Why is my Auto Transport Carrier not picking up the phone?
Posted on April 1, 2012 by enterprise auto transport

The simple answer probably is….drum roll please…He’s driving, he’s sleeping, he is unloading a vehicle, taking a dinner break, or perhaps going thru a weigh station. So please know he’s not ignoring you.

I get alot of customers who call my auto transport company looking for their driver.  I try to explain to them that drivers are not supposed to be on the cell phone when they are driving and they need to be patient and wait at least one hour before trying him or her again. Its important for drivers to not be distracted when they are driving and now its against the law. The new federal law banning the use of hand-held phones by commercial vehicle drivers goes went into effect on January 3, 2012. So that means truckers and bus drivers, even on local roads, aren’t supposed to be using their cell phones while driving.

The new law is part of a push by federal transportation officials to cut down on the number of crashes caused by distracted driving, specifically those caused by drivers using cell phones.

Here’s the new law, enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (click here for the link):

The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.”
Customers need to be mindful of this and realize drivers will call you back when its safe for them to do so or when time permits them to pull over off the road.  Drivers usually will call you 24 hours prior to pick up and 12-24 hours prior to drop off. If you have not heard from your driver within those time frames than I would call the dispatcher of the company first as they usually know where their driver is on any given moment and if they don’t they can call them for you. You can also always call your auto transport broker and ask them to get in touch with the carrier too.

Thinking about texting your driver? In September 2010, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned commercial truck and bus drivers from texting while driving. And in February 2011, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned texting by drivers operating a motor vehicle containing hazardous materials.

Distracted drivers of commercial vehicles, pose a serious problem as accidents involving construction vehicles, buses and other large, heavy vehicles present a higher probability for fatalities and significant property damage.

Recommendations to Help Eliminate Distractions for Commercial Vehicle Drivers

There have been numerous studies examining the frequency and effects of distracted drivers of light vehicles, i.e., passenger cars and light trucks. But a 2009 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration isolated its research on commercial motor vehicle driver distraction and came up with some interesting conclusions. Based on the heightened risk found for accidents by distracted drivers of commercial vehicles, the study’s recommendations included:

•· Better education by fleet managers of their professional drivers as to the dangers of distracting actions behind the wheel.

•· Formalized policies by fleet managers to eliminate the use of distracting devices while driving.

•· Prohibit commercial drivers from reading or writing and looking at maps while driving. Routine tasks, such as looking at maps, were found to be significantly distracting for commercial drivers.

I hope this blog post will help you understand a little bit about the laws for cell phone use by drivers and why they don’t always pick up there phone right away.

 

Low Ball Auto Shipping Quotes Revealed
Posted on March 13, 2012 by enterprise auto transport
Here is a tutorial on how brokers send out car shipping quotes. We hope by being fully transparent in our business practices you will learn what to watch out for and what quotes you should throw out when choosing your auto transport broker.

Here are the basics of low ball auto transport quotes

Step One-Customer requests an auto transport quote

Step Two-Auto brokers pay lead aggregators on average $1.00 to $2.00 for this lead

Step ThreeThe lead is sent out to 8-10 auto shipping companies (sometimes less depending on the cost of the lead)

Step Four-A sales agent of a liscensed broker quotes the lead. 95% of all brokers auto quote their lead. This is how a quote is auto quoted. Most broker companies pay their software company a fee of $50-100 for this feature. It allows for quick quoting. The software pulls information from the Central Dispatch board. This is a national board used by all brokers. By simply knowing the zip codes of the pick up and delivery locations and the year make and the model of a vehicle the dispatch board pulls comparable listings from their history of cars previously moved by any company. This is the same board your broker or sales agent will be posting your vehicle to. Heres a sample of how this looks:

So in this example we are moving a 2011 chevy cruze from Stillwater Minnesota to Naples Florida. If the broker chose the lowest number of the five and added their broker fee or even gave you a lower number than this it would be considered a low ball quote. The problem with auto quoting is this. I pulled this information on 3/13/2012 at 5:48 pm. The dispatch board is pulling information from 1-2 months ago when gas was lower this means that the majority of these prices are 40% lower than what a driver is willing to be paid. Brokers who are experienced and honest will adjust their quote accordingly but the vast majority won’t.

