When you are having your valued items shipped, it is important to find best hauler for job, not necessarily cheapest. Customer service, reliability, and trustworthiness are all important factors in choosing a transport company. An unscrupulous trucker can cost you money, damage your property, and cause you a hard time.
Recommended Steps to take before hiring a transport company:
- Ask Questions - When you first contact a hauler, you should ask as many relevant questions as you can regarding care they will take with your property, scheduling, contract issues, what type of equipment they have, licensing, insurance, and take some time to get a feel for type of people you are dealing with. The vast majority of truckers / haulers are reputable business people that simply want to help you, best way to weed out few that aren't is in this first stage. - Get References - Most haulers should be prepared to provide you with several references in regards to RECENT jobs they have done. If time allows try to contact every reference and ask questions regarding type of service they received from their hauler. Remember, that no one is perfect all of time, so if there are any less than perfect reviews, follow up with a question to see how hauler resolved issue.
Sample questions to ask provided references: - What did you have __(company name)___ haul? - When did they haul it? - Did they keep you well informed of their pickup / delivery schedule? - How well did they keep their original promised schedule? - Did they take good care of your (car, boat, horse, furniture, etc..)? - If any problems occurred, how did hauler resolve them? - How would you rate your overall experience with this hauler? - Would your recommend this hauler to others?
Use above questions in an e-mail or as a template for a phone conversation with provided references, and you will have a very good idea of what to expect when you use hauler yourself.
- Check Licensing - Your hauler should be able to provide you with his DOT number, and MC, Number. You can check validity of their DOT number at FMCA website: http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_carrquery.prc_carrlist - A DOT license lets you know that hauler has filed proper paperwork and pays proper taxes and fees when hauling your items.