What is a Flatbed Truck? Dimensions, Weight, & Hauling Capacity

There are so many different makes and models of vehicles on the market. Trucks, in particular, involve many facets in each model and make. It’s important to understand what makes them different.

A Flatbed truck is a truck that has a trailer without walls. They also are built to haul heavy and large pieces of cargo. Flatbed trucks that do not require a CDL license come with trailers that are 24-26 feet long and have a max hauling capacity of 10,000 pounds. These trucks can be rented.

This covers what a standard make and model of a flatbed truck is and what the standard dimensions are. There are other factors of Flatbed trucks that are worth delving into. Some of these facets include the range of flatbed trucks’ dimensions, the types of cargo these trucks typically haul, why some models require a CDL and others don’t, and how much it costs to buy and rent a flatbed truck.

Flat Bed Rental Truck

What is the Range of Flatbed Truck Dimensions?

Flatbed trucks can come in various dimensions due to the make, model, and skill level required to drive them. Some trucks are smaller, with a bed that is 24-26 feet long. Others come with a much longer bed that is around 48 feet long or 53 feet long. They are all usually around 8.6 feet wide. The weight capacity is usually anywhere from 10,000 to 48,000 pounds. The highest total weight that a truck can be, counting the haul, is under 80,000 pounds. Anything wider than 8.6 feet wide or over 80,000 pounds requires the driver to have a permit.

What Types of Cargo do Flatbed Trucks Haul?

One of the best qualities of having and using a flatbed truck is the wide variety of cargo that can be loaded. The lack of walls and ceiling on the trailer make it much easier to load unusually sized, oversized, or more delicate objects that need to be more securely carried across long distances. These types of truck beds are the best for these kinds of loads because they make it easier to load securely.

A classic example of this is lumber or logs. Logs do not store well in a traditional trailer, due to the fact that the shape doesn’t stack easily, and the logs can shift around really quickly and cause damage to the walls. It is also much harder to load lumber into a walled trailer, as they have to be put in through the opening. Flatbed trailers are preferred for lumber because flatbed trailers can be loaded in many more ways, like a crane placing the logs onto the truck bed. They also can be better secured with rope and additional straps to reduce movement and keep the weight centered.

There are many other options for cargo that people can move with a flatbed trailer easier than a normal truck bed. Some other ideas include building materials, bulk amounts of farming materials, scrap materials, other machinery, and other large amounts of oddly shaped objects. It would be unlikely that people would load boxes, furniture, or objects that react negatively to weather or wind.

Flatbed Trucks

Why do Some Models Require a CDL and Others Do Not?

Something important to note is that some flatbed trucks require additional licenses to operate safely and legally. The main additional license that people might need to drive a flatbed truck is a CDL or a Commercial Driver’s License. This license shows that a person has been taught and trained to drive longer and heavier vehicles than the average vehicle. It is required for many professions, including truckers, bus drivers, and others.

The beginning classification is called CDL-A. A CDL-A is needed to drive vehicles that are over 10,000 pounds and have a load that makes the entire weight over 26,000 pounds. People need certification to drive these kinds of vehicles because they often have additional systems the driver needs to know how to use, and these types of vehicles tend to drive differently than other vehicles.

For people looking to buy a flatbed truck that is going to be handling several thousand pounds, it is a smart investment to get a CDL license. This can be a nice backup, just in case a load a person takes ends up being heavier or bulkier than anticipated. It can help prevent people from accidentally breaking the law. It also allows people to create an additional income opportunity.

The process of getting a CDL is a step-by-step process. The first step is to make sure that the applicant meets the qualifications for a CDL. Most states require people to be 21 years old to get a CDL, but some states do allow 18-20-year-olds to get a CDL with some restrictions attached.

After that, it is important to make sure to enroll in an approved driving skill program to gain the necessary skills and knowledge. Then, a person must pass a series of exams. Often, they will give a person a permit. However, if a person returns in 14 days, they can usually take the road skills test and receive their license.

How Much Flatbed Trucks Cost to Rent and Buy

Flat Bed Rental Truck

With all of this in mind, it makes sense to invest in a flatbed truck. However, there are many different options to suit the needs of the people. The main two options are renting and owning. Other options are available for people who need a flatbed truck infrequently. Some of these include borrowing a truck or asking a friend for help when needed.


The average cost to rent a flatbed truck is around 200 dollars a day. Some places will only charge 40-150 dollars if the renter is only going to drive a few miles or only use the vehicle for a short period of time.

Related Article: How Much Does Flatbed Rental Truck Cost?


Flatbed trucks are significantly more expensive than other vehicles, even used. The cost of a new flatbed truck can range from 40,000 to 80,000 dollars, depending on the size and the modifications of the vehicle. Used flatbed trucks can be much cheaper and be around 10,000 to 20,000 dollars. It just depends on the seller.

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