Transporting The New Purchase
If you ever jumped on one of those "too good to pass up deals," you aren't alone. There are plenty of us who buy a Jeep at a great price only to find out that it's 2,000 miles away, we've got no trailer, and it's got no engine, so we can't even drive it. Heck, if you've been reading Jp for a while, you've seen Hazel making the $1,000 impulse buy and then dragging Cappa 1,000 miles to get another Jeep.In this case, it was a bit different. I quit my old job almost two months before moving from New Jersey to California. The goal was to get my '67 M-715 road worthy and drive it across country. Well, 40 some-odd days of wrenching later, I had to admit it probably wasn't going to happen. Basically, as soon as I got to California I started investigating shipping options for my truck.
At first, I didn't want to ship it. I wanted to take a vacation and fly back to finish it. It still needed radiator hoses and adapters, cooling fans, lights wired in, the outputs on the transfer case swapped, an exhaust, and so on. Then, when I figured out it would cost about $900 just in gas to drive my tall deck, big-block-equipped, 6,500-pound truck across the country, shipping started looking really good. Those $900 were without figuring in food, hotels, tolls, breakdowns, 60 mph top speed, and the loss of two or three weeks of work, if everything went right.
I started off with an online search and found rates from $900 to $1,500 for an open-car carrier. All carriers will charge more if the vehicle is not running. Enclosed-car carriers, flatbed trailers, specific time limits, oversized or modified vehicles all usually add to the cost of shipping. However, in my case, I was still within what I expected to have to shell out to drive it, without taking three weeks of my vacation and sick time to do it.
After filling out a bazillion forms online and getting back a bazillion quotes, I realized I knew almost nothing about getting my truck shipped. Would it be safe? Would it be insured? Could I put the extra parts in the bed to finish it in California? Could I remove the brand-new top to keep it from getting damaged? Would it even fit on one of those car-hauling trailers?
So I called about 15 of the companies who responded to my quotes and asked them all of these questions. Finally, I found Jo-Ann from Streamline Auto Transport and got some straight answers. The first thing that people look at is the shipping quote. But, often, the lowest price isn't the best. For example, would you let the lowest bidder babysit your kid?
All it takes is some inclement weather, or one person who is not there to receive their vehicle, or traffic to throw off the specific delivery date and time. Then you've got the driver rushing like mad to get your vehicle to you. It's like Domino's 30-minute guarantee. They don't have it anymore because of accidents and destroyed pizzas. The better carriers will give you a range of days, typically two or three days when they will be there for pick up and drop off.
What sold me on Streamline was this site: www.auto-transport-reviews.com Several of the shippers I was debating with were listed on there, and Streamline came up near the top. Additionally, Jo-Ann answered all of my questions and put my worries to rest. Then she hooked me up with Magda at Ideal Express Car Carrier to work out the actual details for moving my M-715.
Ideal Express has a fleet of new Peterbuilt trucks. That means it's much less likely for your vehicle to be on a broken truck in the middle of Cleveland. Also, they are a smaller company with about 10 trucks and, as such, my 715 wasn't just a number to them. They don't like using terminals either, and will deliver door to door if local conditions permit.
Ideal doesn't have online tracking, which is often quirky, if it works at all. By calling Magda, I could find out at any time where my truck was. She is in constant contact with her drivers via cell phone and had no problem telling me where my truck was, and the delivery was right on time.
My driver's name was Albert. He is not only the cross-country driver for Ideal but Magda's husband, and the owner of the company. He knew his truck very well, and had no problems loading the ungainly M-715 onto it. All in all, Ideal was a great choice for me because I was able to be sure my truck was going to be taken care of. From the door-to-door service, the personal care, and their record for happy customers and undamaged cars, they did a great job.