In the great wide world of trucking, there are all sorts of different jobs commercial drivers can take advantage of. Once you get your CDL you’ll always be able to find the solid paying jobs you need. Still, sometimes drivers want to expand their skill sets and take on other types of driving jobs. If this sounds like you, the next question is probably, which trucking jobs are paying the best right now!? Throughout the industry, lots of drivers are switching to flatbed trucking as a means of earning extra cash for the foreseeable future. With the onset of COVID-19 in the United States, we’ve seen demand for flatbed trucking jobs increase. Let’s dive in:
Switching to Flatbed Trucking
If you are considering switching to flatbed trucking, there are some important things you should think about. First, we already touched on the fact that job demand is high in this field. With that, pay is usually competitive as well. However, with that pay comes a certain level of responsibility and skillset that is unique. Below we’ll explain the skills needed for flatbed trucking and some of the technology that could improve the workload for this profession.
Skills Needed for Flatbed Trucking
While there are many financial indicators suggesting switching to flatbed trucking is a wise move, it’s all about having the right skills. Drivers comfortable with dry van, reefer, and other types of hauling that have fewer physical requirements need to increase their knowledge to land flatbed jobs. In most cases, flatbed trucking requires specialized tarping skills to secure loads safely and efficiently. Similarly, drivers entering into the world of flatbed trucking must have skills hauling oversized freight. While wide loads may not constitute too many loads, having the ability to take these jobs will certainly increase your net income!
Another critical aspect of switching to flatbed trucking is the amount of physical labor involved with each haul. Compared to working a dry van job, flatbed drivers must complete all of the same tasks in addition to load securement. This also means keeping the entire load dry through the use of tarps and chains. In that way, these jobs demand more physical strength and knowledge on how to properly secure loads to these types of trailers.
Once a load is completely secured, flatbedders also need to consider how loads shift throughout a haul, especially during bad weather conditions. One of the worst mistakes rookies switching to flatbed trucking make is having their tarps fly up like parachutes in the wind! Because you’ll be hauling a wide range of different loads, it’s up to you to learn how best to shield the freight from the elements during your route. This also means you’ll need to dress for the weather you’ll encounter each haul. Flatbedding can require you to get out of your truck to check on a load during your time driving. Always be sure to pull off in a designated and safe area!
Technology Improvements and Lag
Like most of trucking, technology constantly shapes the future of flatbed driving jobs. Some of what experts expect to see include things like roll top or curtain van type configurations for increased safety. These can also serve to reduce the time it takes to tarp a load. Additionally improvements in aerodynamics look to eliminate bad fuel mileage. This would make it more cost efficient to haul flatbed loads. Still, due to the fact that some things just don’t fit in traditional trailers, flatbedding is only going to remain a great type of trucking job you can take advantage of today!
Are you a flatbed trucker? What are some of the main challenges? Let us know in the comments below!