Flatbed trucks carry construction materials, steel, heavy machinery, and more. They are crucial to the shipping industry and American business. Many supply chains rely on flatbed trucks to carry their raw materials and finished goods to factories and markets.
There is no denying that flatbed truckers drive big rigs, but it may be a more accessible position than you think. What makes a good flatbed truck driver? It might just be the right career for you.
What It Means To Be a Flatbed Trucker
Flatbread truckers haul oversize cargo with a 53′ long x 102″ wide trailer. They carry everything that does not need protection from the elements or cannot be carried in a closed trailer. Some flatbed trailers do have drop decks, but the common feature among all of them is that they are not enclosed.
Skills Required to Be a Flatbed Trucker
Besides satisfying regulatory requirements, like having a driving license or truck driver endorsement, flatbed trucking requires some particular skills, including:
Loading and Unloading
Flatbed truckers must understand how to load up for maximum stability. While most loads will not require driver assistance, some jobs may require a driver operating forklifts, cranes, or pulleys to load the flatbed on some occasions.
Securing loads on a trailer and ensuring that they do not shift as the trailer moves is a gained skill. Drivers have to understand the regulatory frameworks, the demands of the load, and how to put it on their own trucks for security and stability.
Advantages of Being a Flatbed Trucker
Here are the perks of being a flatbed trucker:
Some industry analysts estimate that a flatbed trucker can earn up to $13,000 more than regular truckers. Flatbed truckers are often paid more because the stakes are higher due to exposed cargo, but also because flatbed trucking is a physically and mentally demanding, skill-reliant job. The combination of these three factors means that flatbed drivers will earn more per mile to match the task at hand.
Flatbed trucking also transports some of the highest value commodities. So, employers will typically compensate the drivers more to match the risk of transporting such commodities. Besides these, flatbed truckers do not need a degree to operate. Drivers can start earning almost as soon as they meet all regulatory and experience requirements.
Physically and Mentally Satisfying
Flatbed trucking is active work. The driver is responsible for keeping the load securely covered and sometimes helping with loading and unloading. To move the heavy rig, the driver must be in the best physical condition because some aspects like tarping will require the driver to do some physical work.
Drivers who enjoy a challenge will enjoy flatbed tracking because each job presents a new set of challenges to overcome. You will require unique skills for each job, and this will keep you sharp, continuously engaged, and leave you feeling accomplished in the end.
Many truck drivers will agree that there is no better way to see the nation than from a flatbed cabin. Truck driving is a grueling job, but one upside is that you get to travel far and wide, meet new people, discover fresh adventures, and acquire new perspectives. The position will probably take you to the same place more than once, but you will also drive many other routes and explore the country.
Flatbed trucking gives you the experience of hauling odd-sized cargo, each with different skill requirements. This experience is a gateway for carrying other types of demanding cargo, i.e., hazmat loads and tanker loads, further boosting a driver’s potential income.
Want To Become a Flatbed Trucker?
There has never been a better time to be a flatbed trucker. The American Truckers Association (ATA) estimates that there will be a shortage of 175,000 trucking jobs. At the same time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees a 6% annual growth in trucking jobs for the next decade. Are you interested in flatbed trucker jobs? Check out the DM Bowman flatbed trucker jobs site, fill out the online application and become a member of the DM Bowman family.