The demand for well-paying jobs with a low barrier of entry has been on the rise. People of all ages regularly look into car hauling as a career choice. It seems simple enough at first sight, doesn’t it? You transport someone else’s vehicle – you get paid by the mile! But there’s quite a bit more that goes into making it as a car hauler, of course.
To satisfy the curiosity of enterprising car haulers, we’ve prepared this FAQ. It answers some basic questions about the business, providing insight into what the job entails.
What are the responsibilities of a car hauler?
As with any other transportation job, your main responsibility is looking after the cargo. These would be motor vehicles, of course, either consumer cars or small trucks. There are safety standards that any car hauler must meet. Learning how to properly load and secure vehicles on a trailer would be step one.
A car hauler must also be able to inspect the cars before and after the move. Any instances of damage or deficiency must be properly logged. Different hauling companies have different inspection standards, but the basic template is pretty much the same.
Beyond that, you should be able to deal with customers in a calm and professional manner. This is particularly important for self-employed haulers, who often negotiate directly with vehicle owners and make all the arrangements themselves. Communication skills are vital in this business — some people are naturally gifted in that department, others need to learn.
Of course, we shouldn’t neglect the actual driving either! Operating a commercial vehicle requires a certain level of knowledge, experience, skill, and even physical ability. You’ll have to qualify for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before you start.
How do you become a car hauler?
After getting your CDL (class A, B, or C) you typically apply for a position within a transport company. Depending on your level of driving experience, this might be more or less difficult. Employers obviously prefer experienced car haulers, but you have to start somewhere!
Fortunately, many companies offer new hires their training programs — essentially the blue-collar equivalent of paid internships. If you lack the necessary experience, this might be the path for you.
And if you’re lucky enough to own the right rig, you could always start your own car hauling operation. But that’s a riskier proposition, requiring substantial investment right off the bat. Most independent car haulers start off by working for established businesses before they consider going solo.
We won’t go into the details of incorporating a car hauling business here. Suffice it to say, it’s a huge career move that needs to be executed perfectly. It pays off really well if done right, though. And before you ask “exactly how well”…
How much money does a car hauler make?
That might be the number one question we get on this topic. We’ve written entire articles to answer it, but let’s try and sum things up neatly here.
The average amount is difficult to estimate — there are many different occupations that fit the “car hauler” bracket. If we look at drivers employed by big transport companies, BLS tells us their median yearly earnings are $43,680. But that’s not the full picture, of course! It doesn’t account for owner-operated haulers, which clear as much as $110,000 per year. (Source: Auto Haulers Association of America)
If you take both the self-employed and salaried haulers together, average earnings stabilize at around $80,000 per year. (More precisely $80,052 according to ziprecruiter.com or $87,914 according to indeed.com)
Clearly, all these ballpark estimates should be taken with a grain of salt. It’s difficult to average-out the expenses that car hauling entails, or the money skimmed off the top. Speaking of which…
How do car haulers get paid?
Put simply, in all sorts of ways.
If you’re employed at a transportation company, you might be paid by the hour spent on the road or by the mile driven. (You could even be on a fixed salary, though that’s rare.) Many companies offer load percentages, meaning you earn better from more lucrative hauls. If seeking employment of this type, be sure to check what benefits the company provides.
If you’re an independent contractor, your earning is proportional to your negotiating skills. Quoting shipments is more art than science — you’ll have to plan carefully to cue up hauls and optimize income.
Depending on how you get the customers, your transactions might be mediated. Meaning, while a load board charges a subscription fee, uShip takes 15% of whatever you earn. Different haulers have different preferences, so do a little research and you’ll find an approach that works for you. And speaking of small differences…
What kind of lifestyle is best suited to professional car hauling?
Career car haulers are a varied bunch. Some feel the open road calling and work long routes, each job taking a week or more to complete. Others prefer to ride the roads for shorter periods of time, so they focus on in-state hauls instead.
There really is no single personality type or lifestyle choice that lends itself to the job. Adventurous young adults or homebody retirees, almost anyone can give car hauling a shot. It helps if you love to drive, though, and if you have good people skills.
If you think you have what it takes, head on over to our driver signup page. The first three months are free, and we never take a cut out of your earnings. Please feel free to contact our support team for any additional advice or guidance you might need.
Stay safe, and happy shipping!
Featured Image Credit: www.jandstransport.com
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