Which type of tractor-trailer load involves the least amount of physical labor? Flatbed? Tanker? Dry van? Refrigerated?
Flatbed vs. Tanker vs. Dry Van vs. Car Carrier vs. Cement Truck vs. Refrigerated vs..
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Flatbed requires strapping down your load and tarping. Tarps can weigh up to 250lbs and send you sailing if a good wind catches one! You must also constantly monitor your load and retighten your straps or chains as you drive.
Tanker involves climbing around on the tank and pulling and hooking hoses. Not real labor intensive but the hoses can be heavy.
Dry van depending on the load may require lots of work or no work at all. If you get a furniture load you will have to hand stack it all and possibly even wrap individual items. Also with a lot of loads you will have to build tiers with plywood and load bars. If you were to get like a paper load the truck would be loaded with a fork lift and you wouldn't have to touch anything. You can also get plant loads (big pain in the butt)!
Reefer is almost 100% no touch. Everything is palletized and loaded with a forklift or some sort of pallet jack. Though you can build tiers it is highly unlikely. Reefer walls are smooth and not really meant for tier building.
Flatbed, tanker and reefer will pay more than dry van.
With running reefer you have twice the option of loads though. You can haul anything dry or refrigerated.
Tanker you don't have to worry about backing into a dock.
Flatbed there's no dock either but you may also have to deliver to construction sites which can sometimes be tricky.
Reefers make noise and for some people this is an issue. You do have to monitor reefers but for the most part are pretty self sufficient. They do have their own fuel tanks in which you have to fill and keep track of.
Man, there's a lot a variables in that equation. Reefer, flatbed and tanker all are at the higher end of the spectrum but it is going to depend on the company, what they haul, the individual run itself, the driver and their experience, what time of year it is, how much fuel cost etc...
I can tell you one thing for sure, don't fall for the company that says they pay the highest or companies that boast $.48, $.50, $.52 etc... Just because they pay you more money a mile doesn't mean you actually make more. A company may pay you $.80 a mile but if you are sitting at a truck stop you aren't going to make squat! Usually the companies that boast higher pay are the ones that don't run any miles. Your biggest difference is going to be that the companies that run brand new nice equipment will probably pay a little less. The companies that run old equipment usually pay a little more. There is no big secret or one company that pays substantially more. Freight is freight and it all pays the same no matter what trailer it rides in or who delivers it. The type of freight itself will matter. Produce will pay more than toilet paper. It doesn't matter though if Swift hauls it or JB hunt.
FOOD GRADE TANKER......one that does NOT have a pump.....Drove one of those for 2 years. BY FAR the easiest in terms of physical labor to load and unload. When loading and unloading a food grade tanker, the customer WANTS YOU NO WHERE NEAR THE PRODUCT. That way the pureness of the product is not compromised at all. All I ever did was drive, and consistent high miles. Never really had any short runs, with the possible exception every now and then for a milk haul. Those are usually the shortest runs, but I rarely ever did those. The one thing to ALWAYS remember when driving a smooth bore tanker.....THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GOING TOO SLOW ON AN OFF RAMP. You can tip a smooth bore tanker REAL easy. Thats the biggest safety concern you will have. Personally, I would not drive a HAZMAT loaded tanker now days. Too many wack job potential terrorist out there. I have never driven a dry van or refer, but I have heard all the "bumpin a dock" horror stories that everyone else has. Flatbed and what I do now, and for the past 15 years, heavy haul, is a lot of work but I am not fat, and I enjoy the challenge. Good Luck (skill) no matter what you decide on.
- watch for overhead "distribution" (9.6 kv electrical )
- do not get the double axle drivers spinning or slipping on dry, soft dirt
- do not back up unless you really know what is there
- if any people around the truck appear in-experienced just flat wait till they back away about 20-35 feet
- if you get cussed-out, that is not a big deal unless you were stupid
- other than that just watch the load and make sure somebody signs
- let them check it if they want to, ..... if they dont okay
other than that it is only keeping a responsive watch-look and not letting anyone fluster you ~ if you get stuck there are usually tractors that can pull you out - but dont be stupid about it
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