Just remember to look it over. If at all possible it would be best to have a certified mechanic inspect it for you; after all no one wants to buy a lemon, especially if it is a representation of your business.
5. New flatbed truck verses used
Well, this is again the same considerations whether you are buying a flatbed truck or a semi. The first consideration is cost. The next is wear and tear. How much was the vehicle driven? How was it operated? Some drivers take better care of their flatbed trucks than others.
There are ways around this though. Buy it at the end of the season when the dealerships are trying to get rid of the previous year’s model. Try to buy from a dealer as opposed to an individual. It will be cheaper from a private seller but it won’t come with any kind of guarantee.
6. How much do flatbed trucks cost?
Well there are actually several factors to consider. What additional extras are you needing (hydraulic lifts and such). Are you buying “relatively new” or “very used”? Even the area where you are buying it plays an important role when it comes up to this case. Tax rates and other cost vary from place to place, so do your homework very well and find out what servers you best when you are about to buy a Flatbed truck. With that said, the average starting cost will be about $70,000, where a used vehicle will be a few thousand, or cheaper.
7. What are some concerns when buying used flatbed trucks?
I touched on this above with the drivers. What kind of miles were they (local or long haul)? Was the flatbed truck constantly hot seated between drivers? Was the driver that was driving the Flatbed truck experienced and was taking care of the vehicle like their second home? Something else to consider is the truck maintenance. Did they follow a good maintenance schedule and do they have records?
Yes, you better be late then sorry. Don’t rush into buying the first Flatbed truck out there that you liked, before you even know the records of that truck and the driver/drivers records as well.
8. What kind of loads can I haul with a flatbed truck?
Flatbed trucks can haul most anything, within their weight limit. Typically though it must be things that can be exposed to the elements, as a flatbed are not covered. It is common to haul lumber, construction materials and related equipment; it can even haul other vehicles. It really depends on both: your client’s needs and the flatbed truck and flatbed trailer configuration.
You all have seen every once a while those machines down the road carrying something that is essential to us or our American industry. In case you did not know: interesting fact is that hauling flatbed loads is one of the most physically demanding types of trucking these days.
9. How do I find customers for a flatbed truck?
This is easy. As I mention earlier in my previous subsection, flatbed loads are in demand. There are numerous customers who need to have their materials and freight transported. But often their load isn’t big enough to justify a full semi and trailer, so here come handy the flatbed truck to serve their needs and make you some moneys!
Also, another case for use of a flatbed truck will be if you deliver locally. You would want the smaller vehicle for this kind of road, because it will actually be easier to find customers and in same time is much more economical.
10. Insurance and other requirements
Well in accordance with federal, state, and local laws the vehicle must be insured. All drivers of the vehicle must appear on your company’s insurance plan. You will also need additional insurance to cover and protect the freight in the event of theft and/or damage.
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As for other requirements, that really depends on where you operate and what you will be hauling. Always check with your state and local community. However, if you will be hauling anything hazardous, toxic, corrosive, gas, explosive or any such dangerous materials you will require appropriate endorsements and permits.
Flatbed trucks are a great addition to any fleet. They are versatile and offer greater flexibility, especially if you are operating in tight areas, hauling smaller loads, or making frequent stops. Typically these are cheaper than a semi and that can be an added benefit.
What does your organization use their flatbed truck for? Do you have many in your fleet? What recommendation and suggestion do you have for buying a flatbed truck? As always, we appreciate your thoughts and ideas.