What is Top Load Car Transport?

What is top load car transport

You may find the term ‘top load’ confusing if you are new to the auto transport industry. However, if you work with a reputable car shipping company like Autostar Transport Express, you won’t have to worry about all these terms. Choosing different car shipping services is one of the steps you need to take when shipping your car.

You can choose from open-air, enclosed, terminal-to-terminal, or door-to-door services for car transport. It is possible that you will encounter the term “top load” if you choose open-air car transport.

Learn what is top load car transport and how it may benefit your vehicle during shipping.

What Does Top Load Car Transport Mean?

Typically, auto transport trailers have two decks (levels). A trucker would normally place some vehicles on top, some on the bottom. Top-load transport assures top-level placement of your vehicle on a carrier, which keeps it elevated away from road debris while allowing it to be exposed to natural elements.

Top load placement is only available when using the open auto transport service. A single deck trailer is still considered top load as it ensures that there is no vehicle above yours. It is an ideal location for classic car transport.

Top Load Car Transport

What Makes Top Load Car Transport so Popular?

Well, there are a few reasons for this. Let’s discuss the major ones:

Safety from other vehicles

When you choose open car transport, your car will likely be shipped with a number of other vehicles.  When you place your vehicle on the bottom level of the truck under an older vehicle, you never know what conditions the other vehicles are in.

Even though your vehicle should be well prepared to avoid leaks, some older vehicles cannot withstand the test of time. In most cases, leakage will not be a problem. However, when shipping a classic car by open transport, it is wise to pay the extra fee to ensure that your vehicle is top-loaded and will not leak.

Safety from road debris

Debris is a part of every road. There is a lot of dirt, rocks, glass, tire parts, etc., even on the cleanest of highways.

Sadly, road debris can fly up from under the tires of other vehicles, especially trucks, and hit your vehicle. Rocks and dirt can cause small dents and dings on your car. Sometimes, road debris can even crack windshields if it hits them in a certain way.

Vehicles loaded onto the bottom level are more likely to encounter flying road debris compared to cars loaded at the top level.

Top Load Car Transport: Things to consider

Even though loading your car toward the top of the carrier has many benefits, it can also have some downsides. When considering loading your vehicle on top, take note of these points.

Top loading is expensive

A trucker might rearrange the whole trailer to accommodate a top-load request. This is no small task! A fee will be charged for the extra work. You can expect to pay at least $100 for this.

The top deck is exposed to sun, rain, or snow!

Your car is exposed to weather conditions when using open transport. Both the top and bottom decks are exposed to the sun, rain, and snow. The cars at the top, however, will be most exposed.

Essentially, the top load acts as a shield to the bottom load! If you think of it this way, you might reconsider your options. Nevertheless, the cars on top will be exposed the most. This means that the top load shields the bottom load!

Low-hanging vegetation

Cars on the upper deck are close to trees. Therefore, the auto hauler may occasionally pass close to overhanging tree branches when pulling near trees. If the incident is severe, branches may cause abrasions, dents, or even fractures.

Is Top Load Car Transport Ideal for Classic Car Transport?

The choice to transport a classic car via top-load transport is yours. Certainly, debris on the road and fluid leaks can happen, but not paying for top load doesn’t guarantee they will. A top load order offers an extra layer of protection and peace of mind.

Consider enclosed car transport if you’re looking for full protection and greater peace of mind. In the case of classic vehicles, exotic vehicles, or other vehicles, you may need more protection. This allows your vehicle to be fully protected from damaging outside elements, such as rain, snow, or sun.

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    Top Load Car Shipping: Final Thoughts

    When it comes to classic car shipping, enclosed shipping is the best choice for maximum protection. There is nothing better than enclosed transportation if you want to keep your car safe from rocks, road debris, and weather. Enclosed transportation costs at least 50% more, which is why it is usually reserved for those who own exotic, rare, or classic restored vehicles.

    Don’t worry if enclosed shipping isn’t in your budget. The risk of vehicle damage on open trailers is low, whether your car is on top or bottom deck. We have a damage rate of less than 1%! Moreover, if your vehicle is damaged, we have a damage claim process in place and the carrier’s cargo insurance will cover you.


    Sol Abril

    Sol Abril is an INFJ soul with strong empathy and a passion for helping others. His experience of working for auto transports for over a decade helps him spot the problem and figure out the best possible solution. Sol has served in different roles in different auto transport companies. He understands the ins and outs of the auto transport sector which he regularly shares on the Auto Star Transport blog. He likes to spend his spare time with his family.
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    Edward Larrivee

    Introducing Edward - the beach-loving car carrier guru at AutoStar Transport Express! With his expertise, Edward helps clients surf through the car shipping process with ease. And when he's not working, he's making waves on the sand court as an avid beach volleyball player. With Edward on your team, your car will arrive safely and on time, and you might even catch a tan!
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