Auto Service World
News   March 22, 2023   by Auto Service World Staff

Complete Guide To Ensuring Safety in Auto Transport

Auto transport encompasses far more than simply collecting a vehicle and dropping it off at its destination. It entails strictly checking safety protocols and compliance with various regulations. If you’re relocating to a new state and would rather avoid long-distance drives, an auto shipping company could be the perfect solution. 

However, it’s essential to note that not all transport companies are equally reliable when handling your vehicle. Alongside guaranteeing punctual deliveries, your chosen company must have a solid reputation for adhering to safety regulations.

In today’s guide, we’ll delve into prioritizing safety in auto transport. Stay tuned as we also shed light on why the driver’s reputation is just as vital as that of the car shipping company itself. Keep reading to learn more!

Safety Protocols in Auto Transport

Like any other industry, the auto transport industry also has a set of safety protocols. These protocols are vital for protecting both the vehicles being transported and the individuals involved. 

Let’s discuss these essential safety protocols one by one:

1. Vehicle Inspection

Vehicle inspection serves as the initial safety protocol in the car delivery process. Before loading a vehicle onto a carrier, a thorough inspection is conducted to assess its condition and ensure it is suitable for transportation. This inspection typically includes: 

  • Cleaning the Vehicle: The first step involves thoroughly washing the vehicle’s exterior to remove dirt and debris. This enhances the vehicle’s appearance and allows for a clear inspection of its condition. 
  • Documenting Existing Damage: Once the vehicle is clean and dry, a detailed inspection is conducted to assess its condition. Documenting the vehicle’s existing condition serves as valuable evidence for any claims regarding damage that may occur during transit.
  • Removing Personal Items:  Since your car will be traveling long distances, it’s essential to ensure that no personal items are left inside. It can range from loose change to important documents and valuables. 
  • Securing Loose Parts: Any stray items, such as floor mats or accessory dashboards, can pose a risk to your vehicle and its interior. That’s why every reputable car transport company prioritizes securing loose parts before the journey begins. 

2. Secure Transportation Methods

When it comers to ship car to another state services, good auto transport companies would prioritize the safe delivery of vehicles to their new destinations. To achieve this goal, they employ various transportation methods to protect the vehicles during transit. Two of the most secure and commonly used transportation methods by car shipping companies are:

  • Open Carriers: Open car carriers are the most common and cost-effective method auto shipping companies use. These carriers consist of trailers with multiple levels or decks on which vehicles are loaded and transported. While vehicles are exposed to the elements during transit, they are securely strapped to prevent movement.
  • Enclosed Trailers: Enclosed trailers offer the highest level of protection for vehicles during transit. With fully enclosed compartments, they shield vehicles from the elements, road debris, and potential damage.

The Role of Technology in Enhancing Vehicle Safety

The automotive sector comprises a significant portion of industrial robotics, accounting for 37% of all installations worldwide. However, this role of technology in enhancing vehicle safety extends beyond just the manufacturing and operation of vehicles. It also plays a crucial role in the auto transport industry, where the safety of vehicles during transit is foremost.

1. GPS Tracking

GPS tracking systems represent a significant advancement in revolutionizing the auto transport industry. These systems empower car shipping companies to accurately track the location of vehicles throughout the entire transit process. 

Moreover, GPS systems offer invaluable support to auto shipping company drivers by facilitating smooth navigation of routes. Many tracking gadgets have live traffic and weather forecasts, enabling drivers to make informed decisions. By leveraging this information, drivers can choose the safest and most efficient routes.

2. Electronic Bill of Lading (eBoL)

Technological advancements have significantly enhanced the logistics and administrative aspects of car transport. Adopting the electronic Bill of Lading (eBoL) has streamlined the documentation process between car shipping companies and clients.

Similar to its paper-based counterpart, the eBoL contains essential information about the car transport company, the receiver, the vehicle, and the car shipping cost. However, the eBoL is processed digitally, eliminating the risk of theft or fraud associated with physical documents. 

3. Virtual Customer Support

Nowadays, every auto shipping company has leveraged customer relationship management (CRM) software to streamline communication with clients. With these systems in place, auto transport companies can promptly address customer inquiries and provide real-time updates on the status of shipments.

