What Type Of Freight Goes On What Type Of Truck?

A question that has been asked a couple of times recently is what loads go on what type of equipment? When we talk equipment, think flatbed, dry van, and refrigerated. As someone new to the industry this question holds some weight, so this article is going to answer that question.

Something every new freight broker must do, when I say freight broker I’m also referring to freight broker agents, is obtain their own shippers. This “obtaining” begins with prospecting. What is a prospect? Any business that requires a truck to ship their product. Simple, right? Actually, yes. It’s the first thing you learn in training.

As you grow and gain knowledge you will begin to focus your prospecting to specific types of equipment, and this seems to be where the confusion begins. What type of freight goes on what type of truck? If you want to prospect for specific types of equipment, you need to know what they would carry.

Knowing what type of freight goes on what trailer may seem daunting, but is rather simple when we consider the purpose of each trailer.

Flatbed – Open to the elements. Used for shipping freight that cannot be shipped on a dry van or reefer. Often the determination is made due to the way the trailer must be loaded or unloaded. Flatbeds are normally loaded from the side or top. Flatbeds often deliver freight to construction sites where a crane is used to unload the trailer.

Typical flatbed freight would be construction materials such as lumber, roofing, and steel. Other items that often ship on a flatbed can be sheet rock, flooring, lawn and garden equipment, crated goods, containers, machinery, rail road items, and pipes.

Dry Van – Freight shipped on dry vans typically needs to be kept dry in an enclosed trailer during transport. Dry vans are normally loaded/unloaded at a loading dock by forklift or other equipment that can lift and move a pallet of freight.

Loads that are often shipped using a dry van would be paper, electronics, appliances, toys, clothing, or anything that needs to be kept out of the elements.

Refrigerated – Like a dry van, except these trailers have a refrigeration unit to maintain a constant temperature. A with a dry van, these normally load/unload at a loading dock. Food that can spoil is the first thing one would think of that would be transported on a refrigerated trailer.

Other loads that could ship on a refrigerated trailer would be flowers, candy, and pharmaceuticals or any other type of perishable freight.

As stated above, the more experience and knowledge you acquire will lead you to focus on loads that require a specific type of equipment. This happens because you will learn what types of equipment command the highest transportation rates. The higher the rate often means the more money you will put in your pocket. Before you finish training, you will have a thorough understanding of rates for each type of equipment.

If your plans are to work in the transportation industry as a freight broker or freight broker agent, you should begin today paying attention to the different types of freight and the type equipment used to transport.

Start local by noticing what types of equipment are being used by the companies that have loading docks. Notice the type equipment being loaded and consider what that company manufactures. It’s a pretty good bet that other companies around the country, that manufacture the same or similar product, will use the same type of equipment.

In addition, when you’re out and about, take notice of the flatbeds and what is loaded on their equipment. Although these loads may be covered with tarps, many will not and you will be able to take note for the future.

One last recommendation, if this is an area of concern for you, use your favorite search tool (Google, Bing, Yahoo…)  to determine what type of freight goes on what types of equipment. The more knowledge you have the better off you’ll be when you start brokering freight.

Thanks and talk soon…