Flatbed Auto Transport Carriers: Everything You Need To Know

In this article, we’ll go over how flatbed transport auto transport carriers work, what they are best for, what you can expect when shipping your car with a flatbed transport, and more.

With 15+ years of experience as one of America’s leading auto transport companies, and over 4000+ 5-star reviews, we’ll break down everything you need to know about flatbed transport carriers, point by point.

Let’s get started.

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What Are Flatbed Auto Transport Carriers, And What Are They Good For?

Flatbed transport carriers haul vehicles that either won’t fit or can’t be loaded onto a standard open auto transport carrier, enclosed auto transport carrier, or other auto transport methods.

Are Flatbed Transport Carriers Expensive?

The auto transport industry is subject to the same laws of supply and demand as other industries. 

There are far fewer flatbed carriers on the road than either of their open or enclosed counterparts due to the limited demand for flatbed transports. 

Supply dictates the higher rates for flatbeds and protracted scheduling, pickup, and delivery. 

Despite these inconveniences, flatbeds still play a crucial role in the industry. 

Why? Because of the unique services they offer. 

Let’s see if your vehicle needs to be shipped on a flatbed.

Do I Need A Flatbed Carrier To Ship My Vehicle?

You have three options when shipping a vehicle:

  • Open Transport Carriers – the most economical and considered the standard carriers in the industry today.  Almost 90% of cars shipping across state or across the country travel on open car transport.
  • Enclosed Auto Transports – more expensive and not as readily available as open transport carriers. Enclosed carriers are the upper echelon of transporters as they protect your vehicle against rain, dust, debris, and weather hazards. We generally recommend enclosed transportation services for luxury cars, exotic vehicles, sports cars, and restored classics.
  • Flatbed Auto Transports – the least used type of carrier, more expensive than other options, and require longer wait times for dispatch, pickup, and transport times.

Like we said before, flatbed transport carriers haul vehicles that either won’t fit or can’t be loaded onto a standard open auto transport carrier, enclosed auto transport carrier, or other auto transport methods.

You’ll probably be surprised about the type of vehicles that require this specialized service. 

The two biggest determining factors on  if you need a flatbed carrier for your vehicle are size and weight.

Obviously, things such as heavy construction equipment and tow trucks won’t fit on a standard carrier. 

But did you know that if you happen to own an oversized stock production vehicle, an extended cargo van, a large pickup truck, or even a small motorhome, you may be subject to needing a flatbed?

Trucks like the Ford F-350 Super Duty Dually and vans such as the Dodge Sprinter have a hard time loading and fitting on standard auto transport carriers. Take note, #vanlifers!

Because of their height, most larger trucks, or lifted vehicles will not fit on the bottom row of an open transport truck and would be too tall on the top rack, subject to damage by a low overpass. 

These vehicles are also significantly heavier than the standard automobiles, making them less attractive to standard carriers due to increased fuel consumption.

How Much Do Flatbed Carriers Cost?

Flatbed transports are typically used exclusively for oversized or inoperable/damaged vehicles. As a result, they usually carry only one, two, or three vehicles.

So, instead of splitting mileage costs with seven to ten cars like a standard open carrier, you are sharing the total fees with one or two vehicles.

How much does flatbed transport cost per mile?

Costs vary depending on the distance. Shorter routes can be $1.00 to $2.00 per mile. Long routes can go from $.60 to $1.50 per mile.

Weight, size, and condition of the vehicle are the primary factors determining cost.

Given the unique circumstances in flatbed transport, quotes are a bit more complicated and require one of expert agents to review the details of your shipment.

For a free custom flatbed quote, please call us at 800-553-1828 or fill out our online quote form and receive a quote in minutes.

Arranging Flatbed Carrier Transport For Your Vehicle

We hope we’ve sufficiently explained the crucial role of flatbeds and why you should only use them if required for your vehicle. 

The service is undoubtedly available; however, we only recommend vehicles that cannot fit on a standard carrier be shipped with a flatbed transport truck.

Because limited supply means it is harder to access flatbed shipping trucks, be sure to book your shipment as early as possible to avoid the need for expedited shipping. 

Considering these expanded scheduling times, we highly recommend calling our office at 800-553-1828 if you feel your vehicle might be too large for a standard carrier.

You can fill out our free online quote request form right here on our website for a free quote, but for the best and most accurate quotes, you should call and speak to one of our representatives. 

We suggest you be prepared to provide the dimensions, overall height, length, width, and weight of your vehicle. Armed with this information, our expert representatives can compile an accurate transport quote for your situation.

Call 800-553-1828 at your earliest convenience!