Car transporting trucks

What trucks for car transport do shipping companies use

When requesting a quote for car shipping, you will be choosing between two main options - open-air carrier and enclosed trailer. However, this is not the only classification of trucks to transport cars. There are many varieties of car transport trucks, depending on the number of cars they can accommodate, their models, conditions, safety level, etc.

In order to choose the option which suits you best, you need to know the pros and cons of every type of car transporting trucks. We have prepared the information below, to keep you aware of all the nuances.

Open trucks for car transport

Open carriers are the most popular type of trucks that transport cars. You've probably seen them on the roads, they are single-tier or two-tier car transporter trucks, which are most often used to transport new cars from factories. Nevertheless, this type of trucks transporting cars is also used when shipping cars from one state to another.    

Open carriers are able to accommodate a maximum number of vehicles, 6-8 cars, sometimes even up to 10 items. Thanks to this the cost of transportation decreases. The main trait which joins all the open car transporting trucks is that they have no cover. Therefore, the vehicle is disclosed to road debris and other natural elements. So in comparison with enclosed carriers, open ones provide less protection to the cargo. However, this doesn’t mean that shipping a vehicle on open car transporter trucks is unsafe. All the items are carefully secured on the carrier. Don’t forget that about 90-95% of people who need to move vehicles across the US, choose open trucks to transport cars, thanks to the cost-efficiency of this method.

Enclosed car transport trucks

This is the safest type of trucks transporting cars. Enclosed carriers shield the cargo from all the sides, so no unintended damage can be caused to it. The truck resembles a sealed container, inside which the vehicle is properly secured. 

This type of trucks for car transport is usually equipped with hydraulic gates and a safe loading/unloading system. As you can guess, all these additional safety measures increase the cost of transporting a vehicle on an enclosed carrier. Therefore, this option is chosen only by people who need to move their antique or luxury car and ensure total protection to it. 

Deeper classification of trucks to transport cars

Types Of Trucks Used In Auto TransportationOpen and enclosed carriers can be of different variations. Let’s see how they are classified further.

Single-vehicle car transporting trucks or hotshots

This is a gooseneck carrier which can transport only one vehicle. Such trailers are usually used for shipping cars for short distances. They are very compact and can navigate narrow streets with no problems. 

Tow trucks

If you think that this is the same as a hotshot, you are mistaken. Tow trucks have a hydraulic bed and this is their main difference from single-vehicle carriers, which have a trailer.

One-level multi-car carriers

These are trucks that transport cars in one file and can accommodate up to six items for open carriers and usually 3 cars for enclosed carriers. 

Multi-level multi-car carriers

These are trucks that transport cars on several levels. Multi-level multi-car carriers are the most popular option for shipping cars on open-air trailers. However, there are enclosed car transporter trucks with adjustable ramps, which also accommodate vehicles on two levels. As a rule, they can ship no more than 8 items.  

Hard-sided and soft-sided enclosed car transport trucks 

Enclosed carriers can be either soft or hard-sided. Soft-sided trailers have vinyl curtains which can be lifted during the loading in order to provide more space for the staff to secure the vehicle easier with straps. The same is during the unloading. 

As for the hard-sided enclosed trailers, they have solid walls and roof, which are immovable. This option of enclosed transport is more popular thanks to total protection.

To sum up, you can choose whatever type of shipping transport you like, just take into account your budget and the level of protection you prefer.

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