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When you need to ship cargo and the load you face that will not fit within the inner dimensions of a dry van, the solution is an open-deck trailer. 

However, there is a wide range of open-deck trailers available, and the options go far beyond — those provided by a trucking company.

Something to note: Not every open deck is considered in the category of flatbed trucks.

This is significant because the many open deck variations available are specifically designed to support specific freight that is heavy cargo machinery transport which can vary in price. 

When you need to ship cargo that will not fit within the inner dimensions of a dry van, the solution is an open-deck trailer, step deck trailer, tri axle trailer, double deck trailer or drop deck trailer depending on the size heavy haul trucking

However, there is a wide range of open-deck trailer types available, and the options go far beyond — those provided by flatbed freight companies. 

Understanding

Open Deck Flatbed Trailers

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

The language used by flatbed shipping companies and in construction logistics heavy haul trucking can be confusing.

Alternative words that mean the same thing are frequent. While there may be minor differences between such types of open deck flatbed trucking trailers, each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Flatbeds with Straight Frames

Found to be up to 53 feet, BA straight frame trailer offers the largest space. Because it’s at loading dock height if you are collecting or shipping from a dock, a straight frame is a good solution.

If you are looking to transport mining equipment or construction equipment heavy load, an opendeck flatbed trailers could be ideal because it can haul the heaviest of weight of all. Furthermore, due to the limitations of offloading dry vans, if the shipment is considered a wide load or over dimensional freight.Flatbed & Heavy Haul Shipping Trailers

It will not fit in a dry van. A straight-frame flatbed freight load the best option as it is easily offloaded with a crane or forklift.

To be noted: Flatbed trailer hauling vehicles are unable to roll on a standard straight frame, and depending on where the shipment is transported from such as China Canada shipment arriving at port as high-profile freight might require oversized load permits.

Single drop, drop deck, and step deck trailers are different from a straight frame flatbed, this trailer is layered and has a higher top deck as well as a lower bottom deck. 

Advantages: Taller cargo can be legally shipped on the bottom deck particularly if the trailer is running on low profile tires, you can add up to 2 feet in height of your cargo when compared to a straight frame flatbed.

When compared to 8 feet 6 inches on a straight frame flatbed, excluding low profile tires, your shipment can be 10 feet 2 inches high. 

Low profile tires certainly can give extra height when needed. 

Disadvantages: traditional 53-foot step deck trailer loading space on the bottom deck has 43′ and the top deck is 10′.

As they are layered, they have less space than a straight-frame flatbed.

Double Drop, RGN Trailers and Lowboys

One benefit is that vehicles can drive directly on top of a removable gooseneck trailer (RGN), which is also known as a “double drop trailer” or “lowboy.”

Cons: less continuous load space and heavier than other trailer types, which can be an issue in heavy-haul shipping applications due to potential routing issues.

No matter the type of open deck trailer, the most common adjustments are made to accommodate for all heavy haul transportation load’s weight and height.

In order to evenly distribute the weight when shipping over dimensional freight, extra axles must be used. To conform to the flat deck trailer state-mandated axle-spacing regulations, sliding tandem axles are used. However, other trailer types can be used to accommodate varying load heights.

Flatbed transport companies modify open-deck trailers in a number of ways to reduce risk, and doing so with shorter loads helps maintain legality and safety by minimizing the time and money needed to obtain oversized load permits and avoiding problems with height restrictions along the route.

The typical length of a 48-foot-long straight-frame flat bed trailer. 53-foot straight-frame flatbeds provide a continuous loading area. Longer than 53 feet are RGNs trailers and double drop trailers.

Decks with Stairs and Drops Rolling tarp systems are installed on Conestogas to shield cargo from the elements and/or to conceal cargo carrying sensitive information. Read on…

"Know When to Call on Specialized Trailers”

Open Deck Flatbed Trailers

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?

Even with available changes, flatbed truck shipping it is not always possible to rely on one of the aforementioned popular trailer types.

Therefore, top transport companies also have open-deck trucks built to transport specialized equipment.

For instance, at Paige Logistics, we provide substantial long haul support for shipping from Canada to the USA with flat bed shipping and dedicated transport services for mining equipment shipping and have specialized trailers, such Schnable tower trailers or Blade trailers, for these projects.

Some carriers have 19-axle steerable trailers to transport exceptionally huge and heavy cargoes up to 200,000 pounds.

How to Ensure You Have the Appropriate Equipment to Transport your Load?

Because there are so many types of open deck trailers and so many ways to customize them to meet your specific requirements, it’s always important to rely on a professional carrier to assist you to choose the correct equipment for flatbed loads Canada.

Experienced carriers with a varied selection of trailers will assist you with flatbed shipments in staying within your budget, maximizing your profitability, maintaining your schedule, minimizing cargo damage, and pleasing your clients.

There are a number of specific ways in which a carrier should assist you in selecting the most efficient mode of transport for your unique load. 

If you intend to move a significant piece of equipment that has never been shipped before, it is always advisable to determine the size with a freight class calculator and then contact a flatbed carrier or heavy haul carrier during the engineering phase.

