Flatbed Trucking Basics and the Transformation in Flatbed Trucking with Digital Permit Book

What is Flatbed Trucking?

Flatbed trucking refers to the hauling of tall, oversized, or wide-load cargo. The flatbed dimensions are approximately 102 inches wide and 53 feet long. Flatbed trucks can also carry normal freights. The flatbed trucks are known for their adaptation- you will often witness flatbeds with multiple combinations of trailers. Hence the unique characteristics and capabilities of flatbed trucks have made many industries choose flatbed trucking for the transportation of large cargo. The common flatbed freight with which flatbed companies often work is as follows.

  • Agricultural goods
  • Building material
  • Heavy machinery
  • Lumber
  • Roofing pallets
  • Oil and gas rigs

All About Flatbed Freight Rates:

The most appealing aspect of the flatbed freight rates is that the shippers usually pay higher rates to haul flatbed cargo compared to other freights. This is because flatbed trucking requires higher skills when hauling large cargo as these freights impose great dangers and need extra safety. Hence, flatbed truckers must strictly abide by the rules of DOTs. The flatbed freight rates depend upon several factors, which are as follows.

  • The kind of freight being transported
  • The market in question
  • The supply and demand in a large market

As per statistics, the flatbed freight load cost is between $2.71 and $3.30 per mile. If we look into the average per-mile rates of the dry vans in the trucking industry, they are about $2.27. This proves that the flatbed trucking pays about 80 cents more. Not only this but the flatbed trucking drivers up to approximately $15000 more than other drivers driving other vehicles. However, it should be noted that while flatbed truckers must be paid higher rates, it doesn't mean higher profits. Compared to regular dry vans, the expenditure of flatbed trucks is steeper.

The Flatbed Dimensions for Popular Flatbed Trucks:

The standard dimensions of an ordinary flatbed truck are approximately 53 feet long and 102 inches wide, but there are different types of flatbed trucks to choose from. If an owner-operator or flatbed trucking company is willing to expand the business they must look into the types of flatbeds available and their dimensions closely to invest in the right trucks.

Some of the most famous flatbed trailers one might come across are mentioned below.

Double Drop:

double drop trailers can be used for transporting tall freight of more than 10 feet in height. In addition to the front and back, the flatbed double drop trailer is built with a well in the middle. This 25 to 29-foot-long well helps the flatbed truckers to safely transport the long freight. The double-drop flatbeds require cranes and additional flatbed equipment to safely transport the freight.

Dimensions( main deck or well )
  • Height: 11 feet, 6 inches
  • Length: 25 feet - 29 feet
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dimension ( Front Deck)
  • Height: 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dimensions(Rear deck)
  • Height: 10 feet
  • Length: 9 feet
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches

Extendable Flatbeds:

The extendable flatbeds are used to haul items that are way too long to be accommodated by normal flatbeds. Extendable flatbeds allow the owner-operators too efficiently transport the freight efficiently without any overhang. However, it should be noted that sometimes permits may be required to haul the largest loads legally.

  • Height: 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
  • Minimum length: 48 feet
  • Maximum length: 80 feet

Maximum cargo weight: 43,000 lbs

Side-kit Flatbeds:

Equipped with a curved bow-like metal spine, flat panels, and stakes surrounding the bed's perimeter, side-kit flatbeds give carriers all the necessary parts needed to create a structure that can connect a tarp. The side-kit flatbed is the best choice for transporting fragile items and items that need to remain dry and protected from chemicals.

  • Height: 8 feet 8 inches
  • Width: 8 feet 4 inches
  • Length: 8 feet 6 inches

Maximum cargo weight: 45,000 lbs

Step Deck:

A step deck, also referred to as a drop deck, is a type of flatbed trailer that contains both a top and bottom deck. Step deck flatbeds are another best option if you need to transfer a load that is too tall or wide and cannot be carried through a regular flatbed carrier. Since step deck flatbed loads often occupy a lower position in the trailer, step decks can usually traverse low bridges without any problems – even when hauling taller freight. When you arrive at your destination and are ready to unload, loading ramps allow personnel to easily access the bed at ground level.

  • Bottom deck height: 10 feet
  • Bottom dock length: 37 feet
  • Top deck length: 11 feet
  • Width: 8 feet, 6 inches

Maximum cargo weight: 48,000 lbs

Conestoga Trailer:

A Conestoga Trailer is a special type of trailer developed with versatility, security, and protection from different elements that a trailer can meet during the transportation journey. If you are looking to buy a Conestoga Trailer for your shipping needs, it is important to know the dimensions, weight, and hauling capacity this form of trailer can have.

  • Width: 8 feet 4 inches
  • Height: 96 inches
  • Maximum cargo weight: 44,000 lbs

The Importance and Advantages of Flatbed Freight Brokers:

In the Flatbed trucking business, flatbed freight brokers are of immense support. These flatbed freight brokers are needed to plan, optimize, and execute the most complex transport requirements. By using the flatbed freight broker, the shippers eliminate the risk of their freight being matched with the wrong truck, which causes unnecessary delays and damages. The freight brokers bring along with them a handful of advantages for the flatbed trucking company, too.

