Stepdeck Trucking Company
What is a stepdeck (single drop) trailer?
A step deck trailer is a commercial trailer designed to carry tall cargo that exceeds the legal height limit if transported on a traditional flatbed trailer. Transporting tall cargo on a step deck prevents drivers and operators from having to obtain permits.
Step deck trailers have two decks, an upper and a lower. Many step deck trailers also have ramp capabilities, making it easier to load and unload equipment. Their lower height allows forklifts to easily access cargo since they’re closer to the ground. Options can be fixed-neck, gooseneck, and removable gooseneck (RGN), depending on the type of freight and loading/unloading needs. Fixed-neck trailers have more limited options for loading and unloading, while RGNs can be loaded on either the front or back.
What freight is commonly carried on a step deck?
Heavy freight and machinery are commonly transported on step deck trailers due to their larger size. Each state has different laws regarding cargo size, but generally, the maximum height is 13’ 6” to 14’, even with a permit. This is especially important to ensure the safety of the driver and clearance for bridges.
The following is a list of the most common freight transported on a step deck trailer:
- Building Materials
- Agricultural Materials
What is a double drop trailer?
For extra-large, heavy loads, double drop deck trailers are used. They get their name from the two higher decks – one in front, one in back – that bookend a lower deck. The lower deck is commonly referred to as a “well.”
They can carry taller and heavier loads due to their option to have 2 or more axles. Double drop decks have a flip axle that can be laid on the deck when not used or flipped down when hauling extra weight.
Federal regulations specify that trailers maintain a certain number of axles dependent on the weight of freight. Using a drop deck trailer with extra axles helps drivers and operators in hauling heavy freight without extra permits. If you’re trying to decide between a step deck vs. flatbed trailer, you’ll want to consider the height as well as the weight.