Driving on the highway, you’re bound to see cargo being transported on trucks. Most trucks you see are enclosed box style trailers, however you may also see flatbed trucks like the one pictured above. It takes an immense attention to detail and physical prowess to secure cargo on a flatbed truck. We can say that flatbed trucking is not at all an easy task.
Major Pros and Cons of Flatbed Trucking
A combination of lumber or steel tarps, winch straps, transport chains, and binders are all used to secure cargo to a flatbed safely. There are many pros and cons of flatbed trucking tough, yet very rewarding job.
PRO: Flatbed Trucking is Physically Rewarding
Doctors now say that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to many health problems later in life. Box trailer drivers spend most of their time sitting, driving, and when it comes to unloading, typically do not have to perform much physical activity. However, flatbed trucking is a very physically demanding job. Drivers typically must be able to lift 75 pounds or more above their heads, and show exemplary balance and flexibility. Rigging a large piece of cargo to a flatbed is physically demanding and challenging, but studies show that this physical activity can lead to a healthier and longer life.
CON: Flatbed Trucking is More Dangerous
Flatbed trucking can be considerably more dangerous than dry van trailers as the cargo is not secured in an enclosed environment. Typically, cargo is loaded onto the flatbed and the driver is entirely responsible for using straps, lumber tarps, and other tools to secure the cargo. If cargo is not properly secured it can potentially fall off the truck and injure other drivers on the road. Additionally, if the load is not secured properly with winch straps or transport chains it can shift in transport, making it much harder to control the truck itself. Luckily, Mytee Products sells everything someone would need to rig cargo to a flatbed.
PRO: Higher the Risk, Higher the Reward
Although flatbed trucking is physically and mentally demanding, it does carry considerable rewards for those willing to dedicate the time and energy to completing the task at hand. Some industry analysts report that flatbed truckers make around $13,000 more per year than other truckers. Top tier clients needing to ship precious, expensive cargo will typically hire a flatbed company to expertly move their cargo, and pay them handsomely.
CON: No Room for Errors
All types of trucking can pose risks. A refrigerated truck carrying ice cream can be in great peril if the air conditioning breaks. Similarly, if cargo shifts in a box trailer, it can be damaged. However, there is no room for errors when it comes to flatbed trucking. If one strap is not secured properly, a large piece of cargo can break loose and wreak havoc on the road and potentially mortally injure someone. Flatbed truckers must be at the top of their game all the time, and this pressure is not something many people can handle. Driver must understand the ins and outs of lumber tarps, ratchet straps, and transport chains.
PRO: Potential to Have More Free Time
Many Flatbed cargo trips stick within a specific region and seldom run coast to coast. Additionally, businesses in need of flatbeds are typically only open on weekdays Thus, there are more opportunities for Flatbed drivers to have more free time on weekends to spend with family and friends. Flatbed drivers also spend less time in congested traffic as flatbed cargo typically travel to and from remote industrial sites. Thus, they can travel more miles in a shorter amount of time.
CON: Drivers Must be More Diligent In Transportation
Not only do drivers have to be more diligent when it comes to loading cargo, they must also be careful as to where they park their vehicle. Where as to protect the cargo they can enclose or lock the dry van trailers, flatbed drivers are not having the same luxury, and they must be careful where they park to rest.
PRO: Flatbedding is More Mentally Stimulating
If you’re the type of trucker who enjoys a challenge, then flatbed trucking is for you. With each piece of cargo, lay an unique method to secure said cargo to the truck. Whether it be tarps, straps, E-track, or anything in between, all components must fit together like a puzzle to ensure the cargo is safely secured to the flatbed. This mental stimulation will keep you sharp, focused, and feeling accomplished. Mytee Products sells everything a flatbed trucker could ever need to safely secure cargo to a flatbed.
CON: More Regulations and Scrutiny
Due to the immense risk flatbed trucking can pose to the driving public if not done right, enforcement officers can stop you, scrutinize your flatbed holding you up from your destination. While this can be burdensome, it’s for the public’s best interest. If you take the proper precautions, enforcement officers will have nothing to worry about and move you right along.
PRO: Flat bedding Could Ensure More Job Security
In my opinion, Flatbed trucking has the potential to outlast the rest of the trucking industry. Many truckers fear the rise of autonomous vehicles that can transport cargo across the country without need for human employees. While this trucker-free future is still a decade or so away, flatbed truckers will not be replaced by autonomous vehicles. The complex task that is rigging cargo to a flatbed can only be done by a skilled human. Thus, flatbed truckers could have more long term job security.
CON: Flatbed Truckers Must Help Unload
While many dry van truckers can arrive at their destination and take a break while the cargo is unloaded. Flatbed drivers must assist in removing lumber or steel tarps, winch straps and everything in between them. Thus, they get less of a break in between trips.
In conclusion, flatbed trucking is a challenging, and physically demanding task. Flatbed drivers must have deep understanding of how to rig cargo to ensure safety of the product on the road. For this challenge there are many rewards. Hopefully this blog elaborated on the pros and cons of flatbed trucking. Now you can make an educated decision as to if you want to undergo the challenge. If so, Mytee Products sell everything you need to ensure your cargo is transported safely. Check out our website today.