READY TO SHIP? 
READY TO SHIP?

(866) 353-7178

FREIGHT SHIPPING ROUTES
USA-truckload-shipping-freight-services
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
FREIGHT SHIPPING ROUTES
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
←  Back to Freight & Logistics Terms

What is Flatbed Shipping?

Flatbed Shipping Offers Flexibility
Move Equipment, Containers and Commodities
Accommodate Oversize and Heavy Haul Loads
Flatbed shipping makes it easy to move large objects.
See how you can make shipping easy.
Easy Quote Request Form

Need help? Don't hesitate to contact support.

safety-management-system
National-Minority-Development-Council
Federal-Maritime-Commission
customs-trade-partnership-against-terrorism
CNS-An-IATA-Company
Compliance-safety-accountability

Move Large Objects and More with Flatbed Shipping

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.

What is Flatbed Shipping?
what-is-flatbed-shipping
what-is-flatbed-shipping

Our informative guide below provides you with the necessary information to make the best choice when utilizing flatbed shipping.

safety-management-system
National-Minority-Development-Council
Federal-Maritime-Commission
customs-trade-partnership-against-terrorism
CNS-An-IATA-Company
Compliance-safety-accountability

What Commodities are Shipped on Flatbed Trailers?

Knowing what types of goods are most often shipped on flatbed trailers is a good starting place in deciding if it’s best for you. What might surprise some people is the wide assortment of goods that are transported on these trailers. Everything from construction site equipment to raw materials is shipped on flatbeds.
What Commodities Are Shipped on Flatbed Trailers

Some of the commodities that are shipped on flatbed trailers includes:

  • Construction equipment including large vehicles and machinery
  • Raw materials such as concrete, wood, steel, and more
  • Landscaping products like trees, sod, and flowers
  • Large auto parts including engines and transmissions. 
  • Vehicles (1-3 at most due to the limited space)
  • Shipping containers
The large variety of goods comes from the fact that flatbeds offer a flexible and convenient way for loading and unloading goods. A box trailer requires products to be loaded and unloaded by forklift or pallet jack in the rear of the trailer. On the other hand, flatbed trailers can be loaded from all sides in a number of different ways; Vehicles can be driven directly onto the trailer, materials can be loaded at the side by backhoe, and more.

Another similar feature of the goods shipped on flatbed trailers is that they don’t require a temperature controlled environment. Goods that need to be transported at a specific temperature are better suited for a temperature controlled trailer. Flatbed freight also won’t experience significant damage from outside elements like rain, snow, rocks, and more. Freight that’s vulnerable to these aspects should be transported in a dry van trailer instead.
Get My Quote Now  >
Questions? Call Us:
(866) 353-7178
Excellent Customer Experience Ensures On-time Delivery.
Trust Your Freight Shipping To Real People.
Swash

Benefits of Flatbed Shipping

Along with dry van trailers, flatbeds are among the most common types found on the road in the U.S. That’s not by coincidence. We’ve briefly discussed a few of the benefits that flatbed transportation offers. However, it’s worthwhile to examine each one in greater detail to fully understand the advantages that can be gained.

1. Loading and Unloading Flexibility

As mentioned above, flatbed trailers offer significant adaptability when it comes to loading and unloading freight. For many shippers, this is the deciding factor that leads to choosing a flatbed trailer for their freight shipping needs.

When shipping freight in a dry van, having a loading dock at both the origin and destination is highly recommended. This is due to the fact that the cargo area of a dry van trailer is approximately 4 feet off the ground and surrounded by walls on all sides. Most loading dock doors line up exactly or very close to the cargo area of dry vans. However, when a dock isn’t available a trailer equipped with a liftgate must be used. Use of a trailer with a liftgate typically comes with an additional fee.
Benefits of Flatbed Shipping

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.

2. Can Accommodate Oversized Freight

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:

  • Large construction machinery and vehicles
  • Long or wide structures like streetlight posts or an electric transformer
  • Massive trees and plants
  • Military vehicles
  • Mobile homes

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.

benefits-of-flatbed-shipping

3. Increased Weight Limit

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. 

Get My Quote Now  >
Questions? Call Us:
(866) 353-7178

Types of Flatbed Trailers

While all flatbed trailers offer an open and flexible shipping option, some are specialized and better suited for certain shipping situations. Depending on the variety and size of your freight, as well as other important factors, the type of flatbed trailer you should use will vary.
Below are different types of flatbed trailers along with their characteristics and when it’s best to use them.

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.

Types-of-Flatbed-Trailers

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. 

In addition to refrigerated services, we also handle truckload and expedited freight. Our competitive pricing can cover delivering freight requiring refrigerated shipping within a local area, regionally or throughout the continental USA. This is what we do all day, every day so your freight will be with a trusted partner who knows the industry and focused on getting the job done.
Get My Quote Now  >
Questions? Call Us:
(866) 353-7178

Need to Ship Freight on a Flatbed Trailer?

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. 

Get My Quote Now  >
Questions? Call Us:
(866) 353-7178
what-is-flatbed-shipping
Learn More About Freight Shipping Services
What is Expedited Shipping?
Quite simply, expedited shipping is a form of shipping that is delivered quicker than a standard option. Since shipping companies differ on what their standard ...
What is a Dry Van?
When it comes to shipping freight, there are numerous types of trailers that trucks use to haul shipments. The specific names of these trailers are unfamiliar t...
What is a Bill of Lading?
A bill of lading, also known as a BOL or BL, is a legal form that is required when shipping freight. It is a mutually agreed upon document between the shipper a...
© Copyright 2020 R+L Global Logistics. All Rights Reserved