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How important is a good inspection for car haulers?

How many times has your car hauling business encountered a false damage claim? Any car hauler can recall an insurance battle with a customer over false damage claims. You might have learned that a good Bill of Lading for car haulers is the difference between making money or losing money.

That’s why Super Dispatch started out as an electronic Bill of Lading and photo inspection app years ago. Though we have expanded into a complete TMS for car haulers and shippers, a good photo inspection will always be a pillar of a successful car hauling company. You can cut inspection time in half with our electronic wire frames, unlimited high-res inspection photos and damage markings.

THE FLAWS OF MANUAL, PAPER INSPECTIONS

“If you have a 94 Corolla rolling off a transporter and a paper bill of lading, that’s one thing. But when you have a million plus dollar car, guys look at them with a magnifying glass.”

Super Dispatch’s electronic inspections have been a game changer for car haulers in this industry. EM Logistics for example, is the car hauling half of a luxury car dealership called Exotic Motors Midwest. Before using Super Dispatch, drivers at EM filled out paper BOLs and carried around digital cameras to document damages. Zack, the Transportation Manager at EM Logistics, loves that his drivers can just use a phone.

“If you have a 94 Corolla rolling off a transporter and a paper bill of lading, that’s one thing. But when you have a million plus dollar car, guys look at them with a magnifying glass,” Zack says about the benefits of electronic BOLs. “I tell them any paint chips, scratches, anything, take a picture. So I’ll have a bill of lading that has 50 photos attached to it. But that saves us ultimately. That’s for sure the best part about Super Dispatch, I’d say.”

With Super Dispatch, a car hauler can customize the terms and conditions for the pick up and delivery signature, take an unlimited amount of inspection photos that are stored in the cloud (instead of your phone,) and send invoices or BOLs the second they are created. Paper BOLs and inspections can’t keep up with how quickly cars are being moved in 2018.

WHAT BENEFITS DO YOU GET FROM A THOROUGH ELECTRONIC INSPECTION?

No False Damage Claims

We have written extensively about false damage claims at Super Dispatch, because of our amazing technology.

“The shipper said we scratched the mirror and made a dent in the car. Then I showed the broker our pick up photos…he said “woah, I think everyone ought to use this program.’”

Super Dispatch customer Charles Jones of Alpha Elite Transport has won false damage disputes time and time again because he uses our photo inspections.

“When my driver tried to deliver a truck, the shipper said at pickup that we scratched the mirror and made a dent on the car,” Charles recalls. “Then I showed the broker the pick up photos…he said ‘Woah, I think everyone ought to use this program.’ And he talks to the shipper, and this guy didn’t even go to the auction to buy the cars. He didn’t even see the cars first. He just didn’t want to believe the photos… So that saved us a lot.”

Repeat Business

Though this goes hand-in-hand with false damage claims, a good inspection will almost always create repeat business for a car hauler. Consistent, careful and thoughtful work is what makes Super Dispatch customers the most successful car haulers in the industry. It’s not only clean for car haulers, but Shippers and Brokers too. Some of our Broker customers even require that their car haulers use Super Dispatch to process loads, because the inspections are uniform and thorough.

Quick Payment

Charles Jones also loves how quickly he can get paid using Super Dispatch through tools like  custom Terms and Conditions and payment options like Cash on Delivery or Net 60. Not only that, but Super Dispatch has an activity log for each load that Charles has used to prove when an invoice was sent to a shipper or broker, and demand payment in a timely manner.

COMPLETING A GREAT BILL OF LADING AND INSPECTION WITH SUPER DISPATCH

Super Dispatch has already written a basic post on how to do a great inspection using our system. We have updated that to include all the great tools we have:

Have a comprehensive terms and conditions

With Super Dispatch, your terms and conditions are customizable from both the phone app and the dashboard. We suggest that a few topics should always be covered:

  • Pick up and delivery specifications (for instance – inoperable cars required extra payment)
  • Guaranteed or non-guaranteed pickup times
  • Potential fees (like a dry run fee)
  • Liability of things inside the vehicle
  • Agreement to the status of the car after inspection
  • Payment terms

Mark damages on the Bill of Lading AND the photos you take

We allow our customers to mark damages on the BOL and inspection photos for a reason. Double the documentation means double the protection for a car hauler.

Communicate

Always communicate with your customer! Super Dispatch’s system makes it so easy to dispatch orders, inspect cars, and run your car hauling business through improved technological communication. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be proactively communicating throughout the process!

