Everything You Need to Know About Flatbed Trucking Services

Everything You Need to Know About Flatbed Trucking Services

Businesses looking to transport or haul large shipments and cargo are very familiar with the services of flatbed trucks. These specialized trucks are convenient, versatile, and able to support cargo that weighs up to 48,000 pounds! 

Flatbed trucks can carry a large and diverse array of cargo such as pipes, mobile homes, lumber, shipping containers, and more. They are approximately 48-53 feet long and support all cargo with a wooden platform and heavy-duty aluminum frame. 

As you can tell by the name, these trucks are flat haulers and there are no walls or roofing, meaning that cargo is exposed to the open air. Some flatbed trucks can even accommodate cargo that is exceedingly tall and oversized. 

Keep on reading below to find out more about flatbed trucking services, and the pros and cons of this vital aspect of the transportation industry.

How Flatbed Trucking Services Work

Essentially, flatbed trucking works by using an open deck trailer with no walls or roof to accommodate and transport large, oversized items. These items can range from materials such as wood, concrete, or steel, to mobile homes and shipping containers. 

Due to the lack of walls or support, large cargo that is placed on flatbed trucks must be secured safely and surely. This job of load securement is the responsibility of the flatbed truck driver, who must abide by all rules and regulations to safeguard cargo on their truck.

They often use heavy-duty chains and straps to secure cargo and undergo specialized training to be able to safely manoeuvre equipment. It is also quite physically demanding and requires the ability to lift and carry heavy steel tarps. 

However, flatbed truckers are paid more than average truckers for the extent of the work that they do and for their specialized skill set. Not only is the job in high demand, but it is a task that flatbed truckers can take great pride in as they are often patient, meticulous, and dedicated to operating safely.

The Different Types of Flatbed Trailers

Although flatbed trailers are unique from average trailers in that they have no roof or walls, there are various types of flatbed trailers that can handle specific cargo differently.

One of the main advantages of flatbed trailers in general is that you can load and unload cargo from any angle, making it easier to handle materials that would typically be too wide for regular transport.

One different type of flatbed trailer is the step deck, which includes a top deck and a bottom deck. The step deck can accommodate taller or wider cargo that can’t usually fit in a typical flatbed, and can also allow the vehicle to travel easily under bridges or tunnels. 

Lowboys are similar in that they look like step decks. Extendable flatbeds and stretch single-drop decks are convenient for loads that are typically too long, and double-drop flatbeds can accommodate cargo over 10 feet tall. 

Another type is the removable gooseneck trailer, which is a detachable flatbed and can convert to a ramp, making it easy to drive heavy cargo straight onto the deck. Lastly, side-kit trailers include curved metal spines, panels, and stakes to easily attach tarps and protect cargo from dangerous elements.

The Types of Cargo and Specialized Handling

The good thing about flatbed trucks is that they can easily and safely carry a wide range of cargo that normal trucks usually cannot. This includes (but is not limited to) tires, machines, mobile homes, and scrap metal. You usually see flatbed trucks on the roads and highways carrying material that is too large or oversized for regular, enclosed trucks. 

To ensure safety and security, the cargo on these flatbed trucks is often attached using steel tarps and straps. Basically, flatbed trucks can carry a variety of different materials and equipment, and take special care and attention to properly secure these items for safe delivery to farms, warehouses, factories, and more.

Load Planning and Optimization

Load planning and optimization of flatbed delivery trucks is a key element that ensures safety and stability. Truck drivers of flatbed trucks are trained extensively to comply with safety regulations and to use intended equipment to keep cargo secure while on the road.

Often, heavy cargo can end up shifting and moving throughout transport. This is why flatbed truck drivers play a crucial role in checking on the stability of their freight throughout transport and loading their cargo correctly, as well as optimizing space on their trucks.

The Pros and Cons of Flatbed Trucking

As with any job, there are pros and cons to being a flatbed truck driver that anyone who wants to get into the industry should consider. Some of the pros include higher pay (since flatbed truckers are specialized), better job security, and a less sedentary lifestyle.

Some of the cons include more safety regulations to adhere to, less room for error, and the physical demands of lifting and carrying large loads. To make a good flatbed truck driver, you need to be dedicated to the job, pay close attention to detail, and maintain integrity in your methods and procedures.

Not everyone can handle the demands of the job, but those who do typically take great pride in the work that they do and are rewarded accordingly.

Gain Convenience With Flatbed Trucking Services

Flatbed trucking services are critical to many important businesses. They allow large loads that wouldn’t normally fit on regular trucks to be transported efficiently and safely. As well, there is a high demand for flatbed truck drivers in today’s market, as companies rely on the safe transport of their equipment, materials, and goods. 

When choosing the right flatbed truck provider, make sure to do your due diligence and research what works best for your needs. Keep in mind the different types of flatbed trucks and the demands of the cargo you intend to transport.

At the end of the day, flatbed trucking services should come back with a solid reputation, meticulous drivers, and high-quality trucks for both your safety and convenience.

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