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Shipping With a Flatbed Truck? Here's What You Need to Know

Flatbed truck shipping oversized load

Flatbed trucks offer many benefits that dry vans do not. Open without the constraints of an enclosed trailer, you can load and secure cargo from all sides, and you have the flexibility to ship large goods of unusual size (heavy haul).

If you’re considering a flatbed for your next shipment, it’s important to get to know how you’ll strategize differently. Here are our tips for using a flatbed.

Know your cargo first

Before you choose a truck for shipping, you’ll want to know your cargo first and foremost. What is the value and how about the weight and dimensions? Flatbeds are popular with oversized loads. Construction equipment, military vehicles, solar panels and containers are all examples of freight that utilizes the open sides of a flatbed.

Choose your truck

There are 14 types of flatbed trucks, but the most common are flatbed, step deck and double drop deck. A step deck has a lowered deck that is used for hauling tall freight and it comes with a loading/unloading ramp. Double drop deck trailers sport extra axles for added balance and a 29 foot well to hold cargo.

You’ll need extra equipment

With a flatbed truck, you’re going to need some extra equipment to ensure your load is properly secured. Tarps, chains and corner protectors are used to accomplish this safely. When you inquire about a truck, make sure to also ask about the best way to load and secure your specific cargo.

Go with the professionals

Shipping heavy haul is not something to take lightly. You want to make sure all regulations are met and that your cargo is transported safely without posing a threat to other drivers on the road. By talking with a 3PL company, you can get advice and guidance on exactly what you’ll need without spending unnecessarily.

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