How to Load a Car Transporter

Written by andrew rothmund
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How to Load a Car Transporter
Large transport trailers are used by automotive manufacturers to transport multiple cars. at once. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Car transporters, also known as car carriers, are used to transport vehicles long distances. Automotive manufactures use car transporters to deliver new cars to dealerships, and private individuals use smaller car carriers to attach the family car to the back of their RV or other vehicle. Loading them properly and safely means paying attention to small details and following all of the guidelines from the transporter's manufacturer.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Vehicle(s) to be transported
  • Transport truck or trailer
  • Straps and chains, as required by manufacturer

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  1. 1

    Check to make sure that your car's width, length, and height are not larger than the space available on the transporter. Check your car's ground clearance to make sure driving up the steep ramp doesn't cause the front or rear end of the car to scrape the ground.

  2. 2

    Unlock and pull out the ramps from your transporter, making sure they are on level and solid ground.

  3. 3

    Drive your vehicle slowly up the ramp and onto the transporter. If your transporter is designed to hold multiple vehicles, drive it to the most forward available spot.

  4. 4

    Put your vehicle in park if it's an automatic, or in first gear if it has a manual transmission, and then apply the handbrake.

  5. 5

    Strap the vehicle down according to the manufacturer's instructions. Usually this involves using the car's tow hook, or using straps that go through the wheels of the vehicle and attach directly to the side of the transporter.

  6. 6

    Tighten the straps securely.

  7. 7

    Attach the safety chains to the vehicle's frame directly under the chain mounting points on the transporter. Avoid strapping the chains to the exhaust, steering, or other non-structural points on your vehicle.

  8. 8

    Repeat Steps 3 through 7 for each additional vehicle, if any.

  9. 9

    Retract the ramps and lock them back into place.

Tips and warnings

  • Have a friend help guide you as you drive the vehicle onto the transporter.
  • There are numerous safety issues when dealing with car transporters. Always consult the manufacturer instructions for full details and safety warnings. Make sure that your straps and chains are all in working order.

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