Flatbed any help on loading flatbeds ( axle weights )

bellator

New Member
i'm getting out of general freight and will be buying a flatbed trailer with spread axles and i'm not familiar with how to load it so the weights work on the rear spreads. can ya help a newbie out ???????

thank you
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
i'm getting out of general freight and will be buying a flatbed trailer with spread axles and i'm not familiar with how to load it so the weights work on the rear spreads. can ya help a newbie out ???????

thank you
you are allowed 40,000 on a split,or 24,000 per axle(I think that is in just some of the states, I don't know anymore) How you load it is all on you and what type of trailer you have(what it is made of). All steal? Doesn't really matter how you load it, your gonna be to busy replacing tires to care anyway. All aluminum depends on you, they all have a big bow in the frame so if you belly load, you're gonna bounce but if you split the load it puts a lot of torque on the aluminum frame. Aluminum/steel combo (which I have) is ok, If I load a single coil, I usually load it from 1 to 4 feet back of center, depending on the weight. If it something else, I have my own preferred choice on that stuff to. You'll come up with you're own way on your own in no time. As far as chaining, I chain it till I think it is safe, then I will put one more on it.
 

notarps4me

Shy and Quiet.
i'm getting out of general freight and will be buying a flatbed trailer with spread axles and i'm not familiar with how to load it so the weights work on the rear spreads. can ya help a newbie out ???????

thank you
I prefer to center load. Your state pockets are 2 foot apart. Count your pockets and know where your center is. Say you are getting 4 bundles of steel 20 foot long. Knowing where my center is by state pockets. I count 20 foot from the middle forward and rear. Then I know where to put my dunnage at. If you split your weight you have even amount of weight on each spread.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
here's some advice:

Sitting in line at steel mills sucks and never made a lick of sense to me. Nobody MAKES steel anymore, they just seem to move it from plant to plant. Don't get it.

Either way, the people are still usually better to deal with than van warehouse douchebags who act like you did something wrong by just showing up on time.
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
I prefer to center load. Your state pockets are 2 foot apart. Count your pockets and know where your center is. Say you are getting 4 bundles of steel 20 foot long. Knowing where my center is by state pockets. I count 20 foot from the middle forward and rear. Then I know where to put my dunnage at. If you split your weight you have even amount of weight on each spread.
On most trailers, the middle turn signal is the exact center, if that doesn't help. a quick squirt of spray paint will mark the spot nicely, one dead give away that a guy is a rookie is everybody watching him count off to find the center.

here's some advice:

Sitting in line at steel mills sucks and never made a lick of sense to me. Nobody MAKES steel anymore, they just seem to move it from plant to plant. Don't get it.

Either way, the people are still usually better to deal with than van warehouse douchebags who act like you did something wrong by just showing up on time.

It isn't as bad as it used to be. U.S. Steel is still a pain and Central steel in Chicago is a waste but the majority of them got the message that those union boys need to be more productive. But you are right, the last time I picked up raw steel was up in Canada(ST. Catherines) Time before that was off a ship up in Montreal. Doesn't pay that well so it doesn't hurt my feelings. Alcoa up here still mines and processes the aluminum right in Massena.
 

Sinister

Supermodel
Staff member
Supporter
I dunno....I only started flatbedding in 05 and I remember sitting at places like Metron (now Primary) and that place in Cleveland...and sitting for hours to get loaded.

Not that the people were lazy, or not working...just that there were that many trucks!

Central Steel and Wire in Chicago was insane to get into, but in the yard there was plenty of room.

Franklin off of 290 was insane.

I dunno...I don't miss flatbedding...for all that crap I put up with in heavy haul...

Oh, one night at Metron, a lot lizard actually woke me up. When I talked to the guard about it, the only answer I got was "They don't bother you much. Just tell them no."

On the property.
 

DieselDave1

UnBanned
bellator, I don't center load unless I have to tarp which I hardly "NEVER" tarp. You will get a smoother ride with a split load, meaning load half in front and half in back (over axles). And alway's 'REMEMBER", ask the shipper or any Driver where your loading what do they recommend HOW to load. DON'T get and EGO problem(super trucker attitude), If not sure, "ALWAY'S" "ASK" !!!!!
 

Les2

Hobbie Trucker
A lot will depend on what trailer you buy.

Tire wear will also depend on how you run your equipment. Drive it like a closed tandem and they won't last. I got 270k out of a set of tires on my spread. I also rotated them twice a year.
 