There are five numbers listed if you cant see them they are as follows:
$560
$577
$647
$685
$685

These listing are comparable listings based on destination. So lets say for example we choose that lowball quote. The broker has used phrases like I guarantee you your car will move, we will have a driver in 2 days for you at this price, we are a carrier blah, blah, blah. You are happy with what he/she is saying he’s telling you everything you want to hear. Your getting a cheap price, and being picked up fast and even getting a highly rated driver. You agree to pay $560.00 and the broker fee of $150.00 for a total price of $710.00 and then your car is now posted to the board. But wait….theres just one problem…Brokers don’t determine the price drivers do so what if this quote is wrong…Lets continue…

Step Five
The broker takes your order. Charges an upfront commission. Remember he promised to get your car picked up at a cheap price so naturally you booked with him. Now the broker has made his money which is typically 30%-35% of whatever the deposit is. Keep in mind the broker has done very little work and now profited your money. The key here is he got your money. Is there a reason to low ball the quote? Yes, because the low ball broker knows people naturally based on price. Naturally you will want to save money so you will book at this low price. The brokers job is to make sales. The more sales the more $$$$$ money they make (shorterm). Scam brokers cant make sales if they don’t lowball. This leaves an honest broker in terrible position and its difficult to compete against this. Most of the time the honest broker is being viewed as being dishonest the person because his/her rate is higher. The honest broker will feel bad naturally but stick to his ground and tell the customer I simply can’t book your order at such a low price because he or she has integrity. But you the customer made that decision to book with the cheap rate. You gave your money to the broker who offered that cheap price so when your car does not move you eventually call back the honest broker and they move your car at the price they originally quoted you. Do you really have all this time to waste? I don’t like playing games and neither should you!

Moving on in our story…..

Step Six
The broker now posts your order to the board this is where it gets interesting….

The driver will now sort the board by price. You will notice the prices listed are the top 10% of the cars listed on the board which is where you want to be to be picked up in 5-7 days. Since this image didnt upload very clear heres what the top prices say…

$1400.00 +broker fee$1600
$900.00 + broker fee $1100
$900.00 + broker fee $1200
$900.00 + broker fee $1100
$750.00 + broker fee $950

Remember this is just the amount being paid to the driver. This does not include the broker fee so in this example I showed the broker fee. Keep in mind there are several other cars on the board even lower than this price 24 even LOWER. On an route like this only 10 spots will probably open up thats why we want you to be in the top 10% Sidenote-brokers don’t earn an hourly wage. Some work really hard finding drivers which can take hours to do. The broker fee pays the commission to the sales agent and the rest goes to the actual broker who holds the liscense. Brokers carry a minimum 10k bond. Brokers are your credit. This means they have to pay the driver if you don’t. It is a huge risk. Broker fees also offset some of the costs for running the business. People don’t realize we have to pay for lights, internet, computers, electricity and of course the leads which run thousands of dollars a month.

Lets go back to what we learned. If the low ball broker quoted you $710 and the top 10% of the cars are offering $1000.00 why would a driver take less? He simply wouldnt. So, your car will sit. Lets say you have some time. You think by waiting you can save money. 70% of the time this does not work. Gas prices usually get worse before they get better. So in this demonstration 24 brokers are offering 40% lower than the market rate. That means 24 brokers sent out quotes knowing the car they quoted would not move. Only 5 quoted correctly. New cars will contine to be added and the lowest priced cars will continue to go lower and lower on the board. So, when you recieve the quotes do yourself a favor and throw out the lowest quotes.

Step Seven
Broker gets call from angry customer. The customer states his car is supposed to be moved by tomorrow. He asks why his car is not moving. Immediatley the broker says we cant find you a driver. You need to increase your price sir. Well I dont have more money. Give me a refund on my deposit. The broker explains their deposit is non refundable and so the scam begins. By now, this broker has completley wasted the customers time. He has posted the customers car on the board and insulted other drivers by his low ball offer. He has upset his customer and now put his customer in a position to increase their bid when they may or may not have budgeted for. There are two options this customer can walk away and lose their deposit or increase their price. They are locked in. Their deposit is being held hostage. Do brokers who do NOT charge a deposit do the same thing? Absolutely. They just want to book your order and they need to feed their family. When 70% of the industry is low balling each other it comes to a point where some ppl just have to join in because they have no choice because people just dont believe them and they have a family to feed…They try to be honest but people dont believe them…..and that is sad.

Step Six Cheap rate??!!

