Switching From Reefer To Flatbed.

Topic 21482 | Page 1

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Joshua K.'s Comment
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I'm a Prime driver in the reefer division who's making the change to flatbed. I was wondering if anyone on here has done that. What was your experience? What should I expect?


A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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We do have some Prime flatbed drivers in there. They might be busy but give em some time and they'll show up and give you the scoop.

Turtle's Comment
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I've been in flatbed for my whole time at Prime so I don't have first-hand experience at switching divisions. But several others have said you will need to attend a week of flatbed "boot camp", where they teach you and grill you on securement techniques. I don't know if you get paid for that week or not.

You will need to be assigned a new truck also, as flatbed trucks are rigged differently than reefers.

Personally I don't think a week is enough time to learn the many different examples of securement you will come across out in the real world. But if you apply the same basic principles to each load, you'll be ok. When in doubt, always always always add more securement.

Lastly, you will leave the boot camp with a securement guide which has photos and explanations of the many various types of loads you'll be hauling, as well as a guide to the types of securement you will be using, with Working Load Limits (WLL) of each. These guides will be your Bibles.


A refrigerated trailer.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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We also have a couple of awesome sections for learning flatbed securement in our High Road CDL Training Program:

The New York State Coil Endorsement isn't something you would need, but it's great information nonetheless. The first section, "Flatbed Cargo Securement", is the one that applies to everyone.

Since this is a flatbed conversation, here is an article I just posted in our News Section:

Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup


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.
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