There are several types of trailers that transport companies use to deliver vehicles across the country. While they may seem similar on the surface, each has unique traits that impact the delivery experience Auto Transport Trailers. This article explores the main auto transport trailer types and highlights what sets them apart to help customers choose the right service for their needs.
Open car haulers
Open car haulers, sometimes called flatbeds, are one of the most basic trailer designs. As the name suggests, the cargo area is completely exposed with no cover. Vehicles are secured to the trailer surface using straps or tie-downs that hook directly to their frame.
Key aspects of open car haulers:
- Least expensive transport option
- Vehicles are exposed to weather elements like rain, snow, etc.
- Drivers have easy accessibility to vehicles for inspections
- Can haul a mix of cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, etc.
- Loading/unloading is quick since no enclosures
Enclosed car haulers
Enclosed car haulers feature a roof and enclosed sides to shield vehicles from external conditions. They provide a higher level of protection compared to open flatbeds.
|Fully enclosed space with doors on each side
|Hauler has vents to circulate air inside enclosure
|Vehicles are strapped to floor tracks inside enclosure
|Can haul 4-8 vehicles depending on size
While enclosed car haulers provide better protection, their enclosed design can make loading/unloading slightly slower versus open flatbeds. However, for transporting high-value or classic vehicles, enclosed haulers are usually preferable to completely avoid weather exposure.
Temperature-controlled car haulers
For the highest level of protection, some transport companies offer temperature-controlled enclosed car haulers. These trailers have advanced climate control systems that allow setting and maintaining an interior temperature.
Key characteristics of temperature-controlled car haulers:
- Can heat or cool the cargo area
- Ideal for transporting sensitive items like vintage cars
- Maintains consistent 72°F temperature during transit
- Temperature/humidity sensors with digital monitoring
- Slightly higher cost than standard enclosed haulers
While their climate control systems make them the premier auto transport option, temperature-controlled haulers also tend to have a decreased cargo capacity potential versus standard enclosed designs. However, for transporting vehicles that require tightly regulated environments, they provide unmatched protection.
Auto Transport Trailers – Car carrier trucks
Unlike trailers that are towed by trucks, car carrier trucks are self-propelled vehicles specifically built for transporting automobiles. The cargo area consists of a multi-tier framework equipped with ramps to drive vehicles into place.
Noteworthy characteristics of car carrier trucks:
- Can deliver vehicles door-to-door including residential areas trailer trucks cannot access
- Drivers can load/unload vehicles without additional help compared to trailers
- Typically carry 6-10 vehicles depending on size
- More expensive operating costs versus using trailers
- Route may be limited by vehicle lengths that can be transported
While providing unmatched flexible delivery access, car carrier trucks trade a higher overall transport capacity for greater individual-load convenience. They excel for deliveries involving unique access points but remain more costly to operate than trailer-based transport methods.
Auto Transport Trailers – Parting Words:
Auto transport companies have developed diverse solutions for moving vehicles across long distances, each with advantages depending on the protection needs, budget, and delivery access required. Understanding the nuanced differences between open flatbeds, enclosed haulers, temperature-controlled options, and carrier trucks can help customers choose the transport mechanism best suited to deliver their vehicle safely and without issues. Proper matching of trailer type to the specific transport task enhances the overall experience.