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Flatbed shipping is the transportation of products and equipment on a flatbed trailer. This shipping method is used by many shippers thanks to its flexibility and convenience. There are countless situations in which a flatbed trailer is the best option available for your shipping needs. Knowing when to use a flatbed shipping service and what type of trailer and equipment you need is an important part of the process.
Our informative guide below provides you with the necessary information to make the best choice when utilizing flatbed shipping.
Some of the commodities that are shipped on flatbed trailers includes:
Even when loading docks are present at the origin and destination, there may be a busy dock schedule to contend with. Many active warehouses have shipments coming and going all day long. This means that a truck with a trailer full of freight could be waiting for an open bay at a loading dock.
Flatbed shipments don’t have to deal with this as they can be easily loaded and unloaded without a loading dock. Trucks pulling flatbed freight can pull up just about anywhere to offload their freight. Additionally, since the cargo area isn’t surrounded by walls there are more ways to get this done.
Another advantage of not being restricted by the walls of a dry van trailer is the option to ship oversized freight. The open nature of flatbed trailers allows the transportation of goods that are too large to fit within a box trailer.
Common oversized freight that’s typically shipped on flatbeds includes:
The need to move oversized freight is a high priority. Many public projects and major manufacturing initiatives rely on this process that flatbed service provides. While flatbed trailers offer the ability to move this massive freight, it comes with increased risk and responsibility. Flatbed carriers that move oversized shipments must go through additional training and obtain the necessary permits required by each state that the freight is moved through.
Yet another positive consequence of no siding surrounding the trailer is a slightly increased weight limit for freight. Most dry van trailers have a weight limit of approximately 42,000 to 45,000 pounds. Some flatbed trailers can carry up to 48,000 lbs. without the need for an oversize permit. This, of course, depends on the tare weight of the vehicle and trailer.
Needless to say, the benefits of flatbed trailers are valuable and can’t be overlooked when shipping freight.
Double Drop- Also known as a lowboy, this type of trailer actually contains three separate heights in the trailer area itself. The double drop name comes from the two drops in height on the trailer. The lowest deck of the trailer allows for extremely tall freight (approximately 11 to 12 feet) to be transported safely. Double drop trailers come in a fixed and removable gooseneck .
Step Deck- This trailer is similar to a double drop in that it accommodates very tall freight. However, the deck is further from the ground and can typically only take freight that’s approximately 10 feet or lower. It also contains a longer drop deck to handle tall freight that may be longer in length than what a double drop trailer can handle.
Conestoga- When you need the loading convenience of a flatbed, but want the protection and security of a dry van, a conestoga trailer should be considered. Similar in structure to a step deck trailer, the deck of a conestoga trailer contains a rail system. This railing covers the full length of the deck and features a tarp that protects the freight being transported. It’s worth noting that the rail system can be restricted in height and width. Therefore, the freight being shipped must fit within very tight dimensions.
Removable Gooseneck- A unique trailer hitching mechanism that’s used for a number of flatbed trailer types. This is generally used when transporting large vehicles. Once the gooseneck portion of the trailer has been removed, a ramp is available for vehicles to drive directly on and off of the trailer. This is an extremely convenient way to move large vehicles. Removable goosenecks can be found on nearly every type of flatbed trailer.
Stretch- Stretch trailers are designed specifically for extremely long freight, hence the name stretch. Most of these trailers extend the typical length of a flatbed trailer from 48 feet to as much as 80 feet. This extension does reduce the weight limit a bit from 48,000 pounds to around 45,000 pounds depending on the weight of the truck.
These are just a few of the flatbed trailer types available. The variety of trailers available highlights the need to accurately describe freight when looking for quotes. Providing correct dimensions for your freight will allow a carrier or broker to find the right trailer match to safely move your shipment.
When you need to move freight you can rely on the outstanding service of R+L Global Logistics. We understand how time-consuming and frustrating it can be to move your freight. Our shipping experts remove this frustration thanks to our established network of qualified drivers. You’ll receive a quick and transparent freight quote which will get your shipment moving quickly.
In addition to our freight shipping services, our comprehensive 3PL approach allows us to manage your complete supply chain. From warehousing to customs brokerage and more, we make it possible to eliminate redundancy in your logistics processes. Let R+L Global Logistics be your go-to partner for all of your domestic and international transportation needs.
Contact our team today at (866)353-7178 to receive a freight shipping quote. Our transportation and logistics specialists are ready to serve you.
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