Monday, August 6, 2012

Flatbed Options

Flatbeds are called platform equipment because they are an open platform and they come in several different shapes and sizes. Of these different sizes are the stepdecks, the double drops, the lowboys, the straight flatbeds, and the stretchable versions of each.

I pull a straight flatbed and I believe it to be the most versatile of the group. First of all, I can pull containers, oversized loads, long loads, wide loads, heavy loads, and some tall loads (not as tall as the other trailers, but taller than a van trailer). Also, the trailer can be unloaded at a dock or side loaded with a forklift or crane. During transit, I can see my freight so I know if it has shifted forward or to one side.

Flatbeds are the lightest of just about all trailers. Depending on the configuration, they can be very light. I pull a 48 foot long by 102 inch wide aluminum Fontaine Revolution. The trailer I have was an original edition and is no longer available from Fontaine, however, they do have more modern and I think, more versatile versions out there now. My trailer weighs in at 7850 lbs. and this comes in handy with my truck, as I can haul around 45,000 lbs. I can haul less weight in the winter because I carry snow chains, and they can weigh up to 500 pounds.

Most van trailers can only haul 40,000 lbs, and they compare to stepdecks in their heavy weight. Lowboys, stretch trailers of all types, and double drops weigh several thousand pounds more than all of the other trailers.

There are different configurations for the standard flatbed:

1. All aluminum
2. Combo trailer with a steel main beam, aluminum cross members and wood nailers in the floor (this is the most common flatbed type)
3. Steel trailer with the steel beam, steel crossmembers, and wood nailers in the floor

Of these, there are numerous different options on the actual deck of the trailer, such as:
-container twist locks
-chain tie downs
-tracks for movable tie down hooks
-pipe spools
-rub rails
-stake pockets
-tarping systems
-coil packages
-rails for moving train wheels
-sliding winches
-fixed winches
-strap hooks
-bungee hooks

Each one of these will add or detract from your operation, and you will need the most versatile piece of equipment you can get to stay busy. In this business, the more you can do, the more you can make, the more business you get. If you restrict yourself too much or specialize too much, you will limit your operation and can end up with no work. It's like keeping all of your eggs in one basket (for those of you who carry eggs in baskets). If everyone all of the sudden doesn't need freight moved on your steel rail container trailer, then you might sit for a long time.

It is important that you do your research into what you are hauling and for whom, so that you make the best informed decision when the time comes to purchase equipment. Keep on reading and see what will work the best for you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of kinds of heavy hauling trailers, and one of the most commonly utilized in a number of purposes is the flatbed trailer. This heavy hauling trailer is multifunctional. On the other hand, in sequence for us on the way to use them, we require to have a truck or at least a pick-up motor vehicle. More often than not, we use them on the way to tow a variety of loads for example other vehicles, motorbikes, firewood, cement, gears, as well as further heavy loads.

Heavy Hauling Company