1. Time and resource savings:

Outsourcing your shipping logistics to a freight broker frees up your time and resources, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.

2. Cost efficiency:

Freight brokers have access to competitive rates, and they can negotiate with the client in a better way which helps in getting the flatbed trucker a good contract on good terms.

3. Expertise:

The freight brokers possess a deep understanding of the transportation industry. They are fond of new changes and now mostly use digital permit books to help run the company in compliance with all rules and regulations.

4. Risk mitigation:

With the help of flatbed freight brokers like Sheer Logistics and others, you can anticipate and manage potential issues. With the advancement in technology, now most freight brokers use electronic permit books, which help in storing documents, upgrading them and offering many other services through which several types of risks are mitigated.

Top Flatbed Trucking Companies:

Companies looking for customized transportation solutions and diverse shipping options should look for nothing except top flatbed trucking companies. The best trucking companies have years of experience handling and transporting unique loads safely. Whether it's the transportation of construction materials or mobile homes, flatbed trucking can be the way to go. In the flatbed trucking business, there are flatbed trailer hauling companies that provide flatbed trailer hauling services like NTS logistics, etc. Apart from this, there are some other top flatbed trucking companies which are mentioned below.

1. Daseke, Inc

Daseke, Inc. is one of the largest flatbed carriers in the world and one of the most respected carriers. It has a fleet of approximately 4,500 tractors 11,000 flatbed and specialized trailers and industrial warehousing space of a million square feet.

2. Landstar System, Inc

Landstar System, Inc. is one of the top flatbed trucking companies since it offers flexible, specialized solutions for large and unusual loads. It is a leader in over-dimensional and heavy-haul transportation services and has a huge fleet that features modern equipment.

3. Anderson Trucking Service

Anderson Trucking Service is on the list of top flatbed trucking companies due to the provision of great customer service and rapid shipping options while aiming to facilitate logistics solutions for companies of all sizes. If you need to ship freight in a hurry, ATS can always accommodate your needs.

4. Cargoxinc

Cargox Inc. is a notable player in the flatbed trucking industry, providing a range of transportation solutions with a fleet that includes dry vans, flatbeds, step decks, Conestoga trailers, power-only trucks, and more. As a 100% owner-operator trucking company, Cargox Inc. stands out for its commitment to excellence and versatility in meeting diverse shipping needs.

Many more trucking companies are doing wonders. These top flatbed trucking companies are situated in different parts of the world. There are many well-doing flatbed trucking companies in the USA as well, like flatbed trucking companies in Texas, which are Nationwide Transport Services, Martin Trucking Flatbed, etc. Not only this, but there are New York trucking companies like Crown Delivery & Logistics Inc., XPO, Inc., NY Minute Messenger and Trucking, etc.

Canada, the neighbor of the USA, also offers great flatbed trucking services through companies like Canadian flatbed carriers. Hence, there are huge lucrative companies in different parts of the world for flatbed trucking, which are doing great in terms of transportation services. All these well-known companies were first known as small flatbed trucking companies, but their good efforts and strategies have made them the top flatbed companies in the flatbed trucking industry.

Digital Permit Book Advantages: Enhancing Efficiency for Flatbed Trucking Companies

In flatbed trucking, where time is money and efficiency is the key to success, embracing modern solutions is not just an option but a necessity. Introducing the game-changer – Digital Permit Book. This cutting-edge technology serves as the cornerstone for flatbed trucking companies, offering a host of advantages that are as follows:

Streamlining Compliance

Say goodbye to paperwork woes. Manage all driver and equipment compliance effortlessly. Add, track, and set expiry dates for essential documents such as driver licenses, vehicle registrations, and trailer inspections.

Driver Empowerment with the Digital Permit Book Driver App

Packed with features like Drop & Hook, Offline Mode, and Email Mode, this app is tailored for efficiency. Seamlessly integrated with leading platforms like Samsara and Motive, the app ensures a smooth communication flow.

Centralized Document Management

The Digital Permit Book Portal allows you to centralize all critical documents. From driver credentials to vehicle registrations and company permits, access everything in a few clicks.

QR Code Revolution

Digital Permit Book generates QR codes for each driver or equipment. Scanning these codes provides instant access to relevant documents, making inspections and verifications a breeze.

Built for All-in-One Communication

Starting with a core focus on Fleet Compliance, it has evolved into a comprehensive system. Store driver documents, vehicle information, trailer details, and company permits all in one centralized hub.

The Transition to a Paperless Future

Witness the transformation as your flatbed trucking company shifts to a paperless future. Digital Permit Book not only enhances efficiency but also contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing the reliance on traditional paperwork.


It can be concluded that flatbed trucking is another great field in the trucking world. The earnings in the fields are profitable once the owner-operator or the company gains experience and understanding. Undoubtedly, a successful flatbed trucking company needs a flatbed freight broker and the company owner must have a deep understanding of the trucking business. And they can maximize the potential of their flatbed trucking company with a Digital Permit Book.

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