Transportation For All Types Of Large Freight
If you’re planning to move very large freight such as construction equipment, building supplies, or any other over-dimensional freight, you’ll most likely need flatbed trucking services. Flatbed trucking is the freight forwarding industry’s answer to mega-structural transportation. If this is your first time to use flatbed carrier companies, you should have some basic knowledge on flatbed loads and types of flatbed trailers before looking for flatbed services in your area.
Flatbed trucks consist of just a load platform or floor, removable side railings, plus a bulkhead to protect the tractor in front in case the load shifts forward. As a rule of thumb, flatbeds can carry almost anything that can be stacked or strapped down. Flatbeds can also have side kits that enable them to carry sand, gravel, or any other powdery commodities.
Why Use Flatbed Trucking Services
Generally, transportation by flatbeds is preferred when the freight being shipped are too large to be accommodated on conventional trucks. Flatbeds are also the preferred mode of transportation if easy access to the load is desired from all sides of the truck.
Flatbed trucking is almost always involved in transporting over-dimensional loads. Freight is considered oversize when its dimensions are greater than the standard legal load size and weight. In the United States, over-dimensional loads are those cargoes or containers measuring more than 8 feet 6 inches in width.
For example, flatbeds are needed to transport the following items:
- Farm equipment such as combines and tractors
- Construction equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, etc.
- Prefabricated houses
- Large industrial machinery
- Military equipment
- Long steel pipes
Step-deck, Drop-deck or Lowboy Flatbed Trucking
Depending on the load you’ll have to transport, the flatbed trucking company may use either step-deck (also called drop-deck) or lowboy trucks.
A lowboy is a type of flatbed in which the load platform is as close to the ground as allowable. This is typically used to haul very heavy equipment such as cranes, bulldozers, and over-dimensional containers. Drop-deck or step-deck flatbeds have load floors on more than one level; they can be either single-drop or double drop trailers with a raised deck over the front and/or rear trailer wheels. All of the decks can be loaded with cargo.
Moving bricks, windows, and other construction materials with Flatbed Trucks
If you’re moving construction materials, steel beams, backhoes, and any other large equipment to a construction site, this task will most likely require flatbed trucking services. Even freight with unusual shapes can be transported on flatbeds.
From stacks of bricks, window frames, to whole prefabricated houses – these can all be hauled by flatbeds. The defense industry makes frequent use of flatbed trucking to move a wide array of vehicles, from military trucks, surface-to-air missile arrays, to helicopters
Transporting by flatbed is a safe and secure way to transport equipment and commodities from point to point. Typically, flatbed carriers use industry-strength cables and chains to secure load on the trailer. Steel chains are typically supported by extra-strong nylon or rubber straps to secure cargo.
Some goods may require cover during transportation. Flatbed carriers generally use vinyl tarps, or evfen steel tarps to protect cargo from the elements.
Considerations Before You Contact Any Truck Companies
Before using flatbed services, ask for the forwarding company’s terms and conditions regarding:
- Allowable freight size and weight
- Quantity – whether they ship with full loads, or go with LTL (less than truckload) cargoes
- Quote – obtain a price quote from several companies for comparison
What is considered over-dimensional freight?
As stated above, if your cargo is more than 8’6” wide, it is considered over-dimensional in all US territories. Depending on the type of cargo and road conditions, the Department of Transportation may order pilot cars or escorts for the shipment. Usually, escorts will be required if the cargo is more than 12 feet wide.
Also, the DOT may order escorts if there are road works, detours, etc.
Take note that you are NOT allowed to label as ‘over-dimensional’ a single load consisting of multiple pieces arranged so that it exceeds more than the 8’6” limit. To get legal permits for over-dimensional cargoes, they must be considered ‘non divisible.
If you need to move cargo that requires flatbed trailers, forwarders such as CRST, Swift, Integrated Transport, Ward, Prime, and Schneider are among the most popular providers of flatbed trucking services in the US.
2016 Flatbed Trucking Company Directory
Most major trucking companies have flatbed trucks along with their usual box trailers and cargo vans. Most of these trucking companies offer free quotes online. After you have gotten two or three quotes that you like, the next step is to investigate the trucking company. Ask about the companies about their claims ratio and make sure they have proper insurance and drug test their drivers.
4-Way Logistics, Inc. is a full service company that offers flatbed shipping services. 4-Way Logistics can haul special equipment, a wide load, a long load, an oversized load or a heavy load of anything that can be legally moved by highway in North American that cannot be moved by a van.
ATS Specialized Transportation specializes in flatbed trucking throughout North America. This includes Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and Canada. ATS has over 55 years experience in the business and have been ranked the #1 FlatbedHeavy Specialized Carrier by Transport Topic in 2009.
Watsontown Trucking Company has been in business since 1941 and is based in Milton, Pennsylvania. They specialize in flatbed services as well as shipments that require drop deck, step deck or high sided open top trailers.
Acme Logistics, Inc Freight Service Company hauls all types of freight, construction equipment, heavy machinery, roofing material and all of your other flatbed trucking needs.
Great Western Transportation specializes in hauling equipment and material that are wide, over length, over-sized, overweight or any combination that can be legally moved on the highway. At Great Western Transportation, they make sure that the shipment is secure so that it is protected and ready for use at its final destination.
Steven West Inc specializes in handling all types of flatbed, step deck and double-drop trailer freight: full truck loads, LTL/partial loads, oversized loads and over weight shipments. They ship to all 48 contiguous United States and to Canada and Mexico.
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. offers flatbed trucking services for all of your flatbed trucking needs. They offer standard decks, step decks, low boys, multi-axle and heavy haul trailers.
Central Oregon Truck Company can help you get any type of load moved safely and on time to its final destination. Whether it is a wide load, an over sized load, an over length load or any combination, Central Oregon Truck Company can get the job done right.
AAA Trucking delivers solutions for all of your flatbed trucking or custom services. AAA offers a variety of services from regular flatbed, drop decks, double drops, specialized stretch decks, dry vans and sensitive trade show moves. AAA is committed to providing the best possible truckload services available.
Ryan Transportation has been providing flatbed services since 1986. They offer flatbed truck services such as: straight frame, double drop, extended double drop, single drop, extended single drop and 50-ton lowboy.
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. provides service for basic flatbed needs, step decks, double drops, RGNs, maxis, over dimensional, overweight, expedited and flatbed LTL equipment to haul your equipment and supplies. You will work with one specialist from start to finish. You will be able to track all of your freight with their tracking tools.
Combined Transport is a family owned and operated business that has been in operation for 50 years. They are capable of meeting all of your transport needs including all of your flatbed needs.
TMC Transportation is one of the largest flatbed carriers in North America. TMC hauls every kind of flatbed freight from all classes of building materials and steel products to machinery and everything in between.
PGT Trucking Inc. services the Eastern, Midwestern and Southwestern United States as well as Canada and Mexico. They are capable of handling all of your flatbed trucking needs from regular flatbeds to step decks to extendable trailers to double drops and RGNs and have 6-13 axle lowboys.
Tennessee Steel Haulers, Inc. provides flatbed services all over the United States. They offer flatbed services for steel and industrial markets including over-dimensional and heavy-haul trucking, brokerage services, movement of government freight, storage yards, outside warehousing and full service facilities.
If you ever find yourself needing equipment or supplies hauled across town, across the state or across the country and you are in need of a flatbed to haul it for you, it is very wise to do an internet search for flatbed trucking companies. Do comparisons of a few companies before you decide who to use.