Flatbed Trucking: How does it Work, Cons & Pros

Dry vans and refrigerated trucks are among the most common transport vehicles in Canada because of their flexibility. However, when the freight is large and/or heavy, dry vans and similar trucks aren’t always up to the task.

Flatbed trucks come into play here.

What is a Flatbed in trucking?

Transport for cargo that might not need the enclosure of a dry van, cannot be loaded or unloaded from a port, or does not fit within the dimensions of typical truck trailers is known as flatbed shipping.

A flatbed truck is a truck that has a rigid design. It has a flat-shaped back body for easy loading and unloading of goods. Flatbed trucks are typically used to transport heavy, oversized, wide, and delicate items such as machinery, building supplies, or equipment.

How does Flatbed Trucking work?

Flatbed trucking is used to transport containers that are oversized or unusually shaped. Because flatbed trucks lack a roof and walls, transporting cargo on a flatbed truck necessitates the use of resources such as tarps or rack kits to ensure everything is safely secured onto the vehicle.

  • Flatbed truck driver:

Before leaving for their destination, a flatbed truck driver is in charge of loading the truck with cargo. Using a flatbed truck also necessitates following more stringent DOT regulations than usual.

  • Rates:

Rates for flatbed trucking vary by region, level of expertise needed, and type of cargo being transported. The national average flatbed trucking rate per mile is approximately $5.

Advantages/Pros of Flatbed trucking

Both drivers and customers can benefit greatly from the service. Due to their knowledge and experience, drivers typically receive higher pay, and clients can be confident that they are hiring top-notch drivers if they work with a reputable trucking company.

Benefits of Flatbed Trucking for Drivers

  • Flatbed truck drivers enjoy transporting items of all shapes and sizes, and each trip is usually memorable.
  • For drivers, loading and unloading are typically busy times. Thus, flatbed trucking is ideal for drivers who like to keep busy in between deliveries.
  • This job requires specific skills from the drivers, which will keep them engaged throughout the day and give them a sense of accomplishment in the end.
  • According to some websites, flatbed truckers can earn up to $13,000 more per year than dry van drivers. Flatbed truckers are frequently paid more than other truck drivers because the stakes are higher due to outer cargo, but also because flatbed trucking is a physically and mentally demanding, competent job.

Benefits of Flatbed Trucking for Customers

  • Drivers tend to stay at the same job because they are well paid, so customers can expect experienced drivers to transport their cargo.
  • Only the best drivers remain in the business, which is a significant benefit for customers concerned about the safety of their goods.
  • Besides, flatbed trucking fills an important need in the trucking industry by transporting oversized or overweight items that cannot be loaded easily or safely into a closed trailer.
  • Customers can transport any combination of items in a single load, saving time and money in jobs like construction, where a single shipment of materials results in faster completion of a project.

Disadvantages/Cons of Flatbed Trucking

  • Considering that the cargo is not secured in an enclosed space, flatbed trucking can be significantly more dangerous than dry van trailers.
  • If one belt is not properly secured, a large piece of cargo can become loose and disrupt the road, possibly killing someone.
  • Enforcement officers can stop you, inspect your flatbed, and delay you from reaching your destination because of the great risk flatbed trucking can pose to the driving public if done incorrectly.