When you ship a car you have two choices – transport it on an open trailer or an enclosed trailer. There are pros and cons of open vs enclosed car shipping, but the obvious difference is an enclosed trailer provides maximum protection of your car during shipping Unfortunately, enclosed transportation isn’t cheap. Is the use of car covers on an open trailer an option? Read the full blog post for the answer!
If you’ve worked with an auto transport broker in the past, or are working with one now, you might have heard them reference “the board” or “Central Dispatch.” You might be wondering what the heck they’re talking about.
In this blog post I’m going to take you behind the scenes of the auto transport industry and show you what Central Dispatch is all about and how auto brokers use it to transport vehicles around the country.
We have worked extremely hard to build a reputation of being an honest and transparent auto transport company. The fact that we’ve been in business for 20+ years and have many glowing reviews online demonstrates we have achieved that goal. However, as hard as we try to please every customer we work with, sometimes we fall short. We explain the difficulties of maintaining a “perfect” automated quoting system and how we handle inaccurate quotes it generates sometimes.
We’re all busy these days so coordinating your schedule so you can be at the pick up or delivery location to meet a driver can be a real headache! One of the first questions we get asked by our customers is if they can specify a pick up or delivery date. When we tell them no, the next question they ask is, do they have to be there when their vehicle is picked up or delivered? Some auto shipping companies are perfectly fine with their customers not being present when their vehicles are picked up or when they are delivered. Unfortunately, we are not one of them because there is too much risk and liability with unattended pick ups and deliveries.
Over the 20+ years we’ve been in business, we’ve built a reputation as being a reliable car carrier but what a lot of people don’t realize is that we’re also a licensed auto transport broker. My goal with this blog post is to give you a better understanding of brokers vs. carriers, why we sometimes have to broker transports, and why you shouldn’t be wary of auto transport brokers.
Whether you work with an auto transport broker or a carrier, you’ll want to be sure they are properly licensed. The best way to verify a broker’s or carrier’s license is to ask them for their USDOT and Docket numbers. Then you can look them up on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website and review their profile to ensure they are properly licensed. J&S Transportation’s USDOT and Docket Numbers Our USDOT and Docket numbers, along with our official legal name, are provided here: Legal Name: J & S Transportation, LLC USDOT Number: 911585 Docket Number: MC00394293 Once you have the information above, you can look the company up on the FMCSA website. When you go to their website, you’ll see a search screen like this: You’ll notice in the screenshot above, our Docket Number is entered. After you enter the Docket number (or the USDOT number) and click on the “Search” button, you’ll see a screen similar to this: If you click on the HTML button, you’ll be taken to the company’s profile where you can verify they have an active license and insurance: We Verify USDOT and Docket Numbers for You (and So Much More) We are both a broker and a carrier. We always strive to ship your vehicle on our own trucks but if that’s not possible we have to put our broker hat on to get your transport completed. When that happens, we turn to our partner carriers first. These are carriers in our… Read more »
We get this question asked a lot, so we thought we’d write a brief blog post about it. Generally speaking, there aren’t contracts involved when you’re shipping a car. A contract is “implied” when you submit an official order with a broker or carrier. What constitutes an “official order” will vary from company to company so you’ll want to ask before you proceed. With us, the process starts by getting an instant quote on our website, or by calling us at (800) 656-7638. When you get your instant quote, you’ll also be given an estimated pick up date and delivery date. If everything looks good, then you can proceed to book an order. At the time of booking, we require a 10% deposit paid by a credit or debit card. As soon as you pay the deposit, your order becomes “official” and you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions. At this point a contract is implied. If you’re wondering how the rest of the transport is paid, we automatically charge your card the remaining amount due when we pick up your vehicle. You don’t have to mess around carrying wads of cash or haggling with a driver over money upon delivery. Your transport order will already be paid in full when your vehicle is delivered so it’s a smooth and painless process! While there isn’t an official contract involved, there is a document that you will sign called the Vehicle Condition Report. When your vehicle is picked up, you… Read more »
Can you choose a specific delivery date when you place an auto transport order with us? Well if you’ve read my other article about choosing a specific pick up date, then you probably know where I’m going here with my answer. You guessed it, the short answer is NO, but let me explain why… Drivers Have Set Schedules Drivers have routes and schedules they have to adhere to. If you need a car transported from Sacramento, CA to Bozeman, MT and we have a driver on that route, the pick up and delivery dates will ultimately be determined by the driver’s schedule. He may be in Sacramento on Monday and in Bozeman on Thursday. In this scenario, your vehicle would be picked up on Monday in Sacramento and delivered in Bozeman on Thursday. Now you might ask, “What if I would rather have it delivered in Bozeman on Saturday? Would that be possible?” Unfortunately, no, because a driver isn’t going to sit around and wait in Bozeman for a couple extra days, nor is he going to rearrange the remainder of his schedule just so he can deliver one vehicle on a specific date. He has a schedule he has to adhere to and in this business, time is money. He literally can’t afford to wait around or completely rearrange his schedule just for one vehicle. Unforeseen Delays Affect Deliveries The other reason it’s impossible to choose a specific delivery date for your auto transport order is because there can… Read more »
A common question we get from customers is if they can choose a specific pick up date for their auto transport. The short answer is “sort of.” You’ll understand that answer by the time you finish reading this article! You’ll notice when you get an instant quote on our website, we provide a pick up forecast. This is an estimate of when we will get your vehicle picked up. We don’t provide a specific pick up date because it’s impossible for us to meet specific pick up dates in most cases. Instead, what we ask for is the earliest date your vehicle can be picked up. Then we provide a range of days from the earliest available pick up date that we estimate we will have a driver at your pick up location. We call this estimate a forecast. Why do we only provide an estimated, or forecast, range of days instead of a specific date? We are both a car carrier and a broker. Whether we pick up your vehicle on our own truck (acting as a carrier), or on another carrier’s truck (acting as a broker), we don’t know the precise date the driver will be able to get to your pick up location when your auto transport order is placed. Pick Up Dates Explained When We Are a Carrier You might think as a carrier with our own fleet of trucks we would be able to direct our drivers to specific pick up locations on specific dates,… Read more »
As an auto transport company, we do a lot of transports for people that are moving to a new home in another state. In some situations, our customers are moving out of their old home before the new home is ready for them to move into. They often need temporary storage for their furniture and vehicles. That’s where self-storage can help! Self-storage provides secure and relatively inexpensive spaces for your cars and other items, and as the industry has grown so much in recent years you will likely find a facility near you. Here are some key facts you need to know about storing vehicles away from home, either temporarily when you transport them or longer term: Self-Storage Units Come in Various Sizes Self-storage units are available for vehicles of all sizes, making transporting yours even easier by providing a safe place for them at either end of the journey, if you need it. Common storage unit dimensions include 5’x5′ and 5’x10′, for bicycles or motorbikes, and 10’x20′ garage-sized units for a single car. Then there are the larger spaces — with ceilings higher than the usual 8′ — which may measure 15’x45′ or more and can hold RVs and trailers. Some of these units come with climate-control for easily damaged possessions — useful for storing gems like a 1959 Chevy Corvette convertible — and are particularly recommended where the local climate is extreme. In addition, vehicles may simply be parked on outdoor lots of various sizes at storage facilities…. Read more »