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Before You Charter

We realize, with all the options available, selecting the right transportation may be a complicated process. That's one of the reasons we welcome our potential customers to come in and check out our equipment. We're confident that we have the right size vehicle to meet your needs, and we want you to see for yourself the quality of our equipment. Also, to aid you in making the best possible selection, Central States Trailways offers the following tips:

  1. Ask the potential carrier to provide references similar to your group, and take the time to contact them. Find out how well the carrier handled trip arrangements for other groups with travel needs closely resembling your own.

  2. It is reasonable for you to request to see a copy of the carrier's Certificate of Insurance. An acceptable coverage limit would be a minimum of $5 million for combined single-limit liability.

  3. Invest the time to visit your potential carrier, meet their staff, tour their facilities, and take a look at the coach you'll be chartering. A reputable company will welcome your visit.

  4. Try to determine ahead of time the approximate age and mileage of the vehicle you will be chartering and what type of maintenance program is in place for that coach. Unless properly maintained, older coaches may experience frequent mechanical problems.

  5. Check to see how large a fleet your carrier operates. In addition to ensuring the ability to manage your tour, especially during peak seasons, weekends, or in case of a mechanical failure, the size of the fleet is a good measurement of the success of the company.

  6. Find out if your potential carrier is a full-service company. Having their own maintenance facilities better ensures that your coach will be in good running order. Also, make sure they have vehicles available that meet your specific needs.

  7. Ask your carrier to provide you with written DOT guidelines concerning limitations on drivers' hours of service. A reputable carrier should have these guidelines readily accessible. It is to your advantage to make sure these guidelines will be closely followed. Besides the safety issues for your group, a driver being put "out of service" on the spot during a surprise state or federal roadside inspection of your driver's log book could severely delay your group while another driver is located and transported to your motor coach.

  8. Inquire as to what methods the carrier has in place to cover on-the-road emergencies. Many charter companies have reciprocal maintenance agreements which will assure you of prompt equipment servicing nation wide in case of an emergency.

  9. Carefully consider the needs of your group, such as video, wheelchair lift, or other special equipment, and make sure the details of your trip are clearly defined. Last-minute surprises are not good for your group or the charter company.

  10. The "low bid" is not necessarily the "best buy." A low bid may mean inferior equipment, poorly-compensated drivers, an old fleet, or an inefficiently-run operation. You will usually get what you pay for!


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