Trucking Life

Best Guide To know What is Flatbed Truck

What is Flatbed Truck

What is a flatbed truck? What is a flatbed trailer? Have you ever heard about this type of truck and why we use it in trucking?

In this article I am going to show you what is a flatbed truck, its dimensions, and how much does a flatbed weigh, what is flatbed trailer types and dimensions of a flatbed trailer, as well as the benefits of using a flatbed truck.

What is Flatbed Truck?

If you want to enter this field, you may be concerned about what is flatbed truck.

A flatbed truck is a truck that carries a flat trailer that allows you to load oversized and oddly shaped cargo directly onto it.

Flatbed truck has neither roof nor walls to get in the way of your cargo.

What Flatbed Truck is Used For?

As previously mentioned, if you need to transport oversized or oddly shaped cargo, then the best thing to use is a flatbed truck.

Here are some of the most common cargos that flatbeds used for their transport:

  • 1. Building and Construction Materials
    • This includes metal piping, I-Beams, steel frames, concrete, bricks, lumber, and scaffolding, scrap metal, and prefabricated materials.
  • 2. Landscaping Materials
    • Flatbed trucks transport landscaping materials such as mature trees, lumber, tools, and equipment.
  • 3. Baled Tires
  • 4. Equipment Hauling
    • Using a flatbed truck for large and heavy equipment used by ranchers, farmers, the military, and the aerospace and aviation industries is the best choice.
    • This includes the transportation of airplane parts, military tanks, and other equipment.
  • 5. Super Sacks
  • 6. Tow Trucks
  • 7. Logging Trucks

What Are Dimensions of Flatbed Truck?

Sizes of flatbed trucks vary depending on how big the cab and engine of the truck are, but the flat trailer always stays the same in tow, the thing that acts as a bed for large cargo.

Here are some dimensions related to a flatbed truck that you need to know:

  • The length: 48′
  • The width: 8′ 6″(Any larger width is a wide load in the United States and would require a permit.)
  • The height: 5′
  • The load height: 8′ 6″
  • The total height limit with cargo: 13′ 6″

How Wide is a Flatbed Trailer?

The gross weight of the trailer, cab and cargo cannot exceed 80,000 pounds without a permit.  This means the cargo weight limit is about 48,000 pounds.

You need to put in your consideration that the weight limit for flatbed trucks varies by state. 

What Is The Maximum Weight on a Flatbed Truck?

The maximum weight capacity for a flatbed truck varies depending on many factors including the engine, transfer case, axle spacing, and health of your vehicle.

Here are some examples of the maximum weight on a flatbed truck:

  • 24-Foot, Three-Axle Truck: 54,000 Pounds Maximum Load
  • 36-Foot, Four-Axle Truck: 66,000 Pounds Maximum Load
  • 51-Foot, Five-Axle Truck: 80,000 Pounds Maximum Load
  • 43-Foot, Six-Axle Truck: 80,000 Pounds Maximum Load

As mentioned flatbed truck length is 48′ long, but it can be up to 53′ as the 53-foot varieties are less common.

What Are The Dimensions of Flatbed Trailer?

Talking about the typical dimensions of a flatbed trailer, a legal flatbed trailer is typically 48’ long.

How wide is a flatbed trailer? Actually, it is 8.5’ wide.

Continue reading to know more about the dimensions of the flatbed trailer according to different types.

What Are The Common Types of Flatbed Trailers?

Commercial trailers are available in all shapes, styles, and dimensions; this depends on your hauling and shipping needs.

Flatbed trailers are one of the most common choices among owner-operators and fleet managers to transport products.

Going deeply, there are many types of flatbed trailers, you need to be careful when choosing yours according to the type of trucking you operate.

Here are types of flatbed trailers and their dimensions:

1. Standard Flatbed Trailer

A flatbed trailer is used for transporting goods without an official enclosure. They’re popular in the trucking industry because they’re great for hauling large items that require loading from the side with a forklift or from above using a crane.

Maximum freight dimensions

  • Length: 48 – 53 ft.
  • Height: 8.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Maximum freight weight

  • 48,000 – 52,000 lbs.

2. Single Drop Flatbed Trailer

This trailer is known with a lowered deck to accommodate taller cargo.

It has a bottom and top deck and both of them are designed to haul freight that cannot be transported on a standard flatbed, which is usually due to height restrictions.

Maximum freight dimensions

Main deck:

  • Length: 37 – 43 ft.
  • Height: 10 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Front deck:

  • Length: 11 ft.
  • Height: 8.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Maximum freight weight

  • 48,000 – 52,000 lbs.

 3. Double Drop Trailer

Double drop trailer seems to be similar to single drop trailers. On the contrary, it differs that it has a lower main deck and extra rear deck.

This trailer allows you to haul taller cargo up to 11.5 ft. on the main deck, 8.5 ft. on the front deck, and 9ft on the rear deck.

Maximum freight dimensions

Main deck

  • Length: 29 ft.
  • Height: 11.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Front deck

  • Length: 10 ft.
  • Height: 8.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft

Rear deck

  • Length: 9 ft.
  • Height: 10 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Maximum freight weight

  • 45,000 lbs.

4. Extendable Flatbed

We can say that extendable flatbeds nearly have the same dimensions as a standard flatbed, but the main deck can be extended to up to 80 ft. in length depending on the model.

The legal dimension of extendable flatbeds is longer than standard trailers in length.

Maximum freight dimensions

  • Length: 48 – 80 ft.
  • Height: 8.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Maximum freight weight

  • 45,000 lbs.

5. Single Drop Extendable Flatbed

Single drop extendable flatbed has a main deck that can be stretched up to 63 ft.

As a result, these trailers are perfect for transporting loads that are too long for a standard single drop flatbed.

Maximum freight dimensions

Main deck

  • Length: 38 – 61 ft.
  • Height: 10 ft.
  • Width: 8 ft.

Front deck

  • Length: 10 ft.
  • Height: 8.5 ft.
  • Width: 8 ft.

Maximum freight weight

  • 45,000 lbs.

6. Double Drop Extendable Flatbed

Double drop extendable flatbeds have three decks, with an extendable main deck to support the longer cargo.

This trailer is perfect for transporting cargo that is unusually long and cannot be carried by a regular double drop trailer.

Maximum freight dimensions

Main deck

  • Length: 29-50 ft.
  • Height: 11.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Front deck

  • Length: 10 ft.
  • Height: 8.5 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Rear deck

  • Length: 9 ft.
  • Height: 10 ft.
  • Width: 8.5 ft.

Maximum freight weight

  • 40,000 lbs.

What Are The Benefits of a Flatbed Truck?

1. Easy Access to Your Cargo

When you arrive at your destination location, you can access your cargo from all angles.

2. Flatbed Truck Can Load Many Different Things

A flatbed truck is able to withstand the weight of large objects and deliver your goods to your destination safely.

In addition, you’ll have more room to store all of the stuff you have to move.

3. No Spatial Constrictions

You flatbed cargo doesn’t have the spatial constrictions that it would in a four-walled truck, so, it allows cargo to hang over the edges and doesn’t discriminate by shape.

Besides knowing what is flatbed truck and benefits of operating such a type of trucking, you know more details about this kind of truck.

So do you think that becoming a flatbed trucker really worth it?

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