When it comes to shipping many types of equipment and machinery, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work. A step deck truck is a specialized trailer that has a lowered deck to accommodate for a taller cargo height above 8’6″ that a flatbed trailer wouldn’t be able to. With a step-deck trailer, the maximum height is raised an additional 20 inches to 10’2″. Transporting tall cargo on a step-deck prevents drivers and operators from having to obtain permits. If you are shipping awkwardly shaped, oversized, or bulky machinery, the following will tell you what makes a step-deck trailer an excellent choice.

What is a Step Deck Trailer?

Step deck trailer transport is a shipping platform that has no restrictive sides, roof, or doors.  While the pure simplicity of flatbeds is a sight to behold, the step deck truck was invented to add versatility to the conventional flat trailer. The main function of a drop deck is to allow for taller cargo loads to be shipped. Using a step down from one level to a lower level, the maximum cargo height is increased as the haul sits closer to the road. When deciding which kind of truck you need, the height of your load is the determining factor. The design of the step deck enables tandem step deck trailers to haul a range of equipment as part of the same shipment. Construction equipment is well suited to step deck trailer shipping methods, as even the most awkwardly shaped machinery can safely fit onto the trailer, and multiple different types can be shipped together.  Another positive fact for a step-deck trailer is the loading and unloading process which is much safer for everyone concerned.

The Advantages of Step Deck Trailer Shipping

Step Deck Trailers offer several advantages over standard flatbed trailers…

  • Height Permits – One big advantage is that you are able to transport higher loads without having to apply for additional permits. The design of step deck trailers allows large cargo to be placed lower down and avoid height restrictions. With a lower deck height of 41 inches, you have many more options.
  • Easier for Forklifts –Because step deck trailers are closer to the ground, it allows forklifts to load and unload easier and safer. Especially when it is a heavyweight, the forklift operator will not need to lift their forks as high to pick up the cargo and unload it making it a safer process for everyone on the job.
  • Equipment Diversity – The design allows larger cargo to be transported much easier. Construction equipment is one of the most common types of equipment to be hauled on a step-deck. A tandem step deck trailer can usually haul up to 45,000 lbs and a tridem 62,000 lbs, allowing large pieces of machinery to be loaded on and positioned easily.

How Many Step Deck Trailer Haulage Types Are There?

Knowing the main types of trailers and their specifications will help shippers choose the right one to transport their freight. you may have come across multiple trailer names when looking into the right type of step deck trailer for your transport project.  Step deck trailers can have a single drop or double drop deck, a detachable deck or flatbed, an extended single drop deck, or an extended double drop deck.  The right step deck for you will all depend on the weight and dimensions of what you are carrying.

How Much Weight Can a Step Deck Trailer Haul? 

The length for a legal step deck trailer is 48′, but oversize loads can be hauled on trailers up to 53′. Height is at 10′ and width is limited to 8.5′.  If using an extended trailer, 8.5 ft width and 10 to 11 ft. height.  Step deck trailer can carry freight payloads of up to 48,000 pounds.

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About American Lighthouse Transportation

American Lighthouse Transportation has been serving shippers with honesty and integrity throughout the United States, since 1998. You can depend on our experienced and knowledgeable management team, drivers, and support for all your shipping needs. We communicate effectively to make sure your shipment arrives safely, accurately, and on-time! You can count on us for personalized customer service, expert guidance, accurate anticipation of potential setbacks, and possible workarounds and solutions.
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