Van v/s Flatbed

Maple

New Member
I am currently attending Truck Driver school in Cincinnati Ohio and I get to speak with a lot of recruiters. Most are promoting Flatbed to make more money. Is this true or is it bait and switch? Pays more but you get fewer loads due to tarping and averaging out the same as a dry van with no touch. Or is it as they describe and you can make as much as 10K more a year just doing Flatbed.
 

TJGoSurf

Well-Known Member
10K? HA! Flatbed pays just the same, only its more work. Some people do it and love it, others like myself didn't understand the point.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
With flatbed, you get "tarp pay". Outside of that, the money is basically the same. For me, the "tarp pay" isn't worth it.
 

jrwork69

Active Member
Agree, tarp pay is not worth the time. But most flat bedders are not fat asses, like drop and hook. My advise is get some experience then look for local fuel work, hazmat pays better and you sleep with who you sleep with
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
I think flatbedders are a better class of people in general(sorry for offending anybody) but most flatbedders I know are more willing to help others, are a lot friendlier and can out lie any other type of driver in the industry
 

greybeard

Well-Known Member
With flatbed, you get "tarp pay". Outside of that, the money is basically the same. For me, the "tarp pay" isn't worth it.
And, you will usually have to demand it on each and every load, because they wont give it to you automatically.
 

greybeard

Well-Known Member
I think flatbedders are a better class of people in general(sorry for offending anybody) but most flatbedders I know are more willing to help others, are a lot friendlier and can out lie any other type of driver in the industry
Agreed!
I drove a skateboard for years, and flatbed drivers help each other exactly because its more difficult, and physically demanding than driving Van. Whereas a typical Van driver is a fat and angry person, who would drive right on by you if you broke down. ( A lot of them anyway )
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
I love it when a broker says it is $50 tarp pay and you find out, the broker got paid $100 for the additional tarp pay, apparently they deserve that $50 for being in a position to screw the driver out of the money
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
Agreed!
I drove a skateboard for years, and flatbed drivers help each other exactly because its more difficult, and physically demanding than driving Van. Whereas a typical Van driver is a fat and angry person, who would drive right on by you if you broke down. ( A lot of them anyway )
For example, I was out in East Chicago when a driver got hurt, the other drivers actually chained, tarped his load and secured his his truck for him.
At a grocery wharehouse, a driver could lay dieing in the middle of the lot and the other drivers would just drive around him
 

patriciajnsn

Steering Wheel Holder
Let me guess,you're a flatbedder,LOL.
I think flatbedders are a better class of people in general(sorry for offending anybody) but most flatbedders I know are more willing to help others, are a lot friendlier and can out lie any other type of driver in the industry
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
Was, went into vans for a while then did the entertainment circuit( I loved that to), thinking about getting a drop deck this spring, to old to be falling off the wagon now, the ground seems to hurt more nowadays, must be global warming
 

patriciajnsn

Steering Wheel Holder
There ya go alot easier to tarp.I did the flatbedding thing for a short while and hated it.I could never tarp the load the correct way.I always had help so I figured it's time to try van.
Was, went into vans for a while then did the entertainment circuit( I loved that to), thinking about getting a drop deck this spring, to old to be falling off the wagon now, the ground seems to hurt more nowadays, must be global warming
 

outerspacehillbilly

Well-Known Member
This is just my oipinion and my experience but flatbedders are a different breed then the rest of the bunch. It's more work usually than any other type of trucking. Most flatters will help other flatters out if they need it. Also most are straight to the point and will call your BS exactly that. Any driver can grab a van trailer and go with it but not so with a flat without the proper training.

Now all that being said I have been pulling a reefer and van for the last few years but I'm gonna be going back to a stepdeck in a couple months pulling machinery when I move.
 

greybeard

Well-Known Member
If safety (including yours) is a concern, then someone should mention a few things...bungees snapping, and falling off the trailer has been mentioned. But the single most dangerous aspect when I was pulling a flat was those damned V-boards! They are most dangerous on a load that requires tarping as well. And on what I used to call a Pyramid load. That's where you have it on the trailer with it 2 skids wide on the bottom, and one skid centered on top. From the back it looks like your hauling a pyramid. Dont remember how many times a V-board came skittering down the tarp to clip me in the nogin while I was trying to tighten the straps over it.
My advise is to go van, but if you want to do flatbed, just be constantly aware of your surroundings, and listen to other flat drivers. Yes, many are brash, many are over-eager to give an opinion, but many have some good ideas to make things easier. And they are eager to help. One of the unwritten rules of flatbedding is to always help the driver in front of you fold his tarps, while he is being unloaded. Not just as a courtesy, but it will get you unloaded faster as well...good luck

Flat bedding is for the young IMO. At my age I'm quite happy to pull a Van. I just close the doors, and I'm off....
 

snowflake

Ow ya goin'
did the hoppers, tanks, box, now the flat......tank paid the best ...but KAW is gone sigh, did have a side kit on this trailer took it off to go w/the big company....v-boards...yes w always strap before the tarps so we slid them under the straps....but no crime in the other way.....but the pyramid's would be rough.....with every thing on the outside......
 

boone315

SPACE TRUCKING
If safety (including yours) is a concern, then someone should mention a few things...bungees snapping, and falling off the trailer has been mentioned. But the single most dangerous aspect when I was pulling a flat was those damned V-boards! They are most dangerous on a load that requires tarping as well. And on what I used to call a Pyramid load. That's where you have it on the trailer with it 2 skids wide on the bottom, and one skid centered on top. From the back it looks like your hauling a pyramid. Dont remember how many times a V-board came skittering down the tarp to clip me in the nogin while I was trying to tighten the straps over it.
My advise is to go van, but if you want to do flatbed, just be constantly aware of your surroundings, and listen to other flat drivers. Yes, many are brash, many are over-eager to give an opinion, but many have some good ideas to make things easier. And they are eager to help. One of the unwritten rules of flatbedding is to always help the driver in front of you fold his tarps, while he is being unloaded. Not just as a courtesy, but it will get you unloaded faster as well...good luck

Flat bedding is for the young IMO. At my age I'm quite happy to pull a Van. I just close the doors, and I'm off....
I have so many scars, injuries, nobody would believe me if I listed them, would help if I wasn't a left handed clumsy idiot
 

booch71

Active Member
what about car hauling? somebody once told me that they were some of the highest paid drivers out there. if your eager to do some work, car hauling is definitly the way you wanna go. loading unloading and paying close attention to the decks to make sure you don't screw up somebody's car will all take a toll on you.
 

searay

Yachtman
Car hauling pays ok but not the highest too many people in it. To get the highest pay you need to be specilized like me.
 
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