Great Western Transportation
        CARB Compliant

Flatbed Trailer Selection Guide for Various Trailer Types

The flatbed trailer specifications listed below will assist you determining the quantity and type of flatbed trailers that are required to transport your freight or load. The total freight weight and dimensions each trailer type can typically transport “legally” (ie. without the need for state highway permits) is shown below.

Since there are variations within each trailer type, the information shown should be used as a general guideline. Most of these platform trailers have the capacity to handle freight exceeding these weights and dimensions for a premium charge and require state(s) permit authority to be obtained prior to shipment.

Please contact one of our experienced flatbed trucking representatives for assistance with correct trailer selection.

Our knowledgeable team of flatbed and heavy haul representatives will be able to let you know if your load or freight requires permits for the state(s) the load or freight will be transported through. Our team of representatives are highly educated and experienced in transporting freight through all 48 US States, including Canada.

Please Note
The actual freight load capacity weight & dimensions will be different from trailer to trailer and are based on the specifications of the actual trailer and semi-tractor being used.
The maximum freight dimensions and weight listed below for each trailer are approximates. Numbers listed below should be used as an estimated guideline for load and freight planning, and should not be used for making precision loading calculations.
Flatbed trailers Flat Bed:  Flatbeds are one of the most commonly used trailers due to their versatility.  A flatbed trailer can be loaded from the top, sides, or rear of the trailer making it a primary and common asset to the flatbed trucking industry.

This trailer can accommodate freight with the maximum legal weight and dimensions shown below.
Max. Freight Weight
48,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsLength- 48ft.or 53ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height- 8ft. 6in.

Step Deck Trailer Step Deck: Step Deck Trailers also known as ‘drop deck’ trailers. These are a version of flatbed trailers, with a top and bottom deck. They are designed to haul freight that cannot be transported on a standard flatbed (usually due to height restrictions).

This trailer accommodates freight with the maximum legal weight and dimensions shown below.
Max. Freight Weight
48,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsLength- 37ft.(bottom deck)
Length- 11ft.(top deck)
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height- 10ft. (bottom deck)

Flatbed Stretch Trailers Extendable Flatbeds: Also known as flatbed stretch trailers. They are designed for loads or freight that is too long to transport on a standard flatbed trailer, and that require the support of this trailer so there is no overhang.

This trailer accommodates freight with the maximum legal weight and dimensions shown below.
Max. Freight Weight
43,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 48-80ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height- 8ft. 6in.

Stretch Single-Drop Deck Stretch Single-Drop Deck: Extendable drop decks are designed for loads or freight that are too long to transport on a standard step deck, and that require the support of this trailer so there is no overhang. They are also designed to haul freight that cannot be transported on a standard step deck. This is usually due to length restrictions.

This trailer accommodates freight with the maximum legal weight and dimensions shown below.
Max. Freight Weight
45,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 35ft. to 63ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-10ft.

Front Deck
Length- 10ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height- 8ft. 6in.
Double Drop Double Drop: Double drops are used generally for over sized freight. The lower deck height, lets you load products that are taller then 10’ tall. A has a longer piece of trailer in the middle that is called the “well” and then a front and back deck of the trailer also. The “well” usually ranges from 25 ft. to 29ft.

Maximum Freight Weight
36,000-42,000lbs
Standard Freight Dimensions:Main Deck
Length- 25 to 29ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-11ft. 6in.

Front Deck
Length- 10ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-8ft. 6in.

Rear Deck
Length- 9ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-10ft.

Extendable Double Drop Stretch Double-Drop: Extendable Double Drop are designed for loads or freight that are too long to haul on a standard double drop trailer. They commonly have 2 or 3 axles depending on weight of freight.

This trailer accommodates freight with the maximum legal weight and dimensions shown below.
Standard Freight Weight
40,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 29 to50 ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-11ft. 6in.

Front Deck
Length- 10ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-8ft. 6in.
Rear Deck
Length- 9ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-10ft.
Removable Gooseneck RGN: Removable Gooseneck (RGN) trailers give you the choice to move those same tall loads or freight, but also give you the ability to load large pieces of equipment onto the trailer by driving them on. On this trailer the front of the trailer is detachable, which allows the trailer to drop to the ground and create its own ramp. These types of trailers can be designed to haul up and over 150,000lbs worth of equipment. RGNs can go from a 3 axle RGN to 20 plus axle, the more axles the heavier the shipment can weigh. Heavy haul trailers such as these are more specialized then some of the other trailer types and this makes them more expensive to use.

A standard RGN accommodates freight with the maximum legal weight and dimensions shown below.
Max. Freight Weight
42,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 29ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height- 11ft. 6in.

Front Deck
Length- 10ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height- 8ft. 6in.
Rear Deck
Length- 9ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-10ft. 

