Why would anyone want to pull flatbed trailers?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by expedite_it, Apr 12, 2021.

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  1. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    I have 7 years of experience pulling dry van trailers. I have never pulled a flat bed trailer. After being a truck driver for 7 years, I still don't know why anyone would want to pull flatbed trailers (as opposed to dry van trailers or reefer trailers). My understanding is that in flatbed trucking, it is typically the driver's responsibility to secure the freight. Flatbed drivers sometimes have to go out into the cold and rain during the winter and re-secure the freight. That sounds miserable.

    Why would anyone want to pull flatbed trailers (as opposed to pulling dry van)?

    Do flatbed truckers typically make more money than dry van truckers?
     
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  3. lester

    lester Road Train Member

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    Some guys enjoy the challenge or open deck. Always something different.
    Some people say they are treated better. Often times they arrive with a load and the customer is waiting for them and happy to see them. Get unloaded quick and off they go. Less time waiting around for lumpers to unload.
     
  4. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Medium Load Member

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    As mentioned

    Receivers and shippers are usually happy and for some, flatbeds just look cooler

    And I have always told guys looking to start driving that anything that requires the driver to do more work usually pays better because the driver has more responsibility like flat bedding, car hauling, oversized etc

    Anyone can bump a dock but not anyone can secure a load or get an oversized through a town safely
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
  5. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    Why would a customer be more happy to see a flatbed making a delivery than a dry van making a delivery?

    Why would a flat bed trucker get treated better than a dry van trucker?
     
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  6. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

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    Generally, open deck customers appreciate the drivers more. Not some grocery warehouse that doesn’t respect your time. Usually more laid back. Unless your meeting a rigging company to unload ,usually load and unload during daylight hours. Just a different way of trucking. Go see some different things and plants rather than door slammers that just bump a dock and unload and repeat. Challenging places and locations that you may have to put the equipment, oversize loads require a lot of attention to detail. Mental challenges. Let’s face it being a door slammer anyone can do.
    I miss open deck work but 3 fused vertebrae and a rod in my spine isn’t going to let me throw tarps and such.
     
  7. expedite_it

    expedite_it Medium Load Member

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    Why would a customer be more happy to see a flatbed making a delivery than a dry van making a delivery?

    Why do open deck customers appreciate the drivers more?

    Because a customer is generally more happy to see a flatbed making a delivery than a dry van making a delivery
     
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  8. skallagrime

    skallagrime Heavy Load Member

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    Exihbit a.
    overweight-truckers-causing-truck-accidents.jpg

    Yes that guy exists in flatbed, but its a lot rarer.

    Flatbed freight by and large seems to be needed at the receiver more immediately as well.

    Consider this load: 20210327_114151.jpg

    The warehouse NEEDS this so they can even function for receiving dry van freight.

    Flatbed drivers are treated like crap too and we are lied to about our loads, BUT because there's more riding on the driver so to speak, we get more information so we can just do our job and deliver safely.

    You ever take an hour or more just to check in to deliver a load because the warehouse exists specifically to store or redistribute the freight on your truck onto other trucks is either backed up, or just doesnt care?

    Thats not as common in flatbed. It still happens, but many times theres literally no work to DO before i get there because they simply NEED the materials on my deck to do anything else. When it comes to some jobsite deliveries, that flatbed load is the ONLY reason 6 guys are there that day. (Think unloading a new machine for a plant) or sometimes its a factory that needs the die you're bringing so it can continue to operate making product.

    As for dry van, it consists in large part of moving freight that youve never seen or cared about, from point a to point b where neither the shipper nor receiver wants to do anything to speed up the process because theyve got another 200 loads exactly like yours that day to process. For flatbed, thats not the norm, at shippers perhaps nore often, but at receivers i'm frequently the only truck for the day
     
  9. Happily Retired

    Happily Retired Road Train Member

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    I can field this one, because, flatbed is all I see out here. Most of my trucking was reefer/van/dump/tanker, I never liked flatbed, but if I was to do it again, it would be a flatbed, no question. Unlike reefer/van, people that order stuff on a flatbed, usually need what you have to continue working, and treat you as such, unlike van/reefer, "park it 'round back, we'll come and get you", stuff. I did okay with van work, and wouldn't do a reefer unless it was by the hour, but flatbed seems to just be a better deal today.
     
  10. newbietrucker91

    newbietrucker91 Medium Load Member

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    When I did flat for awhile, a lot of the loads were needed immediately.

    Also a lot of flatbed loads take a lot more skill than van/reefer. Typically you have an address to go to for your delivery but some loads on flat just have directions. Delivered to a construction site off the highway and told just go past a certain mile marker and then off-road when you see construction vehicles parked.

    Then had a load of AC units to a hotel in the middle of Chicago. Appointment in the middle of rush hour and simple told to park IN the road when you get to the hotel and then they will block off the street to unload. Have to make sure you arrive right on time cause they had a crane rented and it probably costing them a few hundred per hour.

    A lot of these places respect flat drivers more for the work they have to do.

    Tanker is also a field that gets a lot of respect. Almost all the plants I went to were met with smiling operators who couldn't wait to load/unload me. The few times delivering to mom and pop places they were happy to see me cause if I was even a few hours late they would have to shut down the plant due to lack of material.
     
  11. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Road Train Member

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    Because the customer is waiting on that flatbed, so when you show up, they're sitting there on a forklift. They're happy to see you roll in.

    With dry van, there's dock monkeys that now have to get up off their lazy ##### and go back to work because you just showed up and ruined their day.

    Why would you want someone else securing your freight?

    No, it sounds awesome. Gives me a reason to get out of the truck and get my hands dirty.
     
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