Open deck flatbed trailers and transportation is generally the last thing on an engineer’s mind, but working closely with a specialized flatbed truck company or heavy haul carrier that are experienced with machinery transport throughout the design phase could prevent you from having to transport an oversized and expensive superload.

The correct trucking services carrier will not only assist flatbed shippers in selecting the proper equipment but will also work directly with LTL flatbed company to adapt trailers so that your equipment may be transported as efficiently and affordably as feasible.

Flatbed Trucking Companies

At Paige Logistics, we urge any company with overseas-manufactured equipment to collaborate with a carrier throughout the manufacturing phase to determine:   

01

Contents details

02

maximum Dimensions

03

maximum weight

Top Flat bed Transport Services. Our carriers have in-house permitting teams whose sole responsibility is to assist with securing and managing permissions.

More information helps carriers estimate permits, timeframes, and prices. This data will also help heavy haul carriers make strategic judgments since different trailers and flatbed shipments might carry the same weight. Using resources is sometimes necessary.

Flexible Pricing Flatbed Shipping Quote 

Many transport companies charge more after delivering a shipment. Fuel shippers may try to charge extra for supplies. The carrier must always provide top drivers and trailers.

Legitimate companies should provide comprehensive driver training because any means of transportation is complex. Carriers should restrict drivers to hauling weights within legal size limitations until they reach certain milestones.

That’s why Paige Logistics’ heavy haul transportation drivers have decades of experience before handling construction logistics and 19-axle shipments.

Flatbed trucking companies pa driver training is as vital as inspections. To meet tight maintenance schedules, the best heavy-hauling companies should always maintain large, diverse trailer pools.

It will be accessible 24/7 without unexpected maintenance. Shippers should ask potential carriers about routine maintenance. Despite the obvious, many shipping companies overlook their trailers.

How to Improve Flatbed, Machinery Transport, and Heavy-Haul Carriers?

A sketch or photo helps speed up the search for the right trucking services open deck trailer, even though reputable shipping businesses will do their best.

In construction logistics, carriers benefit from having a sketch or photo of your shipment to choose trailer and load securement points.

The carrier would have thought an overly lengthy trailer or inserts were needed if the customer had provided crane specifications of “approximately” 12 feet tall and 40 feet long.

A carrier may be able to tell from a picture that twenty feet of the equipment is a boom that can stretch over the trailer’s deck without well room.

Thus, the trailer arrangement is drastically different and shipping time and cost are decreased from 40 feet of continuous wall space to 20 feet of continuous good space.

Considerations when choosing an open deck trailer. Is a flatbed truck worth it? 

Given the range of trailer types and their adaptability, flatbed LTL carriers have several ways to handle every situation.

This quick reference should help you determine the right trailer equipment for international shipments until you consult with your carrier.

If you have questions concerning intermodal transport, dedicated, flatbed, or heavy haul shipping, please contact us.

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FAQ

  1. What is flatbed trucking?

    Flatbed trucking is a type of transportation in which goods are shipped on a flatbed trailer, which is a trailer with a flat, open platform with no walls or roof. Flatbed trailers are used to transport a wide variety of goods, including construction materials, heavy machinery, and large industrial equipment.

  2. What is heavy haul trucking?

    Heavy haul trucking is a type of transportation that involves the movement of oversized or overweight loads. These loads may require specialized equipment, such as lowboy trailers or heavy haul trucks, to transport them safely. Heavy haul trucking is often used to transport oversized construction equipment, oil and gas industry equipment, and other large industrial goods.

  3. What are the benefits of flatbed and heavy haul trucking?

    There are several benefits to using flatbed and heavy haul trucking:
    • These types of transportation allow for the movement of large and bulky goods that may not fit in a standard trailer.
    • Flatbed and heavy haul trucking can be more cost-effective than other modes of transportation, especially for long distances.
    • These methods of transportation are often more flexible and can accommodate a wide range of cargo sizes and shapes.
    • Flatbed trucking services Canada typically have a team of experienced drivers and equipment operators who are trained to handle large and heavy loads safely.

  4. What are some challenges of flatbed and heavy haul trucking?

    There are a few challenges to consider when using flatbed and heavy haul trucking:
    • These types of transportation may be more expensive than other options, especially for short distances.
    • Flatbed freight services can be subject to weight and size restrictions, which can limit the types of goods that can be shipped.
    • There may be additional permitting and regulatory requirements for transporting oversized or overweight loads.
    • Flatbed and heavy haul trucking can be more time-consuming due to the need for specialized equipment and the need to secure and load the cargo properly.

How do I choose the right flatbed or heavy haul trucking company?

When choosing a flatbed or heavy haul trucking company, there are a few key factors to consider:
• Experience: The company should have a proven track record of successfully transporting large and heavy loads.
• Equipment: Make sure the company has the right equipment and vehicles to handle your specific cargo.
• Safety record: Choose flatbed truck broker with a strong safety record and a commitment to training and safety measures.

• Customer service: Look for a company that performs excellent customer service, communication and stands tall with flatbed delivery reputation.
• Cost: Consider the company’s rates and fees, as well as any additional charges that may apply.

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Alexander Crane
Alexander Crane

Author & Chief Executive Officer at Paige Logistics Ltd. → Experienced Operations Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Transportation, Trucking and the Railroad Industry.