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Safety Measures Followed While Shipping Your Car

What's in this article?
  1. Ideal Safety Measures When Transporting Vehicles
  2. Pre And Post Loading Inspection
  3. Proper Vehicle Immobilization
  4. Sensitive Part Protection
  5. Standard Protocol For Easily Removable Exterior Parts
  6. Securing Interior Accessories
  7. Bonus Safety Measures When Shipping Motorcycles
Safety Measures Followed While Shipping Your Car

It is not unusual for people to be protective of their cars. That feeling gets even more pronounced among those emotionally attached, like first-time owners or someone who inherited a beloved classic from a loved one. It is perfectly normal, therefore, for most vehicle owners to be wary of the idea of shipping their cars.

If you count yourself among them, rest assured knowing there are several reliable auto shipping companies that handle vehicle transportation. These companies also follow strict protocols and processes to ensure your vehicle reaches you safely.

What are the safety measures you should be looking for, though?

Read on to know what to look for if you ever need to hire a car shipping company.

Ideal Safety Measures When Transporting Vehicles

While vehicles have been shipped ever since the first car was invented and sold between the late 1900s and early 1910s, not all service providers are equal. However, after more than a hundred years of experience, we can expect that processes may have drastically improved. Needless to say, here are some must-do safety measures you should look for.

Pre and Post Loading Inspection

The first thing every shipping company does is to thoroughly inspect the vehicles being shipped. And as a vehicle owner, you are encouraged to be present during the inspection.

It is also highly recommended that you do an inspection yourself, especially if you want to ensure the provider does not damage your vehicle in any way. We suggest taking pictures of the car’s interior and exterior to document everything.

Upon service completion, inspect your car again. That way, you can be sure nothing is amiss. If issues arise, you can use the preloading inspection documents as evidence of mishandling. A test drive may be a good idea, too. If the service provider asks for feedback after delivery, you can easily give it.


Proper Vehicle Immobilization

Immobilization is important when shipping vehicles. Safely securing cars for transport prevents them from moving from side to side or forward and backward while in transit. This is especially true for vehicles shipped over rough seas or transported on less-than-perfect roads or during poor weather. Proper immobilization ensures that vehicles are securely held in place, minimizing or even avoiding the chances of your vehicle getting scratched, dented, or damaged in any way during shipping.

Car shipping companies typically use wheel straps or tie-down ratchets to secure cars on trailers and ships properly. Make sure your service provider uses specialized equipment to secure your vehicle. Look for service providers that go the extra mile to secure both the front and back of your vehicle. It is also a best practice to use tie-downs for wheels and chassis.

Sensitive Part Protection

Every car has different sensitive parts and stress points, depending on size, make, and model. Car shipping companies are knowledgeable about protecting these.

Bigger or heavier vehicles like SUVs, for instance, typically require bigger ratchets or thicker wheel straps. The idea is to always use the tie-down method to ensure the equipment can handle the extra tension or pressure a larger car has.

Note that vintage or classic cars tend to be lighter than their modern counterparts since they have thinner metal components. Handling them thus requires special care because they have several parts that are more vulnerable to dents, bends, or damages. As such, they may require specially designed straps.

Standard Protocol for Easily Removable Exterior Parts

Some vehicles have exterior features, like side-view mirrors, that can get easily removed or dislodged. Although shipping companies usually inspect these and fold them before loading, we still advise that car owners do the folding themselves.

Other exterior parts that need extra protection are blind-spot mirrors, antennas, hood ornaments (also known as “car mascots,” “motor mascots,” or “radiator caps”), grille emblems or ornaments, and car roof decors.

Securing Interior Accessories

As mentioned earlier, inspections should cover interiors, too. Owners must ensure no items or accessories that may move about and cause damage during transport are left inside before they surrender their vehicles. Such things include air fresheners, seat covers, pillows, cell phone holders or mounts, bobblehead dolls (also known as “nodders” or “wobblers”), cable clips or organizers, car seat organizers, drink or coffee cup holders, stuffed toys, bag or jacket hooks, stick-on window shades, and rearview mirror danglers.

As a general rule, anything removable should be removed, including personal belongings that risk being lost or stolen. Some providers absolve themselves from liability for these losses, so it’s best to scrutinize the contract thoroughly.


Bonus: Safety Measures When Shipping Motorcycles

Because of their make (compared to cars, that is), motorcycles may require different safety measures. Here’s a checklist you can use.

  • You have four options when shipping a motorcycle.
    • DIY method: Use a large pickup truck, van, or delivery truck or mount your motorcycle to a car (via a super-sturdy top-mounted rack), SUV (top- or rear-mounted), or RV (rear-mounted). Fastening it securely is key here.
    • Freight service providers: Note that they may require your motorcycle to be put inside a wooden or steel crate, which could cost extra.
    • Independent or small-time haulers: Their methods are very similar to how you would transport your motorcycle yourself.
    • Motorcycle shipping companies: They could be car shipping companies that also transport motorcycles or shippers specializing in the field.
  • Check with your insurance provider and explore options to protect your motorcycle in case of accidents.
  • Empty the fuel tank and deflate the tires a bit.
  • Take photos before shipping and document its current state. These photos will come in handy while filing a claim, should your motorcycle get damaged while in transit.
  • For more information, check out this guide to motorcycle shipping.

Are you looking to hire the services of a vehicle shipping company? You may be interested to know the safety precautions we take when transporting every vehicle entrusted to us. Talk to our experts at A-1 Auto Transport today. You can drop us a message or call us on 1-888-230-9116.

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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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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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