The auto transport industry is thriving, as every day, thousands upon thousands of people need their vehicles transported domestically. This doesn't even the count the number of dealerships that are in need of auto transport services. While auto transport brokers are the ones that arrange everything, the auto transport carriers are the ones who do the actual driving.
Auto transport drivers have plenty of work opportunities, but if someone is looking to become one and either work for an auto transport carrier or run their own operation as an owner-operator, they have to be aware of a few different things.
Meet the Requirements
There are a variety of requirements present in order to become a licensed auto transport driver. You will need:
- A commercial driver's license (CDL);
- Obtaining a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) number;
- Being registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and obtaining a Motor Carrier (MC) number;
- Proof of insurance;
- General liability coverage.
You can visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website at //www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration for all of the necessary information and forms.
Finding a Job
Obtaining all of the necessary licenses and certifications is the hard part. Now comes finding a job. Assuming that you have the right truck and equipment, which you can either buy or lease, you will need to find consistent work.
There are two main routes that you can take, no pun intended. If you want to transport individual vehicles, as opposed to multiple vehicles, you can start by contacting car dealerships. Many of them are in constant need of assistance and will hire you, at least part-time. The problem with these jobs are that they don't provide frequent work and the pay rates are not the best. However, they are a great way to gain experience and references.
The second route is to get a full-time position in which you transport multiple vehicles at once. This will offer not only more in the way of financial compensation, but you'll be able to work much more consistently. In this case, you should get in contact with local auto transport carriers, or you can even contact auto transport brokers. Doing a simple Google search will help you out with this. Just make sure to have all of the proper certifications ready.
While most auto transport companies will require a bit of experience in order to hire you, some will also offer training programs for a fee. Visit the Better Business Bureau's website at www.bbb.org to make sure that they're legitimate before you commit to anything.
The way in which your pay will be determined depends on the agreement that you reach with the client or company. Sometimes you will be paid per mile, especially if you work with auto transport companies. In other instances, you will be paid a flat fee, which is common if you're only transporting one vehicle.
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.