WELCOME to the Web’s #1 Freight & Logistics Directory!

Need a Freight Quote? ūüĎČ

Freight & Logistics Company? ūüĎČ

Logistics Industry News ūüĎČ

Get Freight Quotes

Post to our Load Board to get quotes on domestic & international freight and cargo service

Date for cargo pickup
Pickup location
Delivery location
Select type of transportation needed (if known)
Include approximate weight and materials to be transported

Flatbed Trucking Guide

Flatbed trucking is the preferred choice for hauling large or heavy loads that exceed the standard 48 foot dry van dimensions, for example lumber or heavy machinery.¬† If you’re thinking about getting into flatbed trucking, or are simply curious about how it works, this guide is for you. We’ll cover everything from the basics of flatbed trucking to the benefits and challenges of the job.¬†

Flatbed Trucking Quick Picks

What Is Flatbed Trucking?

Flatbed trucking is a type of trucking that involves hauling loads on a flatbed trailer. The load is typically secured with tarps and chains and can be anything from lumber to steel coils. Flatbed trucking is often used for oversized or heavy loads that can’t be transported using a standard trailer.

Flatbed trucking has been around since the early days of trucking. It was originally used to transport lumber and other building materials from sawmills to construction sites. Over time, flatbeds became increasingly popular for hauling a variety of different loads. Today, flatbeds are commonly used to transport anything from steel coils to construction equipment.

While flatbed trucking may seem like a simple concept, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Flatbed truckers must be able to properly load and secure their loads, as well as navigate the often-treacherous conditions that come with hauling oversized loads.

Different Types of Flatbed Trailers

There are a few different types of flatbed trailers that you’ll see on the road. The type of flatbed you use will depend on the load you’re hauling and the route you’re taking.

Here’s a look at some of the most common types of flatbeds:

  • Step Deck: A step deck is a type of flatbed trailer that has a lower deck and an upper deck. The lower deck is typically used for hauling smaller loads, while the upper deck is ideal for larger loads.
  • Extendable Flatbeds: Extendable flatbeds are exactly what they sound like – flatbed trailers that can be extended to accommodate longer loads.
  • Stretch Single-Drop Deck: A stretch single-drop deck is a type of flatbed trailer that features a single-drop deck and a stretched frame. This type of flatbed is typically used for hauling longer loads.
  • Double Drop: A double drop flatbed is a type of trailer that features two drop decks. This type of flatbed is typically used for hauling very long or very heavy loads.
  • Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RGN): An RGN is a type of flatbed trailer that has a detachable gooseneck. This allows the trailer to be lowered to the ground, making it easier to load and unload.
  • Side-Kit: A side-kit is a type of flatbed trailer that has a kit that can be attached to the side of the trailer. This allows the trailer to be used for hauling oversized loads.
  • Lowboys: Lowboys are a type of flatbed trailer that features a low deck. This type of flatbed is typically used for hauling very heavy loads.

Now that you know a little bit about the different types of flatbeds, let’s take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of flatbed trucking.

Advantages of Flatbed Trucking

There are a few reasons why flatbed trucking is a popular choice for hauling oversized or heavy loads. Here are just a few of the benefits:

1. Increased Earnings Potential

During the busy season, flatbed trucking can be extremely lucrative. If you’re hauling oversized loads that require special permits or are in high demand, you can earn a lot of money.

2. Flexibility

Flatbed trucking is also a great option for those who want more flexibility in their schedules. Since many flatbed loads are time-sensitive, you can often choose your own hours and work when it’s convenient for you.

3. Variety

If you’re looking for a job that’s never boring, flatbed trucking is a great option. You’ll haul loads of all shapes and sizes, from construction equipment to wind turbines, and everything in between.

4. Independence

Flatbed trucking is a great way to be your own boss. If you have your own truck, you can choose which loads you haul, when you haul them, and how much you’re paid.

5. Adventure

If you’re the type of person who loves a good adventure, flatbed trucking is definitely for you. You’ll get to see some amazing sights and travel to places you never would have gone otherwise.

