Ship with Nova Lines: Most Common Types of Flatbed Loads

With more than a decade of experience in flatbed transportation, Nova Lines has successfully transported a wide range of flatbed commodities. Throughout the year, our open-deck trailers prove to be optimal for transporting diverse flatbed loads, including steel, lumber, industrial equipment and more. In this article, we offer insight into the most common types of freight we regularly transport for our customers.

Advantages of Flatbed Shipping

 Loading Options

  • Flatbed trailers offer an open design, allowing for easy loading and unloading of larger or bulkier items.
  • Cargo can be positioned and secured from various angles, providing flexibility in transportation.

Transporting Oversized Loads

  • Flatbed trailers are ideal for transporting items that exceed the dimensions of standard van trailers.
  • They accommodate oversized or wide loads, making them the preferred choice for shippers dealing with such cargo.

 Handling Heavy Equipment

  • With the assistance of ramps, flatbed and step-deck trailers can easily handle vehicles and heavy machinery.
  • This feature simplifies the transportation of heavy equipment, eliminating the need for complex loading procedures.

Accessibility and Convenience

  • The open design of flatbed trailers simplifies access to cargo, making it easier for loaders and unloaders to work efficiently.
  • Items can be loaded or unloaded from multiple sides, improving efficiency during transportation operations.

Cost-Effectiveness for Specialized Cargo

  • Flatbed shipping can be more cost-effective for transporting specialized cargo that requires unique handling methods.
  • Compared to enclosed trailers, flatbed trailers may offer more economical solutions for certain types of shipments.

Compliance with Regulations

  • For oversized loads that require special permits for transportation, flatbed trailers provide the necessary capacity and flexibility to comply with regulatory requirements.
  • Shippers can transport oversized cargo safely and legally using flatbed trailers, avoiding potential fines or delays associated with non-compliance.

 Safety Measures

  • Proper securing of cargo on flatbed trailers reduces the risk of shifting or damage during transit.
  • Shippers can implement safety protocols more effectively due to the visible and accessible nature of cargo on flatbed trailers.

Flatbed shipping offers numerous advantages, including versatile loading options, suitability for oversized loads, ease of handling heavy equipment, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, compliance with regulations, and enhanced safety measures. These benefits make flatbed trailers the preferred choice for transporting larger or bulkier items that exceed the dimensions of standard van trailers.

Common Types of Flatbed Loads

Building & Construction Materials

Flatbed trailers remain the primary mode of transportation for delivering building and construction materials to various destinations such as job sites, warehouses, and home improvement stores.

Various construction materials including lumber, steel, brick, siding, piping, and prefabricated structures are routinely transported on flatbed trailers for long-distance journeys. Loading such freight onto trailers is safely executed using equipment such as forklifts, cranes, and overhead hoists.


The transportation of pipes, integral to industries like oil and gas, relies heavily on flatbed trailers. These trailers provide the necessary support and stability to transport pipelines of varying sizes and lengths, ensuring their safe delivery to construction sites, refineries, and distribution centers.


 Steel and metal hauling represents another prominent sector within the flatbed freight industry. Whether it’s coils, wire, beams, or other metal products, flatbed trailers offer the structural integrity needed to transport heavy loads securely. This segment serves the construction, manufacturing, and industrial sectors, contributing to various infrastructure projects and manufacturing processes.

Landscaping Materials

Landscaping materials, though not as extensive as those needed for homebuilding, often necessitate transportation on flatbed trailers. Depending on the scale project, a full-size flatbed trailer might be necessary. Typically measuring between 48 to 53 feet in length and 8 feet, 6 inches in width, standard flatbed trailers provide enough space for various landscaping materials.

With a maximum height allowance of 8 feet, 6 inches, these trailers accommodate the stacking of sod, stone, shrubs, and saplings. Moreover, for larger commercial landscaping projects, flatbed hauling proves advantageous for transporting prefabricated concrete panels or sizable blocks utilized in constructing retaining walls.

Specialized Cargo


Oversized tires for heavy vehicles require special transportation due to their weight and dimensions. Flatbed trailers provide an ideal solution for transporting these bulky tires efficiently, ensuring they reach their destinations intact and ready for use in commercial trucks, agricultural equipment, and construction machinery.

Construction Machinery

 The transportation of heavy construction equipment, including excavators, bulldozers, and cranes, necessitates specialized flatbed trailers equipped to handle the weight and dimensions of these machines. Flatbed carriers offer tailored solutions for loading, securing, and transporting construction machinery to construction sites, infrastructure projects, and industrial facilities.

Heavy Vehicles

From military tanks to antique aircraft, the transportation of heavy vehicles requires specialized flatbed trailers capable of supporting the weight and dimensions of these oversized loads. Military logistics, museum exhibitions, and historical preservation efforts rely on flatbed carriers to safely transport heavy vehicles to their designated locations.

Scrap Metal & Recyclables

Flatbed trailers serve a broader purpose beyond just homebuilding, landscaping and construction. They are particularly well-suited for transporting unconventional cargo such as scrap metal, tires, and recyclable materials. Scrap metal, including aluminum, iron, and copper, is always in demand for recycling, with flatbeds often used to haul it to recycling facilities.

Oil and Gas Equipment Transport

Flatbed shipments don’t always consist of neatly stacked pallets or bundles of lumber spanning the trailer’s length. At times, flatbed trailers transport one or two substantial pieces of assembled equipment. The energy sector, in particular, frequently requires the transportation of oil drilling, refining, and pipeline equipment across extensive distances.

Other Types of Flatbed Loads

  • Lumber
  • Structural steel
  • Rebar
  • Plastics (tubing, PVC pipes, etc.)
  • Ceramics
  • Concrete/aggregates
  • Bricks
  • Cinder blocks
  • Wire ropes and cables
  • Roofing tiles/shingles
  • Building envelopes/house wrap
  • Marble, granite, limestone, etc.
  • Metal joists, frames, trusses, piping
  • Wood studs, joists, rafters
  • Small bulldozers
  • Small excavators
  • Small cranes
  • Shipping containers
  • Auto parts
  • Crane parts
  • Machine parts (shovels, ladders, tires, etc.)
  • Small tractors
  • Small generators
  • Fabricated steel and metal products (tubing, handrails, tanks)
  • HVAC systems
  • Engines


As you consider your next flatbed shipment, trust Nova Lines to provide tailored solutions that meet your unique needs. Whether it’s building materials, construction machinery, or specialized cargo like oversized tires or other industrial equipment, we have the expertise and resources to ensure your freight reaches its destination safely and on time. SHIP WITH NOVA LINES!