  • Tell the shipper when you are inspecting the vehicle, and allow them to be involved in the process.
  • Follow up when you send an invoice or BOL.
  • Urge any signatory to read your terms and conditions.

Being proactive can mean a world of difference for car haulers. Grow your business, don’t just run it.

 

Even the best car haulers have had to face false damage claims. What is your false damage claim horror story? Let us know in the comments!

ELD and ELD exempt FAQ’s: Obscure Electronic Logging Device answers

Recently, our customers have been asking us some specific questions about the ELD (or Electronic Logging Device) Mandate. As Roadcheck Inspection Week approaches, we wanted to published a quick FAQ of the questions we have seen so far. Whether you are already using an ELD or are ELD exempt, keep reading on! Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Everything about the ELD, as well!

Let’s jump in!

1. What are my HoS rules?

Generally, car haulers are required to follow the 11 and 14 hours rule:
– Each day, a driver can work for 14 consecutive hours maximum (On-Duty)
– Of those 14 work hours, only 11 hours can be driving time
– During a work day, a driver is REQUIRED to take a 30 minute break sometime in the first 8 of his 11 hours.
– After his On Duty hours are over, he is required to rest 10 hours before his next shift.
– A driver is not allowed to exceed 70 hours of work in 8 consecutive days.
– Finally, a driver can “re-set” the 70 hour clock by resting for 34 consecutive hours.

2. How do I know if I’m ELD exempt?

For car haulers and auto transporters, there are few exemptions to the ELD rule. The most common exemption is the Short Haul exemption. A short haul driver would be ELD exempt if:
– The driver starts and ends his workday at the same geographical location (same city)
– He or She works no more than 12 consecutive hours a day

– They have a 10 consecutive hour rest breaks after each shift
– The driver works within a 100 air mile radius

3. What is an Air Mile?

An air mile is the miles a plane would make from one place to another; it is a shorter unit of distance than a traditional traveling mile, because it is a straight line. For instance, Houston to Austin is around 160 miles. But in air miles, they are only about 140 miles apart. This distinction could mean the difference between hundreds of dollars for an ELD for many drivers.

4. What if sometimes I fall into an exempt category, but not always?

FMCSA and DoT know that truck driving is not a predictable job. If you generally fall within the guidelines for “exempt,” but occasionally work more than 12 consecutive hours or exceed 100 air miles, there is leeway for you.
A driver may continue to use paper logs if he falls within the exemption rules 22 of 30 consecutive days.

For instance, if you drive between Kansas City and St. Louis three or four times a month, you would not be required to keep an electronic logging device on board.
If you exceed your exemption more than 8 days out of 30 consecutive days, that is when you must record your Hours of Service using an ELD.

5. If I am exempt, can I use the Super Dispatch app to record HoS?

The TMS by Car Carriers, for Car Carriers. Helps track hours of service for ELD exempt driversAccording to the Director of Roadside Inspection Program at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, you CAN record Hours of Service by using Super Dispatch or other MANUAL electronic recording devices. BE WARY: you are required to be able to print out paper logs on the spot, if requested by a DoT officer. Some Drivers find it more feasible to continue using paper logs because of this rule. Other drivers find that the Super Dispatch DVIR and HoS recording feature saves enough time and money that it is worth it to buy a small wireless printer for their truck.

Do you have more questions? Let us know what other questions you have, and we will update this post, or head over to our Ultimate ELD Guide so you can learn everything you need to know about the ELD!


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ELD Action Plan for Car Haulers.

OOIDA is Still Fighting for ELD Delay.

Back in August 2016 we wrote a blog post that was widely circulated among car haulers: OOIDA vs. FMCSA – Is This The Biggest Legal Battle In Trucking History?
 
Since then Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has been defeated at every turn in attempt to delay the FMCSA’s ELD mandate which is set for December 18,2017. It has been a long and hard fought battle where FMCSA is still having an upper hand, but OOIDA is not giving up yet.
 
OOIDA with the coalition of 30 other groups are pushing hard to pass the bill proposed by Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017, that would delay the ELD mandate deadline till December 2019. Just to remind you similar attempt failed in September when congress voted against it by 246-143 vote.
 