So let’s just say you decided to take that cheap rate a driver might have accepted cause yet sometimes they will. Let me ask you a question? If the driver was willing to lower his rate, undercut other drivers what else would he skimp on? Sleep? Insurance???? Drivers have ratings on central dispatch and the drivers with the bad ratings take the cheap cars.

The moral of this story is dont choose a broker based on price. I know we are all busy but I cannot tell you the number of times I simply call customers about the quote I sent them. Many won’t even give me a chance to explain. Some hang up on me. Those who take the time to listen get their car moved at the best price, with the best possible driver in a timely manner.

What type of customer will you be? Even if you don’t book with our company we hope you will at least take the time to understand your quote. There are honest brokers out there like ourselves, Enterprise Auto Transport.  Now which type of broker do you want to choose? The choice is yours.

For honest, reliable quotes please call us. Our toll free number is 651-200-5297. You will speak to a fully liscensed and bonded broker on each phone call. 98% of the people call you are not even brokers they are agents. We want to earn your trust and by explaining this process we hope we have. So please, give us a call and you will see what real customer service is all about.

How Enterprise Auto Transport handles quotes
Now that you understand the quote process a little bit lets explain how we quote our customers. We would have looked up the cars offered on the national board. We would send out a market rate quote. Once the order is placed we would make calls to all the drivers available traveling that route. We will negotiate the rate book the driver and get you picked up. If the rate is more than our quote than you decide if you want to pay it or not. We work free for you so remember we make nothing if your car doesn’t move. Remember, the broker doesnt decide the rate the driver does. We can’t make any driver take a car at a price he doesn’t want to. They are their own boss. Only a driver knows what his truck payment is, how many other cars he needs to make his load profitable, etc.

Working with us may not always be the cheapest but remember if you want a cheap rate expect the cheap service to go with it. Sometimes people get lucky even drivers undercut each other but remember if the price sounds to good to be true it probably is. We realize some brokers get lucky and some rookie drivers will pick up these cheap load but at what cost? Their reputation? Sometimes even our quotes are not right or perfect but at least we try to be honest and do our best to give a correct estimate. There are many dishonest companies in this industry especially ones from Florida. When I was a rookie sales agent I interviewed at some of the top so-called companies in florida. They were located in some of the poorest parts of town. Their offices looked like sweatboxes. They hired felons to work behind the desk taking your credit card information. These companies don’t last in this industry and neither do those type of truckers. There are bad brokers who give our industry a bad name. It is disheartening to see a customer go with companies you know will only give them a headache. My advice is take the time to listen to the brokers who want to explain their price. Don't call when your in a hurry.  Alot of the companies in Florida are some of the worst out there but some are very good. I worked for one good company which was one out of Hollywood Florida. I can tell you the agents their and their owner taught me how to be the best at my job and always put my customer first. It is because of that job I am now here as an owner of an auto transport company. Also, I worked for bad companies that I had to quit from because I refused to compromise my integrity just to hit my goals. Those were the companies who were dishonest. I too have been scammed by these companies when my checks bounced, their credit card processors went down or they didnt pay their bills. I put my trust in these companies and just like many others they let me down I worry for people who they will let down in the future. Some of these rogue companies even write fake reviews to harm our reputation. Many of these rogue companies have now changed their name because thats what they do when their repuation gets so bad. I learned alot from working at good and bad companies because it taught me how companies do business and as a business owner its nice to know other competitors tactics. Now, because of my experience I'm able to educate my customers better and know what drivers to stay away from as well.

At Enterprise Auto Transport we only use reputable drivers and we offer a fair price to get your car moved quickly. We hope this explanation helps you decide who to choose and if its not us we hope at least we helped you make an informed decision to avoid being scammed. The bottom line is this. Booking auto transport is not like booking airfare and nothing is guranteed. You're car has to be at the right price, with other cars going that way. It has to be the right weight and right height for the spot available. It has to be the right date for the driver that's available. There also has to be freight to come back with. There are alot of variables.  Sometimes a broker can be the most honest broker and no one will accep the load. If that happens we may need to adjust the price as much as $100 to get the next lowest size truck or get a driver to come from far away. We are forecasting the rate.  There is never the same amount of cars on he load board at anyone time.  If its not movng and were wrong we will have the backbone to tell you. That is where we are different than other companies. We always have your best interest at heart. This is not like booking airfare. There is alot of logistics work involved. The customers who understand this and are patient always have the best experience.

Rena A.
President
Enterprise Auto Transport
 651-200-5297
rena@enterpriseautotransport.com
www.enterpriseautoransport.com