Working in the auto transport industry

There are various career options available in the trucking industry for skilled drivers, especially those with endorsements and proper training. There is a trucker shortage across the board for some years already, and it’s anticipated it will be consistent in the predictable future. Now is a good time to try this career as the labor market is growing rapidly.

Transporting cars is a kind of truck driving job that may take you on regional routes, local routes, and cross-country. The auto shipping industry offers a variety of jobs. Some drivers are working for manufacturers or dealers, while others are working for classic/exotic car dealers or auctions. Others are business owners who ship cars for whoever needs their service.

The information below will help you when choosing a career in the trucking business. Although here at Ship Vehicles recommend drivers to go after their calling, speaking with experts before applying for jobs will help you make better decisions.

Car hauling jobs

The car hauler’s job is very much like it sounds. The driver is in charge of transporting a vehicle on an auto carrier from one place to another. In short, the cargo includes automobiles like trucks and consumer cars. Car haulers are required whenever automobiles are shipped from point A to point B in bulk.

Because heavily damaged cars normally end up at the junk store, auto shippers will usually move used and new cars. There are also people who want to transport exotic and antique cars. Driving these vehicles on their own across the country may not be a risk they want to take, so they’ll employ a carrier instead.

The duties of a car hauler

There are other duties that a car hauler must do aside from driving. It is important that he knows how to examine cars before/after they are moved. A car hauler must have good skills in loading as much as 7 to 10 car trailers.

Safety should always be the top priority of car haulers. This is the reason why companies prefer to hire drivers with at least a 2 year CDL driving track record.

Requirements for car shipping applicants

Usually a CDL-A is required for this position. Endorsements may be helpful when applying for a trucking job. Experience is also important. Most companies provide trainings for new drivers, while others prefer to hire people with a minimum of 2 years’ driving experience. For someone without car hauling experience, you may contact companies near you and check if they provide training or employ new drivers.

Insurance companies can be a challenge to new drivers in the auto shipping industry. According to Bill Schroeder of the AHAA, many insurance companies require the applicant to have a minimum of 2 years experience in hauling over long distances and with a CDL.

Contact companies near your area if you want to know what auto transport jobs are currently available and how to apply for the job.

Auto transport owner operator vs. company job

Company jobs are more suitable for new drivers. An owner-operator has the potential to earn more profit if the business is managed properly. However, the financial risks for owner-operators are high, as a serious amount of money is needed in starting up this business and purchasing your own equipment.

Auto transportation requires a particular skill set similar to other trucking jobs. Make sure you are fully invested in this kind of trucking prior to spending 250,000 USD on a trailer and truck.

A car hauler’s annual salary

We usually cite the BLS (Bureau of labor statistics) for truck driver salaries. However, because car hauling is a small sector of the trucking industry that BLS doesn’t usually measure, we’ve gathered some information about how much actual car haulers are making. We’ve checked auto transport salaries and discovered some that exceeded $70,000 yearly. For owner-operator jobs, some are paying  $5000 to 6000 weekly, at the time when this information was gathered. According to, the average salary of a car hauler was $82,000 per year in 2016.

This wide-range of incomes emphasizes the importance of checking your local listing as well as speaking with schools and employers to check your opportunities and potential salary in car hauling.

Both company driver jobs and trucking careers provide several important benefits. If you get hired as a car hauler, you should check their 401K, medical/vision/dental benefits, paid leave/holidays, and other benefits provided to truck drivers to maintain a low turnover.

Getting paid as a car hauler: There are trucking jobs that pay a salary, load percentage, and per-mile. For car haulers, the company decides how their drivers get paid.

Required training and endorsements for car haulers: In most cases, a driver with a CDL-A can continue his car hauling job even without any endorsements. Companies may give an advantage to applicants with experience in driving or towing other types of trucks.

Required lifestyle for auto shippers

This actually depends on the kind of job you want to pursue. Some car hauler positions from regional and local areas will allow you to be home every night or several days a week when hauling over longer distances. Some auto hauling jobs will require you to travel a long distance or cross country for days and sometimes weeks.

Your lifestyle may be unpredictable and random as an owner-operator. However, you can set your own schedule and decide your time and place to work. Compared to working for a company, this can be more demanding on your time.

Feel free to contact Ship Vehicles anytime to discuss opportunities in the auto transport industry.