When planning to transport an SUV, truck, or car, you likely haven’t considered the different trailer types or truck choices available for shipment. In San Francisco and most states, car shipping runs quietly without much notice until you need the service.
The reputable, trustworthy San Francisco car transport services are prepared for those needs and will help select only the most suitable transport. Many vehicle owners are unaware of the many different trailers shipping companies use for shipping vehicles.
Typically, customers are familiar with the open trailer and the enclosed transport. The open trailer has more exposure to the elements, while the enclosed transport is fully closed and protected from the outside. In either situation, a “big rig” will pull the trailer.
Let’s look at some of those different from what you’re used to hearing about, the ones behind the scenes.
What Transport Trailers and Trucks Work Behind the Scenes
When you have your car, SUV, or truck transported, you’re often given a choice between an enclosed or open carrier, but you might not be aware that there are variations of these trailers behind the scenes. Learn the different transport types
The open trailers are so named because they are exposed to the elements. Vehicles are less protected from road debris, birds or pests, and weather conditions.
The enclosed transport fully closes the cars into a secure trailer without exposure. Let’s look at open and enclosed trailers to see how these break down into subcategories.
Most open carriers seen on the interstates will be multi-level with multiple vehicles on the trailer. These are the most common open trailers throughout the auto transport industry. It’s likely if you choose an open trailer, this will be the transport mode for your vehicle, and it will be pulled using a semi-truck.
Trailers are available for hauling between “two and six vehicles or RV considered smaller in size.”
These have a single level, with some large enough to use a semi-truck for pulling while others can be pulled using a truck with “dual rear wheels on either side,” referenced as a “dually.” The trailers that dually pull are either “bumper-pull or gooseneck” carriers.
Hotshot carrier, single-vehicle
This open trailer involves a gooseneck carrier with a dually truck only large enough for a single vehicle, and often these are used for short-distance transport. Sometimes, when the client needs express or expedited shipping, this mode will be used for a more extended trip.
These shouldn’t be confused in the same vein as a tow truck. The flatbed varieties are used in the same roles as these carriers to haul single cars for brief deliveries, but a tow truck can’t pull a trailer; the bed is hydraulic.
Particularly valuable vehicles being transported brief distances will often use this specialized shipping method, which includes either a bumper-pool or gooseneck carrier with a dually pickup.
An enclosed, single-level multiple vehicle
Some enclosed carriers will carry roughly three vehicles with a semi pulling the carrier. These cars or trucks will be transported positioned in single file and up high from the roadbed.
The multiple-vehicle, multi-level
This enclosed carrier sits nearer to the roadbed and is much taller since it accommodates more than one row, two stacked, holding roughly eight vehicles at most. A powerful semi-truck must pull the trailer, and the vehicles are loaded/unloaded using deck ramps.
The different variations of enclosed trailers are either hard-sided or they will come soft-sided, which is referenced as “curtain-sided.”
This means the sides comprise a vinyl (PVC-coated) flexible side “curtain” instead of rigid walls. This allows simpler loading/unloading since there is more flexibility to strap or unstrap with the curtains in place. However, the hard sides are seen more often. Click for ways to transport a vehicle.
Check out our article regarding tips for choosing car insurance and make sure that if anything happens to your car during shipping get compensated.
While there is a vast range of carriers to transport vehicles on the roadways, there are other means for shipping a car, truck, or SUV. When going across the country, you can also consider using a plane, boat, or train if you prefer. Most people won’t use air freight primarily because it’s considerably expensive.
Usually, the manufacturing industry uses the rail system for transporting vehicles instead of private vehicle owners, and the choice of boat transport is often reserved primarily for transporting autos internationally. While rail and boat are less costly than flying, they are also of a greater expense than road travel.
The way to decide which mode you need for your auto is to consider the level of safety and security it requires. The open trailer offers legitimate protection despite the limited exposure. If you have a genuinely valuable vehicle, it’s worth the added premium for the enclosed carrier.