Ever wondered how they transport large farm equipment or those massive pipes used in construction? Well, that's the job of a flatbed trucker.
Flatbed trucking is a challenging, yet rewarding type of trucking. But, with that comes a level of danger. You need considerable skills to carry on this job load.
So are you interested in flatbed trucking? Well, from realistic expectations to required skill sets, here's everything you need to know.
What Is Flatbed Trucking
Flatbed trucking refers to the transportation of oversized cargo. This includes any cargo that doesn’t fit within an enclosed trailer.
Therefore, flatbed trucking trailers are approximately 53 feet long and 102 feet wide. They are built using a durable aluminum shell with supportive wooden floors underneath. You'll even see trailers chained together to carry unusually large and heavy cargo.
Their flat bedding size and design are necessary to accommodate wide varieties of massive cargo, like:
- Oversized Pipes
- Steel Coils
- Mobile Homes
- Heavy Machinery
- Tow Trucks
When it comes to flatbed hauling, there is nothing that is too large for transport. In fact, the bigger the better.
Is Flatbed Trucking Hard?
Since drivers are responsible for many different cargoes of varying shapes and sizes, they require unique skills to successfully and safely fulfill their transport obligations.
One of those flatbed driving skills is loading. Accurate loading and balancing affect how well you can carry and drive the cargo. If not done correctly, it can lead to severe accidents.
After loading your cargo, securing it is the next significant skill. The Department of Transportation has strict guidelines on the proper tie-downs you need to use. Drivers must adhere to these regulations to ensure cargo and safety.
Last but not least is tarping. As a flatbed truck driver, you must utilize this skill to properly secure tarps before any transport. Otherwise, a loose tarp may fly into vehicles behind you, potentially leading to a horrific accident.
Note: not all cargo will require a tarp cover.
Because of these specific skill requirements, flatbed trucking is considered to be the most challenging form of truck driving.
Flatbed Trucking Advantages
Skilled flatbed drivers are a rarity. Hence why flatbed trucking companies pay them significantly higher than regular truck drivers, which is a great advantage.
Flatbed companies value skilled drivers and will pay up to $99,000 a year. Like with all jobs, the pay is dependent upon the state and experience level. Plus, flatbed truck companies usually pay drivers an additional fee to correctly tarp their cargo.
There is also better route variety. Because cargo isn't limited to what fits inside an enclosed trailer, flatbed truckers see a more extensive range of loads than most. And just as diverse as their cargo is their destinations and the transport routes they travel.
Finally, flatbed trucking is a less sedentary form of trucking. It usually involves physical labor, like carrying or tying down loads, giving you a much-deserved workout, while allowing for shorter drive times.
Flatbed Trucking Disadvantages
Of course, with higher pay comes bigger risks and responsibilities. Flatbed trucking isn’t just the hardest trucking role, but also the most dangerous. Drivers usually have to climb over heavy loads, increasing their chances of falling. And while on the road, there’s the danger of the cargo unloading by accident, crushing any vehicles on the road and the passengers inside.
Consequently, flatbed trucking has stricter regulations. Drivers must acknowledge and uphold proper load limits, trailer sizes, and load balancing while en route. Even the smallest violation will get you in great trouble with roadway authorities. Then there is the added responsibility of securing your load.
All flatbed transports take considerable skill, effort, and, not to mention, time. Especially, when you compare flatbed hauls to traditional hauls.
Flatbed Trucking with CSA Transportation
CSA Transportation customizes each flat deck shipping project. We understand that every shipment is unique and requires unique solutions.
Our in-house experts will take the time to understand your situation and goals by asking the right questions. As we get to know you and your cargo load, we will share the transport ETA’s and offer the best rate possible.
We also connect our clients with skilled specialists to help get the job done. These specialists can assist with tarping, load securement, escorts, permits, and more.
At CSA Transportation, we’ve been moving supply chains since 1986. For decades, we have successfully provided LTL freight shipping to the agriculture, mining, and construction industries.
Whether you need trucking or logistics for shipments of any size, we have the experience and expertise to back up our promise. You can trust CSA Transportation to offer shipping services that best suit the hauling needs of your company.
Browse our website to learn more about our company’s capabilities. Better yet, get in touch with us today to request a freight quote.