After you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), there are many different types of trucking jobs that you might consider. In addition to choosing whether you prefer long-haul driving or a local/regional route, drivers can haul a variety of freight. Flatbed trucking is one option and can be a rewarding career.
Here are some facts about driving a flatbed truck:
What is Flatbed Trucking?
Flatbed trucks are commercial vehicles that have a flat platform rather than an enclosed trailer. This allows trucking companies to transport large or unusually-shaped freight. Because the trailer has an open deck, drivers must tie down freight with chains or straps in order to ensure it is secure. In some cases, a tarp is also necessary to protect the goods and materials from damage during transit.
Flatbed Pros and Cons
Like any other truck driving job, flatbed freight has pros and cons. It is important to consider your individual preferences and goals for your trucking career when deciding if driving a flatbed truck is right for you.
Pro: Higher Pay
The biggest benefit of flatbed trucking is the higher pay. According to CDL 101, flatbed and specialized drivers can make almost $13,000 more each year on average compared to dry van truckers (hauling dry goods in a traditional tractor-trailer).
Pro: Driver Health
Many truck driving jobs do not involve much physical activity and this can lead to health problems if you do not find ways to stay active and healthy on the road. Since flatbed drivers are responsible for securing and unloading freight as well as driving, they get more activity than other types of truck drivers. As long as you follow safety regulations while performing this physical labor, it may help you stay healthier.
Pro: Variety of Jobs
Flatbed routes may be more varied than regional or local dry van or refrigerated hauls. This allows you to see more of the country and experience more variety in your career.
Con: Potential Risks
Compared to other types of driving, flatbed trucking may be more dangerous. If you do not properly secure freight, it may come loose and lead to injury. You can also be at risk of falling or otherwise injuring yourself while securing cargo. In order to reduce the danger that comes with driving a flatbed truck, you must closely follow all safety regulations.
Con: Physically Demanding
While the physical nature of flatbed trucking can be seen as a benefit because it keeps you more active, it is also a potential downside to the job. Securing and unloading freight can take a physical toll and may not be for everyone.
If you drive a dry van or refrigerated truck, you are not usually responsible for loading and unloading the vehicle. This is not the case with flatbed trucking. Flatbed drivers are responsible for securing freight and unloading it once they reach the destination. This can take more time than other types of truck driving jobs.
we Can Prepare You for a Trucking Career
Whether you are considering flatbed trucking or any other type of CDL job, Phoenix Truck Driving School is here to help you. Earning your CDL through our training program is the first step to a rewarding career in the truck driving industry.