Dropdeck Shipping Services

Dropdeck Shipping Company

What is a dropdeck trailer used for?

A dropdeck trailer, also known as a stepdeck or lowboy trailer, is a commercial trailer designed to carry tall cargo that exceeds the legal height limit if transported on a traditional flatbed trailer. Dropdeck shipping tall cargo prevents drivers and operators from having to obtain permits.

How does a drop deck trailer work?

A dropdeck flatbed is a platform semi trailer with no sides, no roof and no doors, and it has two deck levels. The floor drops down after it clears the tractor unit. The dropdeck shipping lower deck allows for hauling taller loads than a regular straight floor flatbed. Dropdecks are also known as stepdecks & lowboy trailers.

How tall is a dropdeck trailer?

The dropdeck trailer can transport pieces up to 10′.
Maximum Legal Acceptable Weights (Pounds): 48,000 lbs.
Maximum Legal Acceptable Dimensions (Feet – Inches):
  • Length: 37 feet
  • Width: 8.5 feet (102”) 
  • Height: 10 feet (120”)


Where to buy dropdeck trailers?

Built to haul heavy or awkward loads, this heavy-duty flatbed is available in all-steel and aluminum/steel combinations. Utility Drop Deck can also be custom built with a variety of options to meet your dropdeck shipping operational requirements.


Other Logistics Services: Driveaway | Intermodal | Trade Show | Dry Van | Refrigerated

Typical cargo for dropdeck trailers

  • Tractors
  • Machinery
  • Heavy freight that is over 9 feet tall

What is tallest freight for a dropdeck trailer?

On a standard dropdeck trailer, you can load up to a max of 10’ high calculating from the lower deck. This is up over the 8’6” maximum height on a standard flatbed.


Using a double drop trailer, or what some call a lowboy, you can increase that max height up to 11’6”. On a double drop with a detachable deck, you can squeeze out another six inches and reach a max of 12’.

How to load a dropdeck trailer

One of the pros of dropdeck and flatbeds is how easy it is to load them up. Cargo can be dropped in from overhead, the sides are easy to access, and there should be a ramp coming off the back of the trailer. This makes it easy to get cargo from one point to another, but you must know where to load your cargo for balance on the trailer to keep your truck in good working condition.


On a typical transport you would balance your cargo by having it in the rear, but on a dropdeck this is actually reversed. In this case, place your freight up closer to the front of the trailer. It’s crucially important to remember this for extending the life of your tire treads.


Extending the life of your tires is paramount in this business. Your tires are the lifeline of your business, so please always be extra aware of what you are running and where to put it. Do not be afraid to ask questions, either of your supervisor, your colleagues, or other sources of information such as this article.




RGN / Flatbed / Dry Van / Frac Tank

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Key Differences in Lowboy Trucking and Dropdeck Trucking

The trucking industry offers multiple types of services. Two of those include lowboy trucking and dropdeck trucking. Because there are a few similarities, some people get the two confused, making it hard to choose the right service. However, there are also differences.

With lowboy trucking services, a gooseneck detaches thanks to large hydraulic cylinders that raise and lower the trailer. For shoring up the neck to the truck, a smaller cylinder gets used. With that done, a large piece of equipment drives over the front, going onto the trailer’s deck in preparation for transporting cargo.

As for dropdeck trailers, also referred to as single drop, stepdeck, and open deck, heavy equipment hauling companies and others use these trailers to transport much of the same kind of freight as that of a flatbed. For both options, a trucking company can haul a significant amount of large and heavy cargo.  Along with these differences, consider the three mentioned below.

Decks – The design of a lowboy trailer includes a single deck, whereas a stepdeck trailer has two: a main and a front. That means instead of one continuous surface as seen with a flatbed, this trailer has an upper deck that sits above the tractor unit, measuring between 10 and 13 feet long. The main deck measures 38 to 40 feet long and just 3 feet and 3 inches off the ground.

Dimensions and Load Capability – Other differences between the two trucking options include the length of the load accommodated and load capability. A lowboy, which has two axles, carries cargo up to 12 feet high and with a load capacity of 70,000 pounds. In comparison, a step deck trailer has a maximum height of 10 feet for the main deck and 8.5 feet for the front deck. This type of trailer can haul up to 48,000 pounds of cargo.

Height Capability – The thing about a step deck trailer is that it works great for tall freight. However, for extra-tall shipments, a lowboy trailer is the better option. With the deck only 18 inches from the ground, this trailer has no problem transporting items up to 11 feet and 6 inches tall.

Cargo protection

Tarps are available in several sizes to accommodate different sized loads. The most common tarp sizes are 4′, 6′, and 8′ long. Product height will determine the tarp size to fit your needs (i.e., if 8′ is needed, use an 8′ tarp).

Cargo securement

  • Chains
  • Straps
  • Binders
  • Coil racks
  • Dunnage
  • Pipe stakes

Specialized equipment

  • Stretch trailers
  • Curtainside
  • Moffet
  • Maxi
  • B-Train
  • Landoll

Trailers vary depending on the load requirements and state regulations. These are standard equipment dimensions (these dimensions are provided for general information purposes only). Permits may still be required for your freight, but regulations vary from state to state.  To find state regulations for loads exceeding the legal dimensions, click here.

Tailored transport solutions to meet your needs

Understanding your requirements and objectives is important to us. Click below to tell us more about your upcoming shipment.
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Licensed, Bonded and Insured

Titan Worldwide is a fully licensed, bonded and insured heavy equipment transport firm that operates in all 48 contiguous US states, Canada and Mexico.
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Titan Worldwide provides innovative logistics and heavy haul trucking solutions to corporations nationwide. Our services require us to operate within the guidelines of the United States Department of Transportation and retain the proper licensing to haul contract cargo along intrastate and interstate lines. As a company, Titan Worldwide operates with a Motor Carrier License number of 122020 and a DOT license number of 3174800. Not only do we require our drivers to carry enough cargo insurance to full cover the value of your cargo, we too carry a contingent cargo policy to layer up on the coverage.

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