Did you know that one of the hottest trucking jobs involves a flatbed trailer? That’s because this type of trucking job offers the most flexibility for shipping. With a flatbed trailer, you don’t have the size restrictions of a dry van trailer or tanker trailer. You lack the requirement of a reefer unit to keep things cool. In fact, with flatbed loads, these are typically left to the open air, with the exception of tarps. So, what is the issue with hiring truckers for flatbed loads, and why are these often overlooked in favor of dry van or tanker loads?
Job Situation for Flatbed Drivers
As a flatbed driver, you have to work harder than if you were pulling a drop-and-hook load. For starters, you have to handle tarping and strapping your load. This involves climbing on top of massive loads from heavy equipment to giant slabs of construction material. You’ve got to make like a monkey and get those straps over the load to be able to secure it to your trailer. Is there rain in the forecast? Since the flatbed load is open to the elements, you are most likely going to have to tarp it. This involves, you guessed it, a giant tarp that you have to manually wrap over the load.
Of course, with flatbed loads, the load itself is never in a perfect cube shape. You’ve got wires and planks and moving parts that can make this all very dangerous. As a result, you need to know what you are doing. A new driver or student driver just starting out in trucking will want to steer clear of flatbed trucking jobs until you gain some valuable hauling experience.
Back to those tarps and straps. Once you have everything secure, you should be all set, right? Nope, you now have to stop and check your load every so many miles or hours in order to maintain the security of the load and your compliance with the Department of Transportation. Every time you stop, it slows you down so that it takes longer to reach your destination.
Oversized Flatbed Loads
All of this effort is increased tenfold when you take oversized flatbed loads. With these loads, you are required to get an oversized load permit, and in some instances, a pilot car to escort you to your destination. Plus, you aren’t allowed to drive when it is dark outside, so your days are cut short. For most truckers, though, this is a blessing as it gives you a chance to get more rest when out on the road.
Additionally, you only have to deal with paperwork and dispatch once per load. So, while an oversized load takes you even longer to deliver, you save a lot of time trying to coordinate your route and working on bills of lading for loads. It reduces stress and pressure on truckers. Best of all, these oversized loads pay a heck of a lot more per mile due to the increased effort, so you can make more money on this type of trucking job compared to reefer hauls and tanker loads.
Pay for Flatbed Trucking Jobs
For all of your hard work, you better expect something more on the salary side, and you are in luck. Flatbed truck drivers make more money than dry van drivers. Plus, if you can pick up a few oversized flatbed loads every month, you can double your weekly pay for those hauls.
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