The Difference Between Step Deck Hauling and Flatbed Hauling

What is the difference between step deck hauling and flatbed hauling? This is important to understand if you are investing in a fleet or if you have freight service needs that require large hauling services. Here’s what you need to know.

What is a step deck trailer?

This type of trailer is also known as a lowboy trailer or drop deck trailer. It is designed for transporting tall cargo. It features an upper and a lower deck and often includes ramp capabilities. Due to their lower height, step deck trailers are easier for forklift operators to load cargo onto for transport. They also eliminate the need for permits that would be required for tall cargo if it were transported by freight services using a flatbed trailer.

What kind of freight do step decks haul?

Step deck trailers are typically used to transport heavy freight and machinery. Common items include excavators, tractors, machinery, agricultural materials and building materials.

What is a flatbed trailer?

Flatbed trailers do not have sides or a roof. They are basic trailers that are used by freight services for the transportation of standard size loads. These types of trailers can be made of steel, composite or aluminum. Many have the option of adding extendable decks, multilevel decks and curtain-sided walls. They can carry loads up to 8’ 6” tall.

What kind of freight do flatbed trailers haul?

Flatbed trailers can carry a wide variety of freight. Their main limitation is height, as they are not suited to haul taller cargo. They are typically between 48 and 53 feet in length and can carry up to 48,000 pounds. Common items found on a flatbed trailer include construction supplies and equipment, raw materials, heating and cooling units, vehicles, formed concrete and lumber.

What is the difference between step deck hauling and flatbed hauling?

The main difference between step deck hauling and flatbed hauling is the height of the cargo that can be transported on the trailer. Both types of trailers can carry the same length and weight of freight. However, the lowered deck on the step deck allows freight services to transport taller cargo. Basically, the step deck is simply a flatbed trailer with a lower deck. The extra one to two feet of height allowance can make a significant difference in its hauling capabilities. Additionally, step deck trailers have a little more versatility for loading and unloading capabilities.

Which type of trailer should you choose?

To determine which style of trailer you should choose, consider the height of your freight. If you need to haul items taller than 8’ 6”, you should choose a step deck to meet the taller height requirements.

Your trusted freight services provider

Steve Emken Trucking has been offering reliable freight services since 1992. We offer long and short hauling services throughout the United States. All of our drivers are professional and experienced to give you the best service. We also offer truck repair, with drive-through bays that provide plenty of room for maintenance and DOT inspections. Contact us today for more information.