A flatbed trailer, also known as a ‘flat’ trailer or ‘flat platform’ trailer, offers versatility in terms of what it can carry, largely due to the fact that it has no walls or roof. In fact, as it is available as a range of derivatives, it is the most flexible of the trailer types in terms of handling a wide and diverse range of payloads. Flatbeds can carry anything from containers to logs to specialist heavy machinery and other equipment.
Flatbeds can be offered with ‘drop-sides’, supplied with an integral coil well (to carry steel rolls, for example) or even a centre-mounted crane for handling ‘heavy side’ building and construction materials, such as bricks and blocks.
They can also be extendable (also known as ‘trombones’) in order to accommodate indivisible loads, such as beams, bridge spans, steel girders and other oversized items.
In addition to ‘straight-frame’ types, there are ‘step-frame’ types which are often used to carry light plant and equipment. Step-frames enable the transport of higher loads and their lower bed also reduces the trailer’s centre of gravity, increasing its stability.
Flatbed trailers are manufactured in the UK and Ireland by SDC, Dennison and Montracon.
Flatbed specifications can vary according to a customer's needs but a typical one has:-
- 3 axles
- 13.6 metre in length
- Drum brakes
- Straight or step frame options
- ENXL headboard options
- Posts and sockets options
- Twistlock options
Can containers be carried on flatbed trailers?
Yes, provided that the specification of the flatbed trailer is designed to carry containers, they can do so. The specification will include twistlocks, which are used to secure the containers being carried. Platform Skeletal Trailers (PSK) is the name given to a conventional flatbed trailer that has been fitted with twistlocks in order to accommodate containers in their various sizes.
What is an ENXL headboard?
A flatbed trailer can have an EN 12642 XL rated headboard which confirms, via independent (from the trailer manufacturer) assessment, that it is of structural strength that is suitable for heavy duty applications.