Low-bed (Lowboy) or a standard flatbed? How to choose?

March 23, 2014

A low-bed (lowboy, low loader, semi-trailer or double-drop) trailer refers to a type of flatbed trailer that has a well or middle section that is of lower height.

 

Flatbed Trailers

One of the features that differentiates flatbed trailers from one another is the trailer bed height. Unlike a standard flatbed, whose height is uniform throughout at 60 to 62 inches, a lowboy has two higher sections along with a lower middle area.

 

Taller Shipments

The middle section of a lowboy may only be 22 to 24 inches in height. This type of trailer can carry shipments as tall as 12 feet (3.66 m) and is more suitable for heavy, over-sized loads. Using a standard flatbed for taller loads may require special permits, resulting in delays and requiring additional safety precautions. Lowboys are used to haul heavy equipment such as bulldozers, industrial equipment etc.

 

Disadvantages

Lowboys are a less common type of trailer and cost more to use. For smaller, lighter loads, a standard flatbed is more cost-effective. But lowboys make more sense for larger cargo. Loads can be driven directly onto a lowboy.

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