Car Hauler Industry Tips, Industry, Super Dispatch

4 Things to Include in an Auto Transport Inspection Report

by admin

What is an Auto Transport Inspection Report?

A car hauler inspection report is an online BOL detailing the findings/damages before and after the car is transported. This report is also a part of the BOL (bill of lading). The BOL is a document like a traditional receipt, in this case, for the transaction of auto transportation.

Every auto transport company must do a comprehensive inspection of the vehicle before it’s hauled to its destination. It’s also known as a car hauler inspection report specifically because the inspection will be carried out by the car hauler. In the majority of instances, the transport driver will be the one carrying out this task. He may or may not be the point of contact for the customer. More likely, that person will be a broker.

The type of inspection that’s done will vary depending on the requirements put forth by the shipper. To briefly sum it up, there are standard vs. advanced inspections, as well as internal vs. external.  

No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, any kind of damage will be jotted down (including the tire pressure).

Car hauler inspection reports have traditionally been paper-based, usually just a couple sheets with an illustrative drawing of the whole vehicle with all angles shown. After doing a thorough inspection of the car, the driver would circle the areas on the sheet where damages were located. But now, the more efficient way is to take pictures using an app on our smartphones. Smartphones these days can take very detailed images that can be included in the BOL (which is also digital). Overall, this paints a more accurate picture of the car’s condition pre-transport and upon delivery. This can also be compared to the way it looks after transport. A reliable auto transport company, which you can find in our auto transport software, will do a thorough inspection and electronic BOL before transporting your vehicle.


Why is a Car Hauler Inspection Report Important?

A thorough car hauler inspection report provides a full picture of the car’s condition pre and post-transport to both the car hauling company and the vehicle owner. This is essential because every part of the car will be checked for dents, scratches, cracks, etc. That way, the owner/shipper and car hauler representative will be on the same page about the car’s condition. The findings on the report can be looked at side by side with the car at the destination. That way, any claims of damages can easily be settled. 

A car hauling company will do this inspection to protect themselves from paying for any damages that did not occur during transport. After all, the driver is almost always the first person blamed when claims arise that damages occurred during transport. If the driver cannot prove that they did not cause the damage, then the auto transport company is held responsible for paying the quoted damages. This also means that the transporter’s insurance premiums will rise. Furthermore, a growing history of damages during transportations will make it even harder to find new business going forward. This is a domino effect that you want to avoid at all costs. 

The good news is that you can stop this before it happens by preventing auto transport damage claims from being made to begin with. With our app, all images are geo-tagged. This means that relevant information such as the location and time are recorded along with the image. This is invaluable for helping carriers prevent false damage claims.


Man on smartphone taking picture of car


4 Things to Include in an Auto Transport Inspection

1. Photographs

Take advantage of all available digital resources, and use them to paint the most accurate picture of the car’s condition prior to transportation. Doing this will give your car hauling company the maximum protection possible.  Smartphone cameras have been continuously improving, and our app can take advantage of the latest improvements

Also, you should take these pictures from as many different angles as possible. Get some close-up pictures as well so that you have a full 3-D look of any damages before transport.  


2. Accurate Notes Describing any Damages

Accuracy and relevance are also important. Detailed notes are necessary to create the most accurate picture of the vehicle’s condition prior to transport. This means that the driver who is conducting the inspection must know the difference between a chip, crack, dent, and scratch. Any possible misrepresentation of the condition can be used in court against the auto transport company if they are sued for damages. The reliable companies and drivers you can find in our auto transport software are educated about these different terms.


3. Signatures

The best signature source is a neutral third party. The signatory will be someone to check the car and compare it to what’s in the report to verify the accuracy and truthfulness of the report. However, it’s better if the person has some legal authority to enter into the matter.

Ideally, you should obtain a signature from someone at each delivery and pickup location. 

Super Dispatch makes obtaining a signature easy with Touchless Signatures. Through our app, a carrier can submit the BOL for signature via text. 

These signatures will be vital in case there’s a dispute between the auto transport company and the car owner.


4. Replication of Inspection Findings on Other Relevant Documents

The details in the car inspection report should also be replicated on any other relevant documents, such as gate passes. While this might seem like a hassle for the driver, the downsides of not doing this could be far worse, including lost wages. These other forms of documentation will help to provide more validity to the original report. After all, more consistency can help build your case.



Published on April 14, 2021


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