What Kind of Flatbed Truck Is Right For You?

A flatbed truck is needed to transport large, oversized items which may not fit in a conventional truck. In order to carry items such as these, you need a truck where the bed is flat, with no sides or roof. Flatbeds also come in a variety of sizes and can be used to carry loads of 3 to 30 tons. Flatbeds are usually 8-10 feet wide, but their length can range from 18 feet to 48 feet. An extendable flatbed can even reach a length of 75 feet. Even in terms of design, there are different types of flatbeds.

Step Deck

In a step deck, the flatbed has two decks. The one closer to the cab is higher while the one behind that is lower. To go from the lower deck to the higher deck, it feels like you’re stepping up. This pattern makes it easier to load and unload the flatbed. It’s also great to transport heavy loads of up to 45,000 pounds.

Double Drop Deck

There are two drops in this kind of flatbed which means that it dips in-between the two axles. As a result, these kinds of flatbeds are great for transporting things that are tall and heavy; you won’t need to be concerned about low bridges or restrictions when it comes to headroom when you use a double drop deck. Double drop decks can be used to transport loads of up to 80,000 pounds.

Regular Flatbed

In a regular or standard flatbed, the bed is absolutely flat, without any drops or steps. You can carry a number of things on a regular flatbed, such as machinery, furniture, lumber etc. It has a ramp which can help to load and unload the cargo. It may also have a rack to prevent the load from moving around. It may also have stake pockets on the side where ropes/cords can be attached to secure the cargo.

Extendable Flatbed

An extendable flatbed, as the name suggests, is extendable. If the truck is needed to carry loads which are larger than usual, the extendable flatbed can be pulled out to accommodate it. A normal flatbed is usually 40-50 feet while an extendable is 40-75 feet.

February 6, 2024 | | Category: Flatbed, General

Meet Heavy Haul Demands with Spot Freight

In the transportation industry, spot freight refers to arranging the transportation of goods on an as-needed basis, rather than through long-term agreements. With spot freight, shipments are handled in direct response to immediate shipping requirements.

Understanding Spot Freight

Spot loads mean a customer suddenly needs to transport large, heavy cargo, usually over 80,000 pounds. Spot freight emphasizes flexibility and urgency. It involves finding a carrier able to haul your load on short notice, often by bidding or negotiation. This on-demand model works well for unpredictable or urgent shipping needs.

Examples include rushing a 150-ton crane to a construction site or moving modules ahead of a storm. In these cases, shippers request one-off heavy hauls instead of using contracted regular carriers. Terms get worked out between the person who coordinates logistics and the trucker based on factors like route, timing, permits, and hazards.

Comparing Spot and Contract Freight

Contract freight offers rate and capacity stability through long-term agreements. However, it doesn’t have the flexibility of spot freight to adapt to changing conditions and pricing. Contracting leads to higher reliability in delivery and encourages mutually beneficial investments between shippers and carriers. Spot freight enables dynamic routing around bottlenecks, but provides less visibility into long-term capacity. Many companies use a blended model balancing cost, flexibility, and reliability based on their shipping needs.

Impact of Technology

Digital platforms make way for quicker coordination of urgent spot loads between shippers and truckers. Features like load boards, analytics, automated pricing, and tracking all drive higher productivity. They also minimize delays while optimizing usage and accurate pricing.

Spot Freight in Heavy Haul Trucking

For heavy hauls, spot freight efficiently transports heavy equipment, especially when faster or cheaper than alternatives. Specialized carriers negotiate competitive pricing with trucking firms for heavy cargo.

Get Your Freight Moving With Great Western Transportation

Whether you need heavy haul or any other shipping service, Great Western Transportation has you covered. Contact us today for a quote customized for your freight transportation needs! Fill out our quick online form or call 1-800-972-8484. Our experts are standing by to answer any questions you may have.

