4 Types of Flatbed Trailers and What They’re Used For

Most people are familiar with flatbed trailers, as they are a common sight on highways around the country. However, flatbeds come in a variety of styles. Each of these types serves a unique purpose and is useful for transporting a particular type of freight.

Let’s take a look at 4types of flatbed trailers and what they are used for.

Flatbed trucking can transport large freight.

1.      Standard flatbed

The most common type of flatbed trailer is the standard flatbed. This trailer is shaped like a rectangular box without sides. They are typically 48 feet long, but most standard flatbeds are between 40 and 53 feet in length.

This style is useful for transporting construction material, tire bales, and scrap metal.

This standard flatbed trailer is used by most companies that specialize in trucking. Flatbed companies prefer using this trailer-style due to the ease with which loads can be tied down and secured using chains or straps.


4 Types of Flatbed Trailers and What They’re Used For

2.      Drop deck flatbed trailers

Drop deck flatbed trailers or step deck flatbed trailers are an open type of trailer that features two deck levels. The “step” between the two levels is usually positioned right after clearing the tractor unit.

The rear deck of this flatbed is typically lower than the front deck portion that is along with the tractor unit. As a result, the rear portion of the flatbed is much closer to the ground than the front portion.

This feature is useful for transporting tall freight, such as construction equipment and building materials. It allows oversized cargo to fit through tunnels or pass under bridges safely.

3.      Double-drop flatbed trailers

Double-drop flatbed trailers are similar to drop deck flatbed trailers. However, the middle portion of this flatbed is typically lower than the front and the rear sections. This results in a sort of “well” that is confined by a step on either side.

This well portion is 25 to 29 feet in length and is lower than the lower deck of a drop deck flatbed. This makes it useful for transporting freight that is taller than 10 feet.

The freight that is transported on these flatbeds can be difficult to load and unload without the help of cranes. This is why this type of flatbed is usually reserved for transporting large and heavy equipment such as construction vehicles.

4.      Extendable flatbed stretch trailers

Extendable flatbed stretch trailers are flatbeds with an extendable portion that increases the total length of the flatbed. Some of these flatbeds can be up to 80 feet in length when they are fully extended.

They are often used to transport freights that are excessively long and can’t be transported using standard flatbed trailers. This type of trailer provides good support for freight and can be used to transport long items without letting them hang over the rear edge of the trailer.

Items that are typically transported on extendable flatbed stretch trailers include wind turbine blades and oversized construction planks.