Flatbed trucks provide a great way to improve efficiency in a fleet. They are loader-friendly and come in a wide range of sizes for your loading needs. When you need a truck for heavy lifting that requires you be able to unload goods quickly and efficiently, a flatbed truck is a great choice. At GTA Financial Ltd., we are experts in securing truck loans and truck leases for our clients, and have helped a wide variety of business and individuals secure financing for flatbed trucks of all sizes and models. Standard flatbed trailer features include:
- Trailer length of 45 to 53 feet
- Trailer width of 96 to 102 inches
- Trailer weight of 8,500 to 12,000 pounds
- Steel or aluminum construction (or both)
- Varying axle and suspension settings for different load operations
With stress free loading and unloading, flatbed trailers offer a convenient method of over-the-road hauling for trucking professionals who frequently need to exchange raw freight such as lumber, steel, copper wiring, and other durable goods.
How flatbed truck trailers operate
A flatbed truck operates by transporting cargo that is secured to the bed of the truck so that it can be delivered safely. The process of securing and releasing the goods can be a bit challenging since the equipment (straps, chains and tarps) are quite heavy. If you have to secure them in adverse weather, the process can be even more challenging.
You also need to invest your time to ensure that the load is properly secured according to FMCSA safety regulations. Failure to hold down the load properly can lead to damage of the load during transport.
One of the major considerations to keep in mind when operating a flatbed truck/trailer is the fact that you will need to be constantly checking on and monitoring the condition and security of the load during transportation. This is your obligation as a driver/business owner to yourself, other people on the road, and the people who will ultimately be receiving the cargo. Having to do this, however, will generally increase the lengths of your trips. You need to perform at least two or three checks, which can be done by different drivers depending on the rules of the trucking company.
On the other hand, driving flatbed trucks is fairly easy since the load height is usually much shorter than the height of other trailers. So, you can easily drive under low bridges in urban areas. The low profile also improves the motion of crosswinds around the vehicle on slick roads during the winter months.
Applications of Flatbed trucks
Flatbed truck trailers are great for transporting cast iron materials, copper tubing and other goods that are not vulnerable to adverse weather and road conditions. Flatbed transportation services are mostly used for:
- Construction equipment and materials
- Building supplies
- Over dimensional loads
- Farming equipment
- Steel and piping beams
- Machinery and iron latticework
- Abnormal loads that require more space than is available
Do flatbed truck trailers require special equipment?
Flatbed trailers require steel/vinyl tarps, steel chains and rubber bungee straps or heavy-duty nylon straps to secure the load.
To protect the load from adverse conditions in the environment, you may need to buy a tarpaulin. There are different kinds depending on the size of the surface, the kind of environment the loads are exposed to, the level of protection desired, and so on.
In order to cut down the risk when you are loading and unloading cargo from a flatbed trailer, it is paramount that you invest in special safety equipment, such as a fall arrest system, foldaway/retractable steps with hand rails integrated into the design, a temporary guard rail or a portable hook step. Keeping you, your crew, and your clients safe is not just an important part of doing good business, it’s your responsibility as an employer and as a member of the industry.
Do you require a special license to operate a flatbed truck?
The US Department of Transportation requires that all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or 10,000 pounds be driven by an operator possessing a commercial driver’s license A (CDL B) or CDL A respectively. So, flatbed truck operators must carry the commercial driver’s license B to avoid heavy penalties.
Can flatbed truck trailers be leased or rented?
Flatbed truck trailers come in a range of shapes and sizes, including multi-axle, drop deck, curtain-side, conestoga and many more. Considering that you may need different flatbed trailers for different jobs, it can be costly to buy them all. Leasing is the better option so you only pay for what you need, when you need it. Depending on your cash flow, however, it might make more sense to take out a truck loan instead of a truck lease in order to purchase your flatbed truck. GTA Financial Ltd. is the best in the business when it comes to helping clients secure truck loans and truck leasing. We have a large network of contacts, as well as traditional and non-traditional financing options at our disposal. Your ability to secure truck loans or truck leases with us is second to none.