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Enclosed Trailers vs. Open-Air Trailers

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When it's time to move your vehicle to someplace, it will work out best for you if you are made aware of your options and if you know how you can safely move it. Getting it transferred to another place takes a good chunk of money. In order to customize your budget, you can choose various options for your auto transportation. To minimize the hassles that you might face while moving your car by yourself, you may choose to hire an expert in auto moving. These auto transport companies make it possible to ship your vehicle(s) safely by following the high safety standards and various automobile safety measures and also by utilizing their state-of-the-art trailers. The decision on how to ship your car is as important as choosing who will ship your car.

The mode of transportation that is used to transport your car or truck will ultimately decide the price of your auto move. Many auto transport companies have different types of tractor trailers to move your vehicle. Most of the time, your options will boil down to two distinct choices: an open-air trailer or enclosed trailer. These two ways of transporting your vehicle do the same job, but each one of them has their own ways of getting it done, and the subsequent advantages and disadvantages as well.

Enclosed/Fully-Covered Auto Carrier

If you are looking for a safe and reliable way to ship your special vehicles, then look no further. Enclosed auto carriers are the ideal trailers with which to ship your vehicles safely. These enclosed trailers tend to be the more expensive option when it comes to shipping your automobiles, however those that need complete protection for their vehicles while in transit should choose an enclosed carrier in order to avoid damages that may occur during the move.

The name itself says it all; it is a fully ENCLOSED solid container, and it will have a roof over your car, as well as additional protection on the sides and back. Your car would be covered fully from dust, debris and environmental conditions. In order to be the best fit for every vehicle, enclosed trailers come in varying sizes. The typical enclosed trailer will move two to three cars at a time and tends to be more expensive than most other trailers. As these trailers are less common in the auto transport industry and because of the extra protection that they offer, they are highly sought after by people who are looking to move newer vehicles or more expensive luxury vehicles, and this is often reflected in the price it will cost to hire one.

Open-Air/Uncovered Auto Carrier

An open-air auto carrier is one of the most common methods of shipping your car, and one which is preferred by the majority of customers. With these types of open-air carriers you will most often receive a dependable and safe method of transportation for your vehicles, and what's even better is that it is an option that is a very affordable means of transportation for the average person looking to move one or two vehicles.

What sets these open-air auto carriers apart from enclosed carriers is the simple fact that it is open on the top and on either side as well, exposing all of the vehicles being transported to the elements and to all of the outdoor weather and conditions that it would otherwise be protected from in an enclosed trailer.

Open-air trailers are typically designed to fit various car sizes, from small compact cars to bigger SUVs and they are often composed of a two-level trailer with cars and trucks on both the top and bottom levels, similar to the trucks that you often see on the road transporting new cars to dealerships. These carriers can ship 8-10 cars at a time, and because of this, their rates tend to be much more affordable than what you will pay for an enclosed carrier. Because of these reasonable rates and the rather large availability of open-air carriers in the auto transport industry, these open-air carriers usually have a large number of customers.

Enclosed Trailers vs. Open-Air Trailers

Take a glimpse into both the pros and cons of each type of auto transport carrier and what you can expect from each:

Advantages of Choosing an Enclosed Carrier:

  • Enclosed carriers are your best option to fully protect your costly vehicle(s) from all weather conditions and road debris. Big trucks like auto transport carriers tend to kick up a lot of road debris during the course of a long trip, debris such as rocks and dust that can potentially damage the exterior of your car. But with an enclosed trailer, you won't have to worry about any of that.

  • The enclosed carriers also make use of soft tie-downs and climate control systems in order to deliver your vehicle in the right shape and condition. The climate control systems help to ensure that your vehicle is transported in a constant temperature and that the inside of the truck is not too hot or too cold, which is important for people who are having their vehicles transported from a warmer climate to somewhere that is colder, or vice versa.

  • Enclosed trailers have lift gates which work as an elevator that lifts your vehicle onto the truck, and avoids any hassles that can happen while lifting the vehicle into the trailer, which may often cause scratching, denting, or other damages to the exterior of the car if something goes wrong.

  • As these auto transport carriers are totally enclosed, they are by far the best way to ship your sports car, convertible or any other vehicle with exposed interiors. Also, any classic or antique vehicles should probably be shipped using an enclosed carrier solely because their value and appeal is largely based on them being in good condition, and it's better to be safe when transporting it by not exposing it to the elements of the open road.

Disadvantages of Choosing an Enclosed Carrier:

  • Shipping your vehicle on an enclosed trailer is extremely expensive, and because of these typically high costs that are often associated with the service it is not as readily accessible to the average person who is looking to transport one or two family cars to a new home or other destination. These high costs, which typically vary depending on the time of year in which the move is being done, mean that most people who use enclosed trailers to transport their vehicles are people with higher-end luxury cars or antique cars.
  • Another potential downside with choosing enclosed carriers for your auto transport is their lack of availability. The driver should always check for the availability of cars as it is less visible and enclosed.

  • While this may not be a disadvantage for you personally, enclosed trailers, because of their bulkier size and climate-controlled interior, tend to use more fuel, which not only raises the cost of the truck but also is the cause of more harm to the environment than regular open-air auto transport carriers.

Advantages of Choosing Open-Air Carriers:

  • With the more common open-air auto transport carriers, you can find quick shipping services at low prices, something that just isn't possible with enclosed trailers. While you normally have to reserve an appointment for an enclosed trailer months in advance, it's easier to secure a sport on an open-air trailer on short notice, and their services tend to be a lot more flexible, especially with the uncertain and rapidly changing schedules that often come with a hectic move.

  • With the help of open-air carriers, you can ship any type of vehicle, no matter how expensive they are. From your beat-up 20-year-old four-door sedan to your brand new luxury SUV, anything and everything can be transported on an open-air carrier, and at a much cheaper rate than an enclosed trailer.

  • The biggest advantage to moving your vehicle(s) on an open-air carrier is that you can transport a whole group of vehicles at one time. While most enclosed trailers only have room for a few cars at the most, open-air carriers can fit up to 8-10 cars on it at once, meaning that if you're a family with multiple cars, you can have them all moved in one shot, instead of hiring multiple trailers and multiple services to get the job done.

  • In turn, open-air carriers will not only save you a lot of money on your moving costs but they'll also help our environment by using less fuel to transport the same number of vehicles.

  • Finally, open-air trailers are a lot more common in the auto transport industry than enclosed trailers, thus they are much easier to find and much easier for the average person to book. They are readily available at every auto transport company and can provide immediate service to you and your vehicles as you get ready to make your move.

Disadvantages of Choosing Open-Air Carriers

  • Of course, open-air carriers leave your cars exposed to the elements of the road and the weather as well, and in turn, the carriers and auto transport companies cannot give you a guarantee that your vehicle will be fully protected from road conditions and/or weather conditions.

  • Also, open-air carriers, being that they expose the vehicles on the back of the truck rather than keeping them contained inside a fully-enclosed trailer, are less secure than enclosed trailers.

By considering the type of vehicle you will be transporting and by analyzing the security issues, you must decide which mode of transportation is required for the vehicle. With much deliberation on these types of carriers, you can choose which one will be the perfect fit for your vehicle.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on December 28, 2012

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