Open Carrier Auto Transport

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If you Google “car shipping”, you will see that the majority of pictures that pop out for that request show a huge double-decker truck carrying a whole bunch of cars on a seemingly shaky construction which evokes no trust whatsoever. However, the fact that dealerships have been using this type of car transportation for more than 50 years now, might make open car haulers more trustworthy for individual clients.

In this article we would like to introduce you a little better to the types of open trailers, commonly used to relocate cars by both companies and individuals:

Open car hauler

  • Considered to be standard auto transport due to large carrying capacity and cost-effectiveness
  • Depending on the size, such car haulers can fit from 3 to 10 cars which is convenient for relocating multiple vehicles at once
  • Loading is conducted by driving the vehicle up the ramp (some trailers have a winch attached for loading inoperable vehicles)
  • Typically used for moving sedans and SUVs
  • Suitable for all distances

Flatbed truck/trailer

  • More expensive than open car hauler
  • Low carrying capacity: 1-2 vehicles
  • Loading is conducted by driving/winching the vehicle up the ramp depending on its condition (operable or inoperable)
  • Typically used for big size SUVs, UTVs, pickup trucks, trucks with dually wheels, limousines etc.
  • Suitable for short distances and remote areas

Lowboy truck/trailer

  • Much more expensive than open car hauler
  • Carrying capacity can vary, depending on the size of the trailer
  • Provides with easiest and safest loading opportunities as the rear of the low platform turns into a small-angle ramp
  • Because the trailer is located very low to the ground comparing to other types of trailers, it is the most suitable transport for oversize vehicles with considerable height (i.e. construction machines, farm equipment more than 10’ tall etc.)
  • Suitable for short and average distance trips

Drop deck (step deck) truck

Has the same characteristics as a lowboy truck only its floor level can be regulated

It is also important to mention that each car trailer has a whole strapping system which secures cars with wheel chains during the transportation, eliminating any undesirable movement.

Vast majority of car carriers also use air lifted suspension on their truck to reduce road vibrations.

As it always happens with making choices, there are both advantages and disadvantages to be considered before making a final decision…

Open Car Trailer

Advantages of open car carriers:

It’s cost-effective. Open haulers are very common among drivers as they are relatively cheap to maintain and operate. Moreover, when several vehicles are shipped on the same truck, the price per vehicle is reduced. Also, insurance expenses are lower for open trailers comparing to enclosed ones;

Big carrying capacity. Depending on the carrier type, from 1 to 10 cars can fit on one trailer, what makes open haulers so popular among dealerships. Also, such trailers as flatbed, lowboy and step deck are more flexible with the size of the shipped vehicle comparing to enclosed trailers and thus used for relocating oversize vehicles;

Larger availability on the market. Due to their cost-effectiveness and high demand, open car haulers drive around the entire country, covering all possible routes, providing door-to-door delivery safely and timely. That’s why it is much faster to find an open carrier for your shipment: from a few seconds (on a super popular route) to a few days (in remote areas).

Disadvantages of open car carries:

Bigger exposure to elements and road conditions. Basically, there is still a possibility that transported cars get micro damages like dings and dents, just like as if they were driven on the road. However, greater damages occur very rarely in the industry – in less than 3% of the shipments.

If you want to get an idea of how much the transportation via open car carrier would cost for your type of vehicle, you can submit a request on our website (make sure to put a check next to “open” type).
You will be contacted by one of our professional shipping agents and provided with a realistic price range for shipping your particular vehicle on your route within your time frames.

Our team professionally sorts and evaluates the carriers to provide you with a reliable driver that meets our high standards, has proper documentation and insurance.
Once you place an order with us your vehicle will immediately get the widest visibility among all the carriers on your route!

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