Becoming an enclosed car hauler is a great idea for truck drivers looking for a job with stability, that pays well, and is rewarding. Enclosed car haulers travel the country shipping classic cars, luxury cars, and exotic cars. They work with car enthusiasts around the United States and the world that appreciate your hard work and are trusting you with one of their prized possessions.

Due to this high level of responsibility, truck drivers who work for a car carrier get compensated very well and can take pride knowing they were responsible and trusted to ship some of the rarest and special cars in the world. There are many reasons to become an enclosed car hauler and our team outlines a few steps below that will help you land car hauler jobs and start your career shipping cars.

How to become a car hauler | Complete overview of the career, car hauling experience, and car hauling business

Step 1: Get a Class A CDL | Your commercial driver’s license

The first step to becoming an enclosed car hauler is to obtain your class A CDL. Due to the weight of the enclosed car carriers having a Class A is a must. Obtaining your Class A CDL is a goal in itself, but there are hundreds of truck driving schools that make it easy!

Most are a few months long and are a significant amount of money, ranging from $3,000 to $7,000. Luckily most schools offer flexible schedules from night, day, and weekend classes to help fit your schedule and many offer financial assistance and payment plans to help you pay for the school.

The investment and time getting a Class A CDL requires is a significant investment, but allows you start your career as a commercial truck driver allowing you to drive 18 wheelers. Commercial truck drivers with a valid cdl are in high demand and are predicted to surge for years to come. This demand for truck drivers increases the more specialized a job is especially with car transport, which requires some of the most experienced class a drivers who consistently deliver the best service and meet the specialized job requirements of a delivery specialist.

Drivers who have proven they can transport precious cargo safely and need minimal supervision will be the most qualified for a variety of jobs. Enclosed car hauler company drivers and owner operators average pay is at the top of the industry for cdl driving pays.

Step 2: Get a Job as a Truck Driver

After you receive your Class A CDL the first step is to get a job utilizing your new license! Driving a semi truck is a big responsibility and at first you may be limited to what companies will hire you right out of school. The biggest thing is to just get a job driving a Class A truck! Ideally one that offers additional training to help you hone your truck driving skills, which they should explain in the job description.

Some companies may even require you to drive with a trainer for a few weeks or even months until you have sharpened your truck driving skills enough to safely drive on your own in a tractor trailer. Going with a trainer can be a great way to improve your truck driving skills and also to see if being a truck driver trainer down the road would be of interest to you.  Once you get a few months or more of driving under your belt as a CDL driver more job opportunities will appear and you can continue advancing your career towards becoming a professional car hauler.

Step 3: Get a Job Driving Over the Road

Due to the limited number of job openings available to new truck driving graduates, your first job may have been regional or local. If that is the case, it’s important to find a company that lets you drive over the road, cross country once you gain more experience driving a truck. This will allow you to gain experience navigating the different regions and cities of this big country. Including the Rocky Mountains with steep elevation changes, inclement weather, and tight bends. Or all the different cities and their differences from the grid like patterns of west coast cities to the non-sensical roads of New England’s old cities. At this stage in your career its best to just get a job, so don’t be too picky in your job search for your first job.

As mentioned before, many companies have trainers that can go with you over the road in the beginning. This is a great opportunity with anyone not familiar with the different aspects of driving cross country, dealing with truck stops, and hours of service. They will ensure you have the right over the road experience to be safe driving and further your commercial driving career. Driving over the road will give you the driving experience and foundation enclosed car carriers look for when hiring truck drivers.

Step 4: Ensure you Have the Basic Skills Required

Before applying to be an enclosed car hauler it’s important to review the below skills that most companies require to haul cars. Being an enclosed car hauler is a great career that most people stick with until they retire. That being said you want to make sure when you do make the change that you have the required skills car haulers needs to be successful and are prepared to ensure it goes well!

