August 16, 2023

Common Uses for Flatbed Trucks

Common Uses for Flatbed TrucksIn today’s fast-paced business environment, logistics can become a prominent need for many companies moving their products. The fast and efficient movement of large, bulky, and unconventional cargo can take time and effort. Flatbed trucks can be a versatile solution if your enterprise needs unparalleled flexibility and capacity.


In this guide, we’ll explore flatbed trucks’ benefits and enhanced loading capabilities and how they can be an asset for your business. We will also cover what’s a flatbed truck, the different types, and dimensions. The discussion will also cover what flatbed trucks are used for and how they can improve your logistical capacity.


What’s a Flatbed Truck?

Flatbed trucks function like open platforms on wheels, designed to carry and transport oddly shaped large items which can’t fit inside an enclosed truck. Their design allows them to load building materials, heavy machinery, and bulk goods, making them an invaluable tool for oversized shipping.

A flatbed truck may be the best fit if you are searching for the best type of transportation for your needs. These commercial vehicles offer various qualities that make them ideal for hauling. They are designed with a level and a fully flat bed with no hindering sides or roofs. This design allows a flatbed truck to hold items of varying shapes and sizes that enclosed trucks simply cannot handle.

The flatbed truck has become a valuable means to carry goods for a wide range of businesses. Below, we delve into a list of specific industries and exactly how they have made flatbed transportation a part of their day-to-day activities.


Common Uses of Flatbed Trucks

What are flatbed trucks used for? These versatile machines can streamline your logistical operations, allowing for more efficient transport of goods, materials, and equipment. They can be used in construction, landscaping, product shipment, material hauling, and agriculture. The following are the common uses of a flatbed truck.



The landscaping business has found flatbed transportation carriers to be a vital part of their typical workday. These trucks are ideal for carrying large items such as oversized trees, landscaping tools, and various sizes of timber which can be challenging with other forms of transportation.

Without a doubt, flatbed trucks are the best choice when it comes to hauling these items. Most flatbed trucks have a bed length of 12 to 20 feet. This, combined with the absence of sides and a roof, will make it possible to carry just about any object.

Landscapers can now easily remove full-grown trees and any waste product, such as yard scraps and tree trimmings, from the work site. A smaller flatbed truck towed by a pickup makes transporting ride-on lawnmowers, saplings, and heavy tools stress-free.

Larger businesses that make the most of a full-size flatbed truck to haul larger machinery maximize their efficiency. No matter the scale of the project, a flatbed truck affords an effective method for transporting everything needed on one deck.

Construction Companies

Construction companies often take advantage of the many benefits provided by flatbed transportation companies. They use flatbeds to haul their large and heavy equipment as well as their tools. These trucks are also perfect for carrying materials like cement, wood, and steel frames.

  • Construction Materials: Flatbed trucks are a staple in the construction industry. They can transport concrete blocks, lumber, steel beams, and other large and heavy materials. These trucks make loading and unloading materials easier across different construction sites.
  • Heavy Machinery: Flatbed trucks are cost-effective for transporting and deploying heavy machinery due to their open and sturdy design. Construction companies use them to transport bulldozers, excavators, and other machines.

Side rails are sometimes added to allow for a larger carrying capacity depending on the services needed. For more challenging loads, a crane can easily place and remove bulky or oddly-shaped materials. Flatbed trucks are also useful for moving debris and machinery.

Equipment Hauling

Aside from construction companies, other businesses and organizations must move oversized and heavy equipment. These include companies in aviation, aerospace, military, and other similar industries. Different types of flatbed trucks can be used to haul tractors, military tanks, backhoes, airplane parts, and personnel carriers since they can provide safe and secure transport.

Towing Service

Flatbed transportation is a suitable option for the towing industry as it suits the necessary functions perfectly. These trucks are ideal for pulling or towing smaller vehicles such as cars. A flatbed truck’s large diesel engine helps provide the necessary torque for towing these smaller vehicles. They are also perfect for disabled vehicles.

Vehicles and Automobiles

When towing a vehicle is not feasible, you can use flatbed trucks to transport cars safely, reducing unnecessary wear and tear. They provide an efficient and secure way to transport automobiles and vehicles of the same size. They can be reliable for moving cars, especially across state lines and very long distances.

Scrap Metal and Recyclable Hauling

Flatbed trucks are often used to transport scrap metal and other recyclables. The expansive bed of the trailer allows shippers to load large amounts of materials. Scrap metal itself is challenging to organize, so the more space one has, the better. Old piping and residential refrigerators can all fit on the same flatbed truck, which simplifies the process of stacking and emptying these materials at the recycling facility.

Large Containers

Due to their open design, flatbed trucks provide an excellent way to transport oversized and large containers. Cranes and forklifts can load and unload containers on these trucks quickly.

Baled Tires

Every year, millions of stockpiled tires adversely affect the amount of waste in landfills. Left unchecked, stockpiled tires also contribute to fire hazards and health hazards as a breeding ground for vermin and insects.

Baled tires are produced to help eliminate waste and find better, renewable uses for unwanted tires. They are made up of roughly 100 tires and weigh nearly one ton. Baled tires are made by compressing vehicle tires and wiring them together. They can be used for impact barriers, road fill, terraces, erosion control, and construction.

Courier Services

One does not immediately think of a courier service when considering flatbed trucks, but even they need the occasional help of a flatbed truck. These types of businesses occasionally face the problems associated with delivering large, heavy, or oddly shaped products.