January 4, 2024 | | Category: General, Heavy Haul

Moving the Extra-Big and Unusual Loads with Expertise

At Great Western Transportation, we are the expert trucking service providers, delivering the most economical and safe solutions for moving freight within the United States and Canada. One of the areas of our expertise is in flatbed trucking. There are specific types of flatbed trailers to transport freight loads that are oversized in width, length, or weight. Some of which may be all three. Whether construction equipment, oversize product parts such as turbines, or homes, we can help you move it. (See a list of all the heavy hauls we can help you move.)

The Flatbeds for Hauling Oversized Loads

There are four flatbed trailer types for oversized hauls, and we make it our business to know what trailer is the best for your load.

– Extendable flatbed trailers are for hauling extra-long materials such as construction pipes or building lumber.

Lowboy trailers are necessary for hauling unusual tall loads that would otherwise not pass the legal height limit.

– Removable gooseneck trailers make it easy for large equipment to be driven onto the trailer and off without backing up.

Drop deck trailers are another type of trailer used for tall freight loads over the height limitations.


Route Planning is Key to Safely Moving Oversized Loads

Part of moving oversized loads is mapping out the most efficient route. Not all roadway paths, especially bridges, are safe for these unusual loads. At Great Western, we are the experts in oversized freight route planning.

Part of Route Planning is Permitting

When it comes to oversized loads, rules vary between the states. Transporting oversized freight across multiple states will most likely require state-specific permits. Once we determine the most efficient route, we handle all the permitting.

We’re Connected and Delivering the Best in Oversized Hauling Solutions

When you are our customer, you have a network of the most efficient trucking solutions for big hauls that will expedite your loads with the best in pricing, with safety always in mind. We are proud of our structured network, and the team at Great Western Transportation is here to take care of all your oversized trucking needs.

December 15, 2023 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul

5 Ways Flatbed Trucking Is Used in Construction and Manufacturing Industries

Flatbed trucks are the unsung heroes of the construction and manufacturing industries. These versatile open-bed trucks transport everything from raw materials to heavy machinery to oversized finished products. With their ability to handle bulky, irregularly shaped items, flatbeds provide capabilities beyond what enclosed box trailers can accommodate. They are an important link in the supply chain for assuring cargo is safely transported from point A to point B. Below are five common uses for flatbed trucking across the construction and manufacturing industries.

1. Transporting Construction Materials

In construction, flatbeds transport large, heavy components used to build infrastructure and buildings. One of the biggest contributors to efficient construction projects is the ability to transport heavy structural components. Flatbeds are perfectly suited for this job. With their open decks, they can easily accommodate massive steel beams, pre-cast concrete sections, wall panels, and other oversized building materials. Constructing modern infrastructure would be incredibly difficult without the use of flatbed trucking.

2. Moving Heavy Construction Equipment

In addition to structural materials, flatbeds can also be used to transport the heavy equipment used to manipulate and assemble those components. We know you are aware that excavators, backhoes, cranes, bulldozers, and other machinery can be difficult to load into enclosed trailers. But they can be easily wheeled up loading ramps onto flatbeds and strapped securely in place. This allows construction crews to reposition gear quickly between different locations.

3. Delivering Manufacturing Materials

On the manufacturing side, flatbeds are key for keeping factories stocked with raw materials. From lumber to steel coils to spools of cable, these industrial inputs often come in cumbersome sizes and shapes. Flatbeds provide an ideal transportation method for these irregular raw goods. Safely delivering high volumes of raw stock is what keeps manufacturing production flowing as smoothly as possible.

4. Shipping Oversized Finished Goods

Once goods have been produced, flatbeds make way for oversized finished products to be shipped from factories to their destinations. Farm machinery, generators, turbines, and other oversized equipment also fit nicely on the spacious decks of flatbeds. For manufacturers, having this shipping capacity is key to getting finished products into the hands of customers.

