Car Hauling: Should You Have Your Car Transported Via The Top Or Bottom Tray?

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Car Hauling: Should You Have Your Car Transported Via The Top Or Bottom Tray?

Car Hauling: Should You Have Your Car Transported Via The Top Or Bottom Tray?

When shipping cars, you are looking for the safest and most reliable shipping method. Auto shipping companies like A1 Auto Transport offer car hauling services in stacked trailers. Many decisions are made when doing interstate shipping using open air transport, including whether you should ship your car on the top or bottom tray.

A car carrier trailer is used to haul many automobiles at the same time. This is the best and most economical way of long distance moving. Some shipping companies offer auto transport via car haulers that have stacking options. This means that the cars may be placed on the top tray or the bottom tray. The new models of these car carrier trailers can ferry up to 12 vehicles.

The design of the rigs provides for 8 vehicles to be placed on the top tray and 4 vehicles to be placed on the bottom tray. These ramps are operated using hydraulic systems and by tilting them, the spacing between one vehicle and the one under it can be maximized.

It is extremely rare for a vehicle to fall off from the trays. This is because the cars are safely and securely strapped to the trailer in four locations. This is through the tie-down holes that most vehicles are manufactured with. Some auto transport companies mount the chain to the trailer from the vehicle at specific angles. When handling luxury cars, less intrusive methods of mounting are used. The high-strength straps are passed over each tire and tightened to the trailer. This avoids damages to the vehicle chassis such as scratches and dents.


A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.


Car Hauling: Should you have your car transported via the top or bottom tray?

Top tray

Shipping a car on the top tray is advantageous because the car will not be exposed to any leaking of oils from other vehicles.

Cars on these trays are however, exposed to harsh weather elements.

Bottom tray

Cars on the bottom tray are less exposed to perils such as being hit by tree branches or debris.

However, they are more exposed to oil leaks that may damage their body.

The decision to ship your car on the top or bottom tray will be based on the perils you would like to avoid, especially during long distance moves. You can also get informed on how car hauling on car trailers works so as to determine if this will be suitable for your car. It is advisable not to ship luxury cars on the bottom tray of trucks because this exposes them to the risk of oil leaks. Also, while some long distance movers charge an extra fee so as to give you a top rack placement guarantee, consider if this cost will benefit you. Should you opt not to risk shipping your car in either the top or bottom tray, you may consider the more costly option of closed transportation or open auto transport shipping that has the non-stacking option.

Joe Webster

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.

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