Why do flatbed over van/reefer? I don't see the extra money

Discussion in 'Flatbed Trucking Forum' started by Kenworth6969, Aug 1, 2020.

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  1. Wespipes

    Wespipes Road Train Member

    Jul 14, 2019
    These days vans get paid more then flatbed. It makes no sense
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  3. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Just south of the north 40
    Thats an easy one to solve, don’t do that.
  4. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Just south of the north 40
    Have only done open deck work. It is more an attitude than anything else.
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  5. Landincoldfire

    Landincoldfire Medium Load Member

    Sep 27, 2015
    New Holland, Pa
    I've done most driving types of trucking. Been driving since 82 so I have a couple years of experience. Every day is a learning experience. It seems that open deck gets one the most respect by shippers and receivers. Although coil hauling can be compared with grocery delivery.

    It's funny that when I go into a steel mill to pick up a coil it's like I'm a bottom of the barrel driver. I can go to the same mill to deliver a mill roll or something else big and they basically roll out the red carpet.
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  6. J_D_Boss_Hawg

    J_D_Boss_Hawg Bobtail Member

    May 25, 2015
    Mebane nc
    I like the challenge of open deck. I understand that van/reefer guys make the same or more than i do for less work. Its not always about money. I'm lucky in my company. If flat dries up I get put on walmart dedicated accounts on the van side of my company. It's like a mini vacation going from flats to that! And easy ### money too. I could definitely think about hiring on with walmart full time if I wanted to leave flatbedding.
  7. blairandgretchen

    blairandgretchen Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    South west Missouri
    If I went back to company driver, it would be LTL - best money and minimal waiting.

    But it’s boring.

    Flatbed is far more satisfying for work. And 14’Wide, 70’ long won’t fit in a van. :)
  8. Western flyer

    Western flyer Road Train Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    It's nothing more than ego.
    Every flatbedder pumps his chest out and
    Thinks he's tough.
    It sure as hell ain't the money or brains.
    Then they constantly complain about having
    To tarp a load. I don't get it.

    Remember what the old timers used to tell you,
    Work smarter not harder.
    When they blow their back out,
    Fall for of the trailer or can no longer throw
    The tarp over the the load, they hop in a dry van
    Or a reefer.
    Then wonder why they worked so hard all those
    Years for the same money.

    I'm not even going to get into being covered in
    Dirt and sweat and not being able to get a shower.
    I can only imagine what their trucks smell like.
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  9. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Eastern Iowa
    I can't speak for every flatbedder, but none of that applies to me. I don't pump my chest out, I don't have a big ego. I don't throw tarps. But I've done it before and I'm not afraid to do it again, it's not that hard if you do it right.

    I also take a shower every day but being a local guy, that's pretty easy. Doing otr flatbed, without being able to shower, yeah that could get pretty stinky lol.
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  10. Ruthless

    Ruthless Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2010
    The City.

    couple things:

    Flatbedding isnt hard work: if someone tells you flatbedding is hard work, they don’t know what hard work is, period, the end, amen.
    If the money is the same doing any different kind of trucking work, that says more about the caliber of individual they expected to do that work. You can get your house painted for $500 or $5000/ You better believe there’s two very different customers for that and they have very different expectations.
    If you're the best at something, the price goes up, if you’re just average you get paid like it.

    ive worked hard, now i work smart. For minimum wage at 16 i restacked 3 trailer loads of roofing shingles on a hundred degree day. Ive stacked trailers full of hay bales on equally as hot days, with the van trailer inside the shed. hard work sucks but sometimes thats what needs doing. Doesn’t mean it’ll pay better either.

    The value you put on yourself is all you’ll get in trucking or anywhere else, with supply and demand playing a part in the job you’re willing to do.
    If you’re skilled and that skill is in limited supply, you can charge whatever you want. If you have no ability beyond anyone else, you can’t get a better price unless noone else is available.

    the world needs ditch diggers, but about anybody can dig a ditch. If you want to make more money, do something everybody can’t/won’t do.
  11. Scooter Jones

    Scooter Jones Road Train Member

    Apr 19, 2011
    Reminds me of a joke one of my painting sub-contractors told me back in the day.

    "I went to my pastor and confessed that I had cheated some of my customers by thinning the paint with water...his reply was, REPAINT! Go and thin no more!" ;-)
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