Flatbed Trailers vs. Step Deck Trailers
Hauling cargo always comes with challenges, the most important often being to decide what type of trailer to use.
For larger cargo, which is better to use - a flatbed trailer or a step deck trailer?
Let’s dive into what each of these trailers are and what they’re best used for.
What is a Flatbed Trailer?
A flatbed trailer is your standard trailer for hauling, loading, and unloading heavy loads of cargo. They don’t have sides or a roof, giving you the option to haul slightly wider and taller cargo that wouldn’t fit into a confined trailer. They’re manufactured using either aluminum, steel, or composite materials.
That being said, flatbed trucking generally isn’t ideal for taller cargo, and it may even be illegal to haul cargo that exceeds a certain height as dictated by state laws. The average maximum for cargo and trailer height is fourteen feet even if you have the proper clearances.
Flatbeds are also limited in their loading and unloading capabilities as they are generally a fixed height of about five feet off the ground.
What is a Step Deck Trailer?
A step deck trailer is actually another form of a flatbed trailer with the addition of extra decks. Step deck trailers are also known as lowboy trailers or drop decks.
Step deck trailers have these nicknames as they are designed to sit closer to the ground. This lower deck height allows haulers to carry cargo loads that would otherwise exceed the maximum height allowed by law. The lower height also allows it to accommodate more loading and unloading accessibility options like ramps and forklifts.
These trailers have two decks, the upper deck which is closer to the truck connection, and the lower deck where taller cargo is kept. There are also double drop deck trailers which have an even lower center of gravity. This type of trailer has two upper decks on either side and a lower center area known as a well.
Which Type of Trailer Should You Use?
As it always is with hauling, the right trailer depends on the type and size of the cargo you’re transporting. If you’ll be moving shorter cargo such as lumber, construction supplies, or personal vehicles, a typical flatbed can handle the job just fine.
If you’re going to haul taller loads, especially ones that otherwise exceed state guidelines, you have no choice but to utilize a step deck trailer. Your combined trailer and cargo height should aim to be below thirteen feet, six inches with a weight limit under 80,000 lbs. The average well of a double drop deck is between 25 and 29 inches, leaving you with a little over eleven feet to work with.
Shop for the Right Trailer - Silver Moon Trailer
For any of your trailer needs in Jonesboro, look no further than Silver Moon Trailers. We have a wide selection of the best name-brand trailers available on the market. If we don’t have the right trailer listed, you can work with us to start building your custom trailer right now! We also offer convenient financing options to help you purchase the trailer you need.
For more information about our trailers or help with your purchase, be sure to give us a call today at 870-330-9133!