What is a Flatbed Truck?

Flatbed Truck on Highway_141238336

A flatbed truck is a truck with a long, flat load area. Although there are several types of flat beds available–including step decks, double drops, and lowboys–the most common trucks with flat beds are referred to simply as flatbeds, and they’re suitable for transporting just about any sort of cargo that you can think of. So, what is a flatbed truck good for? We’ve put together a short guide to help you get started.


An Overview of Flatbed Truck Dimensions

In order to be operated without a special permit, flatbed trucks must fall within certain strict dimensions:

  • Flatbed Truck Length: The bed of a flatbed truck can vary in length from 48 feet to 53 feet, although the lower boundary is much more common. Extendable flatbeds with lengths of up to 80 feet are available, although operation may require a permit.
  • Flatbed Truck Width: The maximum width of a flatbed truck (of any variety) is 8 feet and six inches. A wider bed, like cargo which itself exceeds this width, will likely require a special “Wide Load” permit.
  • Flatbed Truck Load Height: Legally, flatbed trucks can accommodate a load height of up to 8 feet and 6 inches. This has a lot to do with infrastructure (like bridges and overpasses), so you’ll need a lower-sitting bed if you want to transport taller cargo.

Other types of flatbed trucks, such as removable gooseneck trailers (RGNs) and lowboys, sit lower to the ground, and can thus accommodate taller cargo (up to a maximum of 11 feet and six inches). If you need assistance in determining which flatbed truck dimensions are right for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us or fill out our vehicle finder service form today.

What is the Max Weight on a Flatbed Truck?

Except in cases where a special permit has been acquired, the total weight of your cabin, trailer, and cargo must fall below 80,000 pounds. Although the weight and size of truck cabins aren’t subject to the same restrictions that their beds are, freight weight on a flatbed truck can never exceed 48,000 pounds. So, choosing a lighter, smaller cab won’t necessarily increase the amount that you can carry.Other flatbeds can’t accommodate quite as much weight. If you’re still wondering, “What is the max weight on a flatbed truck?” consulting the list below may be helpful:

  • Flatbeds: Up to 48,000 pounds
  • Step Decks: Up to 48,000 pounds
  • Extendable Flatbeds: Up to 43,000 pounds
  • Stretch Single-Drop Decks: Up to 45,000 pounds
  • Double-Drop Decks: Up to 36,000 or 42,000 pounds
  • Removable Gooseneck Trailers: Up to 42,000 pounds
Flatbed Truck With Tubes_82275188

What Are Flatbed Trucks Used For?

Flatbed trucks just might be the single most versatile commercial vehicles available today, and it isn’t hard to see why. The absence of constricting walls, the ability to load from any side, and the option to strap your cargo securely into place are just three of the many factors that make flatbed trucks and flatbed shipping so popular across a wide range of industries.

Here’s where you’re most likely to encounter flatbed trucks near Northern Chicago and Milwaukee:

  • Transportation of building materials
  • Transportation of heavy machinery
  • Transportation of flexible intermediate bulk containers
  • Logging and scrap removal
  • Towing and tire transport

If you need to move something big, there’s a very good chance that a flatbed truck is exactly what you need.

Find Your New or Used Flatbed Truck with the Lynch Truck Center!

If you’re anywhere near Waterford or Racine, the Lynch Truck Center is your source for new and used flatbed trucks. Schedule your test drive today, or each out at any time to let us know which model has caught your eye. We’re here to help with anything you need!


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