Can Flatbed Make Or Break A Rookie?

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DaQuan L.'s Comment
member avatar

Well I'm doing the High Road studying, and for a while I am very interested in "Flatbed" I liking the manual labor, and granted, weather plays a strong part plus physical fitness, but staying healthy has been my motto these last 5 months.

So what are some opinions, cons, pros, and experiences on flatbed as a rookie, I'm hearing mixed opinions, so what better words of wisdom then trucking truth bloggers.

Oh and if you know of any flatbed companies dont be afraid to jot it down.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Chris 's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I started right away with open deck. My personal opinion at this point in time i will do nothing else. I have told my dispatcher if the only load they can find me is a van load i would rather sit for 3 weeks.

The bad thing about open deck is rain snow wind cold hot dont matter we are exsposed to it securing and tarping. I have had the wind take my lumber tarp once. I was beyound ****ed knowing i had to reroll it and get the forklift guy to put it back on top of the load. Plus you will run into some loads that you have to really think about how to secure.

Now on the other hand I have hauled some really cool loads. Military equipment to the port. All kinds of farm equipment.

If you really want to go with Flatbed go for it. You can always choose to go to van or what not if you don't like it. I take great pride in knowing when i am done secureing my load that it wont shift or move.

As far as companies take your pick do some research. Several starter companies will let you go straight to flat bed Prime, Roehl, TMC(tmc is all faltbed). Meltom, and Maverick just to name a few.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

DaQuan, welcome to the forum!

I'm a flat-bedder, and I started out as a flat-bedder. If your sure that it's what you want to do then I say go for it! When someone is not sure about it I usually will recommend that they start out in dry-van just to learn the basics of handling a rig, but if you think you want to be a flat-bedder then go for it.

I, like most other flat-bedders, get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing a good job of getting my load secure and having a nice looking tarp job that's not flapping around in the breeze. There's a lot of pride that goes into a flat-bedders job, and if he's doing his job right he can foil that D.O.T. man on most occasions. I drive for a company that has a pretty bad safety record (we are working hard at improving it) and because of that I sometimes will get scrutinized, but really it's not that often. I've got a great but lengthy story to tell about crossing the George Washington Bridge with my first oversize load that involves an irate D.O.T. officer. I've been meaning to post it as a blog, but I just haven't taken the time yet. By the way he threatened to write me a bunch of tickets, but in the end he couldn't find anything to cite me for!

If flat-bedding is where your interest lies then take the plunge, if you change your mind you can always get a job pulling something else.

Best of luck to ya! And keep us posted would ya? We've got a growing crowd of flat-bedders here and I'm enjoying it immensely.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I am coming up on 2 months of being a flatbedder and I won't do anything else unless I have no other options. When you start out, the learning curve is pretty steep and everything takes longer, but you get it figured out pretty quickly. As far as DOT is concerned, if you understand and follow the rules you will be OK. I drive for Melton and if you follow their procedures you should be fine. I have had one inspection and that was a Level 1. Everything went well with the exception of one strap which was deemed loose; I had crushed one box and over compensated on the next. Had another guy from another company show me a trick on the next load of the same material. Lessons learned.

I am currently enjoying the cooler weather, but now have a hint about what it is going to be like during the winter - the opposite of summer. By that I mean, I have sweated my self silly now I am going to have cold hands for a few months. I love the challenges of securing, thinking things through on how to do this or that and having some good driving thrown in there. Can it be frustrating at times? Sure, what job isn't? At the end of the day, there is a great deal of pride in doing a job well done that not everyone can or will do.

Just my 2 cents on the topic.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Jeff G.'s Comment
member avatar

Well I'm doing the High Road studying, and for a while I am very interested in "Flatbed" I liking the manual labor, and granted, weather plays a strong part plus physical fitness, but staying healthy has been my motto these last 5 months.

So what are some opinions, cons, pros, and experiences on flatbed as a rookie, I'm hearing mixed opinions, so what better words of wisdom then trucking truth bloggers.

Oh and if you know of any flatbed companies dont be afraid to jot it down.

DO not Know of companies for flatbed but do know it in all types of weather and sometimes high winds that will play a roll if you do flatbed just keep in mind follow the dot rule and check when you take a break on straps or chains and weight.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

DaQuan L.'s Comment
member avatar

Yea I hear DOT is insane when it comes to flatbeds, and all that come with it. But look at the risk being taken, safety for yourself and others so I highly respect it. But hey roll with the punches

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Chris 's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I started right away with open deck. My personal opinion at this point in time i will do nothing else. I have told my dispatcher if the only load they can find me is a van load i would rather sit for 3 weeks.

The bad thing about open deck is rain snow wind cold hot dont matter we are exsposed to it securing and tarping. I have had the wind take my lumber tarp once. I was beyound ****ed knowing i had to reroll it and get the forklift guy to put it back on top of the load. Plus you will run into some loads that you have to really think about how to secure.

