You’ve likely heard the term flatbed used to describe either a trailer or a category of trucking. It’s one of the most widely-used methods to haul cargo because of its versatile design and middle-of-the-road cost, but what exactly makes flatbed shipping so enticing?
As the name implies, these are flat, one dimensional trailers suitable for wide and oversized items. Categorized as heavy haulers, flatbed transportation carriers utilize flatbeds for transporting the heaviest of cargo – sometimes employing those with removable goosenecks (RGN) because of their ability to mobilize the heaviest of hauls.
Not All Flatbeds Are Created Equal
There’s more than just one type of flatbed trailer. The size, structure, and weight of the item being hauled will determine the type of flatbed required:
- Step Deck Trailers: Featuring a rising step deck located towards the front, the trailer also features a lower deck that allows the cargo to sit low to ground. Mainly used to move loads of up to 10 feet in height, the lower situation of cargo allows flatbed transportation companies to avoid height restrictions while eliminating the need to obtain additional permits.
- RGN Trailers: Another category of flatbed trucking is the removable gooseneck trailer which has the distinction of being detachable – effectively allowing for the creation of a ramp that allows for the easy loading and offloading of cargo. Often large-powered machinery can simply be driven onto, and off of, an RGN trailer.
- Stretch Trailer: While similar to most other flatbed type trailers, the stretch trailer has the capability of being extended lengthwise. Used mainly to carry excessively long loads that cannot fit on a standard flatbed, they offer versatility for carriers providing flatbed trucking services.
Advantages of Flatbed Trucking
Flatbed trucking has gained popularity because of its ability to move over-dimensional freight. A variety of items can be transported via flatbed such as lumber, tools, heavy machinery, as well as essential materials required for construction-related work. Loading and offloading can be performed easily when compared to enclosed trailers, making it safer and more time-efficient. Due to the fact that a dock is not required for loading and unloading, flatbed transportation companies appreciate the flexibility they provide to their customers.