In today article we are going to speak about buying flatbed trailer and their importance.Every trucking service has its own uniqueness. Some trucking services require special temperature treatment of the goods that are carried and other special equipment for fixing the goods. Many of the trucking services have mutual things but there is another category that is different in a specific way.
A flatbed trailers is one type of trailer among many but specification of the cargo placing this trailer in a special category. When you are planning to buy a flatbed trailer you need to know few things before you jump into this tracking service.
The starting investment when it is time to buy a trailer is always the number one concern. The flatbed trailer start up investment is higher than other truck trailers, but do not let this reason to stop you from going in this business.
Let’s compare the price with a dry van trailer:
In the market, you can find good dry van trailer for $25K to $35K but for a flatbed trailer you need to spend more money; to be exact you need to spend almost double. The price of a flatbed trailer varies from $50K to $70K if you want additional trailer upgrades.
At this moment, you probably thinking: WOW this is a huge difference would I be able to return my investment. The answer is YES for sure. Like I said before with flatbed trailer you will earn more money per mile and mathematic would be:
Summa Summarum : The fact is that you earn more money on annual base but the first year the profit will cover the additional cost for the flatbed trailer but the next year those $30K per truck increased profit will be clear profit for you.
Hauling freight over the road requires truck drivers with high ability of performance, good driving skills and safety knowledge with no exception of any trucking service
The main advantage of the flatbed trailer is that this kind of trucking service earns more money per mile. Transporting goods with flatbed trailer is more profitable because the characteristics of the freight are specific and oversized.
The type of the cargo is what this business makes it more profitable. The open space of the flatbed trailer allows hauling freight that is oversized and can’t be hauled by any other truck trailer.
Of course, you need to have an oversize/overweight permit but besides that as long as the freight is not breaking the Federal safety regulations by overstepping the flatbed trailer footprint, you can haul everything you can imagine.
This is the reason that flatbed trailers receiving 20% higher profit that any other truck service. So if you fulfill every other requirement choose the flatbed trailer and make more money for your company.
Driving flatbed trailer require a high level skilled drivers because the freight is oversized and not easy to handle. Loading and delivery can be tricky and dangerous because the flatbed trailer is often used for the transportation of huge machines built of steel and the freight can be loaded from every side or from upper side with a crane.
With this type of cargo, mistakes can cost a lot and not just money even lives if the product is not placed and secured properly. The truck driver needs to be present in the moment with full attention and consecration. They need to be able to control the loading and unloading process and we all know that not every truck driver is responsible and qualified to do this kind of job.
You know which of your truck drivers are responsible for performing this kind of job so you need to make a selection and choose the high qualified drivers and to award them with higher salary for their performance.
During the transportation, the freight at the flatbed trailer is open in the weather conditions. If it rains it will be exposed to the rain or if there is the wind the load is exposed to the wind. The point is that the load is unprotected and in extreme conditions can be damaged.
The wind, for example, can cause instability of the load. If every piece of the load is not properly secured it can be unattached from the trailer and cause major traffic accidents. The safety regulations have a special segment for this kind of loads. Measures that will protect the cargo and the drivers involved with this type of freight.
Carriers are the ones who are responsible for the safety transportation of the loads. They are required to have insurance coverage for the cargo in case something unpredicted and unwanted happens. The insurance requirements for the flatbed trailer are different from other trucking services because of the higher risk of damage.
The load is not just exposed to the outside weather factors it is also exposed to the outside human factors such as thieves that can compromise the load. When your truck is parked in a truck stop during the night everything can happen. When it comes to flatbed trailer transportation no one wants to gamble the possibilities.
The freight brokers in most of the cases will require full insurance coverage before they give you a load to transport. If you want to be one of the top flatbed carriers you need to buy additional insurance policies for the freight in case something bad happens during the transportation.
The trucking industry had two opposite waves that influenced on the trucking industry. Before 2015 the expansion of this industry reached a point where if you had an increased demand for transport, you would not be able to respond because you have let’s say 20 trailers but you have loads that can be covered by 30 trailers.
In the period of 2015, you needed to wait for 10 to 12 months to get your purchased trailer and after the trailer boom; it all began to fall down. It started the period of low demand for transportation and many of the transportation companies were forced to close the business and sell the trailers. So today there are a lot of available trailers that you can find for the reasonable price.
However the trucking market is filled with competition but luckily for the flatbed trailer, the competitor influence is low than dry vans. But even with the low competition the chances to find flatbed loads are more difficult especially if you are a rookie in this trucking segment.
You need to spread your wings and give a high quality trucking service to attract new clients and keep the old ones. The US economy is growing from day to day and the transportation demand of overweight loads is increasing.
We all know that to be successful in this business you need to spend more time driving on the road than waiting time on a lot to be loaded or unloaded. Because the specifications of the flatbed trailer loads, you will need more time to pick up the load and to secure it on the flatbed trailer.
This is something that you can’t avoid even if you want. Flatbed trailer requires your physical presence and attention. The flatbed trucking is really a profitable business to go into but you need to consider the time that your truck drivers are spending during the process.
If they are compensated with good payment per mile they will be satisfied and will not feel a pressure to speed up the loading or unloading time and by doing that to cause additional damage and cost for you.
After you pick up the load your job is to secure it to the flatbed trailer. You should be sure that everything is fixed and bond in total. If your cargo is composed of several pieces you need to be sure that each one of them is secured properly.
If you are transporting a cargo that is one piece you need to fix it from every side with not giving the option to roll down from one side. Be sure that every single strap is tightened and fixed enough.
To do this you need to spend a lot of time and energy but everything will pay off when you will transport the freight safely to the final destination.
The safety on the road is a major segment that government is paying attention. There is a lot of regulations that require special equipment to be used when the load needs to be secured to the trailer. The devices that are used for fixing the cargo needs to meet the quality criteria.
Since the flatbed trailer allows the freight to be loaded from any side as a result of the flat surface and open sides, you need to strap and fix the load properly.
You will need equipment like:
Every driver needs to check the load during the transportation, but the flatbed truck drivers need to make short time stops to check the cargo. You need 3-4 minutes to walk around the flatbed trailer to see if there is a problem with some part of the equipment that is securing the load.
According to the FMCSA safety requirements, every part of the equipment that is used for securing a load of the flatbed trailer should be attached and secured strongly with no possibility to be loosed during the transit. Security of the load should be your primary concern. It prevents the goods from falling on the highway or on other vehicle causing catastrophe.
When you are part of the flatbed business you need to do everything to avoid possible dangers on the road. You need to be aware of the endorsements that are required to haul heavy loads. Be aware that if you get involved in this kind of transport you have to be committed in a long term to make it profitable as much as it can be.
The higher cost at the beginning will be covered very soon but the real bucks are coming after you gain experience and long term clients. Remember the safety of your cargo is number one priority!