All You Need To Know About
Flatbed Trucking

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What is flatbed logistics?

We’ve all seen trucks carrying a full load of logs lumbering down the highway. That’s a flatbed truck, which is a trailer without an enclosed area (ie. no fixed sides or roof). It is used for transporting oversized or odd-shaped freight that won’t fit in a regular trailer. 

Flatbeds come in a variety of lengths and weight capacities to handle every type of extra-large cargo. Anything from scrap metal to an entire mobile home! 

Why use flatbed logistics?

In shipping, one size definitely doesn’t fit all. When your cargo is too big for a dry van, your best solution is to use flatbeds. A regular flatbed trailer provides up to 53 feet in length, 8.5 feet in width, and a maximum weight of 48,000 lbs. If you need even more space, there are extendable flatbeds that can stretch to 80 feet long and carry over 10,000 lbs.

The fact that flatbeds have no sides or top gives you a larger cargo area compared to their regular counterparts. So they can carry more and reduce the number of trips needed to finish a job. This unique shape also makes it very easy to load and unload in any direction. You don’t even need a loading dock. Being able to quickly move heavy-duty material anywhere is why they’re so popular in the construction and farming industry.

Flatbeds come in different types such as step-deck, double-drop, stretch, and lowboy. Together, they offer the flexibility to efficiently carry a multitude of cargo. 

When to use flatbed logistics?

You have oversized or unusually shaped freight that won’t fit in a regular trailer.

You need to make a big move while minimizing the number of trips to save time and money.

You need to haul a large payload or bulk material that can be loaded & unloaded from any side or angle.

A safer alternative to driving heavy equipment such as tractors & snowplow trucks on the road.

You need to secure your cargo. It might seem counter-intuitive, but because flatbed loads are exposed, they’re anchored down on all sides. A variety of tools such as straps, racks, and chains ensure your cargo will not move during transit.

When not to use flatbed logistics?

Fragile or sensitive freight that needs more protection from the elements. In this case, a regular trailer would be a better fit.

When weather conditions are bad, transporting oversized loads can be dangerous and complicated. Go with an alternative method or wait until the weather clears up.

How to use flatbed trucking – tips and tricks

There is a very good reason flatbed drivers get paid more than regular truck drivers. It takes a skilled professional to maneuver an oversized trailer. The driver is also responsible for following strict government regulations on cargo safety. Any mishap or mistake during the entire shipping process can pose a significant danger to the driver, your freight, as well as others on the road. Thus it is critical that you only ship with qualified and experienced drivers who specialize in flatbed trucking.

Due to the high demand, make sure to give yourself plenty of lead time and book your spots early. Have on hand the exact freight dimensions, weight, commodity class, & value when requesting a quote.

Keep in mind that the loading time will take longer than normal to properly secure the cargo, hence schedule your pick-up time accordingly.

Flatbed shipping by the pros

The key to maximizing the utility of flatbeds is to hire professionals. Those who have the knowledge and experience in handling the type of freight you are looking to move. With our extensive network of trusted flatbed carriers, we’ll help you do exactly that.