Question for the old time car haulers.

Discussion in 'Car Hauler and Auto Carrier Trucking Forum' started by REO6205, Apr 15, 2022.

  1. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    I have a question for you car haulers. First of all, even after 50 plus years of trucking, I know absolutely nothing about car hauling.
    I never even really paid much attention to them until the other day.
    I was following a mixed load of cars and pickups west on 299 in northern Cal. I followed him through the really winding two lane near Burnt Ranch. He drove pretty conservatively, stayed in his lane, but that load was sure moving around. The load wasn't loose, just moving on it's own suspension but every car on there was moving in a different direction. I had another driver with me, old man same as me, and we both said we were glad not to be hauling that.
    My question is this. Can you feel those cars moving up in the cab? Are they s top heavy as they look? I have seen very very few car haulers that were involved in wrecks and most of the ones I see just going down the road seem to be driving safely.
    I don't want to drive one. Just curious.
     
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  3. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

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    I've thought the same thing.

    In fact, I'd never considered your point - you DON'T see many involved in wrecks. Worst I've seen is a car catch fire on one. Don't ever remember seeing one tangled up or overturned.

    Better class of driver/operator?

    @Banker
     
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  4. RBP-SlingShot

    RBP-SlingShot Bobtail Member

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    I was a car hauler for many years out of the GM plant that was in Fremont CA. We only ran the western states. Yes you can feel the movement, and they are a bit top heavy, but not as bad as one would imagine. If you look at the trailers, it is low to the ground and that helps with the balance. To me hauling cars was the best job I ever had. We had the pickup contract and our trucks were configured to haul eight full size pickups.
    One of the problems is some guys get lazy with tying down the cars, and then they will bounce around, what they are really doing is bouncing on the suspension of the car. With pickups the loads were so close the trucks had to be tied down pretty tight.
    The real fun began when you needed to unload in a snow storm where all your skids were frozen. Loading and unloading took a little getting use to but once you got it was pretty easy. The company I worked for was Insured Auto Transport. Putting the first truck on above the cab was backed on and if you got on top a little too fast it would jump the stop then it was fun getting the pickup back on the skids, normally you only did that once. Fun job, not for lazy people though.
     
  5. RBP-SlingShot

    RBP-SlingShot Bobtail Member

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    Most car hauling companies won't put drivers on that haven't had a few years in the trucking industry and have a good safety record.
    Also quickest way to get fired is damage any of the cars or pickups your hauling. I had over forty years accident free.
     
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  6. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

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    I imagine it from a consumer standpoint - if I'm buying a BRAND NEW vehicle, for $50k , I expect it to be spotless upon pickup. When I see car haulers going down the road, my mind does backflips figuring out how you'd load, transport and deliver said vehicles without a nick or scratch.
     
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  7. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    I think that's a lot of it. I don't know what it's like now but those used to be union jobs and guys made a career out hauling cars.
    The guy we followed was smooth but he was getting right down the road, too.
    I've watched them unload cars and I think it would be nerve wracking trying not to ding anything up. The RGN work that I do, everything is already scratched and scarred and another little dent won't hurt.
    A brand new car? Nope, not for me.
     
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  8. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

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    That's a lot of years trucking, sir.
     
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  9. Banker

    Banker Road Train Member

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    Well I am definitely not an old time carhauler but I do have 10 years of Carhaul and 35 in trucking. Maybe I have got used to it but I really don’t notice the load moving much. We sit so low to the ground we are actually less top heavy than many trucks on the road. I still take ramps and curves at or slightly below the posted speed limit. Generally the units bounce in the same direction and if you have proper spacing between units they won’t hit each other or the rig. I also feel that since the load is distributed over nearly 90’ of space it rides very well. This was my first load of the day and while it is nothing special, my rig was clean and it’s a nice spring day. Very good day to be a carhauler. 2044A3A1-CCB2-4E34-A583-CD6793E06AA7.jpeg
     
  10. Banker

    Banker Road Train Member

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    I started with Jack Cooper in Ft. Wayne Indiana hauling pickups on this old chain truck. Custom ordered my own rig and leased on to Hansen and Adkins after I got 4 years experience. Definitely a good job, on sunny days. Proper rain/snow gear makes it tolerable in bad weather. FD86CFC0-20DD-42BB-8879-5000889550F7.png
     
  11. Hammer166

    Hammer166 Crusty Information Officer

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    I tell everyone that stinger carhaulers are the sports cars of the tractor trailer world. Very low center of gravity, and a much lower moment of inertia on the trailer compared to a semi, which translates into less side force on the kingpin when cornering. That also means they'll weave more with a ham-fisted driver. You won't keep up in van/reefer/flat if it gets curvy. Admittedly I'm not normal, but it's quite easy to corner hard enough to lose most of your off track to oversteer from the trailer tires. It's strange to look back and see the center of the trailer closer to the line than the tandem.

    As far as feeling the vehicles dancing? At highway speeds, only one I've ever felt is the one on the nose if you go through a whoop. At low speeds, you'll feel the top of the trailer rocking around, especially if you're moving to fast turning into drives or side streets. Not as noticeable with high rails as the superstructure helps stabilize everything.

    38 years, the last 20 carhauling.
     
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