-3+ years of safe over the road driving experience

-Communication skills with customers

Loading/unloading experience

-Experience securing loads

-Can drive a manual transmission

-Experience navigating residential neighborhoods and cities

Having a few years in previous experience with the careers mentioned in the following steps should give you these required car haulers skills to be a successful enclosed car hauler and ready to handle the precious cargo that makes up the world of high end cars & people’s dream cars & family cars.

Step 5: Get a Few Years in a Specialized Field

In addition to truck driving experience, enclosed car carriers look for experience typically in some type of specialty niche that forces you to load and unload your trailer and interact with customers. Car hauling experience is preferred, but Household movers, open car hauler, overweight transports, transporting high end medical machines/equipment, etc are all great fields to establish your resume before becoming an enclosed car hauler.

Open car transport

Getting a job in open car transport, car and truck division, is the ideal car hauling experience before starting your car hauler jobs in enclosed transport. Open transport vehicles tend to be of lower value than enclosed transport, but a lot of the skills will translate despite some differences in car hauling equipment and types of cars transported. Open transport companies tend to haul more Toyota and Lexus vehicles as opposed to enclosed where you may transport a priceless vehicle with a top of the line enclosed carrier like Intercity Lines.

Household Experience & other alternative options

If you can’t get experience with an open transport company, household, flatbed, and other specialized jobs where you’re securing the freight is great experience. Household is probably the 2nd best to open transport because you have customer interaction, door to door transport, inspections, and securement. Both are hard work, but rewarding careers.

Household vs. Enclosed Car Transport Careers

The biggest difference between household and enclosed car transport besides the obvious difference of furniture and cars is household relies on a team of laborers that you’re responsible for coordinating where enclosed car transport you can perform tasks independently, so you’re not dependent on anyone else work ethic or showing up on time.

These jobs force you to load and unload your freight, check on your load daily, schedule pickups and deliveries, and interact with customers. All skills that are crucial to becoming successful in enclosed car hauling. In the car and truck division, You will be responsible to load and unload the cars you are entrusted with as a car carrier and customer service is a top priority at the major auto transport companies shipping POVs or Personally Owned Vehicles. Having experience in both of these fields will make you a top candidate for car hauler jobs with car carriers looking for potential Auto Hauler Truck Drivers.

Step 6: Apply to be an Enclosed Car Hauler

After you’ve gained enough experience and the required skills it’s time to start applying to be an enclosed car hauler. Like any job, finding a new job with companies hiring car haulers can be a long process, but is well worth it. We recommend, reaching out to a variety of car carriers big and small to understand the differences between them and their vehicle transportation. In addition, we recommend reading their customer reviews to understand their reputation, the type of standards they have, how well run they are, and if they do a good job or not. As you gain experience and become an experienced car hauler find jobs will become easier, but always remember job hopping never looks good on ones resume.

Company Driver vs Owner Operator Positions

Car-hauling owner-operators are independent business people who have their own business, lease or purchase a tractor and then contract to haul cars and other vehicles for a trucking company. They generally earn higher per-mile rates than company drivers, or a percent-of-load rate. However, they also must pay all the expenses of operating a truck and business, and are on their own when it comes to waiting or breakdowns, finding health insurance, and more.

Owner operators have more responsibility, costs, and risk but have higher earning potentials and more freedom especially with efficiently transporting damage free & safe load securement. Owner operators are always liable for damages and fuel, so efficient and safe operation is key.

Company drivers are free of the burdens of ownership and may have access to lower-cost, company-subsidized group health plans with most insurance companies, and 401K company match. In addition to these insurance benefits and company match, they may enjoy the security of a steady paycheck and the ability to relax on their breaks and days off with paid vacation time like any other employee job even with new drivers. Company drivers are more likely to be eligible for some benefits that some companies may still reward to owner operators like no damage bonus program, monthly revenue bonus, and year safety bonus.

If you’re ready to start your car hauling journey apply today!

At Intercity Lines, we are a family owned enclosed car carrier that treats our drivers like family, not a number. We also have the best reputation in enclosed car hauling, with 40 years of satisfied customers and 5-star ratings. To drive for the best in enclosed car hauling as an owner-operator or a company driver apply today!

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