Marcus from Wyoming, MI recently sent us an email to inquire about employment as a flatbed truck driver at Modular Transportation. He was attracted to the fully-paid health insurance premiums and company culture that makes Modular a great company to work for. Being relatively new to the trucking industry, he had some questions about what to expect when transitioning from a driving dry-box trailer to flatbed trucking.
What are the main differences between Flatbed and Dry Box trucking?
Those who haul freight as a profession know that there is a wide variety of trailers. To help you decide between a driving a dry van and a flatbed truck, we will discuss the factors you should consider when looking for a job as a CDL truck driver.
The Benefits Of Dry Box Trucking
You will often have access to reliable freight if you are a dry box driver. When it comes to dry box trucking, there is almost never a slow season when the freight market drops or freight availability drops.
Compared to flatbed trucking, the amount of securement required in dry box trucking is much lower. You might have to fasten down some padding or a cargo load bar, but often not more than that is required. If you spend less time securing your loads, you’ll have more time to move on to the next job.
Challenges of Dry Box Trucking
Absence of Advancement Opportunities
Dry box driving could be a good fit if you prefer a routine job where you know what you’ll do daily. You’ll often be responsible for towing the same trailer and transporting the same types of goods. While flatbed truck drivers can progress their careers by taking on heavier loads, dry box drivers have no such option.
What are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Flatbed Trucking?
Advantages Of Flatbed Trucking
Flatbed drivers can choose to haul anything from conventional trailers to those with ramps, removable goosenecks, and even multiple axles. There is a significant earning potential increase as you increase your freight size.
The trucking industry is always looking for drivers, and with the increasing demand for flatbed shipping, there are many job opportunities available for the right candidate.
Varied Cargo Types
A day in the life of a flatbed driver could involve towing one type of trailer, while the next could involve towing something entirely different. Not only will the cargo you transport vary, but so will the trailers you tow. Some flatbed drivers find this to be an exciting challenge they can take on daily.
Flatbed Trucking Challenges
Securement of Cargo
A flatbed driver must know how to secure cargo properly. You’ll need to use chains and straps to secure your loads to meet DOT requirements. You should also check your securement regularly as you make your way to your final destination.
Transporting oversized loads requires specialized hauling and maneuvering abilities.
Each driver is personally accountable for verifying that the freight is secured properly. Transporting oversize loads is difficult and dangerous in bad weather. Inadequately secured cargo poses a significant risk to the driver and other motorists.
Slow Winter Seasons
Historically, winter can be a slow time for the freight market. Certain industries, such as agriculture, experience a seasonal lag during the winter months. Also, in some parts of the country, heavy loads cannot be towed during the winter due to frost laws.
How To Decide Between Dry Box and Flatbed Trucking?
Your long-term goals should factor into your decision between flatbed and dry box trucking. Those who have experience driving flatbeds can progress to driving specialized freight, over-dimensional freight, or heavy haul.
We at Modular Transportation know that not every driver has the same needs. Financial returns are a priority for most; this is why we provide opportunities for career advancement as a flatbed truck driver.
Contact us with any questions regarding our programs using our easy contact form and our recruiter Nicole will contact you!