Heavy Haulers Daily Blog

Transporting a school bus on a trailer.

What is an Open Deck Trailer? 

When looking for a shipping solution to transport your heavy equipment, you need to consider the type of trailer to be used and its capability. Whether moving your machinery across the city or country, you need a convenient trailer that can haul your shipment safely. Several trailers are used for transporting heavy loads, so choosing the most reliable one for your freight is crucial. For example, an open deck trailer is the best option for oversized, wide, or super loads.

But what is an open-deck trailer, and when is it best to use it for transport? Read on to learn more about an open-deck trailer, including its features and specs, when it’s convenient, and the most common freight shipped using one.

Transporting a school bus on a trailer.

Features and Specs of an Open Deck Trailer

Before discussing the features and specs of an open deck trailer, it’s important to understand what it is. 

As their name suggests, open deck trailers are trailer types that are completely open around the sides and on top. In other words, they can easily be accessed from all sides, making them versatile and flexible and the best choice for extremely heavy and awkwardly shaped loads.

When it comes to the features and specifications of an open deck trailer, you should consider the different types of open deck trailers commonly used. Here are the three common open deck trailer options:

  • Flatbed trailer: A flatbed is an open deck trailer typically 48 feet long, but some are as long as 53 feet. It can transport freight up to 8½ feet tall and a total weight of 48,000 pounds.
  • Step-deck trailer: Step-deck trailers are similar to flatbeds except that they have steps or two levels instead of one flat deck. The lower deck allows them to haul taller items that exceed the height limit of a standard flatbed. The step-deck trailer size is 53 feet, with the lower deck extending 43 feet and the upper deck measuring 10 feet. They can haul freight up to 10 feet high and have weight capacities ranging from 43,000 to 62,000 pounds.
  • Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RGN): These open deck trailers have a detachable front part referred to as the gooseneck that facilitates the loading and unloading process. RGNs are 48 feet long and only 20 inches from the ground, making them convenient for freight up to 12 feet.

When Should You Use An Open Deck Trailer

Open deck trailers are preferred for their flexibility, practicality, and versatility compared to enclosed trailers. Because of their characteristics, open deck trailers are best suited when hauling:

  • Dense bulk commodities of all kinds that can withstand exposure to weather elements
  • Irregularly shaped and sized freight that needs extra space when being transported
  • Super loads that are massive and extremely heavy
  • Longer-than-normal loads that need top-loading using cranes.

Open deck trailers present several advantages, including the ability to haul heavier, taller, and bulkier loads and load and unload easily. As such, they can adapt to seasonal demands and align with industry-specific needs. Also, an open deck trailer gives room for modifications to meet unique freight demands. As such, they are suitable for goods that cannot fit neatly and securely in an enclosed trailer.

The Most Common Freight Shipped on an Open Deck Trailer

Open deck trailers are commonly used to haul freight that cannot fit in an enclosed trailer. This includes:

Heavy equipment: An open deck is suitable for transporting oversized and heavy machinery, such as cranes, bulldozers, excavators, and backhoes.

Construction materials: These include steel beams, concrete pipes, lumber, sheetrock sections, and other framing components.

Agriculture and farming equipment: An open deck trailer is the most convenient way to transport agricultural equipment such as combines, tractors, loaders, cutters, and shredders.

Vehicles: Open deck trailers are also used to haul various vehicles, including trucks, cars, and other over-dimensional vehicles.

Industrial equipment: An open-deck trailer can haul boilers, transformers, and other heavy industrial machinery.

Shipping a school bus on a trailer.

Heavy Haulers Final Thoughts

When hauling heavy and oversized goods, choosing the right trailer to meet your freight demand is vital. If the trailer doesn’t have the capacity and functional components to transport your freight type, it will not deliver it safely and cost-effectively. Before settling for an open-deck trailer, understand its features and specifications to determine whether it will cater to your unique shipping needs.

Heavy Haulers has top-quality open-deck trailers to get the job done, whether you are transporting oversized, over dimensional, or awkwardly shaped equipment. We take pride in being the premier trailer transport company, hauling open-deck trucks to various destinations.