Consider this one of those “lesson learned” moments in life that you don’t have to go through yourself. You get the benefit of learning the lesson without going through the actual actions. I, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. But that’s why I’m trying to get the word out to others who may be in the same situation (or business) I was; a business that required car shipping from one state to another due to the large volume of cars needed in either one of my two car dealership locations.
You see, I thought I’d be smart and save a few dollars on car shipping rates by eliminating the car shipping companies and hauling them myself. I purchased an out of commission car shipping trailer for fairly cheap at an auto auction, hooked it to the back of my diesel-fueled truck and off I went.
The first twenty or so trips went off without a hitch. Now, granted, I was doing most of my car shipping at night, so that may have been the reason I wasn’t stopped. But, regardless of the reason, the fact is that I wasn’t. But, what happened next shocked me, and probably will do the same to you if you’ve been avoiding car shipping companies like I was.
One day, while shipping my cars from my bigger lot to my smaller lot after a good weekend of sales, I was pulled over by a highway patrolman who asked for my license, registration and USDOT number. He also asked why the USDOT number wasn’t displayed and which of the car shipping companies I worked for.
I handed over my license and registration and laughed, explaining that I did my own car shipping so as to avoid car shipping rates from car shipping companies. Unfortunately, he didn’t share my same amusement from my thrifty ingenuity and asked me to stay in the cab while he went back to his car.
To make a long story short, I soon found out that there are federal and state rules which regulate the car shipping industry. Because I was considered to be operating a commercial vehicle and hauling cargo, I was informed that I was in some trouble.
Car Shipping Regulations
After pleading my case, I was let off with a hefty fine and had my cars impounded, a harsh lesson, but better than going to jail, I suppose. The only way I avoided that was by promising that I’d look into car shipping laws and start using car shipping companies next time. I promptly did so.
What I found out was that if you’re operating a truck for private purposes, regardless of trailer attachment or not, there are still regulations you must follow. But since I was operating it for business purposes, there were a whole slew of things I was doing wrong.
Most importantly, you need to have a USDOT number printed on the cab of each car shipping carrier. This ensures that the car shipping carrier is working for legitimate car shipping companies and is not price gouging or undercutting current standard car shipping rates. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration puts it this way:
“Companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA…The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections.”
Then I saw how much a USDOT number cost. Well, that was enough for me to finally bite the bullet and go with professional car shipping companies.
To my surprise, when I got the car shipping quotes, it was actually less than I was spending hauling the cars myself; and that’s not including the fines and costs!
Content syndicated on behalf of National Transport LLC with their express permission. All Rights Reserved 2012.
Finding What I Found Out The Hard Way
So, if you want to avoid all the headache and hassle I encountered, do yourself a favor and click here right now. This is THE best car shipping company I found. Not only are the prices the best, but the quality of service and speed of delivery is better than I could have ever done myself!