Moreover, many CRM platforms feature advanced communication technologies, including chatbots and automated messaging systems. These tools are designed to efficiently handle frequently asked questions and connect customers with human representatives when needed. 

Driver Training and Qualifications: A Critical Component

When it comes to auto transport, drivers are the backbone of the operation. They are responsible for safely moving the vehicle across challenging routes and varying weather conditions. Let’s delve deeper into how a driver’s credibility can impact the journey of your vehicle:

1. Expertise

Auto transport drivers must possess a high level of expertise to navigate the complexities of transporting vehicles. Here are some essential skills and responsibilities that they need to excel at:

  • Route Knowledge: Experienced drivers can anticipate potential hazards, plan alternate routes, and navigate effectively to avoid mishaps.
  • Handling Vehicle: The driver holds responsibility for safely loading and unloading a vehicle from the carrier. Therefore, they must be knowledgeable about special techniques to perform these tasks without causing damage to the car.

2. Well-Maintained Licenses

A driver’s well-maintained license at an auto transport company is more than just a formality. It is a testament to the driver’s dedication to professionalism and willingness to comply with regulatory standards. To assess the reliability of the driver, consider reviewing items such as:

  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): Ensure that the driver holds a current and valid CDL, which is required for operating commercial vehicles.
  • Request Driver’s Safety Record: Ask the auto shipping company for the driver’s safety record, including information about accidents, violations, and tickets.
  • Check References: Reach out to previous clients or employers to inquire about their experiences with the driver’s professionalism and reliability.

3. Communication

Effective communication is paramount in ensuring a smooth and safe auto transport process. Drivers must maintain open lines of communication with both the car shipping company and the vehicle owner throughout the journey to convey appropriate:

  • Status Updates: Drivers should provide regular updates on the status of the vehicle’s transit, including expected arrival times and any unforeseen delays.
  • Customer Service: Drivers serve as representatives of the car moving company, and their professionalism and communication skills directly impact the customer experience. Courteous and informative communication of the driver will further foster trust and confidence in the vehicle moving service.

Compliance With Federal and State Regulations

Compliance with federal and state regulations is crucial in the auto transport industry to ensure the safety of vehicles, drivers, and other road users. The key regulations that car moving companies must adhere to include:

1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulations

All auto transport companies and long-distance movers must be registered with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). 

FMCSA closely monitors and regulates the operations of moving companies, specifying operation types, cargo, and geographical areas within which a carrier can operate. Additionally, this agency also sets guidelines regarding the type of insurance a moving company must maintain, following federal regulations.

2. Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulations

Every credible auto shipping company must have a USDOT number. This 8-digit number can be further used to assess the car transport firm’s background. For this purpose, visit the FMCSA SAFER website and search for the auto shipping company using its DOT number, MC (motor carrier) number, or name.

Adhering to Safety Standards in Major States, Including Florida

Safety standards in major states like Florida are governed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and other regulatory bodies. These regulations include: 

1. State Specific Registration

Before you ship a car to another state, including Florida, have it registered with the respective state. Doing so aids in vehicle identification and guarantees that all transported cars can legally be on the road.

2. Vehicle Inspection

In Florida, vehicles moved within the state from one city to another must undergo inspection. According to Florida’s statute, this inspection is necessary to get certification from a licensed inspection station.

3. Insurance Coverage

Insurance coverage is a key component of the regulations governing car transport to Florida. Car transport companies must maintain liability and cargo insurance to safeguard the vehicles they transport in instances of accidents or damage. 

4. Environmental Regulations

Florida has firm guidelines on limiting emissions and ensuring that vehicles are transported in ways that reduce environmental harm. These regulations encompass specifications regarding carrier types and the promotion of efficient routing to lower fuel usage and emissions.

Conclusion: Ensuring Safety in Auto Transport

Overall, safety in auto transport is significant for both car shipping companies and vehicle owners alike. By adhering to safety protocols, employing secure transportation methods, and leveraging technology, auto transport companies can establish a reliable reputation.

For car transport companies, compliance with safety regulations isn’t merely a choice; it’s imperative. It’s about providing customers with safe, lawful, and environmentally conscious services. Additionally, if you’re thinking of shipping a car to another state, verify that the chosen company is authorized to operate within the respective state.

Happy moving!