Autohauler Supply: Driving Product Knowledge

Autohauler Supply: Vehicle Transport Friendly Company

AutohaulerSupply.com not only an online store where owner-operators can purchase wheel straps, height sticks, loading ramps, tie-down bars, and tire chains; the company is also an excellent knowledge-base for new truckers searching for answers about which tools will be essential to their car hauler business. In fact, the youngest person on staff at Autohauler Supply has seven years experience, and over time, they’ve seen every imaginable situation come up. They try to use this knowledge to help customers save time and aggravation.

The auto transport industry contains a lot of hard working men and women that are not just trying to do this the easy way, or the cheapest way.

Autohauler Supply Big Orange StrapFor example, Dale in customer service told me, “If you’re ready to enter the car hauler business, and you’re looking to buy a used three-car hauler with a mesh decking trailer, you might first want to learn more about what types of car straps” the premium auto brokers are going to require that you use (before you buy that trailer.) That’s why veteran car haulers not only have many tools in their toolbox, but they have good ones that will last (and one’s that sometimes cost more up front.) The unknown problem for a rookie is, “if you have a mesh decking trailer and you want to move new cars, and you go to buy over the tire straps, it’s actually possible for the decking to eventually tear up because of the pressure, the pull and the strain of the straps” that are actually pulling upward, rather than downward, on your trailer. And since many car haulers have already purchased their trailer before they learn about the loading requirements from the manufacturer, this can cause a real problem later down the road.

“If you’re ready to enter the car hauler business, and you’re looking to buy a used three-car hauler with a mesh decking trailer, you might first want to learn more about types of car straps.”

Autohauler Supply Diamond Weave

Another Potential Pitfall: All Straps Look The Same Online

But when you start using them, you’ll quickly figure out the difference in quality between different straps that looked the same on a website. Sometimes the straps will start wearing immediately. Other times, someone used a wire hook that was just a little too big to fit the holes in your deck plate properly. Autohauler Supply created a “Diamond Weave wheel strap made with webbing that has two different patents for abrasion resistance.” Customers have told them they’ve been getting double the life with these straps compared with the old kind. The tighter weave means fewer loops to catch on edges. And burying the lock stitch 1/8th of an inch from the edge means it will be harder for straps to wear out and unravel (Diamond Weave is the blue strap on the right.) Autohauler Supply also created the Big Orange line of auto tie-down products, made with much more thickly woven webbing…and designed with hooks that would fit properly into auto trailer deck holes. Three different styles of hooks to fit different types of trailers.

“After listening to years of customer feedback, complaints, and suggestions, we decided to design our own.”

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The Reality Of Making A Better Height Stick

Autohauler Supply Height StickSteve Rowe and company are already on their second generation of “The Big Red Height Stick” – and not just because they want you to buy a new one. Steve says, “the old yellow height stick had a lot of problems and a lot of complaints – but it was also a standard item for many car hauler businesses. So after listening to years of customer feedback, complaints, and suggestions, we decided to design our own.” Knowing there was a better way, Steve was motivated to use “thicker fiberglass, stronger buttons, and a smaller collapsed length.” He also increased the number of telescopic vertical sections, a better rubber cup at the bottom, laser-etched numbers and a heavy duty nylon carrying bag. That’s a lot of thought and improvement on just one tool! (Picture shows the first height stick created by Autohauler Supply, which was known as The Life Saver height stick.)

Believing User Feedback Is Much More Than Customer Service

Drivers and customers told Steve what they wanted to see changed – and he listened. He made extensive notes of user feedback, and over the months and years, after planning and strategizing, he brought a vastly-improved product to the market. While it may not be cheaper or faster to make, it is much higher quality, it will last a lot longer, and veteran users will know and appreciate the difference. Steve says, “We don’t get involved with [a new product] unless we can make it better – and move some real volume with it.” The auto transport industry contains a lot of hard working men and women that are not just trying to do this the easy way, or the cheapest way. Too many car haulers often work too hard for too little, so they need high-quality gear that doesn’t have to be replaced regularly. Lastly, AutohaulerSupply.com will never be all things to all people. But if someone calls them up looking for something they don’t carry, they can usually point them in the right direction.

We celebrate companies that help improve the Auto Transport Industry. If you have a story to share or a company we should all know more about, please tell us. Thanks, and keep on trucking.

— Super Jay

#1 Car Hauler BOL App – Try It For Free. Download for Android HERE and for Apple HERE.

Ready To Test Drive Super Dispatch For Your Company? Book A Demo HERE Or Sign Up HERE.

How To Use Central Dispatch: Tips From A Load Sniper

Central Dispatch: Why Do Car Haulers Pay For It?

