Auto Shipping: Top or Bottom?
When hauling your vehicle, is there any benefit to requesting your car be placed on either the top or bottom tray?
An Auto Transport Trailer is used to haul many automobiles at the same time. Newer models can haul up to 12 vehicles in multi-levels, called trays. Most rig designs allow for 8 vehicles to be placed on the top tray and 4 to be placed on the bottom tray. Hydraulic ramps are used to tilt the vehicles in such a way as to maximize the spacing efficiency between them.
Cars are safely secured to the trailer with straps in four locations using the tie-down holes vehicle’s are manufactured with. However, when handling classic or luxury vehicles, less intrusive methods of mounting can be used. In most of these cases, high-strength straps are passed over each tire and tightened to the rig. This minimizes damage potential to the chassis.
Although not all Auto Transport Carriers offer stacking options, some do. So is there any benefit of one over the other?
The greatest benefit of having your vehicle transported on the top tray is that it will not be exposed to possible fluid leaks from other vehicles. The downside to being on-top, however, is that your vehicle will have the greatest exposure to the elements.
Vehicles on the bottom tray may be more exposed to fluid leaks and road debris, but gains protection from the structure of the rig itself and the cars above.
Most luxury car owners prefer to ship their vehicles on the upper tray so as to avoid oil leak damage. Depending on the Carrier, an additional fee may be charged to secure a guaranteed placement on the top rack. This is due to the fact the a Carrier will arrange vehicles to balance the weight throughout the trailer. They will also sequence vehicles in the order of their delivery or pick up along the route. A special stacking request may require that the trailer will require reshuffling somewhere along the way; not necessarily a quick or easy task.
Should you wish to eliminate all possible dangers in open-trailer transport, you could opt for an open transport option that is not multi-level. You could also request the more costly option of enclosed-trailer transport. These options will require more waiting time for assignment, but will put your mind at ease regarding the safety of your vehicle.