny Smith, of Big G Express, says, “you’re sitting there worrying…I have a mortgage payment and insurance payment to make, and I’m not sitting here making any money.”
They’re referring to “detention,” the downtime that a carrier has to face. And while those two don’t actually ship cars, they share the same basic worries that a car transport driver does. Detention is a major worry because carriers make money by hauling freight, simple as that.
But it does go beyond that. Respect for truckers is down too, particularly fleet drivers. The auto transport industry has more independent owner-operators than fleets, but they still exist.
Among fleets, lack of respect can result in lower retention rates for companies and less hires overall. Fewer drivers at a given company can force existing drivers to work more hours. Also, the idea that drivers have to work for a manager or president who often has never sat in a long-haul truck can also make for worse working conditions.
That’s all here or there, though. Among owner-operators like many auto transport drivers, regulations play a factor in driver dissatisfaction and worry. Many carriers cite regulations as making it harder for them to work and make money. This is, in fact, one of the main worries of a car transport driver.
Others cite time away from family and friends as a reason they worry. Still others cite lack of money.
What customers can do to help their car transport drivers
Unfortunately, as a customer, there’s not much you can do about your driver being away from family or the regulations they drive under. And that’s okay. It’s not like you can single handedly take on all the problems that the industry faces, after all.
But you can make things easier for your carrier.
Firstly, being nice any time you interact with them is a big plus. Do what you can to help when they ask and stay out of their way when they need you to. Have your payment ready to go at delivery (if you’re paying COD). Make sure your car is clean on the inside and that there are no prohibited items in your vehicle. Work with your car transport driver to find a suitable area for pickup and delivery if your pickup or delivery address is inaccessible.
Make yourself available during your pickup window. Don’t place a lot of restrictions on your carrier especially when it comes to pickup and delivery windows. Those are hard enough to maintain and any changes to them can seriously screw with a carrier’s schedule. Mostly, just be cognizant of what a driver has to go through on a day to day basis. Long hours, long days, often driving hard to meet deadlines – it wears on you.
If you’re interested in shipping a car, make sure to fill out our free auto shipping quote request form. It won’t take more than a minute or two and will get you a free quote right away. We make sure every carrier we work with is fully licensed and insured. Questions? Concerns? Comments? Give us a call any time, toll-free, at 800-930-7417 to speak to an agent.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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