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What is a Flatbed Truck and How is it Used?

Courtney L.
August 29, 2022

In the logistics industry, there are a wide variety of items being transported thousands of miles all over the world, every single day. From ice cream to giant wind turbines, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution for transporting freight. 

That’s why there are many different types of vehicles, equipment, and packaging methods to ensure efficiency and safety. It all depends on shipment size, weight, and any special requirements it may have.

With heavy hauling, for example, a flatbed truck is typically the go-to vehicle for transport. Unlike the usual semi-truck you see hauling enclosed containers on the highway, the flatbed offers more flexibility for large, unusual-sized items.

In this post, we focus on the powerful flatbed and how it’s one of the best choices for heavy hauling.

What is a Flatbed Truck?

A flatbed truck differs from a semi hauling a dry trailer or reefer in that the flatbed trailer features an open-air design. That means it doesn’t have a roof or walls to enclose it. This allows for more precision when loading oversized items onto the bed. The flatbed also allows you to secure the item down for enhanced stabilization.

Flatbed trucks are commonly used to move…

  • Construction materials
  • Military equipment
  • Mobile homes
  • Statues/sculptures
  • Vehicles
  • Scrap metal
  • Super sacks

Flatbed Truck Sizes

There are a few different size options for flatbed trucks, depending on the measurements of the items you’re shipping. 

For length, the typical range is 48’ to 53’, with 48’ being the most commonly used. For the width, the legal maximum width of a flatbed is 102 inches. If the bed is wider than this, a wide load permit is necessary.

Flatbed Benefits

To finish up, we’ll recap the top benefits of utilizing a flatbed truck for shipping…

  • You can access loaded items from all sides of the trailer since it isn’t enclosed.
  • You can easily strap down cargo so it doesn’t move around during transit.
  • No matter the shape of your cargo, the flatbed is flexible with space.

Courtney L.