Many drivers and operators are confused how to choose between step deck trailer and flatbed trailer. In fact, step deck trailer (also named drop deck trailer, lowbed trailer) is one of the flatbed trailers, their main difference is the height and weight of their loading cargo. Knowing the differences can save time, money, and hassle in the purchase process.
Step Deck Trailer
A step deck trailer is an especially designed to carry tall freight. Sometimes, some high equipment on a traditional flatbed trailer will exceeds the legal height limit, then a step deck trailer is a perfect choice. Besides, many step deck trailers have ramps, making them easier to load and unload equipment.
Flatbed trailers are used for standard size freight, and they don’t have sides or a roof. When carrying heavier freight, flatbed trailers can be added additional axles to meet federal weight guidelines.
- Height: step deck trailers typically have lower deck height of 3 feet 6 inches, meaning freight cannot exceed 10 feet in height.
- Weight: step deck trailers generally are more heavier than flatbed trailers, meaning their loading weight have to lower than flatbed trailers and total weight don’t exceed 80,000-pound.
- Freight: tractors, excavators, building materials, agricultural materials, machinery.
- Height: typical flatbed trailers have standard deck height of 5 feet and can carry loads up to 8’ 6” tall.
- Freight: flatbed trailers have heavier loading capacity than lowbed trailer because of their lighter weight, so, they always used to transport raw materials, construction supplies and equipment, lumber, heating and cooling units, formed concrete, vehicles.
Therefore, knowing what types of freight you will haul, you could make a right decision. If your freight exceeds 8’ 6” tall, a step deck trailer is a better choice, if your freight is too heavy, a flatbed trailer will serve your needs best.