Upside of Cleveland Flatbed Trucking
While dry vans and refrigerated trucks are probably the most common haulers in the U.S., thanks to the broad diversity of cargo they can carry, flatbed trucks are considered the “workhouses” of the transportation industry. As a longtime Cleveland flatbed trucking service provider, we are closely familiar with
For those who may be unfamiliar, flatbed trucks are, well, flat. There are no roofs, no walls, and the trailers are open to the elements. The trailer is typically a wood platform supported by a durable frame made of aluminum. Most are somewhere between 48′ to 53′ long, and weight capacity for a standard 5-axle usually goes up to 48,000 pounds. The
Some of the key benefits of using a flatbed:
- Versatility. Flatbed trucks have an open design without roofs or sides, which allow them to accommodate a range of cargo sizes and shapes – from heavy machinery and construction materials to oversized equipment and vehicles. Such loads aren’t likely to fit in enclosed trailers, but they can be safely hauled with Cleveland flatbed trucking. That makes them indispensable for industries like construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and energy.
- Ease of Loading and Unloading. Thanks to the open design of flatbed trucks, loading and unloading is a more simplified process. Our flatbed trucks can be loaded/unloaded with cranes and forklifts – and can even be rolled on. Free of the constraints of a closed space, the loading/unloading process is more time efficient – plus it cuts down on the need for extra equipment or product disassembly.
- Fewer Height Restrictions. In an enclosed trailer, the ceiling is the limit. With flatbeds, there is a lot more room to go up. That can make Cleveland flatbed trucking a suitable solution for transporting tall items or loads.
- Cost-Effectiveness. Although it’s true that flatbed trucking in Ohio isn’t the least expensive means of transport. In fact, it’s usually more expensive than dry vans and box trucks. Yet it often does carve out a cost savings for firms that use it. That’s because it allows companies to avoid disassembly of large materials or items just so they fit into a trailer. It can also cut down on the number of trips, compared to smaller vehicles unequipped to move larger quantities are bigger items.
- Specialized Types. On Time Delivery & Warehouse’s trucks at our Northeast Ohio facility have various specialized configurations – and this diversity means they can be adapted to specific cargo requirements, depending on the customer’s needs.
- Durability. Flatbed trucks are designed to safely withstand the demands that go along with transporting heavy, unwieldy cargo.
- Support of Key Industries. Many pivotal industries rely on Cleveland flatbed trucking – such as construction, manufacturing, aviation, agriculture, real estate, and development, distribution, automotive, and more. It can be used to transport HVAC parts, reinforced concrete, bricks, lumber, military machinery, mobile homes, cement, steel coils, scaffolding – even equipment like excavators, loaders, and dozers. Major development and progress is made possible and profitable, thanks to the work of flatbed trucks.
Cleveland Flatbed Trucking Requires Skilled, Safety-Minded Drivers
Flatbed drivers must take special care when loading, securing, tarping, and maneuvering to ensure each and every trip is not only on time, but safe.
With respect to loading, we’ve already established that flatbeds are ideal for bigger, heavier loads and materials. For this reason, freight is often loaded and unloaded with cranes or forklifts. That said, it’s the driver who needs to make sure the load is appropriately balanced over the axles. If the cargo is not properly balanced, that’s a serious accident waiting to happen.
Once the flatbed hits the road, it’s got to stay secure and steady for the duration of the drive. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation is so stringent in rules regarding securing flatbed loads. Often, drivers will use nylon straps or thick, steel chains to keep everything safely in place.
Tarping is also important because without a roof or walls, the cargo will be exposed to the elements. That may be more problematic for some materials than others, but it’s almost always a good idea to tarp shipments. Doing so requires more than just tossing over a tarp (which are often 80+ lbs in and of themselves). Forklifts are often used to get them in place and anchor the sides. Drivers need to check those anchors regularly throughout the trip because if they’re loosened, they’ll need to be re-secured.
As for maneuvering, flatbed trucks can be tougher to drive than box trucks and dry vans. With an extra-long, extra-wide vehicle, navigating stops, turns, and uneven terrain is tricky business. Drivers must also be mindful of the fact that some maneuvers can result in shifted cargo – and unbalanced loads can make for a risky drive.
3PL Flatbed Trucking Services in Ohio
Because of the additional skill required of flatbed truck drivers, many companies who utilize these vehicles to move their goods opt to partner with a 3PL (third-party logistics) operator. Although many companies offer Cleveland flatbed trucking, bear in mind that not all of them are of the same caliber. At On Time Delivery & Warehouse, we’re committed to the highest levels of safety, security, and customer service, with deliveries that are on time – every time.
For information on our Northeast Ohio flatbed trucking services, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
US flatbed trucking activity sees early regional revival: DAT, Feb. 15, 2023, U.S. Journal of Commerce
More Blog Entries:
Pros of Cleveland Dedicated Trucking, July 15, 2023, Cleveland Flatbed Trucking Company Blog