EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HIRE US, PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CARRIER ADHERES TO THE FOLLOWING BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO YOUR PROPERTY
1) It is common for nylon straps to be used on light vehicles as each strap, if in good condition, has a safe working load of 3,300 pounds. DOT regs require carriers to use at least 2 placed diagonally from each other however, ensure your carrier places them correctly. If used in the lasso configuration they have been known to pop off when only one steer tire is secured as when in transit the steer tires turn slightly decreasing the needed tension. My protocol is to lasso both steer tires reducing the chances of straps coming off in transit. NOTE: This applies for carriers using wedge or flatbed trailers and single point straps.
2) Nylon straps can also be configured to "choke" the wheel instead. It takes a little longer to secure the vehicle however the chances of the strap coming loose while in transit is 0 unless the strap actually snaps. However whenever using this method my protocol is to place a rag between the actual strap and rim preventing any chance the rim is scuffed by the nylon strap. In either the choker or lasso configuration, ensure your carrier places the strap in such a way that the metal ring is not touching the rim or the strap will not rub on your vehicle. Using 3 point straps placed around just the tire portion is ideal but some trailers may not be constructed with the needed holes in the decking.
3) If you are shipping a heavier vehicle such as trucks over 2500 series or any diesel model, chains and binders should be used. It is critical that the carrier place the chains correctly or damage to your brake lines and anti lock braking sensors may result. Ensure the carrier place chains around the axle only and not get your brake lines pinched when the binder is tightened. Some vehicles have rigid brake lines or simply too much going on down there so your carrier may choose to secure around the actual frame (chassis). Ensure the carrier uses the manufacturer provided holes for placing connections or structural damage may result. Auto transport grade chain are usually rated at 7,500 pound safe working load and gold in color so if your carrier only uses 2, this is fine however they should be pulling in opposite directions.
4) When loading especially low ground clearance vehicles, your carrier should have approach shoring to ease the transition between street, ramp and finally onto trailer deck. Insist your carrier use this material or air damn and undercarriage damage may result. It is nothing more technical than pieces of 2" by 6" lumber. All trucks should carry this anyway.
5) When shipping motorcycles, please realize that not all carriers ride motorcycles personally. Feel free to ask them if they ride and if not if it would be ok if you rode your own bike into the trailer. They may decline for insurance purposes but they may gratefully accept as they do not want to dump your bike especially in front of you. I ride so I am used to loading and unloading bikes. My protocol for tie down is to use a minimum of 3 straps for small bikes and 4 for full dressers. If your bike is equipped with a fairing such as Harley Street Glides, ensure your carrier runs the straps from the bars straight down the forks through the fairing or broken plastic may result. The rear should be secured with at least one strap running through the tire and pulling back with 2 tie down points. Bigger bikes may necessitate 2 straps pulling from frame in 2 separate directions but both pulling back. Whatever the case, steps taken should result in zero movement of the rear end of your bike. If inappropriately secured, your bike may "hop" around while in transit and may fall over into other bikes.
ALWAYS TRY TO BE PRESENT DURING YOUR LOAD UP AND DROP OFF
Feel free to ask your carrier questions before they start loading to ensure they have a plan already thought out and just basically to ensure the well being of your property. We are generally happy when a customer participates just remember we are working usually on a street with other cars zooming by so yours and our safety is always in mind. And we are always working on a schedule to ensure prompt service to everyone so please this mind.
This is not like delivering pizza! We can generally cover about 600 miles per day depending on weather, traffic, etc... so while we pride ourselves in being like FedEx for cars, please understand shipping times. My protocol is to stay in constant touch with the client letting them know when I have an approximate estimated time of arrival then as the trip progresses, a more exact time. Then I call when I am 30 minutes out. Please keep in mind your carrier may be arriving in a hot shot rig (pick up truck with trailer) or semi so ask your carrier what they are driving and try to pick an appropriate offload spot. We are pretty skilled however, my protocol is to NEVER go into apartment complexes. Too many bad things can happen.