What Are the Different Types of Flatbed Trailers?

As one of the most widely used semi-trailers, flatbed semi-trailers have evolved into at least five models. They differ in appearance, and in function. Among them, the law is one of the important selection factors in choosing which flatbed semi-trailer to use. Whether as a carrier or shipper, we need to be careful not to exceed the maximum legal load weight, as well as the width and height required by law.

flatbed semi trailer

1. Flatbed trailer

Flatbed trailers are widely used, and this is also the reason why it is one of the most popular trailers on the road today. Goods can be loaded onto the flatbed trailer from anywhere, whether from the front, side or rear. And flatbed semi-trailers have become one of the cornerstones of the transport industry with this easy-to-load capability.

Maximum legal cargo weight: 48,000 lbs.
Length: 48 ft or 53 ft
Width: 8 ft 6 in
Maximum cargo height: 8 ft 6 in

Step deck trailer

2. Step deck trailer

It can also be called a drop deck trailer, and it differs from a standard flatbed trailer by having two decks, called: top deck and bottom deck. It is usually used to transport goods that cannot be transported using a standard flatbed semi-trailer. Because the cargo will exceed the legal height if using a standard flatbed trailer.

Maximum legal cargo weight: 48,000 lbs.
Top deck length: 11 ft
Bottom deck length: 37ft
Width: 8 ft 6 in
Maximum cargo height: 10 ft (bottom deck)

lowbed_trailer

3. Lowboy trailer

Sometimes people also call it a double drop trailer. It differs from the step deck trailer in that it has three heights, with the middle part being the lowest, known as the “well”. Wells are typically 25 feet to 29 feet in length and lower. This enables it to transport some taller cargo.

Maximum legal cargo weight: 36,000 – 42,000 lbs.
Width: 8 ft 6 in

Main Deck:
Length: 25 ft to 29 ft
Height: 11 ft 6 in

Front Deck:
Length: 10 ft
Height: 8 ft 6 in

Rear Deck:
Length: 9 ft
Height: 10 ft

Extendable-Flatbed-trailer

4. Extendable Flatbed trailer

It is also called stretch trailers, which are mainly used for transporting very long cargo, such as wind turbine blades. This kind of cargo cannot be divided and can only be transported as a whole, but due to the long length, using a standard flatbed semi-trailer will make the cargo unsupported and cause danger.

Maximum legal cargo weight: 43,000 lbs.
Length: 80 ft
Width: 8 ft 6 in
Height: 8 ft 6 in

RGN trailer

5. Removeable gooseneck (RGN) trailer

Its appearance is almost identical to the lowboy trailer, the only difference is that the front can be removable and forms a ramp on the ground to the trailer. This makes it possible to drive large equipment onto the trailer, such as excavators, tractors, etc. Ordinary semi-trailers usually have 2-3 axles, but RGN trailers can have more than 20 axles, depending on the weight of the cargo being transported. The higher the number of axles, the higher the weight of the cargo it can carry.

Maximum Cargo Weight: Depends on the number of axles, typically 42,000 lbs., up to 150,000 lbs.

Main Deck:
Length: 25 ft to 29 ft
Height: 11 ft 6 in

Front Deck:
Length: 10 ft
Height: 8 ft 6 in

Rear Deck:
Length: 9 ft
Height: 10 ft

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