10 Ultimate Things to Watch When Buying Used Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed trucks can be a good asset to any transport organization.  Of course it all depends how deep and wide your pockets are, but if you can afford to have this addition to your fleet or to specialized your fleet in this field, then you should not even think about it.

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All you need in that case will be time to research and find what best suits your overall needs and requirements. Oh, and of course a little money so you can purchase it.  Yup, as simple as that! Time and money and you can see the benefits when you bring this new addition into your business.

Plenty of time will be needed so you can research well and assure yourself that the investment is good, profitable and worth it.  When you decide to make some additional investments and buy new or used flatbed trucks or any other important truck equipment for your fleet actually, you have to make sure that you find the best flatbed truck that is out there on the market. Regardless if we are speaking about used or brand new equipment, the outcome and time spend is same.

10 Things to Watch When Buying Used Flatbed Trucks
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In today’s article I am going to speak about used flatbed trucks, their need and use in the trucking industry. Like and any other type of truck you are about to buy you should always make sure that your existing and potential customers have a need and demand on it, which means you will be able to load it easily and keep it on the road ”rolling” for the good part of the time. In same time that means that it will serve you best and make you money!

I am sure I have mention it one too many times in my previous articles how buying used equipment has some pros and cons, but let me tell you one more time, because it is important to know your options. Please spend some time shopping around! Compare prices and think about it! Then make a decision but sleep on it a day or two before you purchase it.

New, out of the dealership truck is always a good thing but that does not mean that that is the best choice for you right at this time! So once you made your mind and decide to go with the used flatbed truck there is a few things that you need to take in consideration.

10 Things to Watch When Buying Used Flatbed Trucks
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Regardless if you are buying new or used flatbed trucks the specifications they have and the use and purpose of them is same so let me cover the basics first.
As I stated in one of my previous articles, commercial vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. Even just within the trucking industry there are several types of vehicles. They all vary by classification, based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).  The United States Department of Transportation identifies them using one of the following eight classifications:

  • Class 1- is from 0 to 6,000 pounds (0 to 2,722 kg)
  • Class 2- is from 6,001 to 10,000 pounds (2,722 to 4,536 kg)
  • Class 3- is from 10,001 to 14,000 pounds (4,536 to 6,350 kg)
  • Class 4- is from 14,001 to 16,000 pounds (6,351 to 7,257 kg)
  • Class 5- is from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds (7,258 to 8,845 kg).
  • Class 6- is from 19,501 to 26,000 pounds (8,846 to 11,793 kg)
  • Class 7- is from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds (11,794 to 14,969 kg)
  • Class 8- covers everything over 33,000 pounds (14,969 kg)

Flatbed trucks mostly would fall into either the class 6 or class 7 categories or medium duty trucks. These types of trucks have a multiple uses in our industry. If you own this type of vehicle you are most likely to use it when there is LTL (less then load) freight, that it’s almost luxury to not operate it this days.  It is also used for odd sized loads; hardware stores will use it for delivering goods that were purchased, but like and every other commercial vehicle the use and purpose is endless.

So now if you made your mind and decide that you want one or more of them into your driving park here are some useful information for you to consider.

10 Things to Watch When Buying Used Flatbed Trucks
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1. So what is it a flatbed truck, how does it look like?

You’ve seen these but, most people don’t realize that many different flatbed trucks can fall into this category:

  • Utility trucks
  • Delivery trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Cement trucks

But from a commercial transport standard, you’ll want the larger flatbed trucks. So a typical commercial flatbed truck is a truck that has a flat open bed, without permanent sides or a roof which makes the truck easy and versatile to load and unload. They are smaller and more maneuverable than the typical larger semis.

2. What kind of licenses and permit are needed to drive a flatbed truck?

Having flatbed trucks in your fleet can increase your operation and customer base. The good thing about them is usually you don’t need a CDL or other special requirements. That’s right! Because they fall under the standard weight limit requires. You also should not need a DOT physical.

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Now keep in mind it all depends on what your state and local laws require. It also will depend on your materials you are hauling. If you haul propane, gas cylinders or other dangerous and/or flammables you will be required special permits and endorsements.

10 Things to Watch When Buying Used Flatbed Trucks
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3. A few tips on operating a flatbed truck

Ok, so you know what you what you might not need. What about what you do need? Well practice is the key. There aren’t as many issues with a flatbed trucks as there are with larger tractor trailers but there are still things to consider.

  • Blind spots
  • Turning radius
  • Height and width
  • Braking time

Flatbed trucks are larger than most vehicles and as such these are just a few of the considerations. Inexperienced drivers might not know that it takes longer for a heavy vehicle to stop than lighter one, especially in bad weather. They usually can’t make as sharp of a turn either. But big concerns are the other drivers who have tendency to sit the blind spot.

Where can one buy a flatbed truck?

Well just like purchasing any vehicle you have options, when it comes to purchasing a flatbed truck. However, you most likely won’t be able to run to just any dealership. You might have to look for one that specializes in commercial type vehicles. But you can look through the various auto tracker type magazines and websites. Another good option is the auto auctions.

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