Over-the-road car haulers and independent owner-operators must turn a profit if they plan to keep on running. It is financially imperative to the transport company that dispatched loads fill every empty spot on the trailer during every leg of a trip. Load boards like Central Dispatch, Ready Auto Transport, and CarsArrive Network offer nationwide car carriers the best chance of achieving this objective of staying fully loaded. However, occasionally combing through long lists of loads is simply not enough to compete in such a highly competitive market as auto transport. With intense demand and limited supply, it is the hair-trigger tools of the experienced “load sniper” that provide a company with a fighting chance of staying in business. This is the advice of a long-time veteran auto transport dispatcher.

You must be patient, you should know what you’re looking for, and you need to be willing to wait all day long.

Central Dispatch (www.centraldispatch.com) is widely regarded as the most popular auto transport load board offering the highest volume of cars to choose from; and to many, Central Dispatch is much more than a car shipping load board. It is the single most important marketplace where brokers can connect with vehicle transporters, and therefore, it is on the verge of being a community. But given its enormous size with thousands of loads listed daily, the coveted need for time and experience of being able to sift through pages of cars is a treasured skill worth having in your toolbox. So, let’s begin by searching for vehicles.

Car Hauler BOL App

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Central Dispatch: “Search Vehicles”

Central Dispatch Search Vehicles menuFrom the “Home” screen, under “Find Shipments,” you must choose “Search Vehicles.” First, select “City Search” within 100 miles around your “Pickup” city; and then for “Delivery,” press the CTRL key and click with the mouse to select every state or region that you might consider delivering to (remember: there is a maximum limit of 15 at a time.) Keep in mind, for the most comprehensive search, select “Find all dispatches along my route.” Okay, that’s the easy part.

I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to be watching all the time.

The most important tip right off is that you must select “1 Hour or Newer” under “Highlight Listings,” with “Highlighted on Top” checked. In addition, enter “.4” into the “Min pay per vehicle/mi” field if you plan to make any money this week. And if you’ve been in business (and plan to keep it that way), you must accept “All” under “Payment Type” because there are not enough “COD” loads out there to keep everyone fully loaded at the same time. For most carriers, be sure to choose “Open” for “Trailer Type” because trying to book an “Enclosed” vehicle is not worth the frustration. “Non-Running” vehicles are an unfortunate fact of life so choose “All” under “Running?” and being open to “All Vehicle Types” is definitely worth its learning curve. And by the way, if your transport equipment is in good working condition, selecting “Ready to Ship Within 30 Days” can present you with lucrative future load options. There, you are now ready to hit the “Search Vehicles” button.

Central Dispatch Search ResultsIdeally, your search “Results” number somewhere between 100 and 200 (but not as high as 500 because that is too many). Furthermore, you can always hit the back arrow on the browser to change up the mix as needed. Most importantly, if you are searching during regular business hours, there should be several blue highlighted loads at the top of the list. Those are the fresh loads, and this is where you will usually find your anchor load. That’s the good stuff, and sometimes it’s literally gone in sixty seconds.

Finding Your Anchor Load

The best load you can hope for is a trailer full of small cars that run and drive, paying cash on delivery, and that need to be transported about 1000-2000 miles. But even if you can find just find one or two of those, you have found your anchor load. And usually, those kinds of cars pop up in blue and are only there for a mere few minutes. I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to be watching all the time. That’s why the #1 secret top ingredient to being a load sniper is the same as being an expert fisherman: You must be patient, you should know what you’re looking for, and you need to be willing to wait all day long. Sitting at a computer workstation with multiple monitors and a proven method of constantly refreshing the screen can be a full-time time job, and can also make the difference between $3,000 a week and $5,000 a week.

…occasionally combing through long lists of loads is simply not enough to compete in such a highly competitive market as auto transport.

Click the photo to download!

Following Through Is Key

Central DispatchOnce you have the broker on the phone and load could be yours, be swift about getting through the rest of the obstacle course. Have your insurance company ready to send certificates of insurance, keep your “My Ratings” at 100%, make sure that everyone is able to answer their phones, receive emails, sign, scan or print, and know the limitations of the trailer plus the status and relative location of your company’s equipment. Also, the person booking loads should not be nervous or easily rattled, because getting a big fish on the line requires experience to reel in. A great paying shipper knows the difference between a carrier that can finish the job and one that is not up to snuff. Make sure “My Documents” and “My Profile” are fully completed and professional, along with a good night’s sleep to put in a full day of dispatching phone calls. If you can manage to live up to these 900 words, you and your company stand a much better chance of being fully and profitably loaded for a better tomorrow.