5. Moving Support Vehicles

Flatbeds are also useful for transporting the support vehicles used on construction sites. Forklifts, mobile cranes, and concrete mixers are all regularly hauled on flatbeds between locations and job sites. Having the ability to efficiently move these utility vehicles allows smoother construction operations.

The versatility of flatbed trucking makes it an integral tool for industries like construction and manufacturing. For moving inputs and outputs, flatbeds keep these industries running efficiently. At Great Western Transportation, we understand the role flatbeds play in construction and manufacturing, and that is why our experienced team provides reliable flatbed trucking services to keep your oversized loads moving.

Call us toll-free at 1-800-972-8484 to learn more.

October 17, 2023 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul

Efficient Heavy Haul Trucking Solutions by Great Western Transportation

When it comes to transporting heavyweight and oversized shipments, Great Western Transportation stands as a reliable partner in ensuring safe and timely deliveries. Our expertise lies in facilitating the movement of construction materials and large cargoes, catering to industries that demand precision, reliability, and adherence to regulations. Here’s why you should consider us for your heavy haul trucking needs:

Expertise in Overweight and Over Dimensional Shipments

  • Specialized Handling: Our team is well-versed in handling shipments that exceed standard dimensions and weights. From intricate planning to meticulous execution, we ensure that your cargo arrives intact.
  • Industry-Specific Solutions: Whether it’s construction materials, industrial equipment, or large machinery, our tailored solutions cater to the specific needs of diverse industries.

Navigating Regulatory Challenges

  • Compliance is Key: We understand the complex web of regulations that govern the transportation of oversized and overweight loads. Our experts navigate these regulations seamlessly, ensuring a smooth journey for your cargo.
  • Permit Expertise: From obtaining the necessary permits to coordinating with authorities, we take care of the legal aspects so that you can focus on your core business.

Safety First Approach

  • Risk Mitigation: Transporting heavy and oversized loads requires a comprehensive approach to safety. We implement stringent safety measures to mitigate risks and safeguard your cargo throughout its journey.
  • Experienced Drivers: Our skilled drivers have extensive experience in handling specialized loads, ensuring that your shipment is in capable hands.

Efficiency and Timeliness

  • Time-Sensitive Deliveries: We understand the importance of timely deliveries in industries such as construction and manufacturing. Our logistics solutions are designed to ensure that your cargo reaches its destination on schedule.
  • Route Optimization: Our experts meticulously plan routes that are optimized for the size and weight of your cargo, reducing transit times and minimizing disruptions.

You Can Count on Great Western Transportation

At Great Western Transportation, we’re committed to providing efficient heavy haul trucking solutions without compromising on safety or quality. Our focus on industry expertise, regulatory compliance, safety, and efficiency sets us apart as a dependable partner for your oversized and overweight transportation needs. When you choose us, you’re choosing a team that is dedicated to getting your cargo where it needs to go, safely and reliably.

Whether you’re transporting construction materials, machinery, or other large cargoes, Great Western Transportation is ready to be your trusted heavy haul trucking partner. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and discover how our expertise can streamline your transportation needs. Your cargo’s journey is our priority, and we’re here to make it a successful one.

August 28, 2023 | | Category: Heavy Haul

Zero Emission Big Rig Trucks Are Round the Corner

nikola truck

As part of our Great Western Transportation philosophy and best-practices we keep a close eye on all the trends in the big rig trucking industry. One of the major trends is moving big rig trucks to zero emission, to being climate friendly deliverers of millions of tons of vital goods across the U.S. These trucks range from battery powered to hydrogen-fuel-cell powered. There will be a time in the future where most trucks on the road will be zero emission.

This past March, 2023, in Stockton, CA, the truck manufacturer and energy company Nikola Motor presented its new one-hundred percent zero emission semi-trucks to truck fleet company representatives.  The sleek, futuristic black-and-white class-8 trucks wowed the audience of truck buyers. One of the trucks was powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that could haul for 500 miles. The other was battery powered with nine battery packs punching through 733 kilowatt hours of electricity for a range of 330 miles. Both trucks had the same electric motor.

