Flatbed Division

Topic 13397 | Page 1

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Cory D.'s Comment
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So I just recently left KLLM and wanted to pursue something I felt like I could be happy with, after 2 weeks of training with a reefer I just couldn't do it, I looked up Maverick and called them and they told me they have a regional position open for flatbed where I can be home on most weekends and out during the week in the midwest.

I always wanted to haul either a flatbed or or tanker, I wanted to ask fellow truckers what is it like, do you also alley dock in one of them.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Cory D.'s Comment
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Anyone with knowledge on flatbeds?

Errol V.'s Comment
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Anyone with knowledge on flatbeds?

There's a few skateboard driver regulars here. They'll be around. Patience.

Fire-Man's Comment
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It's hot and dirty in the summer, cold and wet in the winter and always windy when tarping or untarping. You go through clothes and gloves like there is no tomorrow and are either freezing or sweating your @$$ off while while securing/un securing your load. If none of that dissuades you just remember then you have to drive. shocked.png

Why anyone would pull a box or tank I don't know. Open deck, whether flat, step, RGN, etc., is where it's at. dancing-banana.gif

Jacob R. (gear jammer)'s Comment
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Im headed to flatbed division I need some excitement nothing like blood sweat and tears to make you feel like you accomplished something! my uncle fair warned me but im young i gotta learn the hard way any helpful advice?

Bud A.'s Comment
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Flatbed is great if you're the type who enjoys being outdoors in any kind of weather, working with your hands, and figuring out new challenges. It also helps if you can do some basic math for securement and if you're not afraid to get your truck and yourself really dirty.

I would advise against it if you're the type who looks for ways to cut corners (which is not the same as looking for ways to do it right, only faster).

And yes, there are times when you'll have to alley dock and parallel park, though it's kind of rare that you'll have to actually bump a dock. Just yesterday I had some early morning fun doing a blindside alley dock between two empty flatbeds so I could drop my trailer and hook to the pre-loaded trailer waiting there for me.

I love it and can't imagine pulling anything other than open deck. It's not all fun and games but it is rewarding to know that if someone can get it onto your trailer, you can haul it to where they want it. I'd like to learn heavy haul, so personally that's my next challenge. I've had a couple of students who learned to drive pulling a flatbed and decided they'd rather pull a reefer , so it's not for everyone.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Im headed to flatbed division I need some excitement nothing like blood sweat and tears to make you feel like you accomplished something! my uncle fair warned me but im young i gotta learn the hard way any helpful advice?

Don't fall off the trailer, that bounce will get you every time.

Do NOT stand in front of your winch bar. They can come back at you really quick. Do not use a winch bar that is nothing more than a pipe. If those slip from your hand when chaining they will fly over the truck or farther.

You hear people all the time tell you that flatbedding is hard. Yeah you work for an hour or two and then drive. Apparently they have never worked the hay fields or cleaned out calf barns by hand. Back when I was doing this, there was no such thing as a round bale, only the small squares. If you were lucky you had a bale picker on the truck or trailer that would pick the bale off the ground and bring it up onto the trailer. I saw one once, never got to use one.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

You will find that most of the time you sleep very well when it comes time for your 10.

The biggest thing is take your time. I find myself thinking that I am slower than a slug trying to climb up hill on a sheet of ice. Then I get back in the truck and it has only taken me 45 minutes to an hour to load and secure a piece of equipment. I pull a lowboy a lot and that includes removing and rehooking the neck of the trailer and driving the piece onto the trailer.

I was loading a load of pipe the other day along with some man holes and lids and some adjusting rings. I thought it was taking forever to get it all loaded and secured. It turned out that I was only there for an hour. There are 7 chains on the pipe along with the 2 cables and 4 manholes along with a little 18" cap that needed it's own chain and the adjusting rings with the 2 straps on them. So in total I had 12 chains, 2 straps and 2 cables on this load.

flatbed trailer loaded with cement pipe and manholes strapped chained cabled

Another little tip is that if you cannot reach your chain for some reason, don't always immediately get up on the load/trailer. Most of the time you can use your pin puller to reach the chain and pull it down to you. Same with straps. Don't leave the ground if you do not have to. Hurts less when you trip.

Old School's Comment
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after 2 weeks of training with a reefer I just couldn't do it,

Cory, that is the part of your post that bothers me. I'm not sure what you mean by that. Could you elaborate?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

When tarping, always make sure you take the extra time to do things neatly and correctly. That means making sure the tarps are even and squarely centered over the load, the edges are tucked nice and tight, the front and back flaps in particular are tight and secure, and that you use plenty of bungees cords to tie everything down. To me, there is nothing worse than hitting the open road, looking in your mirrors and seeing your tarp start to bulge out on the sides, or worse yet, flap in the wind. Driving 2,000+ miles like that would drive me crazy. So I spend the extra time before I leave, and then I can drive with peace of mind.

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