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Flatbed Transportation – What It Is & When You Need It

We are proud to serve multiple industries for their flatbed trucking needs! If you are looking for flatbed trucking services, you’ve come to the right place! If you’re unsure if you need flatbed trucking assistance or what it is, this article will cover the details you need, including what flatbed trucking is, the types of products and supplies that are preferred for hauls, and what commodities aren’t ideal for this type of shipping method.

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What is Flatbed Transportation?

For a lot of industries, there is a growing need for using flatbed trucks for their hauling services. First off, flatbed trucks are flat—go figure! Since they’re flat, there is no “box” surrounding the freight as you’d normally see on any other average 16-wheeler. Since this truck’s bed is open to the air and elements, their decks are made of a wooden platform supported by a strong aluminum frame, measuring 48-53 ft. long, 8 ft. 6 in. wide, and 60 in. tall, and weight capacity of 48,000 lbs.

Flatbed shipping is mainly used for carrying larger, heavier hauls, such as lumber, steel coils, mobile homes, bailed tires, machines, military machinery, scrap metal, tow trucks, and shipping containers. When towing, flatbed trucks normally transport freight to factories, farms, and real estate developers for various projects.

Flatbed Trucking & Your Commodities

 Image of a man in PPE tying down iron bars for safety on the bed of a Flatbed truck

The good news is flatbed trucks are highly versatile, meaning they are recognized as a staple piece for transportation. To get an idea of what can be hauled in flatbed transportation, we provided a list below.  Keep in mind this isn’t a comprehensive list, however, this should give you an idea of which commodities are perfect for hauling on a flatbed truck.

  • Cinder blocks
  • Wire ropes and cables
  • Roofing tiles/shingles
  • Building envelopes/house wrap
  • Marble, granite, limestone, etc.
  • Metal joists, frames, trusses, piping
  • Wood studs, joists, rafters
  • Lumber, shipping containers, auto parts, and crane parts
  • Machine parts (shovels, ladders, tires, etc.)
  • Small tractors and small generators
  • Engines, structural steel, and rebar
  • Ceramics, concrete/aggregates, and bricks
  • Small bulldozers, small excavators, small cranes
  • Fabricated steel and metal products (tubing, handrails, tanks)
  • HVAC systems and engines 
  • Shipping containers

Why Flatbed Transport Is Not Ideal for Some Commodities

Image of the back of a Flatbed truck with ties and a tarp on the bed

Since flatbed trucking is ideal for heavier, larger hauls, there are some commodities it’s not ideal for. Here are some that you shouldn’t use for flatbed transportation:

  • Products that require refrigeration.
  • Perishable goods.
  • Animal transport.
  • Small products.

If you are looking to transport smaller items that wouldn’t work on a flatbed truck, we offer additional trucking and transportation services including Step-Deck Transportation, Over-The-Road Transportation, Rail Transportation, Specialty Cargo Transportation, and more.

Get a Quote for Your Flatbed Shipping Today

Discovered you need flatbed trucking for your business or project? Or interested in hearing about our other shipping services? Give us a call today or email us at to obtain a quote at zero cost to you!

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