Step Deck vs Flatbed Trailers
Differences between Step deck trailer versus Flatbed trailers
You have probably seen thousands of flatbed trailers being pulled by semi trucks over the years and never given two thoughts about it. They are one of the most popular trailer combinations used for hauling and that’s because they are so versatile! What are flatbed trailers used for? Flatbed trailers typically ship items that are large or wide, items that need to be loaded by a crane, or from the side with a forklift. So with that in mind, flatbeds are great for hauling construction materials, machinery, tools, components and equipment. In addition to large single items, flatbed trailers are often used for transporting large quantities of stackable or well-wrapped products.
While flatbed trailers are great for hauling cargo of considerable weight and size, what are the limitations? While most flatbed trailers lengths are between 48 and 53 feet in length, the maximum weight of the load carried cannot exceed 48,000 pounds. Also the maximum standard width and height for cargo on a flatbed trailer is 8 feet 6 inches. Anything wider than 8’ 6” would change the class to wide load, and if wide enough could even be considered heavy haul, and could possibly require the use of an escort vehicle. But what if your desired cargo exceeds the maximum height of 8’6”? Exceeding the maximum height would require the use of a specialized trailer known as the step deck trailer. The step deck trailer has all the same versatility as a flatbed trailer, but has a lowered deck to accommodate for a taller cargo height. With a step deck trailer the maximum height of the trailer is raised an additional 20 inches over the maximum height of the flatbed trailer, that’s a height of 10’ 2” for the standard step deck trailer. For additional height the double-drop flatbed would be the next option with a maximum height of 11’ 2” for your cargo.
The main difference between the flatbed trailer and the step deck, or double-drop flatbed trailers is the maximum height of the cargo that can be transported. Both offer versatility, ease of loading and unloading with various equipment, all due to its open design. Both carry the same standard length of 48-53 feet in length and the same 48,000 pound maximum weight. But the step deck, with its lowered deck gives you the means to haul slightly taller cargo while keeping the transportation logistics to a minimum. Freight Rate Central serves the trucking industry with truckload rates for step deck trailers and flatbed trailers to suit all your cargo needs!