Car hauling is a very popular and demanding profession in the trucking industry. In this profession, the job responsibilities of a car hauler are to move the automotive vehicles from one location to another. The job responsibility also includes loading each vehicle onto a specialized trailer. Nowadays, the car hauling business is becoming more popular and drivers with years of safe driving are more interested in this business.
If you want to start a car hauling business then you have to go through some processes. You must have a solid auto transport business plan, to begin with. A proper business plan will help you understand the risk of this business. Then you will need a special car carrier trailer. You also have to get insurance quotes for your equipment. Finally, you have to fulfill the legal requirements.
Jump To A Section
- 1 What To Consider Before Starting A Car Hauling Business
- 2 How To Make A Proper Auto Hauling Business Plan
- 3 7 Steps To Start A Car Hauling Business
- 4 Final Thought
What To Consider Before Starting A Car Hauling Business
If you are interested in starting your car hauling business then there are a few things that you should consider. Let’s take a look at them.
It is very important to build authority for a car hauling business. However, getting an authority in the car hauling business is like getting your standard “for-hire” authority. Make sure you have selected auto hauler as your commodity type. Moreover, you have to fulfill all the federal and local/state legal requirements. There are lots of papers works needs to be done.
This is another important part of a car hauling business. The car hauling business is different from other transportation businesses. You will need a car carrier trailer for this business and you have to spend quite a little money on that. Usually, a good condition used dry van would cost you approximately $20,000. On the other hand, a good condition used 7-car hauler trailer would cost you about $27,000. If you are planning on buying a new 7-car hauler trailer then it will cost you in the $70,000 range.
For a car hauling business, the load has high value. So it means you will require more insurance coverage, especially cargo insurance. Cargo insurance is best for carriers and owner-operators to have $1 million in liability insurance and up to $250,000 in cargo insurance. For auto hauler, it will be double – $2 million in liability and at least $500,000 in cargo insurance. The main factor here is the extra cargo insurance because the brokers and shippers want more coverage to have more protection for their valuable load.
How To Make A Proper Auto Hauling Business Plan
To become successful in the auto hauling business you must have a proper business plan. Without a business plan, the chance of you succeeding in the hauling business is very slim. You have to consider every aspect of this business equally to create a successful business plan.
Write Down The Business Plan
You have to write down your business plan. The process is similar to all other trucking companies. You have to apply the same principle for the car hauling business. You must have a valid answer to these questions:
1. Where will you network to find customers?
2. What are your goals?
3. How do you plan to grow?
4. What do you project to be your company’s expenses and profits?
5. How do you plan to build a successful auto hauling company?
These questions will help you create a proper plan for your car hauling business.
Prepare For The Risk
Many people are interested in this business because hauling seven or more cars can be good money. But you have to remember that a bigger paycheck comes with some bigger risks. The first problem is; you might not get paid instantly. So, factoring your auto hauling freight bills can relieve the cash flow headache because; in a car hauling business underpayment is very common. Moreover, it will be an added problem if a car is damaged during the haul or if there is a last-minute change in the number of cars you are contracted to haul. Both of these situations will lead to underpayment. Dax Johnson, Account Executive at Apex Capital says:
“Car hauling by nature is riskier, you need to always pay attention to the weather, the driving conditions, and exactly where you are driving. All those things translate to potential damage on the autos. You always want to know who you are hauling for but pay extra attention in auto hauling because the risks are magnified.”
7 Steps To Start A Car Hauling Business
A car hauling business can bring you so much joy and happiness but you have to remember that with joy and happiness come stress, mistakes, and confusion. So if you are serious about this business then you should consider the below steps when starting a car hauling business.
Step 1 – Get Your CDL
You must have CDL A license to start a car hauling business. So before you jump into starting your own business you must have your CDL license. If you don’t have a CDL then you have to go through a more expensive experience to get insured. You must have some experience working with the trucks before you can consider opening your car hauling business. However, if you have a valid CDL A license and experience in trucking then you are completely ready to move on to the next step.
Step 2 – Pick The Right Equipment
This step is all about the equipment. You have to figure out what type of trailer you need and its price and your budget. In this step, you have to find a balance between the equipment, price, and budget. Many experts say it is wiser to pick your trailer based on the route that you plan to run. If you are planning for a long-distance route then a larger carrier is the better choice. You can opt for a 3/4 car setup. If you don’t have any problem with budgets then you can opt for a 7-10 car set up. It’s true that with high price tags come higher-earning possibilities.
Step 3 – Get The Insurance Quotes
Once you have decided on the type of equipment you will have for your company, it’s time for you to get the insurance quotes for your truck/trailer combination. The time of your CDL license and driving experience will play a big role in getting insured or not.
Once you have gotten the approval for your truck/trailer setup as well as managed the insurance, you’ll need to prepare your legal ducks in a row and that includes:
1. Incorporating your business
2. Getting your authority (MC + DOT numbers)
3. Getting your IFTA
4. File your UCR registration
5. Designate BOC 3 Process agents
6. Fulfill any other local/state requirements
Moreover, you will need a business account and legal documents for your business like Bill of Lading, etc. This step is also very important and it can make or break your business. So give more importance to this step.
Step 5 – Buy The Equipment
In this step, you have to buy your equipment. This is a big part of your business because here you have to do a big purchase. Within 30 days of filing your application for your operating authority, you have to buy your truck and insure it. If you aren’t able to do that and if the DOT decides to audit you then you will be shut down. So make your purchase within 30 days of your application.
Step 6 – Sign Up For The Load Board
Once the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) approved your authority it’s time for you to head to CentralDispatch.com and sign up for access. You have to pay a monthly fee but it’s worth paying because Central dispatch is a load board used by brokers, carriers, and dealers. This is a good place to find and book your loads.
Step 7 – Start Making Money
This is the final part of your journey. It’s time for you to find loads and get a feel for the load board. Make sure you run legal no matter what is your business position. You will find the car hauling business very entertaining once you get along with this business.
Finally, it’s very important to make the right decision at the right time and complete the orders in the right time frame. Trust me; you don’t want to make a silly mistake that might cost you money or reputation or worst, your business!
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.