Tim

U.S.Constitution
Supporter
A lot will depend on what trailer you buy.

Tire wear will also depend on how you run your equipment. Drive it like a closed tandem and they won't last. I got 270k out of a set of tires on my spread. I also rotated them twice a year.
But when your grossing 120000 pounds you take a half mile to make a turn!:bicycle:
 

terrylamar

Well-Known Member
I don't guess, I measured my trailer to find where the center is. I have two centers, depending on if the rear axles are opened or closed. In case you don't know, measure from the king pin to the center of the rear axles to find the center of your trailer. A field expedient method is the center turn signal, as previously mentioned. Or pace it off. You should already know the weight of all you axles. If you know the weight of what you are loading devide it by the length of what you are loading. You can do this by feet or inches if it is that critical. Now you know how much weight you are adding to each axle by placing it forwars of, on, or behind your center point. This is great for one object you are loading. Usually, you have a jumble of items. You may know the gross weight, but you will not know the center of this weight. Only, experience will guide you, or luck, or ask the loaders. Weigh your load at the nearest scale if it is close.
 

notarps4me

Shy and Quiet.
On most trailers, the middle turn signal is the exact center, if that doesn't help. a quick squirt of spray paint will mark the spot nicely, one dead give away that a guy is a rookie is everybody watching him count off to find the center.




.
I started doing this 30 years ago. To me someone with a training mark because they don't know how to count tells me they are a rookie driver. Also the direction I gave for center loading 4 bundles 20 foot long was to count forward of center 20 feet and 20 feet rear of center. Your rookie mark leaves you with one problem. Now the center has the big crayon mark on it, but now we have a problem. Where is 20 foot from the rookie mark? oops I guess we need to count. Good thing the state pockets are 2 foot apart. Unless you want to break out the tape measure.
 

terrylamar

Well-Known Member
I started doing this 30 years ago. To me someone with a training mark because they don't know how to count tells me they are a rookie driver.
Or their rub rails, pockets and spools are not uniformly spaced at two feet intervals the full length of the trailer. Although, the driver knows where the center is, the loader may not. You will have to mark it for him. So, why not mark it permantly with a paint stripe?
 

notarps4me

Shy and Quiet.
Or their rub rails, pockets and spools are not uniformly spaced at two feet intervals the full length of the trailer. Although, the driver knows where the center is, the loader may not. You will have to mark it for him. So, why not mark it permantly with a paint stripe?
Where I put my dunnage or coil racks is where I want the load. If it is pallets or lumber I tell them where I want it. I don't want it loaded without me telling them where I want it at.
 

terrylamar

Well-Known Member
Where I put my dunnage or coil racks is where I want the load. If it is pallets or lumber I tell them where I want it. I don't want it loaded without me telling them where I want it at.
Yes, I know this. Sometimes I want the load centered or slightly behind center. When I tell the loaders this, they ask where center is. If I had a paint mark, or some other visual cue, the loader wouldn't have to ask and I wouldn't have to point to it. Especially, since I have two centers. I'm thinking of painting a stripe down the center of the trailer, front to back and the other two across the width of the the trailer using two different colors.
 

Tim

U.S.Constitution
Supporter
I started doing this 30 years ago. To me someone with a training mark because they don't know how to count tells me they are a rookie driver. Also the direction I gave for center loading 4 bundles 20 foot long was to count forward of center 20 feet and 20 feet rear of center. Your rookie mark leaves you with one problem. Now the center has the big crayon mark on it, but now we have a problem. Where is 20 foot from the rookie mark? oops I guess we need to count. Good thing the state pockets are 2 foot apart. Unless you want to break out the tape measure.
I've been at this for 30 years too. And I got 3 "rookie" marks on my trailer now, 1 over the dollies 1 in the center 1 over the front axle. That way I can set my coil racks up in just seconds, no need to tax my brain any more than I have to with needless counting.:headscratch:
Besides its kinda hard to count stake pockets with a sidekit.:toothpick:
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
I started doing this 30 years ago. To me someone with a training mark because they don't know how to count tells me they are a rookie driver. Also the direction I gave for center loading 4 bundles 20 foot long was to count forward of center 20 feet and 20 feet rear of center. Your rookie mark leaves you with one problem. Now the center has the big crayon mark on it, but now we have a problem. Where is 20 foot from the rookie mark? oops I guess we need to count. Good thing the state pockets are 2 foot apart. Unless you want to break out the tape measure.
sure
 

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