Are you wanting to be a business owner and get into the trucking industry and start-up a car hauling business or auto transport? Well, the transportation business is a great place to be but as with anything there is a learning curve and a bunch of hoops to jump through with the FMCSA and DOT with IFTA and other requirements. Stick with us and we will be exploring the process and requirements to get set up as an operating car hauler.
There are some more requirements than just a business license. Let’s talk about your operating authority or DOT number. If you have any other experience in the trucking industry such as being an owner operator, you might be happy to know that getting your authority to start hauling cars is the same as getting your standard “for hire” authority in other areas of the industry for a commercial vehicle. The main difference in this type of trucking business is the setup process is defining the type of work you will be doing. This is done by selecting “auto hauler” in your commodity type so that you will be correctly identified in the professional hauling services.
Being a specialized division within the trucking industry, simply a CDL (commercial driver’s license) and a flatbed trailer will not suffice if you want to be a serious car hauler. You will want to invest in a specialized heavy duty car trailer up front for your automotive hauling company that is made to hold the amount of vehicles that you are needing to haul in a typical load. You will also want to make sure that the pickup trucks (dually) or full size semi trucks you are using for your small business will have the appropriate towing specs to haul the trailer and load it efficiently on an ongoing basis. Talk to dealerships and see what they have that will work best for you. Car dealers are good at finding equipment for you if they do not have the type of truck you are looking for on the lot. If you do not plan appropriately here or try to cut corners you will end up putting too much strain on your truck and breaking down more often, costing you time and money. Find dealers that specialize in heavy duty equipment, or you can even lease trucks.
What kind of insurance policy do you need for an auto transport business? This is different from getting a policy from insurance companies for your own car. Insurance is a major factor to consider in this business. It is obviously important with any load being hauled but when you look at the big picture, cars, especially if you are hauling new cars, end up being a very high value load that will need to be appropriately covered should anything go wrong. Because of this, auto haulers typically need about double the amount of liability insurance and cargo insurance coverage than you would need with other trucking companies.
Any business venture needs a plan to ultimately be successful and grow. Being a car hauler is no different. It is vital that you appropriately look at the industry and what you can expect of your business but also to set goals for your company to meet to maintain growth and keep you in business making money.
Also see: Starting a Trucking Company
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