Flatbed trucking uses heavy trucks that are flat (meaning no roof or walls on its trailer) to transport heavy cargo. These trailers can have a weight carrying capacity of up to 48,000 pounds, equivalent to almost 21 tons.
How Does It Work?
The versatile nature of flatbed trucks allows them to carry various kinds of cargo, both tall and/or heavy, using minimal effort. Often, you will see them hauling construction equipment, long pipes, smaller vehicles such as offloading vehicles, etc. Other cargos that flatbed trucks can transport include; lumber, steel coils, machines, tow trucks, scrap metals, or mobile homes.
Despite its versatility, flatbed truck drivers need to consider a few factors to ensure that the cargo is safely transported to its destined location. Among the factors include:
- Loading: The truck driver must ensure that the loads are well-balanced to maintain the trailer’s COG. This is to guarantee that the truck does not flip or topple over during freight.
- Tarping: It ensures that the cargo is well protected from destructive elements such as rain or dust. Tarps can be heavy, and you may need a forklift to cover the shipment. You should anchor the tarp so that it’s securely fastened to the truck to prevent it from falling off.
- Securing: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that the load is steady throughout the trip. One can use thick steel chains or webbed nylon straps to secure the cargo.
- Maneuvering: A flatbed driver needs a specific set of skills to maneuver through traffic, sharp bends, or bleak weather and still maintain the balance of the cargo.
Pros and Cons of Flatbed Trucking
Flatbed trucking, like any other service, carries with it advantages and disadvantages. Some of its positives include:
- It offers long-term job security for flatbed truck drivers.
- Less time wastage during loading and offloading as compared to dry van transportation.
Some of its disadvantages include:
- Loosely secured items or cargo can endanger the driver, pedestrians, other vehicles, and even the load itself.
- Strict regulations such as the DOT leave very little room for other ideas.
Here at Great Western Transportation, we deal with heavy loads and cargo transit. The team at the company has over 100 years of combined experience both in the fields of LTL Trucking and the Full Truckload industry. For just a fractional cost, we can transport any large variety of cargo and handle any of your shipping preferences. For more info or to get a free quote, you can contact us.