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Flatbed Trucking Companies

Flatbed trucking companies specialize in hauling freight on a trailer that has no sides or a roof. This is a very common way to move cargo that’s too large, too heavy, or odd-shaped to fit in a standard enclosed truck trailer. Flatbed trucking is used for transporting a wide variety of goods, including building materials, construction and industrial equipment, exceptionally heavy objects, unroadworthy vehicles, farm machinery, boats, and yachts.

Different types of cargo have varying size and weight limits, so flatbed trailers come in a wide range of sizes and configurations.  Many different industries, including construction, farming, and manufacturing, regularly utilize flatbed trucking.

Because they’re adaptable, flatbed trailers are often used to carry items that would otherwise need to be transported using enclosed trailers. Flatbed trailers often carry:

  • Materials used in building, such as steel, wood, plastic, and concrete
  • Construction and industrial equipment for moving dirt or rocks, such as bulldozers, cranes, and excavators
  • Exceptionally heavy objects, such as bridge beams, large storage tanks, and parts for wind turbinesUnroadworthy automobiles, trucks, and heavy machinery used in construction
  • Farm machinery, including tractors, combines, and other large devices for agriculture
  • Boats, yachts, and other large objects that can‚Äôt fit in an enclosed trailer and must be loaded from the top or side

Of course, there are limits to the types of items a flatbed trailer can carry. Some goods, such as hazardous materials, can’t be transported on a flatbed, while others may require escort vehicles or permits because of their size or weight. If you aren‚Äôt certain whether you need a flatbed trailer to transport something, here are a few factors you should consider:

Size and Weight: If your cargo is too large or heavy to fit inside a standard enclosed trailer, you might need a flatbed trailer. Flatbeds are ideal for carrying large and oversized products, as well as items that can’t be disassembled or broken down into smaller parts.

Shape and Dimensions: If your cargo is an irregular shape or has dimensions that make it difficult to load into an enclosed trailer, a flatbed trailer may be what you need. Flatbeds offer greater flexibility in terms of loading and unloading cargo of various shapes and sizes.

Loading and Unloading: If your cargo requires loading from the top or the side, or if it demands specialized equipment for loading and unloading, a flatbed trailer is recommended. Flatbeds allow for easier access to cargo, making loading and unloading much easier.

Fragility: If your cargo is fragile or requires protection from the elements, an enclosed trailer may be a better option. Flatbeds are open, which means that uncovered cargo will be exposed to the elements during transport.

Ultimately, the decision to use a flatbed trailer will be determined by the specific needs of your cargo. If you’re uncertain whether a flatbed trailer is what you need for your shipment, you may want to talk to a flatbed carrier.

Types of Flatbed Transportation Equipment

The size and kind of flatbed trailer, the weight capacity, and the specific needs of the items being carried all play a part in determining the type of flatbed transportation that needs to be used. These are some of the most common types of flatbed transportation:

 General-Purpose Flatbed Trailers

Often known as ‚Äústandard flatbed trailers,‚ÄĚ these tow up to 48,000 pounds. General-purpose flatbed trailers can be used for specialized hauling, such as moving wind turbine blades or large pre-fabricated building parts.

Step Deck Trailers

Step deck trailers are a kind of low-riding trailer that can accommodate cargo that’s taller than usual. Step deck trailers typically support loads of up to 48,000 pounds.

Double Drops/Lowboys

Double drops or lowboys are trailers that have two drops in deck height. Double drops or lowboys are useful for hauling freight that’s extremely tall. They generally have a maximum weight capacity of up to 60,000 pounds, so they’re used for carrying large machinery or other oversized items.

Extendables

Flatbed trailers that can be lengthened are called extendables. Extendables are perfect for hauling long objects like pipes and beams. In most cases, they can support loads of up to 48,000 pounds.

Stretch Flatbed Trailers

Sometimes even an extendable isn’t long enough for what needs to be hauled. Fortunately, it’s possible to increase the length of a stretch flatbed trailer beyond that of an extendable flatbed trailer. In most cases, stretch flatbed trailers can support loads of up to 48,000 pounds.

 LargeHaul Flatbed Trailers

When you need a maximum weight capacity of 150,000 pounds or more, large-haul flatbed trailers are the way to go. Moving especially heavy cargo often requires special permits and/or escort vehicles.

The Top 15 Flatbed Trucking Companies in the U.S.

The following are the top 15 flatbed trucking companies in the United States, with their names, websites, number of years in business, the geographical areas they serve, the types of loads they handle and/or the equipment they use, as well as excerpts of some of their reviews:

1. TMC Transportation

Website: https://www.tmctrans.com

51 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada

TMC Transportation specializes in flatbed transportation and also offers services for oversized and overweight cargo.

