Flatbed Trucks: Loading, Shipping, and Logistics of Large Units
The logistics of handling large items pose special challenges and companies that handle them usually have only one good option for transporting them: flatbed trucks.
First of all, these items often weight hundreds of pounds, if not tons. This makes it impossible for employees to pick them up, much less to load them easily into a container. These items have to be lifted with crane or fork-lift and placed on top of the flatbed. But for that, they need extra space and the sides or roof of a trailer-truck container would prevent that. Flatbed trucks have no roof and no fixed sides, which makes it much easier to load and unload heavy cargo.
Another problem that the logistics of large items may pose are their unusual size or shape. This means that in many instances, no matter whether you place them parallel or perpendicular to the flatbed, some part may stick out from the sides or the back of the truck. Some cargo may even be higher than the roof of a regular truck trailer. This means that the transportation of such items requires careful planning as such cargoes are not suitable for some roads and typically require special permits. Shipping companies that have a fleet that includes flatbed trucks have experience transporting such items and are aided by technological data and facilitating tools, such as specialized maps that allow them to take only the roads that legally permit their cargo.
Does Size Matter?
In many cases, it’s not the size, but the nature of the item that requires a permit to transport them legally. For example, certain chemicals and military equipment. While it’s the client or supplier that has to obtain these permits, a shipping company with experience handling this type of cargo should be able to give an assessment on what the requirements are and help you get the permits much faster.
Even if you also produce products that are packed in standard containers, you might want to hire the flatbed truck company if they have a semi-trailer truck fleet as well. The logistics of transporting products these days can be very complicated in a time where cargo has to travel long distances by road, and in some cases, may be on or off loaded into a ship or train car. It facilitates logistics to have only one company to deal with, one who can be your trusted partner and can do it all. Obviously, that company has to be efficient, timely and cost-effective as well, just like any other business relationship.
Gone are the days where you didn’t hear about your shipment for weeks or wondered if it was going to make it at all. Technology, telecommunications, satellite tracking and other tools make it easier and safer everyday to send your products or your purchases across the country and sometimes beyond the borders. Up-to-the-minute information about your shipment is now possible. However, even with all the progress we have made, flatbed trucks are the workhorses that provide unique solutions still unmatched for companies that need to transport large or heavy loads.