Flatbed trucking is a unique career unlike anything else in the transportation and freight industries.
A successful flatbed truck driver needs some unique skills, but more importantly, a few key personality traits. Flatbed work involves additional responsibilities compared to other types of trucking, but beyond the day-to-day actions, it takes a certain kind of person to truly thrive.
Whether people are just getting into the industry or have been driving flatbed for years, these are the most important traits in a flatbed trucker.
All good work requires initiative, but for a flatbed driver, it’s essential. Nearly every aspect of the job relies on an individual’s ability to make informed decisions, act with confident care, and tackle the work head on.
Flatbed truckers are responsible for securing the freight they transport, which means taking the reins at each load up to work alongside forklift drivers, crane operators and other staff to make sure everything is done safely – and to the trucker’s satisfaction. On the road, flatbed drivers need to manage their own time, drive conscientiously, and communicate with dispatch about any snags along the way.
These drivers aren’t micromanaged, and are largely on their own for most of the day. Being a self-starter, with internal motivation to do things right without constant supervision, is an absolute must for a flatbed trucker.
Pride in Work
Flatbed trucks leave freight of all kinds out in the open for everyone to see. This is the driver’s handiwork in action! Whether it’s stacks of lumber, tightly tarped rolls of steel cable, or a massive piece of machinery, anyone on the road (including other truckers) can see how secure the load is, not to mention how professional and tidy it looks.
When drivers are proud of how they’ve loaded and secured their flatbed – and how others may see it – they put care and attention into each and every job, leading to more consistency and fewer incidents of cargo damage related to weather or improper loading.
This pride also carries into miles traveled. When a driver’s reputation matters to them, they drive carefully and respectfully, in a way that reflects positively on themselves and the companies they provide service to. Like initiative, taking pride in the work translates to directly a personal touch and a job well done.
Sense of Adventure
Flatbed is always changing. Different cargo requires different strategies for loading, securing, and protecting. Road construction, varying load sites, and difficult driving conditions can alter plans in an instant. Perhaps most of all, the weather is unpredictable!
Flatbed drivers are frequently out in the elements during the loading process, and if tarps, chains, or straps need adjusting during transport. For many flatbed drivers, this aspect of not being stuck in the cab all day is a favorite part of the job, but it definitely requires a sense of adventure!
Any given day can be different, but every day will include thinking on the fly, the open road, and contending with the elements. An adventurous nature and loving a good challenge will help any flatbed trucker thrive.
Put Your Skills to Use with Modular!
While accomplished flatbed truckers come from diverse backgrounds and cover a wide range of ages, these important traits help bind them together into a proud community of shared experience and values. Flatbed trucking is uniquely challenging – and equally rewarding.
If this exciting career sounds right for you, let’s chat! You can browse our flatbed driver job listings, then apply online and a recruiter will be in touch!