Millions of vehicles are safely transported every year on transport trucks. The majority are on "Open” trucks—the kind you see on highways carrying 3-10 cars in what looks like a big steel cage. Not all vehicles can or should be transported on this type of truck, though.
When an enclosed transport is recommended:
Vehicle value over $80,000
Ground clearance under 5”
Custom paint jobs or antique cars
Severe weather on route
Any one (or more) would warrant an Enclosed truck.
Most “Enclosed” transport trucks look like any other semi-truck, with rigid sides. Inside, there are 2 layers of compartments vehicles are lifted into by a hydraulic system, like an elevator. Others hold 1-2 cars in a single layer. They have different ramp systems and are designed to accommodate special vehicles and to keep weather and debris out.
As shipping professionals, we know the risk for damage is too high to ship certain vehicles Open. Reputable transport companies like Team Alex will sometimes refuse a vehicle in an Open transport that requires an Enclosed because it is reckless and irresponsible.
We recommend Enclosed carriers for any vehicle valued more than around $80,000. The only exception might be very short trips.
The value of the vehicle exceeds a proportionate amount of the insurance capacity. The average 9-car open hauler carries $250K - $300K in insurance—a vehicle valued at $100,000 takes up 33-40% of the coverage, depending on their level of insurance.
Ground Clearance Under 5”
Low clearance vehicles risk significant damage when loading or unloading on a standard Open transport.
A typical Open transport has ramps that are simply too steep to load low-clearing vehicles without damaging the bumper, the undercarriage or both.
Convertible take quite a beating when traveling down the interstate, especially with debris. A rock or twig can easily damage a “rag-top,” so it highly recommended they go Enclosed on all but very short transports.
Custom Paint or Antique Vehicles
Any vehicle with a unique, custom or specialty paint job should ride Enclosed. Special paint jobs cannot be touched up by just any vehicle painter. The same for antique or one-of-a-kind vehicles—they should also travel Enclosed for similar reasons.
Severe snow, rain or other hazardous weather conditions can seriously damage vehicles. An Open transport driving through hail risks damaging an entire truckload of vehicles.
Heavy snow may temporarily ground Open transports; many states have laws that prevent trucks from operating with snow on top. If known severe weather might risk damaging a vehicle or delaying it being delivered on an Open carrier, a better choice might be an Enclosed carrier.
Severe weather can delay pick-ups or deliveries of vehicle transports because smart carriers don't want to take risks when it comes to their precious cargo.
Team Alex - Keeping You Informed