Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tow dolly straps for really really really big Jeep tires

Yes, you can get custom tow dolly straps for your Jeep or other off-road 4x4 if the U-Haul tow dolly straps don't fit your oversize tires!  Check these out here.

Time to slip plate...

Slide N Glide Graphite Gallon (Case of 4)Auto Transport Professionals: Now that winter is over, take a look at your posts and sliders. If your posts are developing rust scales or graphite accretions, spend a bit of extra time with a needle gun to prepare the surface before you apply more dry film graphite. You'll be glad you did next winter if your trailer has any sticky positions. And if you need any graphite paint, take advantage of our pre-order special.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How will the car hauling business be in 2017 and 2018? Probably pretty good!

With U.S. auto sales slightly off the annualized vehicle sales seen in the last half of 2015, one might wonder what 2016 will be like, let alone 2017 and 2018.

If one looks at the long-trend charts, in early 2014 the U.S. auto industry appears to have clawed back its losses from the Great Recession.

However, an interesting trend has developed in recent years as the average age of cars on American roadways has climbed to 11.5 years.  This has been attributed to both longer terms of finance contracts as well as higher quality of construction.

If  Mr and Mrs Car Buyer can't afford a new car (they're upside down in their finance contract, because they signed up for an 84 month term)... and their car is doing just fine, they won't buy a new car.

However, a great deal of sales momentum remains in the light truck market, on account of continued growth in residential building, up 18% this year.  Just try and get a carpenter to come to your house for a remodel.  Many are already booking new work into 2017, because their dance cards are full!  Source

With taxes what they are, most contractors are more than willing to buy a shiny new truck or van as a tax write-off.  They can either keep the old one and pay extra tax, or buy the new truck and have the use of it for all the extra miles they're running trying to keep up with the demands of work.

Looking at an even wider set of data, the news for construction in general looks even rosier.  As residential construction continues to accelerate, so does work for energy and utilities.  And since Congress passed the Highway Approporiation Bill, construction on the nation's aging infrastructure should also support sustained demand for vehicles. Source

We hear a lot of talk about the Millenials avoiding the purchase of cars in favor of living close-in to urban centers and using public transport.  This will almost inevitably change as they start families and confront the difficult economic realities of finding enough room to store their children's toys in a 650 square foot apartment.

It is probably safe to say that there will be plenty of work hauling cars in the next few years.  The bigger questions are:  Will the loads pay?  Will fuel prices snap upwards in the next three years?  

We know that as more car haulers enter the field, load prices tend to drop in different regions.  This is already starting to happen in certain areas.  Those car haulers who rely on Central Dispatch brokers to pay them a fair price for their services are risking  disappointment... and bankruptcy if fuel prices move up sharply. 

However, the trucking company that cultivates business relationships with dealers directly, and finds more profitable lanes in which to run, should have a pretty good prospect of prosperity. 

So as in many areas of enterprise, the smart guys will find a way to make a buck.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Oops, we need to pay car haulers more money.

OK this news article from Automotive Logistics made me laugh out loud.  In Europe, apparently there is a real problem in outbound logistics, because there aren't enough trucks to haul the freight.  "Why is that," you ask?  Apparently, the automakers negotiated rates so low, and so many trucking companies went out of business, there were fewer companies willing to invest in the assets to provide transport service.

Imagine that!  If you want someone to provide a service, you have to pay enough that they not only will NOT go out of business, they will actually MAKE MONEY.  If an industry is deemed to be unprofitable, fewer companies want to invest in it.

If you'd like to read the original article, click here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Custom tie-down strap estimator

Just created a custom tie-down strap form for anybody out there who needs us to make a strap they can't find anywhere else.

Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Roadcheck 2015 Focus will be cargo securement

In the first week of June this year, the DOT and safety enforcement officials will be spending extra time inspecting your tie-downs.  Just how many inspectors?  Approximately 10,000 inspectors at 1,500 different inspection points.

If you haven't double-checked your tie-downs, now would be a good time to do so!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Awesome pics of old cars tied down to a wedge car hauler with e-track wheel straps

One of our favorite customers, Felix from Cobalt Recreational Transport sent us some pictures of some classic cars and hot rods he's been transporting using our horizontal e-track wheel straps with ratchet. Check these out!
So as you can see, e-track rails and e-track wheel straps are not just for enclosed car haulers. They also work well on solid floor decks like Featherlite!

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Winter car hauler crash; car hauler chased by police!

Video of car hauler in Russia getting into trouble on slippery road.  Click here.

And here is a video of a car hauler being chased by police

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

N.Y. car hauler broker charged with wire, mail fraud: Land Line Magazine

N.Y. car hauler broker charged with wire, mail fraud: Land Line Magazine

This guy's address was a graveyard.  Probably be a good idea to do a Google Earth search of any broker you're doing business with.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Autohauler Supply celebrates 10 year anniversary; Now stocking auto tie down straps in Reno, NV warehouse.

Autohauler Supply just celebrated their 10th year in business by putting a truck load of their Big Orange Autohauler Straps in stock in a new warehouse in Reno, NV.  Shipping costs and time for customers in the western states should be cut by about half.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Michelin XZA 295/60/R22.5 auto hauler steer tire failing?

NHTSA is looking into the Michelin XZA 295/60/R22.5  steer tire. This tire has been linked to several auto hauler crashes.  More information here:

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Auto transport trailers that aren't built by Cottrell

Time was, there were several established companies building high capacity auto transport equipment.  Whether you wanted an open car haul trailer or enclosed, you had your pick.  Then came the Great Recession, and all the subsequent gyrations and dislocations within the micro economy that this created.

When it was all over, Cottrell trailers in Gainesville, GA reigned supreme. 

JM Trailers in Fontana, gone.  Delavan, sold. Then sold again. Boydstun, gone.

But while Cottrell may have been the biggest car trailer manufacturer to emerge unscathed from the hollowing out of the economy during the recession, there were several that kept plugging away:  Sun Valley Trailers, Wally Mo Trailers and Miller Trailers.

And in the economic recovery that followed, more green shoots appeared.  Lugo Manufacturing began building a trailer, and indeed is set to deliver it shortly.  Boydstun Trailers opened up a shop in Clackamas, Oregon and is also set to deliver their first trailer shortly.  The other day, I received a call from Lee Ireland, the former Boydstun warranty manager-- he's back at Boydstun building trailers.  (He'd been traveling around for Sierra Transport for the last few years.)  And we also hear that Delavan is building a new shop in Georgia.

There can be no doubt that Cottrell is the biggest auto transport equipment maker in the United States.  In fact, they filled this niche so attractively, they were in turn gobbled up by an even larger company who became majority shareholder.

But consider those "green shoots in the economy" , and those smaller trailer builders that survived the Great Recession.  You never know where the next great idea is going to come from.  It might come from a big company owned by a massive private equity firm.  It might come from a small start-up or a start-over.  In the long run, one thing is for sure:  diversity is good for everybody.