When they find it necessary to move machinery parts or heavy equipment from one place to another, flatbed trucks are indeed useful. They can handle the added weight, and due to the open design, these trucks are not limited when it comes to oddly shaped cargo.

Farms and Agricultural Goods

Farmers, as well as ranchers, can significantly benefit from the use of flatbed transportation carriers. The areas they work in can often seem like rough terrain for more common forms of transportation. Flatbed trailers are intrinsic for the daily operation of various agricultural businesses, from transporting field equipment to hay bales.

This is especially true when it comes to hauling large or heavy items. The double tire configuration of these immensely useful trucks allows them to run on mud and dirt-covered areas that are quite common on farms and ranches. It also makes it possible for them to carry grains, feed, and other needed farm commodities without a hassle.

Flatbed Truck Types

To better understand what flatbed trucks are used for, reviewing their different types and dimensions will be helpful. Each class offers distinct advantages for various applications.


Standard Flatbed

This is one of the most common types of flatbed trucks you can find. It features an open deck with no roof or sides, which makes transporting cargo easier. These trucks can carry loads around eight feet wide and up to 24 tons or 48,000 pounds.


Extended Flatbeds

This type of truck is equipped with extra-long beds, longer than regular flatbeds. They are best suited for heavy and extra-large items. The ramps and drop decks on extended flatbeds make loading and unloading materials and equipment much more effortless. These trucks can pull items up to 80 feet in length, carrying up to 21.5 tons or 43,000 pounds.


Double Drop

This truck is equipped with two drop decks, which allows for transporting taller items. The first deck is positioned closer to ground level, making transporting items under bridges and other areas with headroom restrictions easier. Some double-drop models can carry items 10 feet tall and 21 tons or 42,000 pounds.



This flatbed truck features a deck with a dropped center, sitting closer to ground level. This indentation allows for better handling heavy loads such as industrial machinery and military equipment.


Stretch Single-Drop Deck

This truck is designed for hauling extremely heavy loads of up to 70,000 tons. It features a deck with a long stretch separating it from the cab.


Step Deck

This flatbed truck features a drop deck positioned lower than the main deck, which resembles steps or stairs. This design makes loading and unloading items on the decks much more manageable.


Side Kit

This truck features a rack or tarp, also known as a side kit, which offers better weather protection. The sides can be easily removed and installed as needed. These trucks can carry up to 53-foot-long cargo weighing 22.5 tons or 45,000 tons.


Removable Gooseneck

This type of flatbed truck is equipped with a drop deck and a removable gooseneck section. This design allows this truck to haul heavy cargo of varying weights and sizes. These trucks can be loaded with 29-foot-long loads of 21 tons or 42,000 pounds.


Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Flatbed Trucks

Given their capacity and design, flatbed trucks make hauling heavy equipment, materials, and cargo easier. However, the design of these trucks also opens up certain downsides that you should be aware of before renting one.



  • Versatility: these trucks are very versatile and can handle many different types of cargo. They can transport almost anything from oversized freight to military and construction equipment.
  • Easy Loading and Unloading: the open design of flatbed trucks makes loading and unloading your cargo much easier. It can help reduce time spent loading and unloading cargo.
  • Flexibility: since the cargo hold of these trucks doesn’t have roofs and enclosures, you can apply various techniques, angles, and positions to load your goods, supplies, and equipment. You can secure items using various restraints such as chains and straps.
  • Capacity for Oversized Cargo: Flatbed trucks are better suited for hauling larger and heavier cargo, such as pipes and machinery, that you can’t load on a closed truck or trailer.


  • Weather Exposure: since no enclosure protects your cargo, your items are susceptible to weather exposure. This can damage sensitive goods that shouldn’t be exposed to rain, snow, wind, or sun.
  • Security: Since the decks and beds are open, you should find a way to secure your cargo. Flatbed trucks are vulnerable to theft and tampering if no security measures are in place.
  • Higher Freight Rates: In some cases, the route and type of cargo hauled can raise freight rates. Other factors can impact the overall cost, like using specialized loading and unloading equipment, fuel consumption, and loading times.



Q: Can flatbed trucks be used for long-distance hauling?

A: These trucks are an excellent option for long-distance transport applications. Their capacity and flexibility are beneficial to distance logistics.


Q: What is the lifespan of a flatbed truck?

A: With proper maintenance, flatbed trucks can last for decades. Many manufacturers estimate the average lifespan of their trucks to last 10 to 20 years, with 45,000 miles per year, given the truck is provided with proper care and maintenance.


Q: How much can a flatbed truck carry?

A: It varies according to a truck’s design and size. On average, flatbed trucks can carry 10,000 to 48,000 pounds (24 tons), with some models being able to carry more.


Q: How is freight secured on a flatbed truck?

A: Most cargo loaded on a flatbed truck is tied down using chains, straps, rope, and cords. These harnesses are carefully placed to keep freight secure and stable on the bed or deck.


Oversized Load Transport Solutions from Kan-Haul

Flatbed truck transportation provides a much-needed service to many different types of businesses, hauling heavy machinery and oversized loads.

If you’re in the market for reliable flatbed trucks for your business logistics? Kan-Haul is a trusted provider of bulk transportation services, proudly serving businesses from all industries. Our team has decades-long logistics experience providing various types of flatbed trucks to suit the needs of your enterprise. Fill out this form to learn how we can best help you.

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