Unless you’re a truck driver, you probably only think of trucks when you encounter them on the road. Or when you’re driving on the highway and have to decide between the ‘cars only’ lane and the ‘cars and trucks’ lane. Trucks, however, especially flatbed trucks, play a major role in hauling materials and are essential to keeping the economy turning.
Flatbed Truck Types and Dimensions
Taking a step back, let’s define what a flatbed truck is.
Car and Driver defines a flatbed truck as “… a large vehicle with a flat body and no sides or roof around the bed. Typically, these types of trucks are used to transport heavy loads that won't be compromised in bad weather or on rough roads.”
They list eight different types in the category (note, this is not universally accepted): Flatbed, Step Deck, Extendable Flatbeds, Stretch Single-Drop Deck, Double Drop, Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RGN), Side-Kit, and Lowboys.
The deck length of trucks in this category ranges from 48 feet to 53 feet, and they can be as wide as eight feet six inches. The maximum freight those in the category can haul ranges from 36,000 pounds to 48,000 pounds.
Selecting the Right Freight Solution
There are multiple benefits to using flatbed trucks for hauling.
Freightrun.com notes that flatbed hauling, “gives you the freedom to ship whatever you want,” and “the simplicity of a flatbed is what makes them versatile and valuable.”
Other benefits include easy access. Loading and unloading materials is easy as it can be done from any angle. Even cranes and forklifts can access a flatbed making it easy to move heavy loads.
There are no spatial restrictions. Unlike a four-walled truck, a flatbed is forgiving. Also, cargo can go over the edges, though safety limitations apply.
Unlike in a four-walled truck, shipping material can easily be strapped down and secured.
While every flatbed has these advantages, there are some differences in the trucks. For example, RGNs, Step Decks, and Lowboys have beds that ride lower to the ground. This allows them to haul taller equipment. Extendable Flatbeds and Stretch Single-Drop Decks can haul longer loads potentially eliminating the need for overhanging freight.
When determining if a flatbed is the best way to haul material, couriers need to carefully consider what they are transporting.
Although materials on a flatbed may easily be covered by a tarp, the cargo is more exposed to the elements. Therefore, durable cargo, as opposed to that which is more delicate, is more commonly transported on a flatbed truck.
Yet the benefits they offer, as noted above, make flatbed trucks useful for hauling just about anything. However, the most common uses for flatbed trucks are hauling scrap metal, transporting heavy machinery, moving tired bales, shipping super sacks, and carrying building materials. This wide variety of uses enables flatbeds to service many industries including construction.
Hauling Building Materials
Ever drive by a construction site, and wonder how the materials and equipment got there? Most of us don’t. But know they didn’t fall like manna from the sky.
Much of the materials may very well have gotten to the construction site via a flatbed truck. As seen by the list above of most common uses for flatbed trucks, the construction industry relies heavily on flatbed trucks to make sure equipment and materials are on-site.
A wide variety of construction materials can be transported to a worksite via a flatbed truck. Items such as constructional steelwork, steel rods, reinforced concrete, cement, bricks, lumber, scaffolding, etc can all be hauled in a flatbed truck. A flatbed can even be used to move dozers, excavators, and loaders (depending on the size of the equipment, of course).
Making the decision about how to haul equipment and material to a construction site is not simple. Choosing the ideal way means getting equipment and material to a site quickly, efficiently, and safely in the most cost-efficient manner.
A flatbed truck often fits the bill, particularly for oversized loads and materials that are unusually shaped. They can carry heavy loads and make loading and unloading simple.
Curri, a construction-supply delivery service, has a fleet of vehicles available including flatbeds. The affordable and fast solution can help you get materials and equipment to a job site quickly. Take our demo for a test drive!