Ask any driver and they’ll tell you flatbed driving is one of the most challenging types of truck driving thanks to the heavy and unique-shaped loads that drivers must secure and haul. However, at Thunder Funding, we want you to know that many of the things you hear about flatbed hauling are actually myths, or they have another side to the truth that you may not have considered. Flatbed trucking can be extremely rewarding, and the skills it requires are in constant demand. Here are our top 5 myths about flatbed trucking -- and the real truth behind them.
Myth #1: It’s Always Dangerous
Truth: If you look at the official numbers, flatbed hauling is certainly a more dangerous type of trucking -- but it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone. Drivers have a great deal of control over how dangerous a job is for him or her by utilizing their training and using safety best practices and common sense while securing loads and tarping. Additionally, with proper rest and concentration, drivers can be more alert and aware of load and road conditions. As a driver, it’s of critical importance to work with a company that values trucking safety best practices, provides you with the proper tools, training, and resources you need to do your job safely and efficiently, AND also believes in the importance of you being well-rested and alert.
Myth #2: It Doesn’t Pay Well
Truth: In actual fact, flatbed trucking companies consistently pay drivers more per mile when compared to many other types of trucking. The reason for this is that the challenging nature of the work allows flatbed carriers to charge more for their services. In the span of a year, the extra pay for additional work, such as tarping, can add up to a significant income difference compared to dry van and temperature-controlled driving positions.
Myth #3: Time Spent Loading, Unloading, And Triple Checking Loads Cuts Into Pay
Truth: Flatbed trailers are typically loaded and unloaded fewer times in any given period compared to dry vans. And, on top of that, the loading and unloading process is usually faster. Most of the time, drivers don’t have to back into a dock since trailers are most often unloaded from the side. Additionally, some carriers pay their drivers for the time they are detained at shippers or receivers.
Myth #4: It’s Too Tough For Women
Truth: Yes, we get it: Flatbed trucking is a physically demanding job that doesn’t necessarily appeal to all drivers -- regardless of gender. And, as with other types of trucking, women are moving into the driver’s seat at a faster and faster rate every year. Women can -- and do -- haul flatbeds and many have done it on their own for years.
Myth #5: Securing Loads Is Difficult
Truth: When you’re a flatbed driver, properly securing loads is one of your primary responsibilities -- and it’s a heavy one. If you don’t do it right, you put yourself and others on the road at risk. However, if you are trained properly and you follow the appropriate protocol and use the tools and equipment provided, you can be extremely successful. And, over time, load securing will become very routine for you.
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and trends from the team at Thunder Funding!