Now on the other hand I have hauled some really cool loads. Military equipment to the port. All kinds of farm equipment.

If you really want to go with Flatbed go for it. You can always choose to go to van or what not if you don't like it. I take great pride in knowing when i am done secureing my load that it wont shift or move.

As far as companies take your pick do some research. Several starter companies will let you go straight to flat bed Prime, Roehl, TMC(tmc is all faltbed). Meltom, and Maverick just to name a few.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Chris 's Comment
member avatar

Yea I hear DOT is insane when it comes to flatbeds, and all that come with it. But look at the risk being taken, safety for yourself and others so I highly respect it. But hey roll with the punches

They are and they arent. Most of the time if iam tarped they dont even care. Even when i run Oversize i barely get a second glance. Alot of it is also the saftey record of the company you work for.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

DaQuan, welcome to the forum!

I'm a flat-bedder, and I started out as a flat-bedder. If your sure that it's what you want to do then I say go for it! When someone is not sure about it I usually will recommend that they start out in dry-van just to learn the basics of handling a rig, but if you think you want to be a flat-bedder then go for it.

I, like most other flat-bedders, get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing a good job of getting my load secure and having a nice looking tarp job that's not flapping around in the breeze. There's a lot of pride that goes into a flat-bedders job, and if he's doing his job right he can foil that D.O.T. man on most occasions. I drive for a company that has a pretty bad safety record (we are working hard at improving it) and because of that I sometimes will get scrutinized, but really it's not that often. I've got a great but lengthy story to tell about crossing the George Washington Bridge with my first oversize load that involves an irate D.O.T. officer. I've been meaning to post it as a blog, but I just haven't taken the time yet. By the way he threatened to write me a bunch of tickets, but in the end he couldn't find anything to cite me for!

If flat-bedding is where your interest lies then take the plunge, if you change your mind you can always get a job pulling something else.

Best of luck to ya! And keep us posted would ya? We've got a growing crowd of flat-bedders here and I'm enjoying it immensely.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

DaQuan L.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks everybody for the info and Old School, definitely a good insight on the lifestyle, it seems cool.

Jeff G.'s Comment
member avatar

DaQuan, welcome to the forum!

I'm a flat-bedder, and I started out as a flat-bedder. If your sure that it's what you want to do then I say go for it! When someone is not sure about it I usually will recommend that they start out in dry-van just to learn the basics of handling a rig, but if you think you want to be a flat-bedder then go for it.

I, like most other flat-bedders, get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing a good job of getting my load secure and having a nice looking tarp job that's not flapping around in the breeze. There's a lot of pride that goes into a flat-bedders job, and if he's doing his job right he can foil that D.O.T. man on most occasions. I drive for a company that has a pretty bad safety record (we are working hard at improving it) and because of that I sometimes will get scrutinized, but really it's not that often. I've got a great but lengthy story to tell about crossing the George Washington Bridge with my first oversize load that involves an irate D.O.T. officer. I've been meaning to post it as a blog, but I just haven't taken the time yet. By the way he threatened to write me a bunch of tickets, but in the end he couldn't find anything to cite me for!

If flat-bedding is where your interest lies then take the plunge, if you change your mind you can always get a job pulling something else.

Best of luck to ya! And keep us posted would ya? We've got a growing crowd of flat-bedders here and I'm enjoying it immensely.

I just trying to get back to work but have more laws that keep drivers from success than the companies tell where is the honest trucking bussines any more try to go flat bed don it for family so have old school knowledge

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Larry E.'s Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I am coming up on 2 months of being a flatbedder and I won't do anything else unless I have no other options. When you start out, the learning curve is pretty steep and everything takes longer, but you get it figured out pretty quickly. As far as DOT is concerned, if you understand and follow the rules you will be OK. I drive for Melton and if you follow their procedures you should be fine. I have had one inspection and that was a Level 1. Everything went well with the exception of one strap which was deemed loose; I had crushed one box and over compensated on the next. Had another guy from another company show me a trick on the next load of the same material. Lessons learned.

I am currently enjoying the cooler weather, but now have a hint about what it is going to be like during the winter - the opposite of summer. By that I mean, I have sweated my self silly now I am going to have cold hands for a few months. I love the challenges of securing, thinking things through on how to do this or that and having some good driving thrown in there. Can it be frustrating at times? Sure, what job isn't? At the end of the day, there is a great deal of pride in doing a job well done that not everyone can or will do.

Just my 2 cents on the topic.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
member avatar

If I can make it through my first 3 months driving a tanker filled with hazardous materials... then you can do flatbedding, tanker, dry van , ballet, neuroscience, or anything else!

Don't psyche yourself out too much is all I can say. Go with one of the great flatbedder companies and I am sure they will teach you the proper way until your ears bleed lol.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.
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