Flatbed trucks are versatile options for transporting outsize loads and items needing little or no protection from the elements. A major advantage of the flatbed truck is it allows offloading without the need for a loading dock, and from any side or from overhead. This allows cranes and forklifts easy access to lift and remove material. The flatbed truck also offers many different job opportunities for truckers, ranging from over-the-road long hauls to local short-drive deliveries.
Oversize loads are any material exceeding the width of the flatbed trailer and certain prescribed heights determined by the U.S. Department Of Transportation. Flatbed trucking is useful for moving completed large industrial machine components, constructed structures such as generator houses or small office units, and various building materials. Moving oversize loads involves strict attention to traffic conditions and plenty of clearance when turning, passing and going under and over bridges and viaducts.
Flatbed trucking for local delivery means getting material to construction sites, homes and businesses. With a flatbed truck, you can make local deliveries and return in less than one business day. An additional skill often needed for the local delivery flatbed driver is operating a forklift with the flatbed truck. The driver can move pallets of material to different locations and quickly offload the cargo with the forklift.
Long-haul flatbed trucking usually involves any distance requiring more than one day to complete. Long-haul flatbed trucking can involve anything from oversize loads to just a small pallet of material requiring expedited delivery. Just as with oversize loads, the advantage of shipping by flatbed is easier offloading when the cargo arrives at its destination. Whether by machine or by hand, having access to all sides of the cargo makes it easier to remove the material quickly and safely.
Lowboy flatbed trucks are used as vehicle transports and often as an alternative to a tow truck. Lowboy flatbeds have hydraulically assisted beds that lift and move from front to back. With an attached power winch, the lowboy can quickly load cars, trucks and industrial machinery. The lowboy offers the advantage of being able to load and unload itself with no additional machinery. Lowboy operator jobs involve training not only in how to drive the lowboy, but also in how to secure and move various pieces of related equipment.
As with any trucking job, the most important factor in flatbed trucking is safety. Adhering to accepted rules of the road and local laws and regulations is paramount for the truck driver. In any trucking job, including flatbed trucking, the truck’s safe operation is crucial to getting the cargo, the truck, the driver and everyone else on the road to their destinations without incident.