Old School, Turtle, And All Youz Flatbedders Out There....

Topic 22840 | Page 1

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Rainy D.'s Comment
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On the Ladies section there was a question about the realistic physical demand of Flatbedding. This woman is in a location where flatbed is the only option for someone in her hiring region at her preferred company.

I know the tarps are heavy, I thought 100 pounds, but is this true? How hard is the strapping etc?

Thanks

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

The hardest physical part is indeed the tarps. I've never weighed mine, but I'm guessing at least 100lbs clean & dry. Add some mud and/or snow & ice, even just rainwater and you're looking at a formidable heavy challenge at times.

A lot of customers will assist you by hoisting the tarps up on your load. Even better, some have mechanical tarping stations that open up and drape the tarps right where they need to go, leaving you only needing to lace the bungees.

BUT...

I'd be lying if I said it's always easy. Often I'll need to climb a ladder with that tarp on my shoulder, just to get it/them up there. Then unroll them while balanced precariously on an uneven load. Throw in some wind, snow, or ice and the difficulty level amps up.

Next challenge is removing the tarps. All is takes is for one little sharp edge of the load to snag the tarp, and you're stuck trying to figure a way to unsnag it.

Then once you finally get it on the ground, you're left trying to roll up this frozen tarpsicle that now weighs 30 lbs heavier than it did yesterday because it iced last night.

The actual securing of the load, although the most critical and important part, is really easy physically. Simple math tells you how many straps or chains to use, and you learn little tricks along the way to make it easier. Nothing to it.

So yeah no it's not always a good time. That being said, I've seen plenty of women get it done. It takes a certain spirit or attitude, sort of an unwillingness to admit defeat mindset at times. You can't be afraid to get dirty, or sweat, or freeze. And you gotta accept a good workout once in a while. But really, the workout is more like a fast sprint, versus a long endurance thing. Quick bursts of energy to manhandle that tarp is just about the worst thing you'll encounter. The rest is just some good cardio.

Dm:

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.
Turtle's Comment
member avatar

I should also mention:

There are different size tarps, so some could be lighter. For example, I met a lady flatbedder on a job site once who preferred to use 3 steel tarps (small) vs 2 lumber tarps (large). You see, steel tarps are smaller so they won't cover as much of a load as a lumber tarp. But the steel tarp weighs probably 25lbs less, so was within her lifting range.

What I'm getting at is where there's a will, there's a way.

Most of the time it's a non-issue anyway, since the forklift drivers will almost always be willing to place the tarps up top for you.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
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YouTube.... Flatbed chick

Very good videos

Donna M.'s Comment
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The recruiter was saying the tarps are 70 pounds but u don’t have to lift them and I am thinking what the heck am I suppose to twitch my nose and get it up there. Then I said well I really don’t like heights he said it only 13’6 and I am thinking I don’t care for 6 foot off the ground. It really sounds like a challenge however I keep thinking if some women can do it so can I. I’m gonna really think on it. Thanks for the response.

Donna M.'s Comment
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Probably a real dumb question but could u winch/ rope the tarp from the ground to the top of load rather than carrying it ?

Turtle's Comment
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Short of having a forklift or tarp station lift it, I can think of no other feasible way to get it up there besides your good ol muscles.

Another lady I ran into had a homemade boom lift setup attached to her headache rack. She used it to get the tarps from the storage rack down to the ground and back. That alone probably saved her a ton of hassle. Once she got the tarps on the ground the forklift guy could take over and get it on the load.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

Lift with your legs, not your back. If you can get that tarp up onto the trailer you can do just about anything with it.

I am coming to the realization that flatbedding is more of a mindset than anything else. Some loads are easy, throw a couple straps and get down the road. Some loads are tough, 18 straps or 12 chains, all the padding you possess, 3 tarps, and what feels like 358 bungees. The weather obviously can make loads all that much more difficult. You have to really want to do the work or just be a stubborn SOB who will not take no for an answer, IMO. You will either love it or hate it but its worth a shot to find out! Goodluck out there.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
Some loads are tough, 18 straps or 12 chains, all the padding you possess, 3 tarps, and what feels like 358 bungees.

rofl-3.gif

Yup, that's flatbeddin sometimes!

My personal records are 24 straps on a single Lindsay load. 14 (?) chains on a load of bobcats. All 12 moving blankets, plus some cardboard I dug out of a dumpster. 4 tarps and every bungee I had. The struggle can be real. Lol

JuiceBox's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Some loads are tough, 18 straps or 12 chains, all the padding you possess, 3 tarps, and what feels like 358 bungees.

double-quotes-end.png

rofl-3.gif

Yup, that's flatbeddin sometimes!

My personal records are 24 straps on a single Lindsay load. 14 (?) chains on a load of bobcats. All 12 moving blankets, plus some cardboard I dug out of a dumpster. 4 tarps and every bungee I had. The struggle can be real. Lol

Those be the loads that make people turn in the keys. So much satisfaction once complete though so I'll never understand. Maybe it's the fact you have to destroy your work of art upon arrival at the consignee? Yep that's what I'm going with, we are all artists and do not enjoy destroying our work at the end of a run. Lol

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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