53 or 48 flatbed for new authority

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Sparky75, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Sparky75

    Sparky75 Bobtail Member

    Apr 19, 2021
    Over the last few years I have noticed more 53 foot trailers. I am buying a trailer and was wandering what option gives you the best luck on the road. Some 53 foot freight comes back close to my home, where most 48 foot wont. Also, I will have a new authority and may be able to pick up loads with a 53 that I could not with a 48 from brokers who work with new authority. Let me know your opinion That home load would be nice to have. What do you like:
    1-48 foot flatbed
    2-53 flatbed ca legal
    3-53 foot flatbed sliding rear axle
    staceydude Thanks this.
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  3. Speed_Drums

    Speed_Drums Medium Load Member

    Dec 26, 2014
  4. beastr123

    beastr123 Road Train Member

    Jan 2, 2014
    Moose Jaw SK CAN
    In most cases I would have said 48' because of the 500 to750 lb weight saving and there are less restrictions concerning long or overhanging loads in many states , but in your case if you can get some of those 53' homeward bound loads then the extra weight and length would be justified.
    In that case the 53' slider will be more versatile although a CA legal 53' with a sliding tandem would be a reasonable second choice.
    staceydude Thanks this.
  5. mpd240

    mpd240 Road Train Member

    Sep 17, 2011
    53 step deck
    staceydude Thanks this.
  6. pavrom

    pavrom Road Train Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    NE illinois
  7. staceydude

    staceydude Medium Load Member

    Apr 3, 2020
    You will probably get some varied answers on this. However here is what I’ve found.

    I’ve got a 53’, never been turned down for a load because of having a 53’ but I have gotten some loads because of the 53’ often when the broker did not even put that in the listing.
    Conversation goes something like this... blah blah blah.... blah blah blah.... what size trailer do you have again? 53’? great that’s what we need on this one...
    I then work on a bit more cash for it once I find that out.

    My setup is fairly heavy with all the gear onboard so I am weight restricted so there is that. I typically search for the lightest stuff I can haul anyhow. But with all my gear and truck I don’t do 48k. I really analyzed this and with the help of @blairandgretchen (talked me off the ledge on this one, because a guy offered me a pretty sweet 48’ trailer at a nice price) I decided on the 53’ it is a little tougher getting in and out some places but not bad. I typically don’t look at any loads over 46.5k (even though I could go as high as 47k+) like I said the lighter it is the happier I am if they pay is there. I bet if you really looked at MPG and weight even if a lighter load paid slightly less you may see better overall income due to fuel savings.

    If a 53’ is what works in your are and rates are nice then that may be your answer.

    So here is a current screen shot I took off a load board of 53’ loads (only a few of the ones listed and 48k loads again only a screenshot worth. There is definitely a lot more 48k+ loads. However do they really pay better? I really don’t think so.

    The first screen shot will be of 53’ and the second of 48k... I highlighted the offered rates to help you decide. Now on the 53’ loads the JBT loads may be all the same load. Also note on the 53’ screenshot there are only 2 loads I could not carry. Of course as you know the loads are all to be negotiated but there are some starts there. Also of course some guys with nice 48’ aluminum trailers can carry quite a bit more than 48k so if it pays off there maybe. I looked at some higher than 48k and really not much more there. Although can guarantee they are negotiating with broker if it is heavy.

    Now a sweet 53’ aluminum would allow me to carry more I know, however I hope to someday move up to extendable like my sea daddy or oversized style trailer. Baby steps for now. A lot of super knowledgeable guys in this section so I always listen. Step deck stuff also intrigues me.

    Good luck

    9983B234-04F0-44F5-A4B9-04857778219F.jpeg E0D45726-BAFC-43EE-8CA5-25FC27F880E6.jpeg
    blairandgretchen and Speed_Drums Thank this.
  8. Tug Toy

    Tug Toy Road Train Member

    Jul 4, 2015
    Corn field
    53’ with a slider, all the way if you can afford it? I started with a 48’ that helped pay for the new one. Never one time could I NOT find work for the 48’. But we have a few customers that really like 53’. 3951981B-234F-4B7F-BA27-956491DA4BAB.jpeg
  9. cke

    cke Road Train Member

    Aug 4, 2013
    Colfax Wi
  10. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    2 or 3.

    TN kingpin law - just buy an annual for $100.

    At worst you have 5’ extra to store tarps.

    At best - 53-60’ opportunities that regular 48’s will miss, therefore added $$.
  11. Linte_Loco

    Linte_Loco Road Train Member

    Apr 24, 2011
    LA (lower Alabama)
    53` might give options for a partial 2nd load occasionally
    ChevyCam, Tug Toy, cke and 2 others Thank this.
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