There’s a lot of confusion about flatbed hauling. What kind of experience is needed? Is the money as good as they say? We’re here to clear the air.
Flatbed hauling is different from traditional freight hauling. For this reason, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. More popular shipping vehicles, like box trucks, haul freight by securing it inside of a closed container. Flatbed freight vehicles, on the other hand, don’t haul using containers or boxes. They don’t have doors, sides, or roofs. As you might have guessed from the name, they are simply flat surfaces where cargo is secured. This makes flatbed trucks optimal for large cargo like cars, construction equipment, pipes, mobile homes, and more.
However, flatbed transportation also raises a lot of concerns. Is flatbed hauling more dangerous? Is it difficult to secure the cargo? Doesn’t it require months of special training?
We’ve fact-checked statements made by real freight drivers about flatbed hauling. Are they facts or just a bunch of exhaust?
Flatbed truck driving jobs pay better: FACT
Flatbed shipping rates are higher than rates for box trucks, so drivers average more earnings per mile and per year. In fact, these drivers tend to make about $20 an hour more than other freight vehicle operators. Flatbed drivers can also charge for extra services, such as tarping, to further increase their income and capitalize on their expertise.
Flatbed hauling is dangerous: MYTH
Flatbed trucking requires more attention to detail and more caution than other types of freight transport—this is true. But that doesn’t mean that it’s more dangerous. If you follow these common-sense tips, then flatbed hauling shouldn’t be any more dangerous than driving other freight vehicles:
- Use your training and follow protocol.
- Double-check your cargo before departing and each time you take a pit stop.
- Get proper rest and always stay alert.
- Study your route before departing.
- Follow all traffic laws and regulations.
Loading freight takes time: FACT
When it comes to loading your freight onto a flatbed, time and caution are needed. There’s no way to get around this; it’s just a part of the job. The good news is that drivers are often compensated for the time they spend loading, checking, and securing their freight. Also, flatbeds are loaded and unloaded less frequently in a given period of time than other types of freight transport, which helps balance the time spent off the road.
Loading and securing freight is difficult: MYTH
Loading and securing your freight is absolutely crucial to your success and safety on the road, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard to do. It takes more mental sharpness and persistence than actual muscle work because you must notice all the little details. This will likely be a bit stressful and may be difficult at the beginning of your career, but it will become second-nature over time.
It takes months of training to become a driver: MYTH
Becoming a flatbed driver is a lot easier than you think. Training can be completed in as little as a few weeks, and it could take considerably less time if you already have freight transportation experience. This means that if you’re a box truck driver, you could increase your income by $20 an hour with as little as 40 hours of additional training. On top of all that, the best trucking companies pay well for your training time.
If you’re not already a truck driver, you can’t be a flatbed driver: MYTH
You can become a flatbed truck driver even with no freight hauling experience. You’ll simply be required to complete a bit more training. If you’re dedicated and driven, you can be fully trained and on the road in as little as 3-4 weeks.
Flatbed drivers see more of the world: FACT
Flatbed drivers usually take more long-haul routes and spend less time at home. For some, this may not be appealing, but for others, it offers a welcome opportunity to see the world. You’ll get to see famous landmarks, parks, cities, and coastlines while meeting new people. Flatbed hauling is a great way for drivers to expand their social and professional horizons.
Flatbed drivers are less sedentary: FACT
One of the biggest complaints about hauling freight is the sedentary lifestyle. Truckers have to spend most of their days sitting and eat most meals on the road. This can cause a variety of physical problems linked to poor diet and a lack of exercise.
As a flatbed driver, you’ll spend fewer hours sitting, more time on your feet, and have the opportunity to use your muscles. As a result, you’ll likely have more energy, be more physically fit, and have fewer issues with your back and neck.
Flatbed hauling isn’t for women: MYTH
Women who want to drive flatbeds will need to be able to lift around 80-100 pounds, but this is not disqualifying by any means. Heavy tarps and straps can usually be lifted with the assistance of a forklift and then dragged and secured over the freight. There are plenty of women who successfully operate flatbed trucks all over the country.
There are many responsibilities that come with flatbed hauling. Drivers need to stay alert, pay attention to the details, and follow precautions to a T. But this increase in responsibility comes with a big boost in pay and the opportunity to learn new and valuable skills. If you’re interested in upgrading your career and becoming a flatbed driver, you need to find a trucking company with years of expertise, certified trainers, and dedicated support. RCX Solutions has been on the road for over 25 years and isn’t slowing down. Apply today to start your paid training and become a part of an intercontinental team of freight experts.