Also, OOIDA actively trying to get attention of the President Trump with active tweets with the hashtags #DelayELD and #eldorme

#DelayELD tweet OOIDA

#DelayELD tweet OOIDA

Reality for Car Haulers

Whether you like it or not, as of today ELD mandate is going to happen on December 18th, 2017. This is going to effect not just the drivers, but the entire company including dispatchers, owners, billing and operations. Car hauling is very labor intensive mode of transport compared to others, especially when there are multiple pickup and delivery destinations for each trip.
 
“Based on our survey 71% of car haulers are still using paper logbooks. Are you part of that 71%?  
Based on our survey 71% of car haulers are still using paper logbooks. Are you part of that 71%? If your answer is yes, then you need to get serious about finding a solution for yourself. Unless you believe in a miracle that FMCSA will delay the mandate (at this point we can consider it as BIG MIRACLE), you need to quickly research about solutions, choose one, start using it and get comfortable before the deadline. There is no guarantee that your choice will be perfect and easy solution for you, so you need enough time for the entire company to get used to it. 
 
Many trucking experts are speculating that ELD rule would lead to rate hikes. You can google it and find many articles about it. Let’s say there will be a rate hike because of the ELD mandate and some carriers might stay off road in order to get compliant. Don’t you want to be fully operating at that time? If you start getting your solution now and be fully operational on December 18th, there is a chance you can take advantage of that period when things are shaking up.
 
FMCSA ELD Mandate

Source: FMCSA website

Action plan:

There’s a lot of activity happening around the FMCSA’s ELD mandate right now. Because of this there’s a lot of conflicting information in the trucking world floating around which is causing a lot of confusion. Drivers and transportation providers are watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, and paying close attention to the news. The problem is that the source of this news, in many cases, is becoming unreliable.
 

Source: ELD facts

At Super Dispatch we’re paying close attention too. While we’re paying attention to the articles, YouTube videos, and blogs, we’re paying most attention to Congress, the Senate, and the FMCSA. Based on what we’re seeing, it’s time to develop a plan for being compliant by December 18th
 
At Super Dispatch our priority is to help car haulers by providing resources, tools and knowledge to grow their business. Here we have put a list of things you should do while getting ready for the ELD mandate.

 

  1. Check if you are exempt from the ELD mandate by going to FMCSA’s website here.
  2. Go through this “What Do I Need to Do?” section of the FMCSA’s website, which is the best source to learn about ELDs. You should bookmark that page for future references as it gets updated by the FMCSA.
  3. Read Super Dispatch’s “Ultimate Guide to ELDs” to learn the exact ins and outs of what you need and what you don’t need.
  4. Talk to other car haulers and see their ELD setup, you can just go to the nearest truck stops/auctions/terminals. Before getting yourself into long yearly contracts you really have to make sure it’s the best choice for you.
  5. Once you find the solution, check if the ELD device is registered with FMCSA. If you do not see the device and provider in the list, then you are not compliant.
We do not endorse any specific ELD solution for car haulers, but we found this website started by Indianapolis-based Tradewinds Logistics to have realistic reviews from actual users that can help you. You should definitely check it out and use the Filter and Add to Compare functionalities.

What’s coming from Super Dispatch

Currently, Super Dispatch is developing ELD solution specific for car haulers. We made the decision to begin developing an ELD solution based on the concern from car haulers that this rule was going to force many Owner Operators out of the space due to high implementation costs and more rigidity to their hours of operation,  which is putting extreme pressure on their bottom line.

While we’re not going to force this solution onto any of our existing car haulers, we feel like we can provide the users of Super Dispatch a very valuable solution by bringing everything into one product, for a very affordable price. Super Dispatch customers would take advantage of savings from no upfront costs of hardware, no shipping, no contracts, no hidden fees. We believe that our technology should be very intuitive and easy to use with minimum data entry from the user. 

 

ELD Car Hauler gif

 

We are working hard to release our solution before the mandate deadline, but there is no guarantee. We have many car haulers testing our solution on their mobile devices and if you wish to get your hands on it, please sign up HERE.

If you’re interested in Super Dispatch ELD solution sign up HERE.
 
If you have a comment about the ELD mandate, or a suggestion, or would like to be featured on our blog page, please tell me in comments. And please share this post with other car haulers. Thanks for your time, and keep on trucking.

— Super Vin

 

#1 Car Hauler BOL App – Import orders directly from Load Boards. Stop buying paper forms. 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.

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

Click the photo to download.

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 Failure

All 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.