February 3, 2012 by Frank Peditto
Relocation activity is beginning to pick-up again and transferees are preparing their vehicles for transport. With years of experience and working with tens of thousands of transferees, we wanted to share our top 10 reminders to ensure a seamless move for your vehicle.
- Ensure that your vehicle is still insured throughout the duration of the move. While the vehicle is insured via the carrier, traditional auto insurance is also required for coverage of ‘Acts of God’ and glass.
- Leave less than one-half of a tank of gas in the vehicle. Remember that the transport driver will need to drive your vehicle on and off of his truck.
- Remove all non-factory installed options like snow and bike racks, ground spoilers, etc.
- Transport your household goods with your mover and not in your vehicle. Per the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) rules and regulations, the transportation of personal items on a truck licensed only to carry vehicles is prohibited. And, it can create huge issues for the driver and others. We had a customer that loaded the back of his truck with boxes of books from North Carolina to Wyoming and, while crossing the plains of the Midwest, the driver got into a bad storm and the wind whipped the cover off the back of the truck. The boxes exploded all over the highway. The cover blew away and was never recovered and the customer’s pickup sustained substantial damage, as did several other cars on the truck, all because of the books.
- Provide your relocation counselor with an active phone number for contact at both origin and destination so that they (and the driver) can reach you with updates or any questions.
- Prepare your vehicle for any climate change. By replenishing coolants, transmission oil, anti-freeze and other fluids.
- Ensure that all alarms are disconnected or disabled. If they are not disabled and are triggered they can lead to drained batteries and create challenges for the driver.
- Remove any personal items from your vehicle prior to transport (cell phones, GPS systems, radar detectors, removable radios, household items, EZ passes, etc.) These are not covered by transport insurance if they are damaged or lost.
- Remove or fully retract all antennas prior to pick-up.
- Remove any and all items that are considered flammable, hazardous, corrosive or explosive are dangerous and illegal for movers to transport from your vehicle. This is one that can lead to serious challenges. We had a transferee moving their SUV from California to North Carolina. While in transit, the transporter truck was stopped in Texas. The entire back of the SUV was filled with farm chemicals. The Texas State Police intended on confiscating the vehicle but instead the driver talked them into just taking the farm chemicals. They also obtained the transferee’s address and phone number. When we called to advise him of the issue, he was only concerned with the return of his chemicals, which then were followed-up on by the FBI.
While many of these reminders seem obvious, it’s amazing how many of these items we come across weekly if not daily in our conversations with drivers. Each can lead to its own issue and possibly endanger others. The key to a seamless and successful vehicle shipment is to be prepared, follow the guidelines, and remain in contact with your coordinator.