Car haulers transport vehicles to various locations throughout the country. Car haulers operate different equipment depending on customer requirements. Car haulers can operate a standard semi-truck or may use a pickup truck to haul loads. Car haulers may own their own equipment, which can be leased to an auto carrier company, or use equipment provided by their employer.
10-Car Open Carrier
This is the most common type of carrier for transporting automobiles and offers the most job opportunities for car haulers. Car haulers use a semi-truck attached to a dual-level, 10-car carrier to move vehicles to their destination. Many times, the cars are from different customers and final delivery will include more than one destination that are often residential areas where unloading may be difficult. Car haulers load and unload the vehicles and protect them from damage or inclement weather during the transport.
Some customers or private owners may only want to ship three or four vehicles to a specific destination. These loads are typically hauled by “hot shot” drivers who specialize in smaller loads known as “less than truckloads,” or LTLs. LTLs are defined as shipments weighing less than 10,000 lbs. Most hot shot transporters are heavy-duty pickup trucks or dually trucks that can carry heavier loads. Hot shot drivers typically work with a broker to obtain loads and find deliveries to return to their homes.
Enclosed Car Hauler
Drivers operating enclosed car haulers are employed by individuals and businesses interested in providing the most protection for their vehicles. Drivers may be transporting classic or antique cars that are expensive and need to arrive in pristine condition, and some race car companies use enclosed car haulers to transport their race cars to events. Generally, loads on enclosed car haulers cost more to the customer than the open carrier or hot shot loads. Enclosed car hauler drivers can haul one or two cars.
Drivers who haul flatbed carriers typically haul trucks or recreational vehicles that can’t fit onto an open car hauler or inside an enclosed trailer. Flatbeds can be pulled by a semi- or pickup truck depending on the amount of weight hauled. Flatbed carriers have to strap down their loads and load and unload the carrier. Most flatbed loads contain a single vehicle, but some customers may include other cargo on the load because of the high price of using a flatbed carrier.