If you are not familiar with the auto transport industry, then there are probably a number of terms you stumble across that leave you wondering what in the world they mean. For instance, do you know what a Bill of Lading is? What is the first available pick up date referring to? Another one you may hear and not know is ‘top load’ transport.
Depending on the type of car you are shipping though, top load transport may be a very important term for you. Though sometimes you can get by without truly knowing what all the terms of an industry mean, wouldn’t you feel better if you did?
So what exactly is top load transport?
Understanding Top Load Transport
When you hear the term “top load” it’s referring to the area of the transport truck your car is placed. Top load means your vehicle will be placed on the top, or highest, level of the transport truck. As you can see from the photo on the right, most transport trucks have two levels where cars are loaded. When you request top load transport, and pay a little extra, it is guaranteed your vehicle will be placed on the top level.
Why would anyone want to pay for top load transport? Well, there are actually a number of reasons.
1. Other Vehicles
If you decide to go with the most common type of transport, open car transport, then your car will likely be shipped with a number of other vehicles. Though most new vehicles are delivered to dealerships by open transport, those vehicles are all new. You can never know what condition the other vehicles on the truck are in, so if your vehicle is placed on the bottom level of the truck under an older vehicle, it may not be the best.
Many older vehicles tend to leak fluids, and if the vehicle is directly above your vehicle, it may leak onto your car. This may not be a concern for most people shipping their vehicle, but if you are shipping a fairly new car, or a classic car, by way of open transport you may want to pay the extra to ensure your vehicle is on top and safe from leaking fluids.
2. Road Debris
If you are someone who frequently travels on the highway, then you know how much debris can be on the road. Dirt, rocks, car parts and tire treads are just part of the highway landscape. Unfortunately, road debris can fly up from under the tires of other vehicles- especially trucks- and come in contact with your vehicle. Flying rocks and even flying dirt can create small dinks and dents to your car. In fact, at times road debris can even crack windshields if it hits the window a certain way.
If your vehicle is loaded onto the bottom level, it is much more susceptible to flying road debris. However, having your car loaded onto the top level offers more protection.
It is really up to you to decide if top load transport is for you. Road debris and leaking fluids are definitely things that can happen, but not paying for top load doesn’t mean that they will. Adding top load to your order offers an extra peace of mind and an added safeguard to protect your vehicle.
If you are looking for full protection, and want even more peace of mind, then you should think about shipping your vehicle by enclosed transport. That way, your vehicle is fully protected from outside elements and never comes in contact with rain, snow, sun, etc. during transport.
Would you feel better if your vehicle was transported on the top load? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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About Mike Mihaylov
As the owner of Montway, Mike is very well-versed in the auto transport industry. He started the company back in 2006, but his experience in car shipping goes farther back than that. Before starting Montway here in the United States, Mike was moving cars in Europe. He shipped vehicles from Western European countries like Germany, Switzerland and Austria to Eastern Europe. With over a decade of experience and knowledge of this industry, Mike is what we like to call a Car Shipping Expert.
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