Once you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are a variety of trucking jobs that you might consider. Not only can you choose long-haul driving or a local/regional route, but you can also choose the type of vehicle you would prefer. One option is a flatbed truck.
Here are some facts about driving a flatbed truck:
What is Flatbed Trucking?
Commercial vehicles that have a flat platform rather than an enclosed trailer are called flatbed trucks. The benefit of this type of truck is that it allows trucking companies to transport large or unusually-shaped freight. Because this type of trailer has an open deck, the driver must tie down cargo with chains or straps in order to ensure it is secure. A tarp may also be necessary to protect the goods and materials from damage during transit.
Pros and Cons of Flatbed Truck Driving
Every trucking job has its pros and cons, and flatbed freight is no different. To decide if driving a flatbed truck is right for you, it is important to consider your individual preferences and goals for your career.
Pro: Higher Rate of Pay
One of the biggest benefits of flatbed truck driving is the higher pay. Flatbed and specialized drivers can make almost $13,000 more each year on average compared to those hauling dry goods in a traditional tractor-trailer. This is according to CDL 101.
Pro: Increased Driver Activity
Unlike many other types of truck drivers, flatbed drivers are responsible for securing and unloading freight as well as driving. Because of this, they are likely to get more on-the-job activity, which can lead to better health. This increase in physical labor may help you stay more active and fit on the road and as long as you follow safety protocols, it can be a safe and rewarding career.
Pro: Greater Variety of Jobs
If you want to see more of the country and experience more variety, then flatbed routes may be for you. These routes may be more varied than local or regional dry van or refrigerated hauls.
Con: Increased Potential Risks
Flatbed trucking may be more dangerous when compared to other types of driving. Failure to properly secure freight can lead to injury if it were to break loose. Securing cargo may also bring the risk of falling or otherwise injuring yourself. If you carefully follow safety regulations, you can greatly reduce the dangers that come with driving a flatbed truck.
Con: More Physically Demanding
The physical nature of flatbed trucking can take its toll. While it keeps you more active, it is also a potential downside to the job. Securing and unloading freight isn’t for everyone.
Con: Increased Time
When you drive a refrigerated truck or dry van, you are not usually responsible for loading and unloading the vehicle. This is not the same for flatbed trucking. The driver of a flatbed truck is responsible for securing freight and unloading it once they reach their destination. This can increase the time that it takes to complete a run compared to other types of truck driving jobs.
Let Us Prepare You for a Trucking Career
If you are considering flatbed trucking or any other type of CDL job, HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) is here to help. Our training program can help you earn your CDL and is the first step to a rewarding career in the truck driving industry.