53 vs 48 Flatbed?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by bamanation, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. bamanation

    bamanation Medium Load Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Muscle Shoals ,AL
    As a one man operation what are the drawbacks of a 53 foot flatbed? I have a 48 that I’m going to upgrade to new. The king pin to the back axle is set at 40 foot as opposed to 43 foot on a 48. Do you load a 53 like you would a 48 in regards to weight and load distribution? Have any of you made the move to a 53 foot and regretted it?
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  3. baha

    baha Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2013
    Is it a sliding rear axle so you can be a 10ft spread when you need it and close it up when you don't, that is what you need to haul the 60ft. loads and stay legal in most states but SC. where you can't have but a short hang/over off ft. of trailer without buying a permit?
    slow.rider Thanks this.
  4. skallagrime

    skallagrime Road Train Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    For me, its extra tailswing with an already long truck that is unpleasant to deal with. Standard tractor with a 53 is my length on a 48.

    The advantages to a 53 are as follows:
    More deck space for cheap freight...
    More deck space on front to place load securement/tarps.
    IF YOU HAVE A 53' CONESTOGA you can actually haul things set up for a 48 foot trailer.

    That last one is pretty much the only reason i would ever consider it. But that's me, others will be along to tell me im wrong soon
  5. Spyro2112

    Spyro2112 Medium Load Member

    Mar 17, 2018
  6. FLHT

    FLHT Medium Load Member

    Aug 2, 2014
    5 more feet to pile more stuff on for the same 48 price.
    shooter19802003 Thanks this.
  7. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Canceling cancel culture/CCC
    48s are really common. Really depends on what you haul. The few times you would use the extra deck space would it be worth dragging around the extra 5ft?
  8. ProfessionalNoticer

    ProfessionalNoticer Medium Load Member

    Apr 25, 2021
    53s aren't worth the headache unless you need it for a specific customer/broker/commodity. Otherwise, 48' is the perfect for all around use.
  9. DrFlush

    DrFlush Road Train Member

    Mar 22, 2011
    Upstate NY
    States like NY and TN are 48 foot states. I know NY will write you for being off staa route with a 53. I lived in NY and it was actually illegal to bring a 53 to my home but not my 48. Oyher than that no worries running into California. I have lost very few good loads not having a 53.
    ProfessionalNoticer Thanks this.
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