Flatbed Trailer Dimensions

There is a diverse fleet of commercial trucks ready to transport a wide variety of materials. These commercial trucks are available in various sizes, configurations, and designs to meet your specific hauling requirements.

Other than commercial vans and trucks, fleet managers generally select flatbed trailers to ship wider, taller, and heavier cargo from one place to another. 

Flatbed trailers are the primary choice for owner-operators because they are adaptable. A flatbed trailer has a flat freightage platform.

You can haul cargo either from the top, sides, or rear. Flatbed trailers can have multiple shapes perfect for different types of cargo, including automobile or aircraft parts and even mobile homes.

With that said, state laws restrict the amount of cargo you can carry on them, which is the only red flag.

This guide will explain the various flatbed trailers available and the minimum and maximum dimensions allowed by law.

Different Types of Flatbed Trailers and Their Dimensions

With flatbed trailers, you can expect a lot of choices. An expert logistics provider might assist you in selecting the best commercial vehicle for your cargo, however, understanding the types of flatbed trailers and their dimensions can tell you what benefits you can get from flatbed trucks.

Let’s see the available types of flatbed trailers and how their dimensions work. As a general guideline, a trailer must be under 80,000 pounds.

  • Typical Flatbed Trailer

This is the most common flatbed trailer type. In this case, the cargo cannot be enclosed, and there is no height restriction. You haul the cargo with the help of a forklift from the top or side. It gives plenty of dock space.

Thus, it is best for wide and bulky freight. The typical flatbed trailer changes as per the dock height. This is because the trailer and cargo loading dimensions can differ greatly. These trailers can haul between 48,000 and 52,000 pounds of cargo.

Dimensions 

  • Length: 48’ – 53’
  • Height: 42’ – 62’
  • Width: 102’
  • Step or Drop Deck Trailer

Step deck or drop deck flatbed trailers are also known as single drop deck trailers. We commonly use the step deck truck for the same needs as a typical flatbed.

Drop decks can load taller freight without permits since they can load higher. Its top and bottom beds are perfect for loading cargo too tall for typical flatbed trailers. The drop deck trailer can move 44,000 to 45,000 pounds of cargo.

Dimensions for Lower Bed

  • Length: 37’ – 43’
  • Height: 10’
  • Width: 8.5’

Dimensions for Upper Bed

  • Length: 11’
  • Height: 8.5’
  • Width: 8.5’
  • Double Drop or Low Boy TrailerDouble Drop or Low Boy Trailer

Double drop trailers are somewhat similar to drop deck flatbed trucks. However, they have an extra rear bed; the lower deck is the main one. You can haul 11.5’ taller cargo on the lower deck, 8.5’ taller freight on the upper bed, and a 9’ taller load on the rear platform.

The only pitfall is it can be tricky to haul cargo on this trailer. Considering the height and style of this trailer, a crane is employed to load cargo from the top or sides. It can generally take up to 45,000 pounds of cargo.

Dimensions for Lower Bed

  • Length: 29’
  • Height: 11.5’
  • Width: 8.5’

Dimensions for Upper Bed

  • Length: 10’
  • Height: 8.5’
  • Width: 8.5’

Dimensions for Rear Bed

  • Length: 9’
  • Height: 10’
  • Width: 8.5’
  • Removable Gooseneck (RGN) Trailer

The removable gooseneck trailer belongs to the group of double-deck trailers. The trailer is also called a “detachable trailer,” and it can carry taller cargo. RGN trailers have a removable neck that can be adapted to a ramp.

The removable gooseneck is great for shipping motorized cargo like farm or construction equipment. Due to its uniqueness, it is quite expensive than others but can save you a lot of time. The maximum weight it can hold is 44,000 pounds.

Dimensions

  • Length: 29’
  • Height: 12’
  • Width: 8.5’
  • Extendable Flatbed Trailer

Extendable flatbed trailers can let you elongate them when needed. These trailers are available as double-deck, RGNs, single-decks, and typical flatbeds. Extendable flatbeds are ideal for wider and heavier freight which other types of trailers cannot handle.

