Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.

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hitching rides on empty car transporters

look down on other cars
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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Car transporters tend to deliver cars to a car dealership and then return, empty, to the port or car factory where they started. This surplus car transportation capacity should be used. Empty car transporters should advertise their destination when they stop at service stations - if you want to go where they're going, just drive aboard, pay the fee, lock your wheels into the gizmos on the deck of the transporter and you're off, free to sit back, turn up the stereo and enjoy the scenery.
hippo, May 21 2004

Passengers in trailers http://www.northern...99/19990454.htm#104
[Gromit, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Saftey issues make this pretty much impossible at present.
Letsbuildafort, May 21 2004

       could you hitch a lift?
po, May 21 2004

       Superb. Everyone wins. Pastry.
angel, May 21 2004

       As Letsbuildafort indicates, I doubt you'd be allowed to ride in your car on the transporter. But, I wonder how the overall energy consumption would compare between the independently driven vehicles and the loaded on the transporter scenario.   

       I've heard that car rental companies pay drivers to individually shuttle vehicles to other locations. It would stand to reason that these rental cars would need to be shuttled away from "desirable" locales back to locations that are "nice to be from". It also seems that new automobiles would be delivered for sale to those same "desirable" cities. Seems like a good potential fit unless the rental cars need to be returned to a place that's too far out of the way or to too many locations to make it profitable for the transporter.
Gromit, May 21 2004

       In a Denver December, I rode my motorcycle to a truck stop and talked to truckers, until I met one willing to haul me and my bike to San Francisco. I paid him the same as I would have spent on gas and oil, stayed warm, and did not die in the snowdrifts we passed through.   

       Ah, the adventures of your first youth....
normzone, May 21 2004

       //Ah, the adventures of your first youth//   

       How do you get to have a second one, and where can I sign up?   

       Oh, re: the idea at hand: Aside from the possible liability reasons working against this, it sounds like a relaxing way to go cross-country, especially if you get that coveted over-the-cab position.
Freefall, May 21 2004

       It's mostly a matter of attitude.....at 47 I'm firmly lodged in my second youth, and wondering about a potential third one.   

       Yes, over the cab would be the prime spot...." if you're not the lead sled dog, the view never changes " would apply here. Although I think it would be really hard on my nerves every time we approached a bridge overpass.
normzone, May 21 2004

       I like this. I've been trying to think of a way of combining it with a drive-in movie theatre, but can't. The alignment of the cars makes it tricky. Best I could think of was projecting a movie onto a large tarpaulin suspended above the vehicle, but that would would only work for the top deck. And only if they had sunroofs and reclineable seats.
lostdog, May 21 2004

       That's why you pay more to ride on the top deck.
Gromit, May 21 2004

       wonderful, hippo, this is inspired.
neilp, May 21 2004

       I agree. If well coordinated this could even become a standard way of long distance travel. I don't see the safety issues others are talking about.
Worldgineer, May 21 2004

       I believe that it is generally frowned upon to have human passengers in/on trailers.
Gromit, May 21 2004

       It would reduce pollution, and you coulld have a double trailor. one for the cars, and one with lounge for the passengers that is towed behind the first.
theblueribbonmachine, May 21 2004

       [Grom] Other than odd Irish trailer laws, I don't see a reason for it to be frowned upon. They'd even have seatbelts.
Worldgineer, May 21 2004

       I've heard in several U.S. states that it is illegal for passengers to ride in trailers. Hearsay, though. I don't know that I've ever actually read the applicable statutes.
Gromit, May 21 2004

       Yup, you might have to sign some sort of waiver, in exchange for which you'd get a free CD of trucking songs ("Convoy!").

As several people have commented, there definitely would be a premium for the pole position (top, front) spot.

There's a chance that this might be more profitable to the truck driver than transporting new, empty cars around, in which case it could become (as [Worldgineer] suggests) a common form of travel.
hippo, May 22 2004

       Tow the full size car trailer with a half-size bus. 20 seats or less should do for the 10 or so cars. There could even be a bathroom to cut down on stops.
gabe, May 22 2004

       "Did you see that woman peeing from the car trailer?"
bristolz, May 22 2004

       I was wondering what would happen if you had to use the bathroom. I mean you could alert the truck driver via 2-way radio or cell phone but what if the driver does not want to stop? Getting a tractor trailer on and off the highway isnt exactly an easy task. Also, as previously mentioned, climbing up and down the loading frame is not the most accomodating thing for the average person. The position over the cab even has challenges for the most experienced transporter let alone tryng to get a young couple on their honeymoon up there.
Jscotty, Sep 08 2005

       What if you just towed a few cars behind the tractor cab? You wouldn't have the trailer, just a bunch of cars towed behind the semi. You could cut fuel costs with all the aerodynamic drafting but still have control of your car's steering and brakes.
discontinuuity, Sep 08 2005

       [J] Radios could be used, or just honking (though I'd prefer radios - rented by the trucking company). Designing in ladders shouldn't be too tough - you could even add a thin platform on either side of the truck on the top level. Most states have rest stops on freeways designed with truck access in mind.
Worldgineer, Sep 08 2005

       I thought the whole point of cars was having the freedom to go where you want, when you want.   

       This would be like travelling by train, just worse.
kinemojo, Sep 08 2005

       But when you reach your destination city, you'd have your car.
Worldgineer, Sep 08 2005

       Still not worth the hassle, [Worldgineer]. I'd rather just hop on a plane and borrow a car at the destination. Just join some cheap international or national car club.
kinemojo, Sep 08 2005

       I would too - car rental is quite affordable short term. However, I can certainly imagine a market for this.
Worldgineer, Sep 08 2005

       if the new european laws come in upping the weight rating to 60 ton i could see a market for this for say anglo french travel a coach towing an artic car transporter on a dolly?? thanks Nick
randylandy666, Jul 25 2007


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