Flatbed trailers are the most common type of freight trailer and are used to move everything from Light-truck-loads (LTL) to larger loads like Wide Loads.

The benefit of a flatbed trailer is that it’s relatively easy and quick to load and unload, given that you can load and unload the freight from 3 different angles: the sides, the back, or overhead.

Some flatbeds can also be equipped with ramps on the back, allowing you drive equipment up onto them as well as off. However, these are more commonly referred to Step Deck Trailers and are covered in more detail here.

Standard Specifications of a Flatbed Trailer

FLATBEDTRAILER LENGTH

This usually comes in at being 48 feet long. There are some flatbeds that are 45 feet long, and this is because, in some states, like California, this length is restricted to 45 feet. Unless you’re doing transportation through or in California, however, you usually will not have to worry about this, and 48 feet will be your flatbed length.

FLATBED TRAILER WIDTH

This is always going to be 102 inches, but the Flatbed load width is legally required to be 8 feet 6 inches. Anything over that, and you’ll need a permit, and anything over 11 feet 6 inches wide will need a Pilot/Escort Vehicle Operator (P/EVO) in most states. Usually, your freight is allowed to overhang on the edges of the trailer, but each state has different requirements as to which permits are needed for this, so be sure to check with our specialists when filling out your Flatbed Quote, or check your state’s documentation.

A good thing to note is that most over-wide shipments are almost always required to travel only during daylight hours on the road.

FLATBED SHIPMENT WEIGHT

Flatbed trailers can support anywhere from 1,000 – 48,000 pounds of weight. This can sometimes be surpassed to 52,00o pounds but only in certain circumstances with special additional equipment. It’s so uncommon though, that you almost will never have to worry about it.

FLATBED LEGAL SHIPMENT HEIGHT

On a Flatbed trailer, this is technically 9 feet tall, but the rule of thumb is to keep it 8 feet and 6 inches. This is to allow room for mistakes and is recognized by all professional truckers as the ‘standard height’ for a Flatbed load. Anything over 9 feet tall, however, and you are going to be flagged as Over-Dimensional (OD), and getting a permit at that point will be mandatory.

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