As per the requirements of the cargo, this trailer can extend up to 20 axles to cater to the weight and space of the freight. Due to its adaptability, this trailer can have different measurements depending on the load’s mass and height. 

  • Curtainside Trailer

The curtainside trailer comes with two sliding curtain sides attached to the metal ceiling. In this manner, the trailer, whose length varies from 48′ to 53′, is enclosed.

The trailer has a metal roof, so loading cannot be done from the top but from the sides using the forklift. Like other types of trailers, it can load construction materials, lumber, and even produce weighing 45,000 pounds maximum.

Dimensions 

  • Length: 48’ – 53’
  • Height: 8’
  • Width: 8.4’
  • Dry Van  

This trailer is sometimes called a dry van or box trailer. Box trailers are almost similar to curtainside trailers but cannot move the covers like curtainside trailers.

These are generally used when the cargo needs to remain dry during transportation. The loading is done through forklifts or pallet jacks through the rear opening. They can haul up to 44,000 pounds of freight. 

Dimensions 

  • Length: 48’ – 53’
  • Height: 8’
  • Width: 8.5’
  • Conestoga Trailer

A Conestoga is an enclosed trailer with a moveable tarp and a flatbed design to protect cargo in transit. A Conestoga trailer is available as a flatbed trailer or a step deck trailer, but some RGNs also support Conestoga.

They are ideal for transporting steel, wiring, and weather-sensitive machinery. The cargo is protected from the ordinary tarp’s abrasions because they feature a hard shell tarp. There is a wide range of variability in Conestoga’s dimensions. However, here are some typical examples:

Dimensions

  • Length: 48’ – 53’
  • Height: 8’
  • Width: 8.2’

Flatbed Trailers

Advantages of Choosing Flatbed Trailers

Let’s see why flatbed trailers can be your best decision for moving heavy cargo from one place to another. 

  • Smooth Hauling 

With shielded commercial trucks, cargo loading becomes too challenging and time-consuming. The limited door opening and ceiling restrict you from loading freight in a straight way, and you then need to change angles to place your cargo into the truck.

In contrast, a flatbed truck lets you use a forklift or crane to haul your shipment from the top and sides. 

  • Secured Transportation of Cargo

Other than the smoother loading process, flatbed trailers can be great for secured shipment transportation. You will only need a net, straps, tie-downs, or other similar equipment. You can have authority over how and where to secure your consignment on the trailer. 

Remember that you cannot safely transport any shipment that’s not secure. For instance, small items or loose materials might not be suitable for flatbed trailers. 

  • Best for Substantial Cargo

Flatbed trailers are manufactured to carry sizable freight. The trailers effectively transport loads unsuitable for smaller vehicles or other trucks. Flatbeds offer a great deal of space. Thus, you can haul enough shipments, which ultimately means fewer road trips. 

Moreover, flatbed trailers can manage odd-shaped cargo easily. Often, the problem lies with the shape of the cargo and not the weight. The unusual freight designs might not pass through the small door of the truck.

Because of this, many goods, including crushed vehicles, prefabricated parts, and built houses, can only be transported using flatbed trailers.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What are the dimensions of a trailer?

Different types of trailers have different dimensions. However, a typical flatbed trailer has the following dimensions: length (48’ – 53’), height (42’ – 62’), and width (102”). They can carry 48,000 to 52,000 pounds of freight. 

2. What is the height of a flatbed?

A flatbed trailer typically stands five feet off the ground. On the other hand, step deck trailers are 3 feet 6 inches above the ground. 

Conclusion 

Flatbed trailers are perfect for transporting a great deal of cargo in a short period. They can load substantial freight and move it to another location in one go. This is why they are a highly productive way to transport large shipments.

Knowing the legal dimensions of flatbed trailers is essential to escape heavy fines. You can use this guide to learn the types of flatbed trailers and their dimensions.