Pros and Cons of Flatbed Trucking

When you drive a flatbed trailer, you are going to be hauling things that won’t fit into a standard truck trailer. You may haul equipment like forklifts, vehicles, and mobile homes. You may also haul supplies like lumber, pipes, steel, and much more. That being said, some people love to drive flatbeds, while others don’t. There are pros and cons of flatbed trucking, just like there are with all of the other types of driving. 

Here are some of the pros of flatbed trucking. 

  • You won’t be stuck hauling the same things every day. Many drivers enjoy hauling different things. You may be delivering lumber one day and steel the next day. The day after that, you may be hauling equipment. Even if you only haul equipment, you may be hauling all types of equipment, so you will feel like you are doing something different every day. You may even take them to different job sites, instead of going to the same stores regularly. 
  • For one who wants to be in control, they may prefer flatbed trucking. You are going to be the one loading and unloading. You will also have to secure your load, so that you know that it is being done properly. Because of this, you can safely drive down the road, knowing that your load is where you want it and secured properly. 
  • You may also enjoy being active. Since you are loading and unloading, you aren’t just going to be sitting in truck stops waiting for it to be done for you. You are actually going to be getting out of your truck and working. Active people need the break from sitting in the truck, and flatbed trucking can be better for you for this reason.
  • It can also keep you healthier, because you are going to be moving around instead of sitting still. You may be required to lift and move heavy objects around. You are going to spend more time moving around than you would if you just sat and waited for your loads to be taken care of. 
  • Because there are less opportunities for flatbed drivers, most get more free time at home. Most companies who hire flatbed drivers are closed on the weekends. This allows these drivers to spend the weekends at home with their family. They may also spend less time in traffic because they aren’t taking things to stores in town. They are taking equipment outside of the city limits to job sites. 
  • You may get paid more. Flatbed drivers can get paid more than ones who drive standard trailers. They get paid for the loading, unloading, and securing. In fact, some people believe that these truckers can earn thirteen thousand dollars a year more than other drivers. 
  • You may also be asked to drive oversized loads. The more experience that you get, you may be offered a chance to drive oversized loads. This can mean even more responsibility and money. These drivers all started hauling equipment on a flatbed trailer. 

Here are some of the cons of flatbed trucking. 

  • Flatbed trucking isn’t as safe as standard trucking. Securing your load to the trailer is essential for a safe drive. However, because the cargo is held on the trailer with just a few straps and chains, it can shift during transit. In fact, it could even fall off, hurting people on the road. It can even cause an accident when it falls off, because it shifts the truck and trailer that much. 
  • Drivers must use caution when parking. Unlike standard trailers which can be locked up, cargo on a flatbed is available for anyone that can see it. You may not want to leave a piece of equipment on a trailer while you eat lunch or take a shower. Someone may try to steal it (or at least do some damage to it) while you are busy taking care of your needs. 
  • You also have to deal with enforcement officers. Flatbed truck drivers are more often pulled over to make sure that their loads are securely strapped in place. Though, if you do a good job, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, it can take an hour or so out of your day, while you go through this procedure. 
  • You will be required to load and unload, instead of taking a break. Most truck drivers need to take a few minutes to rest when they reach their destination. However, if you drive a flatbed, you are going to have to load and possibly reload before you are able to rest. Many standard truck drivers enjoy this half an hour or hour to catch their breath, rest, and get ready to get back on the road. 

Whether you decide to drive a flatbed trailer or not, it is a good idea to do what is right for you. Some people enjoy loading and unloading their cargo. Others prefer to have others do this to give them a break. It might be too much responsibility for you, and there is nothing wrong with that. You may not want to worry about your load being secured properly. If a strap breaks, it could end up in an accident. If you have a standard trailer, your load isn’t going to move out of the trailer, even if it does get loose! 

Many flatbed truckers enjoy the perks that come along with it. They often get paid more than their counterparts. They may also have more time at home. Most flatbed truckers will be able to spend their weekends home alone, plus they might not spend as much time stuck in traffic. That being said, they are also pulled over more than their counterparts. Either way, you have to choose the right job and trailer for you. Otherwise, it will start to feel like a job and less like an adventure on the road! 

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David Ott

David Ott