Step Deck info

Similar to flatbed trucks, step deck trucks also have a level surface that is open. The main difference between truck freight with a flatbed and step deck truck is that the step deck truck will have a lower position set closer to the ground. Flatbed trailers are about 60 inches above the ground, whereas, step deck trailers are even closer to the ground that provides a little margin for carrying loads taller than 8 feet as in the flatbed trailer. They are used to transport loads that cannot be transported via flatbed trailer, mainly because of the height. This helps to avoid potential hazards such as bridge clearances.

They are open trailers having two deck levels, an upper and a lower level. They have ramps for unloading. Moreover, they are safer for unloading by a forklift because they are closer to the ground.


  • Pays more than a flatbed
  • Easier to unload than a flatbed
  • Slower tire wear
  • More maneuverable


  • Fewer loads available than for flatbed
  • Lots of loads requires tarping (~50%)





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.