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Flat-Bed Towing: Flat Out Efficient

One of the most common methods of towing loads behind vehicles is known as flatbed towing. This method simply involves the use of flatbed trailers and is offered in most towing services.

A flat bed trailer is an un-enclosed unit with a flat surface for holding the load, one or more axles near the rear and a hitch receiver at the front. It may or may not have one or more folding ramps at the rear end for rolling wheeled loads such as lawn mowers, cars or SUV's onto its bed.

When carrying anything from motorcycles to household goods behind personal vehicles or small commercial vehicles, flatbed trailers are often called utility trailers. When used with car tow, they may be called car-carriers. At the commercial transport level, towing services also use flatbed trailers, although there are many variations of these as well.

For handling tall loads, flatbed trailers may have drop-decks, wherein the area of the bed ahead of the axles but behind the hitch receiver is lower than the balance of the bed. These are simply known as drop-deck trailers. For heavy loads, the trailers may be extended in length to ensure bridge-loading laws are obeyed. In addition, they may have many more axles than what is normally seen, wherein the most common trailers have two axles. The beds of the trailers may even be designed to tilt to aid in handling the load.

Flatbed towing is easily the most versatile of all methods. They are ideal for vehicle towing and SUV towing. They are not necessarily restricted in load width the way that an enclosed trailer, or van, would be. Most states limit a non-permitted load to a width of 102", and most van-type trailers will handle a load close to this width. However, when towing a wider load, such as a special vehicle used for heavy roadwork, a flatbed trailer is called for, and a special wide-load permit is required.

For all flatbed towing it is necessary to tie the load to the trailer to prevent it from shifting during transport. For wheeled loads, such as cars or SUV's this is especially important since they could roll off the trailer altogether. One shortcoming of flatbed towing is protection of the load from the environment. However, this is easily handled for most loads, even for car towing & SUV towing, by covering the load with a tarp.

Flatbed towing is easily one of the most useful of all load-towing methods. At the homeowner level, they are the least expensive trailers of all, and may be used to move all types of vehicles, including cars and SUV's. At the commercial level, towing services use these trailers, albeit on a larger scale, to move heavy, over-width and over-weight loads.

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