Damon Owens, head of truck marketing at Nikola Motors, said, “Our battery electric truck as I mentioned is in production and ready for delivery now. Our fuel cell truck will be available for delivery at a later part of this year … it goes into production in the later part of this year.”

The trucks also have regenerative braking to recycle electric power back to the battery as the truck brakes.

Show attendee Dave Dein, co-founder of Next Generation in Trucking Association, said after driving the truck: “It’s very comfortable, it’s very quiet … love it. It’s really designed for the driver. Excellent turning radius and visibility.”

April 12, 2023 | | Category: General

Vets Are Vital Contributors to Vital Trucking

Vets trucking

Great Western Transportation strives each day to provide the best possible personal service for all companies needing heavy haul, flatbed, power only or refrigerated hauling. Unlike many companies in 2023 we are personally with the client every step of the journey. So a person, rather than some computer driven AI app, is handling your freighting needs. Yet, we also deploy new-edge technology for driver communication, tracking and other performance vectors so that it’s as if our GWTrans manager of your job is right there with the driver. Then, we’re able to communicate all this info to you as the hauling job progresses.

A few posts ago, we discussed how women have been involved in trucking as drivers since trucking’s beginnings in the early 1900’s, and how in 2023 women are an enormous force in trucking from driving to management.

Our armed services vets are a prominent force in trucking, a benefit for both trucking and for the vets coming out of the military. The Truckx blog quotes a combat veteran of four tours as saying: “Trucking lets me run on my own time, on my own schedule,” he said. “Everything the way I want it, the way I say it.” Vets coming out of service often find it difficult to find a job – even in a hot job market like we have now. But trucking has and is providing jobs across a wide range of expertise, including truckers with their own company, skilled drivers to big rig mechanics and dispatch communications experts, and managers.

In the US there are now 18 million veterans and the trucking/transportation industry employs one out of every four, and one out of every ten is a trucker.

By 2030 the American Trucking Association says the US will be needing to expand by 160,000 drivers. In 2022 the industry was short of drivers by 78,000.

We’re proud to have vets among the drivers who take our clients loads everyday across the highways and roads of the nation.

March 24, 2023 | | Category: General

The Trucking Industry – a Performance Perspective

At Great Western Transportation we keep a close eye on the stats of the trucking industry serving the continental U.S. states. We also keep on eye on the data of the past few years so we’re aware of trends that effect big rig trucking, and give us the knowledge to offer you—our customers—the best hauling services possible. Whether you need a load of frozen crab and other fish to a vendor in Boston or an oversized load taken from Texas to Chicago, or a dry van of goods going cross country we’re here to make it happen safely, smoothly and on budget and on time.

Just two years ago there were 8 million people employed in the overarching trucking industry. That is an enormous swath of people working 24/7 to get goods and heavy items hauled from businesses to customers. It is, ultimately, a very very large part of the economic gears that drive the American economy.

We are still experiencing super-strong storms from California (with unexpected snowfall in lower elevations, catastrophic flooding) across the plains states to the East Coast just slammed by its first nor’easter. Trucking is impacted by extreme weather, and it can be dangerous to drivers and costly to businesses. Yet, we all strive to get the hauling done through the bad weather, and here at Great Western we really stay on top of our drivers and loads hitting bad storms, and in close communication with our customers as to how everything is going.

Seventy percent (70%) of all freight in the U.S. is hauled by trucks, making it the single largest carrier of goods, materials like gas, and equipment. If trucking stops, then a huge part of the American economy is severely braked. As of 2021 trucking generated a gross revenue in the U.S. of $875.5 billion.

These are mind-boggling numbers as you contemplate how much freight is moving down U.S. roads every minute and how that translates into dollars that flow into every sector of the economy.

As the old adage (from a 1936 blues song) says, “Keep on truckin’.”

March 12, 2023 | | Category: General