Stow and Go in My Tow?

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2 min to read

You’re shipping your vehicle to your great aunt’s cabin and decide you can get away with stowing the sporting equipment bag on the back seat, shipping it to meet you there. Meanwhile, a rash of auto break-in happens in one of the cities your car has to travel through. Your trucker is down on their federally mandated ‘down-time’ and the truck is parked for the night…with your car on it.

The Thief Finds His Luck That Night

You get the phone call you dread. The person on the line is telling you that your windows were broken out for items you left on the back seat. You can’t help but wonder why someone would be that bold for something little as sporting items, when you should be thinking about the stuff you’ll learn here if you continue to read.

The Feds have made some changes, as you may know, and what that means for you as the consumer is that you have to work with the changes. If you know there’s a chance that your driver will have to abide by the ‘down-time’ rules for the distance your car is going, then you should prepare your car accordingly.

While your vehicle is fully protected by Inland Marine Insurance – that doesn’t cover the items inside. So be smart, don’t just leave things inside the car increasing the risk of damage occurring to them.

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Your personal items aren’t covered by the carrier insurance!

Most auto carrier companies tell you that if you leave something in your car, you do so at your own risk. So why not reduce the risks and take off all non-factory issued kits and stow them safely in the trunk of the vehicle, if possible. Lots of places also reserve the right to get rid of anything that could be considered contraband, without you being able to recover your losses.

It’s probably also a good idea to take all important documents or things like removable stereo facing, etc. Keep those things on your person. We can all agree that it’s a good idea for truckers to take that downtime before facing the roads with massive cargo trailing behind them. That’s why we should pick up the slack and be smart in auto shipping.

When shopping for shipping quotes, estimates are given based on the company’s assumption that the vehicle being shipped is empty. A few personal items like CD’s inside of the armrest or glove compartment won’t make that much of a difference. But much larger items that add on extra weight can be the difference between being within or over the legal weight limit for haulers.

Just imagine – one hauler picks up ten cars, all with loads of 200 to 300 pounds – that adds up to 3000 pounds to the gross weight of the truck! Did you know that in the Department of Transportation regulations, section 390.1 Subpart A, to be exact – there are rules that restrict motor carriers from transporting your car with personal items inside? There’s even a chance that drivers’ loads could be checked by a U.S.D.O.T. officer while on the road. This is one way the Feds are regulating safety on our nation’s highways.

So, unless you’re a beautiful woman with the uncanny ability to flirt to get your way – a trucker has the right to refuse your extra cargo on your shipment. Make matters easier for yourself. Take what you’ve learned here and be known as a “savvy shipper”.

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