Flatbed info

Flatbed trucks are truck freight with a trailer that is leveled off and open with no sides or top, hence the name flatbed. This design makes it easier to load and unload large freight that otherwise couldn’t fit into a standard 53-foot trailer. Truck freight is secured on flatbeds with straps, tarps and other locking devices to keep the load tied down. The load can be picked up by a crane from the top or picked up by fork lifter from the sides.

Generally, flatbed trucks are used as truck freight for construction goods, large manufactured parts, and various oversized loads. An oversized load is any truck freight that is over 8.5 feet wide. This type of truck freight requires red flags and lights to help identify the oversized truck freight on the road.

The maximum weight that can be loaded on a flatbed trailer is 48,000 pounds. The length of a flatbed trailer varies. It comes in different sizes including the following: 24 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, 48 feet, and 53 feet, the most common being the 48 feet flatbed trailer. The maximum width that is legally allowed is 8.5 feet and the maximum allowed height of the load is 8.5 feet. The flatbed is usually at a height of 60 inches from the ground.

Since there is no container to keep the material being transferred adequately covered, the material has to be covered by tarp. You cannot just drape tarp over the load. Covering a flatbed trailer with a tarp can be tricky. There are certain things to consider, mainly the material of the tarp and the correct safety precautions.

PROS

  • A variety of different types
  • Great rates
  • Not too expensive to buy

CONS

  • More extensive securement process
  • Many loads oversized/overweight
  • Higher risk to lose part of loads

FTL

Partial

LTL

Capacity

FTL (Full Truck Load) – Think full truck, so greater than 8,000 pounds and requires a large space such as the full trailer of an 18-wheeler.

LTL (Less Than Truck Load) – A relatively small load, and consequently the least expensive and most popular freight transportation method.

Partial Truck Load – Call this a medium-size truck load, which is usually booked by volume.

Expedited or Hot Shot Load – These are typically smaller loads that need to get to their destinations fast. Expedited and hot shot trucking companies usually haul with smaller trucks.