‚ÄúA professional and courteous group of people‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúVery nice facility with great staff‚ÄĚ

2. Maverick Transportation LLC

Website: https://www.maverickusa.com

43 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States

Maverick Transportation concentrates on flatbed and other specialized transportation and also offers temperature-controlled services for refrigerated cargo.

‚ÄúThe best flatbed trucking company out there‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúDefinitely recommend Maverick to others‚ÄĚ

3. Boyd Bros. Transportation Inc.

Website: https://www.boydbros.com

67 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada

Boyd Bros. focuses on flatbed transportation and also offers services for overweight and oversized cargo.

‚ÄúGreat people, excellent equipment‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúA great flatbed company‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúVery helpful staff‚ÄĚ

4. Hunt Transportation Inc.

Website: www.hunttransportation.com

96 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

Hunt Transportation provides transportation for dry van, temperature-controlled, and flatbed cargo.

‚ÄúGreat people to work with‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúVery helpful and kind‚ÄĚ

5. Prime Inc.

Website: https://www.primeinc.com

53 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

Prime Inc. offers transportation services for a variety of cargo types, including refrigerated goods, flatbeds, and tankers.

‚ÄúFriendly and knowledgeable‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúProfessional‚ÄĚ

6. Mercer Transportation Co. Inc.

Website: https://www.mercer-trans.com

46 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

Mercer Transportation specializes in flatbed transportation and also offers services for dry van, step deck, and temperature-controlled cargo.

‚ÄúGreat staff that‚Äôs willing to fix any issues you may have, no questions asked‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúGreat company, very good people‚ÄĚ

7. Melton Truck Lines Inc.

Website: https://www.meltontruck.com

69 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

In addition to flatbed transportation, Melton Truck Lines also offers services for oversized and overweight cargo, including step-deck trailers and double-drop trailers.

‚ÄúFriendly staff that is quick on the turnaround for loading and unloading‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThe folks here are nice and a pleasure to work with‚ÄĚ

8. National Carriers Inc.

Website: https://www.nationalcarriers.com

55 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States

National Carriers is focused on the transportation of livestock, refrigerated goods, and dry goods and has a fleet of over 600 tractors and 1,700 trailers to accommodate various shipping needs.

‚ÄúAn amazing company‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIf you have a problem, say something, and it will get fixed‚ÄĚ

9. PGT Trucking Inc.

Website: https://www.pgttrucking.com

42 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada

PGT Trucking is one of the United States’ leading flatbed carriers. It also offers intermodal and refrigerated services.

‚ÄúVery professional and gets things done with no excuses‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThey have a wonderful team over there‚ÄĚ

10. Hirschbach Motor Lines Inc.

Website: https://www.hirschbach.com

88 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Alaska and Canada

Utilizing a large fleet of trucks and a network of terminals strategically located throughout the United States, Hirschbach Motor Lines provides a broad range of transportation, including flatbed, refrigerated, and dedicated services.

‚ÄúWon’t go anywhere else; people in the main office are great‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúFor an OTR company, they are top-notch‚ÄĚ

11. Montgomery Transport LLC

Website: https://www.montgomeryllc.com

12 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

Montgomery Transport hauls heavy loads that exceed 50,000 pounds as well as over-dimensional loads of up to 65 feet. The company transports materials like steel plates, steel coils, lumber, and roofing materials.

‚ÄúI recommend this company‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIf problems arise, everyone is willing to help or refer you to someone that can‚ÄĚ

12. Anderson Trucking Service

Website: https://www.atsinc.com

68 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) is a transportation and logistics company that provides services in various industries.

‚ÄúTake care of things to ensure every load is transported and delivered in a safe, efficient, and exceptional manner‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúI can’t complain‚ÄĚ

13. Bennett Motor Express

Website: https://www.bennettig.com

49 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

Bennett Motor Express offers a variety of transportation services, including flatbed and step-deck transportation, heavy haul and specialized transportation, government and military transportation, and more.

‚ÄúThey’re really nice‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúVery good company‚ÄĚ

14. CRST Malone

Website: https://www.crstmalone.com

95 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States

CRST Malone specializes in flatbed transportation and also provides intermodal and brokerage services.

‚ÄúGood agents‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúAll the agents are very good at what they do‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúReally awesome staff‚ÄĚ

15. J.B. Hunt Transport Services

Website: https://www.jbhunt.com

62 Years in Business

Serves the 48 Contiguous United States Plus Canada and Mexico

J.B. Hunt Transport Services offers intermodal, truckload, and dedicated transportation services. The company also integrates operations in other industries, such as e-commerce, retail, automotive, manufacturing, and more.

‚ÄúNice and professional‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre happy with their services‚ÄĚ

Image by Foulon Richard.