Car Hauling Driving Job FAQ’s
Car Hauler FAQ’s
The trucking industry truly offers a variety of career options for skilled drivers with the proper training and endorsements. There has been a nationwide shortage of drivers for several years now, and this is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. That’s why it’s a good idea to explore this career path now, while the job market is ripe.
Car hauling is a type of trucking job that can take you on cross-country, regional routes, and sometimes local routes. There are a range of different types of car transporting jobs. Some drivers work for dealers or manufacturers, while others work for auctions, or classic and exotic car dealers. Others are owner operators who call their own shots and transport cars for whoever they darn well please.
The following info can help you determine if this might be a good career choice in trucking. While we encourage all drivers to follow their calling, it’s never a bad idea to speak with other professionals in the car hauling business before applying for jobs. That’s why we’re here. We have connections with trucking companies and schools that can help you determine if car hauling is a good direction to go.
Your opportunities in trucking will largely be determined by the job climate and types of employers in your area.
If you are ready to start searching for schools or jobs, use our directories to start moving in the right direction.
What are car hauler jobs?
The job of a car hauler is exactly as it sounds – a driver transports vehicles from one destination to another. In a nutshell, your cargo will consist of automobiles, such as consumer cars and trucks. Car haulers are needed any time bulk loads of automobiles are moved from one place to another.
Since most wrecked cars usually wind up getting towed to the junkyard, car haulers will move mostly new and used cars for resale. There are also times when people need antique and exotic cars moved, but don’t want to take the risk of driving them cross-country. If you are looking for a new trucking gig, and also love cars, this might be the right angle to look into.
What are car hauler duties?
We all know that trucking jobs include driving from point A to point B – but what other duties fall within the car hauler job description? First of all, you may have to learn how to inspect the cars before and after you transport them. It also takes a special skillset to load a 7-10 car trailer and make sure everything is secure.
Safety comes first in every type of driving job, and car hauling is no different. This is why companies like to see drivers with about a 2-year track record of CDL driving when looking for applicants.
What are the requirements to become a car hauler?
In most car hauler positions, you need a Class A CDL. Of course, it never hurts to have additional endorsements when you apply for any trucking jobs. Same thing with experience. There are usually companies willing to train new drivers, but many prefer drivers who have at least two years of driving experience. For information about getting car hauler jobs with no experience, contact companies in your area to see if they offer training or hire new drivers.
Insurance companies might be a slight barrier for new drivers in the auto transport industry. “Most insurance companies want drivers to have at least two years of over-the-road experience with a commercial driver’s license before hauling cars” says Bill Schroeder, of the Auto Haulers Association of America.
You’ll need to reach out to companies in your area to learn more about the specific types of auto transport jobs are available, as well as the requirements to get on board.
Company jobs vs. owner operator auto transport jobs
Company jobs for car haulers are probably the best fit for drivers who are just starting out. It is possible to make higher than average pay if you own your own rig and work your tail off. However, for car hauling jobs, owner operators face a considerable expense in buying your own equipment and starting your own business.
As with any kind of trucking, auto transport requires a certain set of skills. Better to be sure you are truly invested in this type of trucking before spending $250,000 on a truck and trailer.
How much do car haulers earn per year?
We typically cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for trucking salary. However, since this is a smaller segment of the trucking industry than the BLS typically measures, we looked around for real-life salary examples of car hauler pay.
When we looked for salaries for auto transport jobs,
we found some that topped $70,000 per year. There are owner-operator positions that can pay $5,000-6,000 per-week, at the time this information was compiled. As of October 13, 2016, Indeed.com had the average car hauler salary at $82,000 per year.
This broad range of reported incomes highlights the need to look around at your local listings and speak with employers and schools to see what your opportunities are when it comes to car hauling salary potential.
According to the website overdriveonline.com, “The Auto Haulers Association of America’s Bill Schroeder says a driver with good experience and skills who has a contract to haul new cars for a car maker likely will make between $75,000 and $110,000 a year.”
Company based car hauler jobs typically offer the same competitive wages and benefits that other trucking jobs offer. If you land a car hauler gig, you should ask about 401K, medical/dental/vision benefits, as well as paid time off and holidays, and other benefits that trucking companies offer to keep turnover low.
How are auto hauling drivers paid?
You can find jobs that pay salary, percentage of load, and per-mile. Car hauler pay depends on the company and how they prefer to pay their drivers.
What types of endorsements and training do car haulers need?
Drivers with their CDL-A can pursue car hauler jobs without any additional endorsements in many cases. Companies may give preference to candidates with experience towing or driving other kinds of trucks.
What lifestyle do auto transport jobs require?
This really depends on the type of job you pursue. There are local and regional car hauling positions that can have you home almost every night, or at least for multiple days per week, if you travel slightly longer routes. Some car hauling jobs can take you cross-country, keeping you on the road for days or weeks at a time.
If you are an owner-operator, your lifestyle may be more random and unpredictable. However, you can also determine when and where you want to work, and offer yourself more scheduling flexibility if you run your own business. The flip side, of course, are the benefits of working for a company, which can make auto hauling less of a “lifestyle” than being an owner operator.
Meet a real car hauler
On the website smart-trucking.com, there is an interview with a trucker named Caroline, who gives some interesting insight into the life and skills required for car haulers.
She talks about the importance of examining your load to make sure you organize the vehicles in the safest way possible. You have to be conscious of the length and height of your load, which needs to meet DOT standards. Another part of inspecting the vehicles is making sure the VIN’s match the logs on your trip package. So an ability to pay attention to detail is handy if you’re going to work in this job.
She also notes the importance of heightened concern for safety when hauling cars, “The driver needs to be familiar with the surroundings, as an average car carrier sits 8 inches off the ground. The driver must always take care not to hit a curb, watch for gravel on the road as it can fly up and damage paint on a vehicle etc., always on the lookout for low bridges, wires, low hanging trees which can cause damage to the load.”
Are you ready to start looking for car hauler positions in your area?
We can help you take the next step and figure out what types of trucking jobs you can qualify for in the car hauling business. If you have your CDL-A and want to move forward today, use our job listings to speak with local employers.