Once you’ve succeeded in obtaining your commercial driver’s license, there are so many job opportunities now open to you.
And not just job opportunities, but also vehicle options. A popular one would be a flatbed truck and flatbed trucking. A flatbed rig has a flat platform rather than an enclosed trailer. This makes the vehicle perfect for transporting irregularly shaped cargo.
However, flatbed trucking might come at a price—the vehicle might be harder to operate than other kinds of trailers.
But is this always the case? Continue reading this article to find out more about flatbed trucking.
What Is The Difficulty Level of Flatbed Driving?
Admittedly, flatbed truck driving is one of the hardest truck driving and this is because of the uniqueness of the cargo the driver must secure and haul to their destinations.
First, you’ll need to secure the cargo with chains and ropes. Also, due to the shape of the cargo, transporting won’t be as seamless as other kinds of trucking.
All these factors make flatbed trucking hazardous and very demanding. That being said, flatbed trucking can be a very lucrative line of work.
Reasons Why Some Truckers Are Afraid
Many myths are being spread about flatbed trucking including:
- The pay isn’t worth the workload
People tend to think that flatbed trucking doesn’t pay much or the payment flatbed truckers receive isn’t worth the stress that goes into hauling cargo. But that’s not the case.
Flatbed truckers are some of the highest paid truckers out there earning 8 cents more per mile than a dry van trucker.
- You need an extra level of training
Admittedly, you might need to learn the basics of flatbed trucking. A good company will give you an in-depth training covering major topics like; tarping, securing cargo, etc.
- It’s a “man’s job”
A very common misconception is that flatbed trucking is a man’s job due to the demanding nature of the job and the heavy lifting that’s often involved.
But many women have been doing the job for years now. Like every other form of trucking, it takes time and practice to be good at it but it’s definitely not based on gender.
- Cargo securement is hard
A flatbed truck doesn’t have an enclosed storage space like other trucks. This means extra care needs to be taken to secure the cargo during transit.
But with proper training, none of this would be as difficult as it’s made out to be.
- Tarping is considered difficult
Some of the cargo that gets shipped by flatbed truckers are usually irregularly shaped and it can be quite difficult to get the tarp over the bumps and crevices. However a tarp that’s large enough will get the job done. Read about width of flat bed pickup!
Benefits of Flatbed Trucking As A Career
Flatbed trucking is a very profitable business and there are several reasons why people choose to go into it:
- It’s currently in high demand
There is a high demand for truckers in general and it seems even more so with flatbed trucking.
Due to the nature of the vehicle i.e van can fit in different kinds of cargo that won’t fit in enclosed spaces, it’s a job that will always be in demand.
- The pay is very attractive
A common misconception about flatbed trucking is that the pay isn’t as substantial as people claim. But that’s not always the case.
Admittedly, the amount of money you can get paid as a flatbed trucker will depend primarily on the company you’ve signed up to, but because flatbed trucking is such a high in demand job, you’ll get better compensation than you would in other types of trucking.
- Flexible working hours
Flatbed trucking is famous for its very fast offloading time. Meaning after a long day in transit, you can spend the extra hours you might have spent offloading to rest. Plus being such a demanding job, you’re not likely to be given too much work at a time.
What Type of People Should Consider This Career?
Much like trucking in general, anyone can go into flatbed trucking if they’re interested in it. People who will make great flatbed truckers are those that are willing to learn the basics of flatbed trucking.
This includes loading, securing the cargo, tarping, etc. Attention to detail and alertness are also required due to the demand for the cargo you’ll be transporting. Read average weight a flat bed can haul!
Flatbed trucking is difficult because of the type of vehicle and the cargo being transported, but it’s worth the shot for interested people.
Is flatbed trucking worth it?
Before deciding whether flatbed trucking is worth your time or not, you should consider what you have at the top of your priority list.
If you’re majorly concerned with a great paying job and also enough time off, then flatbed trucking is worth it.
For the money aspect, flatbed truckers earn over $10,000 more than dry van truckers. And when it comes to time, you enjoy more time to rest due to how exerting the job is and the shorter offloading time.
But it’s still worth knowing that flatbed trucking can be very demanding and hazardous.
Is flatbed trucking dangerous?
Flatbed trucking can be considerably more dangerous than dry van trucking. This is mostly because the cargo isn’t secured in an enclosed space. Meaning your cargo is likely to fall off the truck and hurt other drivers and road users if proper protocols in securing it aren’t followed.
Is it hard to tarp a flatbed?
The cargo you’ll be hauling in your flatbed truck will be exposed to the elements which can damage it before it reaches its destination.
Due to this, you must use a tarp to protect the shipment. The only problem is that covering a load with a tarp and removing it afterward is hard work.
Not to mention that tarps can be very heavy and bulky. Tarping might be difficult, but it’s still essential.
Is flatbed trucking profitable?
Yes, flatbed trucking is very profitable and because it’s in such high demand, you can even earn more.
What pays more, reefer or flatbed?
When it comes to payment, the only other type of trucking that comes close to flatbed trucking is reefer.
A reefer driver can earn about 2-3 cents more per mile than a dry van trucker, but it still doesn’t come close to a flatbed trucker who earns 8 cents per mile.
What can I do with a flatbed truck?
With a flatbed truck, you can transport irregularly shaped cargo that other kinds of trucks can’t handle. Some examples are: hauling equipment, building materials, scrap, etc.