How to Properly Load a Flatbed Trailer

If you don’t have an experienced trucker on hand, you’ll need a few tips for properly loading a flatbed trailer. It’s not as simple as throwing the freight on the trailer and hoping for the best. You need to ensure the safety of the load and the people around you.

The experts at Hale Trailer state that:

A good quality flatbed is a must-have for any shipping company due to its versatility and easy loading process. Flatbeds sit low to the ground and can carry loads that stand up to 8’6” high.

Know the Overall Weight of the Load

Every flatbed trailer has a total weight rating. This is the maximum total weight that the flatbed and your freight should reach. You might also see it written as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

It’s essential to know what this number is before starting to load anything onto the trailer. You will probably know the weight of the load you’ll be putting onto the flatbed. If not, you will need to weigh it using an appropriate scale.

The only missing part of the equation is the empty trailer’s weight. adding the weight of the load and flatbed will tell you if you are within the acceptable limit.

Account for Load Weight Distribution

Just as the flatbed has a weight rating, so do its different parts. Tires, wheels, and axles have ratings that determine how much each area of the trailer is capable of holding. Make sure to adhere to these ratings so that the flatbed remains stable throughout your trip.

Keeping heavier items on the flatbed floor and over the axles will give your load the lowest center of gravity possible. Furthermore, you should keep approximately 60% of the freight in the front half of your flatbed.

Determine the Tongue Weight

The tongue weight is usually recommended as being 10 to 15% of the overall weight. That’s because the tongue weight refers to the weight that the flatbed will be exerting on the hitch ball.

The hitch ball is the part that attaches to the ball mount, offering the connection from the trailer hitch to the trailer.

Secure the Load Appropriately

When you’ve loaded and distributed the weight, the only thing left is to secure the freight in place. Straps and chains are helpful for this task. The items need to be restrained so they don’t fall over and secured so that they don’t shift the balance of the load.

The chains and straps you use need to be without wear and tear that could cause them to snap. Furthermore, you need to make stops throughout a long trip to make sure the weight remains secure. The law requires you to stop every three hours to perform a check.

Using a Flatbed Trailer

Flatbed trailer rentals are a convenient way to move your freight. Finding a reliable provider that rents high-quality trailers is vital for the safe and economical transfer of your goods.