What is a Flatbed Truck & What is it Used For?

What is a Flatbed Truck & What is it Used For?

When you’ve got a challenging road or a rough route to take, the flatbed truck is ready for anything. The specialized design and versatility of this type of long haul vehicle gives shippers more flexibility to ship all sorts of goods.

In this post, we’ll explain the features of the flatbed truck and how it’s used for transportation services. 

What is a flatbed truck?

A flatbed truck is a long haul vehicle with an elongated “flat” bottom trailer. What sets this type of truck apart from other commercial vehicles is that the trailer is open air. That means there are no walls, ceiling or refrigeration capabilities. 

What is a flatbed truck used for?

Because flatbeds feature an open air trailer, they are the go to vehicle for heavy haul cargo. Heavy haul cargo is defined as oversized loads with unusual dimensions. Some examples are as follows:

  • Machinery
  • Military vehicles; machinery
  • Construction materials
  • Mobile homes
  • Statues
  • Wind turbine parts

The reason why flatbeds work best for heavy haul is because it is easier for shippers to load the large item onto the open air trailer using a forklift or crane from any angle. It opens up more flexibility for securing the item to the trailer.

Different types of flatbed trucks

Step deck or drop deck flatbeds feature double decks meant to hold cargo that is too tall or wide for a regular flatbed.

Extendable flatbeds or flatbed stretch trailers are used for items that are too long to fit onto a standard flatbed.

Stretch single-drop deck vehicles are also meant to extend in order to accommodate longer than normal loads like the extendable, but the difference is that it can legally carry heavier loads up to 45,000 lbs. You can also attach a bulkhead to the front, so in case of hard braking the cargo will go over the cab and not into it.

Double drop trailers are also made to carry long or oversized freight. There is a well in the middle of the trailer for tall freight ranging from 25 ft to 29 ft.

RGN or Gooseneck trailers are designed to carry heavy, long or tall loads. The advantage with this type of trailer is that you can unhook it from the cab and the front drops to the ground to create a ramp that machinery can drive up.

True Carriers Group is a non-asset based group of carriers that has been helping drive America’s supply chain for over 40 years. We offer a full range of logistics services, including Intermodal, Reefer, Van, Flatbed, Brokerage, LTL and Heavy Haul.

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