If you are struggling to transport large cargo or oversized items, a flatbed truck can probably help. Because of their flat and open design, flatbed trucks can transport almost anything with the right setup and accessories. For this reason, flatbed trucks make for a flexible, versatile and invaluable addition to any fleet, in a wide range of industries.
Although flatbed trucks may seem simple, there are several types to choose from, plus many options for truck customization and accessories to consider. This blog post will introduce you to your options and get you on your way to the up-fitted flatbed truck of your dreams.
Introducing Custom Truck Flatbeds
A flatbed truck is also referred to as a platform truck. As the name implies, flatbed trucks are characterized by an open, flat, platform-like bed without siding or a roof. This open bed is more flexible and provides more space than an enclosed body. Furthermore, the simplicity of flatbed trucks make them easy to upfit to fit the needs of any industry or specialty.
Types of Flatbeds and Specialties
When comparing truck flatbeds, there are three main things to consider: type, dimensions and material. To make an informed decision, you will need to think about what materials you will be hauling and keep their weight and volume in mind.
Flatbed Type: Flatbeds are often divided into three categories by manufacturers — such as light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty — based on their relative strength.
Flatbed Dimensions: Flatbeds typically range from 8 to 24ft feet in length. Generally speaking, the longer the flatbed, the more weight it can carry. Also, the larger and longer the flatbed, the larger the chassis (understructure) will need to be to support it.
Flatbed Material: Flatbeds come in a range of different materials including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and composites. The majority of flatbeds are made of steel due to the comparative durability and lower price point, though new types of aluminum vehicle parts have been gaining popularity and attention. For a more detailed guide to flatbed materials, check out our blog post, Steel Flatbed Platform Bodies: Your Options.
Key Considerations for Custom Truck Flatbeds
In addition to the above flatbed types, there are a few other factors to consider when selecting or designing a custom truck flatbed:
Flatbed Flooring: The most common flatbed floor options are wood, steel, aluminum and tread plate, though new synthetic options have emerged as well. In recent years, there has been a shift from wood, which was the most popular choice, to aluminum, due to its low weight and comparable low price.
Flatbed Bulkhead: The bulkhead is the part of the flatbed that divides the cab and the cargo, acting as a protective barrier. When it comes to bulkheads, there are a variety of shapes and strength levels to choose from.
Flatbed Accessories, Sides & Stakes: The great part about flatbeds is that they are essentially a blank canvas that can be transformed to transport any material with different siding, stakes and accessories. The options for flatbed truck customization are truly endless! This is the fun part that can really take your flatbed setup to the next level.
The flatbed options outlined above are really just the tip of the iceberg. To explore your options more thoroughly, request a quote with us today. Our Custom Truck Equipment Sales & Installation Department will help transform your truck into the best possible version of itself. We carry only the highest quality truck equipment at competitive prices and can customize trucks to fit the needs of any industry or business.