The flatbed, or flat truck, is one of the oldest and most versatile types of truck around. Before the advent of today’s range of bodies, the flat truck was the most popular truck on the market. Today’s flat trucks are often used for carrying bulky plant and other large paletted loads.
The flat still has advantages over enclosed-bodied trucks. One of these advantages is the ease and flexibility of loading and unloading. When operating an enclosed truck, care must be taken in deciding the load order. Generally, the truck is only open to the rear, so the first pallets loaded must be the last pallets to be unloaded. Changes to the driver’s dropping order could cause some time-consuming problems as palettes are moved around, or even unloaded and reloaded, to get at loads buried deeper in the truck. The flat truck can also take loads that are oversized and do not match the dimensions of the truck. An element of overhang to the sides or rear is acceptable if properly highlighted.
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Iveco Eurocargo CARGO TECTOR 130E
2002 | Flats
2002 IVECO CARGO TECTOR 13 TON FLATBED Rigid Trucks
Renault Unknown 210
1998 | Flats
1998 RENAULT 210 4x2 FLATBED Rigid Trucks
Volvo FL 6-26
1998 | Flats
1998 VOLVO FL6-26 6x4 FLATBED Rigid Trucks
DAF LF45 45 150
1998 | Flats
1998 DAF 45 150 4x2 FLATBED with TAIL LIFT Rigid Trucks
MAN TGL 7.180
2005 | Flats | 7500kg
Fitted with a 5.5 Metre Body, 3 Seater Cab, Analogue Tacho, Cruise Control, Radio & CD Player, Sun Visor, Euro 3. On Steel suspension. The gearbox is an 6 Speed Manual. The engine is rated at 180 BHP. Please quote ref: MAPL1076
Iveco Eurocargo 140e15
2001 | Flats
choice of 4, dropside body with hiab 071 cranes, tailifts, Tipper / Flatbed / Crane Trucks
With a flatbed truck, there is far more flexibility. Loads can be added or taken off from the rear or either side, so access is far easier than with an enclosed truck. Specialist version, such as scaffold bodies are possible. Similarly, side loading and unloading can be much more convenient and quicker when working in tight spaces on site or at busy loading bays. The flexibility of the flat truck clearly depends on it being open. This, however, also contributes to its limitations. Being open means that loads are exposed to the elements. This means that there is real possibility of unsuitable loads being damaged by rain or ingress of surface water. The answer to this is to utilise ropes and sheeting to keep out the water. Clearly, however, this has an impact on the time taken to load and unload and also to uncover and recover loads on multi-drop routes. In addition, the sheeting may not be sufficient to keep out all of the water, no matter how skilled the driver.
This open nature of the flat truck also has security implications. Any load in an enclosed truck body is protected by a lock and a solid shell. This also has the effect of keeping the loads out of sight and away from prying eyes. Any potential thief must therefore break into the load area and take a chance that there is something valuable inside. A flat, on the other hand, has no such protection. Even where a load is roped and sheeted, it is unlikely to represent much of a deterrent to a potential thief. The thief also has a far greater chance of quickly ascertaining what is contained in the load. A flat may therefore have to be unloaded or locked up overnight, and that could reduce its flexibility and productivity.
Clearly, there is a trade-off to be made when deciding on a flat truck or a bodied truck. The flat is less likely to be suitable for smaller high-value items, but it could still be a good bet for larger and heavier bulk items as well as less valuable loads that are less likely to be stolen. The flat truck comes in a variety of lengths, and with no special enclosure it is a simple, cheap and easily maintained lorry.
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