Experienced Dry Van Driver Switching To Flatbed All And Any Advice Welcome.

Topic 22855 | Page 1

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Stephen L.'s Comment
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Hey guys I drove dry van for 3 years and I'm seriously considering switching to flatbed I've got a real good work ethic so the manual loading and unloading of the job doesn't scare me none lol but seriously before I get into this id like some advice from all you experienced flatbedders out there to a youngster starting in this area of business any and all help would be greatly appreciated thanks!

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.
Chris M's Comment
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Hey Stephen I did the exact same thing! I started my career pulling reefer , then spilled dry van for a while, then made the switch to flatbed. At this point, it would almost take an act if God to get me to switch back! I absolutely love flatbed.

My advice is to go for it. Not sure who you drive for, but if they have a flatbed division and you're satisfied with the company, make the switch and see how you like it.

Being an experienced driver, the learning curve won't be as steep as you might think. You already know the physics of the truck, and I'm sure you understand time management and dealing with shippers and receivers. That all stays pretty much the same, you've just gotta learn the best methods for keeping the freight attached to the trailer lol.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.


A refrigerated trailer.

Stephen L.'s Comment
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Yeah I know all about time management and such lol thanks for your reply bud appreciate it the entire concept of load securement is intimidating to me though that part is rather important isn't it? lol

Old School's Comment
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Hey Stephen, we have some excellent teaching materials for load securement. You can find them in our High Road CDL Training Program. They are absolutely free to use and you will learn a lot by working your way through both sections.

You may also both enjoy the read, and learn a few things about flat bed work by reading this thread on Flat Bed Variety. It's a classic!


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 M's Comment
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Load securement is one of those things that in my opinion, looks more complicated than it really is. There are multiple ways to secure every different load, but they can all be boiled down to one simple concept: restrict the movement of the load in all directions. No matter what the load is, you want to keep it from moving forward and backwards, side to side, and bouncing. Just keep that in mind at all times.

Whatever company you start doing flatbed with, as long as they know you've never done flatbed, will teach you the basics, and they'll teach you specifics of how you haul certain loads that are typical for them.

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing different securement methods on different loads, but they all follow the same basic principles.

So yeah it definitely feels complicated when you're looking from the outside, but with a little bit of training, you'll start looking at loads from a distance and know exactly how they need to be secured.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Operating While Intoxicated

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

1. Never get less than eight hours of sleep.
2. Never play cards with anyone named after a city.
3. Never sleep with a woman that has a tattoo of a dagger.

Hey, you said any advice welcome... 😎

Stephen L.'s Comment
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Thanks so much for your help guys! helps a lot! yes..."any" advice lol

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