How to Find the Best Trucking Companies Near Me
So you need to find reliable trucking companies. What do you do?
Most people would turn to old faithful Google, type in “trucking companies near me,” press enter and start looking through the results. But do you know what to look for and what you need to pay attention to and get your money’s worth?
If you need to transport goods from one point to another, the trucking company you choose needs to offer more than the best rates. You also need a partner that you can trust. Whether it’s local, regional, or national trucking companies is beside the point. If they meet your requirements, then you should give them a call and see if they can help you.
Here’s a quick guide on how to find the best trucking companies near you.
What Makes a Good Trucking Company?
First thing’s first: it’s worth your time to understand what it takes to be a good trucking company. We’re talking about things that go well beyond classic advertising tropes that always present these companies as being “the greatest.” So, what lies beneath the marketing?
Look for these signs:
When looking for a trucking company, start by looking for information about their reputation. There are several different ways through which you can get a sense of how professional these companies are, and you should look at several different aspects.
Websites like Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List offer insightful details on most local and national trucking companies as well as customer reviews. Make sure also to take advantage of the social media craze and look up these companies.
Platforms like Facebook have integrated review tabs for pages, and you can see what other people have experienced with a particular company. Sure, you need to take these reviews with a grain of salt, because they only portray one side of a story. But if a company has mostly bad reviews, it’s better to steer away from it.
The Trucking Fleet
The best trucking companies don’t offer trucks made in the previous century. While older trucks don’t necessarily mean bad service, it’s still better to look for companies willing to invest in state of the art (or at least newer) equipment. Think about it, you need to make sure your belongings are safe during transport, and the reality is that older trucks don’t hold up well in that department. Even if all the technical check-ups are to date, trucks can degrade over time.
Then, there are the people who perform the service you are buying: the drivers. As a client looking to hire someone for their service, you want to know more about the person’s qualifications. If you need to have surgery, you’ll ask about the doctor’s previous experience with cases similar to yours. So it only makes sense to apply the same principle here as well.
You want a company that hires people with experience and expertise, not to mention responsible drivers that can handle transporting your stuff, with a history of not failing inspections and no DUIs.
Saying that you need a “trucking company near me” isn’t saying very much. Companies offer a variety of different types of services, so you should choose one that can give you what you need. If you have a lot of things to transport, you’ll want a company that can transport a full load, so a large trucking fleet is a must.
Professionalism and Transparency
A company worth hiring is a trucking company that’s professional and transparent. The company representative should be willing to answer all your questions about the services you wish to pay for and provide the information you request. Evasive answers have no place in this scenario because that’s not how you make an informed decision.
Licenses and Insurance
Trucking companies must have the proper documentation to function, but it’s still worth your time to check if for yourself. Do they have the right licensing and insurance? Is your cargo safe in their hands? That is critical information you must have before hiring any team to make sure you don’t bump into a lot of troubles later on.
If you’re not sure what the proper licensing for trucking companies is, don’t worry. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or your state’s transportation department has that information, so you can check to see. Furthermore, in some cases, you can even access safety records through these institutions and see what the company’s driving records are.
How to Choose a Good Trucking Company
The tips presented so far can help you go through the massive list of available national and local trucking companies, but now’s the time to see what the steps are to get to the finish line and hire someone to transport your cargo.
Here’s what you can do:
While going through the list of possible options, single out the ones that look best on paper. Then comes the fun part: start comparing the companies’ rates, years of experience, service areas, types of services, reviews, and other factors important in helping you make a decision.
It’s one of the best ways you can make sure you’ll find a good company to hire.
Ask for an Estimate
Even if the company has its rates posted on its website, ask for an estimate. They’ll take into account everything there is about the transport, including how many people are required for the move, the size of the truck, and other criteria. While these estimates may not be the final cost of the transport, you can still use these numbers to compare them with other firms and see which one offers the best price.
Ask for Referrals
As we said, a trucking company’s reputation is essential, so don’t be afraid to ask the company for some references, particularly if you couldn’t find any on your own. Most of the time that’s not a problem, because what company doesn’t want to let previous clients talk about how great their services are? If they hesitate or downright refuse, that’s a very big red flag, and you should look somewhere else.
Negotiate the Price
In some cases, it’s possible to get the initial price of transport down. After all, in today’s market nobody can afford to lose a client, so a lot of companies are willing to bring down the price a bit if it means gaining a new project.
However, some might not. You can use other estimates as a negotiation tool, and tell the company other firms offer a lower rate than them (while still stressing you’d instead not choose those companies), but if they aren’t willing to cut down the prices, there’s not a lot you can do.
Local or National Trucking Company?
Lastly, it’s the question of whether you’re better off choosing big, national trucking companies, or is a small, local one the right one for you?
And the answer is: it depends.
There are pros and cons on either side, but in the end, it greatly depends on what you need. On one hand, national companies cover a wider area of transport, so if you’re making a move between states or even overseas, it’s possible that national trucking companies are your only option.
On the other, local trucking companies operate at a lower rate, so if you don’t need to cover a lot of ground, it’ll be a lot cheaper to hire a local one, regardless of how big your cargo is.
The Best Trucking Companies
So these are the basics of choosing a great trucking company for your needs. Remember to be patient, and be very critical about the team you’re looking to hire. Ask questions, get estimates, and see how you get along with them. Are they the right ones for the job?
We invite you to hold the same critical eye even if you’re considering to hire us for the job. A-1 Auto Transport will pass all tests with flying colors since we’ve been around for decades and know what it takes to get the job done successfully.
Here’s what we offer:
- Domestic and international shipping;
- Decades of experience;
- A highly qualified and trained staff;
- Competitive prices that won’t take an arm and a leg;
- No hidden costs or confusing contract terms
We have offices in major cities and metro areas across the U.S. and even overseas, and choosing us won’t cost you an arm and a leg. We like to make connections that matter, so call us now and we will make you an estimate you’ll love to hear!
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.