Stretch RGN Stretch RGN: Stretch RGN’s are designed for loads that are too long to haul on a standard RGN trailer. Stretch RGN’s range from a 3 axles, and up depending on freight weight. The more axles on the trailer, the heavier the load or freight can be.

Standard Freight Weight
42,000-150,000lbs and up
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 29 to 65ft.
Width- 8ft. 6in.
Height-11ft. 6in.

dry van Van or Dry Van ( Enclosed Box ) : Vans or Dry Vans are enclosed trailers generally used to keep freight safe from the elements of the road and weather. These trailers may only be loaded from the rear, and are generally loaded from a loading dock. A curtain van is similar, but can be loaded from the side as well.

Max. Freight Weight
42,000-45,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 48 or 53 ft.
Width- 8ft. 2in.
Height- 9ft

Refrigerated Trailer Refrigerated Trailer: Reefers are similar to Vans in that they are enclosed, and are loaded from the rear of the trailer. These types of trailers however can be temperature controlled. They can keep freight being transported frozen or chilled. In the same case, if the weather outside of the trailer is freezing, and the freight must not freeze it can keep the temperature inside the trailer controlled as desired.

Max. Freight Weight
42,000-45,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 48 or 53 ft.
Width- 8ft. 2in.
Height- 8ft.

Conestoga Trailer Conestoga: Conestoga (this ia a brand name also) trailers have a rolling tarp system that can quickly cover and uncover a flatbed trailer. This system provides protection form the elements of the road and weather for products, loads, freight or equipment that require flatbed transport.

Max. Freight Weight
42,000-45,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 48 or 53 ft.
Width- 8ft 2in.
Height- 8ft.

Sidekit Trailer Sidekit: a flatbed trailer equipped with either fiberglass or plywood panels mounted in a vertical fashion giving a sidebody effect. This allows for the shipment of loads that may not be crated or packaged.Examples of loads transported in sidekits are watermelons, scrap metal, steel or aluminum coils, and engine blocks. Sometimes these trailers are equipped with a tarp and bow system designed to keep the freight dry. When viewed from the rear, these rounded tarp systems remind one of the wagons used by pioneers. A slang term for a sidekit trailer is a “covered wagon”.

Max. Freight Weight
42,000-45,000lbs
Max. Freight DimensionsMain Deck
Length- 48 or 53 ft.
Width- 8ft. 4in.
Height- 8ft. 6in.

Power Only Power Only: Power only units are used for towing all different types of trailers. They can haul most trailer types depending on the hitch hookup. Normally trailers are equipped with a 5th wheel hitch, ball and hitch, or a pintle hitch. A standard power only usually has 3 axles. If the trailer type is overweight a 4 axle power only may be needed.

Max. Freight Weight
Wide Open -State requirements must be followed.
Max. Freight Dimensions
Wide Open- State requirements must be followed
Specialized trailer
20 axle trailer
heavy haul trucking
heavy haul equipment
Specialized trailers: There are some types of jobs that require specific specialized trailers. Some oversized and over dimensional pieces simply will not fit any other standard trailers. Some trailers are specially designed for these pieces. These types of trailers are those such as perimeter trailers, perimeter frame double goosenecks trailers, dolly trailers, etc. All of these are used in specific jobs that would require that specific type trailer.

Max. Freight Weight
200,000lbs Plus
Max. Freight Dimensions
Depend on state to state regulations and trailers specifications.

Heavy haul is a more complex way to transport oversized or overweight loads or freight. These heavy haul projects are also called Superloads, Great Western Transportation will arrange the logistics of the most difficult shipments your company may encounter, including, but not limited to:

  • Air Exchangers
  • Backhoes
  • Boats
  • Boilers
  • Bridge Beams
  • Compressors
  • Control Buildings
  • Concrete Precasts
  • Condensers
  • Construction Equipment
  • Conveyors
  • Cranes
  • Crushers
  • Dump Trucks
  • Earth Movers
  • Excavators
  • Forklifts
  • Generators
  • Grinders
  • Heavy Machinery
  • Injection Mold Machines
  • Mills
  • Motors
  • Order Pickers
  • Oversize Loads
  • Presses
  • Planes
  • Skid Steers
  • Stamping Presses
  • Steel Drums
  • Tanks
  • Tractors
  • Transformers
  • Turbines
  • Wheeled and Tracked Machinery
  • and other excessively heavy and oversized loads.
Great Western Transportation offers a variety of equipment options in order to meet customer specifications including: 48′ flatbeds, 48′ – 53′ step-decks, RGNs, double drops, maxis and other specialty equipment including multi-axle trailers for extra heavy loads. We have the ability to handle and transport any type of shipment. In addition to timely door to door service, we cover all aspects of the project: permitting, tarps, routing, clearances, and inspections.

Our operation coordinators are in constant communication with our trucks, the shipper, and the consignee.
Please do not hesitate in contacting us if we may be of any assistance.