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Flatbed FAQs

Direct answers to commonly asked questions about becoming a Flatbed owner operator.

What is the difference between Flatbed and Stepdeck?

A flatbed is only one deck that is approximately 48’ but can go up to 53’. Step decks (or Drop Deck) is risen towards the front of the trailer and is about 8-11’ long and 37-42’ long on the bottom.

How much can a Local Flatbed haul?

A local flatbed truck less-than-truck-load can haul up to 20,000 pounds.

What are the standard Flatbed dimensions?

Flatbed
Deck Length: 45’ – 53’
Deck Height: 58” – 60”
Average Legal Acceptable Weight: 45K – 48K
Average Legal Acceptable Dimensions: Length 45’ – 53’ – Width 8’ 6” – Height 8’6”

3 Axle Flatbed (FLT3)
Deck Length: 45’ – 53’
Deck Height: 58” – 60”
Average Legal Acceptable Weight: 43K – 45K
Average Legal Acceptable Dimensions: Length 45’ – 53’ – Width 8’6” – Height 8’6”

Extendable Flatbed (FLTE)
Deck Length: 45’ – 115’
Deck Height: 58” – 60”
Average Legal Acceptable Weight: 40K – 42K
Average Legal Acceptable Dimensions: Length 45’ – 115’ – Width 8’6” – Height: up to 8’6”

3 Axle Extendable Flatbed (FL3E)
Deck Length: 46’- 94’
Deck Height: 58”- 60”
Average Legal Acceptable Weight: 38K – 40K
Average Legal Acceptable Dimensions: Length 45’ – 94’ – Width 8’6” – Height: up to 8’6”

Do I need my own truck to work for Landstar?

When leasing with Landstar as an owner-operator, you are required to have your own truck. However, at the time of the application process, if you do not have a truck, you have up to 30 days to obtain one.

Is Landstar responsible for a trailer? Landstar offers insurance, upkeep, and maintenance for all trailers. However, if you are an owner-operator that chooses to lease a company flatbed or step-deck, you will be charged a weekly trailer rental fee.

Landstar offers insurance, upkeep, and maintenance for all trailers. However, if you are an owner-operator that chooses to lease a company flatbed or step-deck, you will be charged a weekly trailer rental fee.

What are trailer rental fees?

The flatbed trailer rental fee is $170 weekly.

What is the age requirement on truck and trailer?

Landstar does not put a restriction on a truck or trailers age. However, any truck or trailer must pass a Landstar Certified Level I DOT Inspection. The tractor must have a working Electronic Logging Device (ELD). Owner-operators residing in California must be CARB compliant.

What are some common types of flatbed trailers?

Common flatbed trailers include:

  • Double Drops
  • Legal Flatbeds
  • RGNs
  • Step Decks
Are tarps required for all flatbed shipments?

With Landstar, not all loads are tarp required. However, if you must tarp a load, owner-operators receive 100% of the tarp fees.

Do you need additional accessories when shipping via flatbed?

Typically, tarps, chains or corner protectors may be needed when shipping flatbed cargo. Having these accessories on hand can help ensure that your shipment arrives at the destination safely and undamaged.

What are flatbed tarps?

Flatbed tarps are made for commercial semi-truck flatbed trailers, step deck trailers and hot shot trailers to protect cargo.

What if I don’t have flatbed experience?

If you are looking to switch to flatbed shipping, Landstar offers a two-day securement training class for all Landstar owner-operators. This securement course is free of charge to all Landstar owner-operators along with food and lodging while attending the class.

Once you have completed your securement course and have hauled freight safely for a short period, you can then begin hauling a 10-foot-wide, over-dimensional load.

Am I required to be Hazmat certified?

All Landstar owner-operators are required to be hazmat certified.

Does Landstar required ELDs?

Yes, Landstar requires every truck and trailer to be ELD compliant. However, if your ELD is in proper working order, Landstar does not require a specific make, model, color, or year. Landstar loans ELDs to all new owner-operators as well as pays for the installation of the device.

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