Until recently, I had been dispatching for several owner operators and doing it for many years. It was an incredibly challenging chapter in my life, and the stories and experience I collected are probably enough for a movie. Please feel free to share your story and experience with Central Dispatch. Happy hunting out there, and keep on trucking.

— Super Jay

#1 Car Hauler BOL App – Try It For Free. Download for Android HERE and for Apple HERE.

Ready To Test Drive Super Dispatch For Your Company? Book A Demo HERE Or Sign Up HERE.

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5 Ways Car Haulers Lose Money Everyday

Do You Know The 5 Biggest Reasons Car Hauler Businesses Lose Money Down The Drain?

Every business owner struggles with sudden out-of-pocket expenses and most of us have heard someone say, “That’s the cost of doing business.” So it should be no surprise that car haulers lose money and feel the pain of being dinged by additional costs on a regular basis. Since this problem is universal, all company owners try to identify and account for a certain margin of probable loss of revenue. Seeking solutions to minimize that loss is part of being fiscally responsible. So let’s rank in order from largest to smallest, the 5 biggest reasons most car haulers lose money.

…when a $700 vehicle suddenly becomes a zero, that’s a huge problem for everyone.

1) Bad Loads

Cited as the number one biggest reason car haulers lose money, bad loads include surprise INOPs that cannot be loaded, cars that are not ready for pick up, loads that suddenly cancel, vehicles that will not fit on the trailer, and cars that were already transported a week ago! Whatever the reason, when a $700 vehicle suddenly becomes a zero, that’s a huge problem for everyone. When a car hauler load board spits out a giant lemon, it’s a major loss, it’s immediate, and it usually has a snowball effect. It creates incredible amounts of stress within the company and can further pollute a once profitable relationship from moving forward. It’s a major problem, and in many cases, the primary ingredient is most likely due to the second biggest problem.

Car Hauler BOL App

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2) Miscommunication

Between the customer, the pickup contact, the broker, the dispatcher, the driver and the owner, there are plenty of opportunities for somebody to drop the ball. Owners and drivers blame the brokers, brokers blame dispatchers, and dispatchers get completely frustrated because nobody answered the phone or took the time to call them back. Here’s the deal: when a driver is ready to pick up a car, that car needs to be there and ready for pick up, and the location needs to be expecting the driver. There are a hundred ways for this situation to go sideways and everyone plays a part in making it work out smoothly. The good news is – dispatch software can help! The scanner on a dispatch app does not record the wrong VIN and a GPS can help accurately ping a driver’s location. The internet can provide exact vehicle dimensions, the distance between cities, and quickly and efficiently import and move data. By implementing a transportation management system (TMS), miscommunications can be minimized thereby reducing the impact and frequency of an otherwise chronic problem.

Scratched Vehicle Damage

Owners and drivers blame the brokers, brokers blame dispatchers, and dispatchers get completely frustrated because nobody answered the phone or took the time to call them back.

3) Damage Claims

Unfortunately, it only takes one accidental scratch from a loose chain or a driver overlooking a dent during an inspection to cause the potential revenue of a load to be reduced to pennies on the dollar. Damage claims can be costly, time-consuming, and damage the reputation of your business. Creating the perfect BOL might sound unrealistic, but if you are experiencing regular damage claims, it’s time to do things differently. Life isn’t perfect, to err is human, but creating the perfect BOL is your best chance at reducing damage claims; and that’s a big reason why we’ve created the car shipping app that helps people just like you. (CLICK HERE to learn more)

4) Equipment Failure

Car Haulers Lose Money to Equipment FailureAll physical equipment suffers from decay, stress and strain; it’s part of life. Most owners and drivers know the limitations of their truck and trailer. When a sensor repeatedly malfunctions, ramps bend, engines use up fluids too quickly, or tires frequently blowout, that could be the symptom of an abnormal issue. Avoiding a bad load can help minimize excessive wear and tear, which includes reducing off-route mileage and driving in punishing terrain.

5) The DOT

Owners worry about excessive government regulations in any industry. But when a driver hits the scales or a DOT officer conducts their inspection, there’s always a good chance a violation will result in a fine. Although this additional expense ranked the lowest on the list, it is the carriers that work the hardest to follow all the rules and protocols that stay off the regulatory radar. Consulting with a knowledgable compliance advisor can also be an excellent investment.

That wraps up the 5 Ways Car Haulers Lose Money Down The Drain. But if you think I missed a big one, if I have them out of order, if you just want to comment, or you’ve got something to say about a car delivery app, I invite you to speak your mind. Thank you for your time, and keep on trucking.

— Super Jay

Click the photo to download

#1 Car Hauler BOL App – Try It For Free. Download for Android HERE and for Apple HERE.

Ready To Test Drive Super Dispatch For Your Company? Book A Demo HERE Or Sign Up HERE.