Top load only refers to transport goods that cannot be stored underneath any items during transit. Transport companies might designate goods as a top load only if they are fragile or contain a shape that's not conducive to sitting below other items.
Top-load only consignment indeed presents a challenge for transport companies. The challenge is that the transport company must find cargo that's suitable to place below the top load only items. It's essential that a transport company designates cargo as a top load only if it's 100% necessary.
Auto transport companies commonly utilize top load only organizations to safely transport specific types of vehicles.
What Is Top Load Only in the Auto Transport Industry?
Top load placement within an auto transport service refers to the act of having a car secured on the upper deck of the vehicle carrier. It's not uncommon for an auto transport company to sell a top-load placement spot for an extra fee since its elevation will help the vehicle avoid potential damage from road debris. The trucker might also have to re-arrange the trailer to accommodate your vehicle.
If you're going to pay extra money for top load only placement, do your best to ensure that you're getting the service that you pay for. Less reputable companies might charge a customer a fee for top load, only transport and shipping it in standard fashion without the customer's knowledge. If you do your research and thoroughly screen an auto transport company, chances are you'll get what you pay for.
While your car will be shielded from road debris, top load placement won't protect your vehicle from natural elements. Your vehicle will be more susceptible to potential damage from instances like inclement weather. Damage from tree branches is another worry among vehicle owners considering top load shipping. Cars on the bottom rack aren't entirely safe either. Vehicles stored on lower racks of auto transport trailers can have vehicles above them leak or drip things like oil onto them. Older cars are especially prone to fluid leakage.
If you're stuck trying to figure out whether top load or bottom load shipping is right for your vehicle, you might be interested in taking a look at some other vehicle transport services.
How Does Top Load Only Transport Compare to Other Vehicle Shipping Services?
Enclosed auto transport is a vehicle shipping method that offers maximum vehicle protection during travel. People who choose open carrier transport have to worry about leakage if their vehicle is placed on the lower rack of the transport trailer. At the same time, top load placement can make the car more prone to damage from outdoor elements like tree branches. Enclosed auto transport protects your car from potentially harmful outdoor elements and even leakage.
Your car is completely covered during transit leads to thorough protection when incidents like bad weather hit during the travel route. While many enclosed auto transport trailers feature an upper and lower level like open-carrier trailers—the cars within enclosed trailers tend to be in better condition since the service is more expensive. A car that's in better shape is less prone to instances like fluid leakage.
If you're seeking a superior level of protection within the enclosed auto transport realm that offers expedited service, consider looking into a single car carrier service. Utilizing a single car carrier service will involve your car being loaded into a single enclosed trailer containing any other vehicles. Car owners that select a single car carrier service are often shipping high-value vehicles like modern exotic cars or classics. The limited demand for a single car carrier service means that you'll have to book ahead to avoid the service's risk of not being available.
Our car transportation page features a breakdown of all the services we offer. Reading up on these different services and consulting with us can help point you toward a vehicle transport option that's right for you.
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.