Although people sometimes use the terms towing and auto hauling interchangeably, they refer to different activities. Auto haulers and towing companies are not quite the same thing. A towing business typically transports non-operational vehicles short distances to allow the owner to get the vehicle repaired. People call towing companies for immediate service when their vehicle will not start or has other safety issues that were not obvious when the driver left home.
What to expect when the tow truck driver arrives
The driver will hook the front bumper of the stalled vehicle to a hook from the tow truck as well as secure it with chains. Sometimes a towing company will have a driver pick up a vehicle using a flatbed tow truck instead. The driver would then push the stalled vehicle into the flatbed truck, secure it with chains, and ensure the security of the back of the truck.
How auto haulers differ from towing companies
While towing is an emergency event, auto transport is scheduled in advance. Auto hauler companies also move vehicles longer distances while towing companies typically limit drivers to trips less than 100 miles. Some other terms for auto transport include car shipping, car transport, vehicle shipping, and even long-distance towing. The last term adds to the confusion between the two services. Transporting and towing a vehicle are not the same thing. With auto transporting, the vehicle being moved usually does not have significant mechanical problems.
Moving a long distance from the current location is a common example of when someone would hire an auto transport company. The family may have multiple vehicles and want to ride in one car for the trip, or they may fly to their new city and have the auto transport company deliver their vehicles upon arrival. Businesses also use auto transport companies, especially the auto sales industry. New cars coming directly from the manufacturer or a fleet of vehicles that requires moving from one dealership to another are prime examples of when a business would arrange for auto transport.
Auto transport companies typically use a flatbed or a carrier to secure one or more vehicles. This provides greater protection than an individual car requiring towing because the latter creates the risk of the vehicle disengaging from the tow. It is common for auto transport employees to secure vehicles so tightly inside of a flatbed or carrier that they cannot move at all.
Research towing and auto hauler insurance and get quotes.
Regardless of which type of business you operate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires you to carry the appropriate level of insurance on your fleet. Our team works with dozens of insurance companies to allow commercial truckers to research plans and compare quotes.
Auto haulers may require cargo insurance, collision insurance, and comprehensive coverage in addition to the required auto liability. Some types of insurance you may wish to consider for your towing business include physical damage, garage liability, on-hook/in-tow, garagekeepers, and wrongful repo.
To get started with insurance quotes for your tow truck business or auto hauling business, fill out our online quote form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.