Auto Transport Training Requirements

Shipping cars across the country is not a job that one can start without any prior trucking experience. A driver must meet an employer’s qualifications and have received proper training in order to haul a truckload of vintage corvettes from New York to Los Angeles on a big rig. What type of training does a driver who wants to ship cars need?

  • A Commercial Driver’s License will be required. A Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL, can be obtained from a technical school or community college certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute. A Class A CDL license is necessary.
  • Prior experience may be needed. Many automotive transportation companies will not hire a recruit fresh out of truck driving school. A potential employee may need to build an experience base driving smaller, lighter trucks before a car transportation company will hire them.
  • A potential driver will need to be able to diagnose truck malfunctions. Tractor-trailer trucks, the type that haul cars, are prone to malfunction as they drive cross-country. A driver must be able to correctly diagnose and possible fix their truck if it breaks down in the middle of the highway.
  • The proper handling and tracking of cargo is a necessary skill. Each company will have their own documentation system, so documenting procedures will vary from one company to another. A driver will also be billing customers. Basic accounting training will be required.
  • Car transportation companies often deliver vehicles as close to a vehicles primary destination as possible. That could mean delivering a car to a house in a wide open field or a home in the middle of a busy suburban street. A driver will need to become skillful in multiple point turns and navigating through small areas.
  • A driver will need to be able to follow a road map. There is a good chance the cargo on an automotive transport truck will travel cross-country, so the driver must be able plot their course on a road map to save on gasoline and time.
  • Tractor-trailers are prone to driving hazards such as tire blowouts, jack knifes, and skids. A driver must learn how to avoid and/or handle numerous different driving dangers.
  • Automotive transporters will need to learn how to safely load and unload vehicles from a trailer. Since one load may have many different destinations, it will be the automotive truck driver’s responsibility to get vehicles on and off the trailer. A driver will also need to learn how to secure the vehicles to the trailer in order to avoid losing a valuable car on a tight turn.
  • A driver needs to know how to properly cover the transported cars with the appropriate tarmacs and coverings. One must knowwhich knots, lashings, and ties to use in order to properly cover a vehicle. Some trucks also utilize an enclosed system, meaning the vehicles are inside a solid covering, not exposed to the outside conditions. How to utilize an enclosed system may be part of the training required.
  • Lately, many trucking industries, not just car transportation companies, require drivers to learn the fundamentals of fuel conservation. When diesel fuel costs around $4 a gallon, efficient fuel use will be a vital skill.

Many of these skills will be learned in either commercial driving school or in on-the-job training. As previously mentioned, most automotive trucking companies are wary about hiring drivers fresh out of school. A solid experience base with smaller trucks will likely be needed in order to be employed as an automotive truck driver/deliverer.

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