Challenges of Flatbed Trucking

Of course, there are also a few challenges that come with flatbed trucking. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Long hours

Flatbed trucking can be a very demanding job, and you’ll often have to work long hours. If you’re not used to being on the road for long periods of time, it can be tough to adjust.

2. Difficult loads

Many flatbed loads are large, heavy, and difficult to maneuver. If you’re not experienced in hauling oversized loads, it can be a challenge to get them delivered safely and on time.

3. Weather conditions

Since flatbeds are open to the elements, weather conditions can often be a challenge. If you’re hauling a load that’s sensitive to weather changes, you’ll need to be extra careful.

4. Permits

If you’re hauling a load that requires special permits, you’ll need to be familiar with the permit process. Depending on the type of load, you may need to get a permit from the DOT or even the EPA.

5. Safety

Since flatbed trucking can be a dangerous job, safety is always a top priority. If you’re not comfortable with the risks, flatbed trucking may not be the right job for you.

Getting Started in Flatbed Trucking

If you’re interested in becoming a flatbed trucker, there are a few things you’ll need to do. First, you’ll need to get your commercial flatbed truck driver license (CDL). You can usually get your CDL by taking a training course at a flatbed truck driving school.

Once you have your CDL, you’ll need to find a job with a trucking company that hauls flatbed loads. Many trucking companies have specific divisions for flatbed hauling, so you may need to do some research to find the right company for you.

Once you’ve found a job as flatbed drivers, you’ll need to get familiar with the ins and outs of flatbed freight trucking. You’ll need to learn how to load and unload your flatbed trucks, how to secure your load, and how to handle weather conditions.

You’ll also need to get familiar with the permit process if you’ll be hauling loads that require permits. Depending on the type of load, you may need to get a DOT permit or an EPA permit.

Last but not least, you’ll need to make sure you’re always following safety protocol. Flatbed trucking can be a dangerous job, so it’s important to always put safety first.

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to a successful career in flatbed trucking. Just remember to take your time and get familiar with the loading and unloading process, and you’ll be hauling loads in no time.

How to ensure flatbed loads are safe?

There are a few key things you need to do to ensure that your flatbed load is safe. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Inspect your flatbed trailer before each use. Make sure that the brakes, tires, and lights are all in good working order. Also, check the straps and other securing devices to ensure they are in good condition and will not fail during transit.
  2. Make sure your load is properly secured. Use high-quality straps or chains to secure your load to the flatbed. Make sure that the load is evenly distributed and will not shift during transit.
  3. Drive carefully. Flatbed trailers are more prone to tipping than other types of trailers. Be aware of this and take extra care when driving on curves or over bumps.
  4. Follow all weight and size restrictions. Make sure that your load does not exceed the weight or size limits for your flatbed trailer. If it does, you risk damaging the trailer or causing an accident.
  5. Inspect your flatbed trailer after each use. Once you’ve delivered your load, inspect the trailer for any damage. If you find any, make sure to repair it before using the trailer again.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your flatbed loads are safe and secure.

Standard Flatbed Trailer Dimensions You Need to Know

There are federal regulations in place that dictate the legal dimensions for flatbed trailers. These regulations are in place to help ensure the safety of both flatbed truck drivers and the general public.

Here are the maximum freight dimensions you need to know:

  • The maximum length for a flatbed trailer is 53 feet. This includes the trailer itself and any load that is being transported.
  • The maximum width for a flatbed trailer is 8.5 feet. This includes the trailer itself and any load that is being transported.
  • The maximum height for a flatbed trailer is 13.5 feet. This includes the trailer itself and any load that is being transported.
  • The maximum weight for a flatbed trailer is 48,000 pounds. This includes the trailer itself and any load that is being transported.
  • The maximum tire size for a flatbed trailer is 22.5 inches. This includes the trailer itself and any load that is being transported.

Conclusion

Flatbed trucking is a great way to transport large or bulky loads. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers and take steps to ensure the safety of both yourself and others on the road. By following the tips in this guide, you can help make sure that your next flatbed load is transported safely and securely.