Flatbed Freight Shipping – Frequently asked questions
What does flatbed truck mean?
A flatbed is a type of truck with an open deck body, in other words, their body is flat, roofless and without sides. The open deck trucks can be articulated or rigid.
How much weight can you put on an open-deck or flatbed truck?
In general terms, we can say that an open deck truck regularly transports loads with a weight of 45, 000 pounds or 20.4 tons.
However, there is a variety of open deck equipment that supports different weights. Flatbeds and step-decks are capable of transporting 48,000 pounds or 21.7 tons, while double-drops admit a maximum load of 45, 000 pounds or 20.4 tons. Also, there is specialized equipment, which can be adapted to transport even heavier loads.
For more detailed information on the admissible weight by type of platform, take a look at our Guide of dimensions and weight of open deck trucks for cargo transport.
How long can an open deck or flatbed truck be?
The most common measurements of an open deck truck are 48 ft and 53 ft or 14.6 and 16.1 meters long, 8.5 ft or 2.5 meters wide and 10 ft or 3 meters high.
There is specialized equipment that can be adapted to accommodate longer loads.
The maximum length of the load will vary if a step-deck or a double-drop is chosen. For example:
The 48 ft (14.6 meters) long step-deck in total admits loads 37 ft (11.2 meters) long on its main deck and 11 ft (3.3 meters) long on its front deck. While the 48 ft (14.6 meters) double-drop will transport loads 29 ft (8.8 meters) long in its main deck, 10 ft (3 meters) in its front deck and 9 ft ( 2.7 meters) on its back deck.
In our Guide of dimensions and weight of Open Deck Trucks we present the exact measurements of each type of equipment.
What is the maximum height allowed for a load transported on open deck or flatbed trucks?
The maximum height of a legal flatbed is 8.5 ft (feet) or 2.5 meters.
Heights may vary depending on the type of equipment. For example, step-decks and double-drops can carry loads of 10 ft, while loads carried in flatbeds must be 8.5ft (feet) or 2.5 meters high.
For detailed information on the height of the different open deck trucks, you can take a look at our Open Deck Dimensions and Weights Guide.
How much does it cost to transport loads on an open deck flatbed truck?
Generally speaking, transporting cargo on a platform costs around 2.5 to 3.5 USD per mile.
Costs may vary according to the distance, the route, the country, the direction of the cargo (south bond or north bond), the availability of equipment, the loading and unloading times, among others. If you need to obtain the exact cost, you can request us a quote.
To know the type of loads that are commonly transported on open deck equipment, take a look at our post about it.
If you have more questions about open deck trucks, contact us!