Flatbed truck drivers that haul building materials to job sites play a major role in construction projects of all sizes. They carry lumber, steel, coils, wall board, and even bagged materials, such as concrete and cement. Most cargo transported by a flatbed company fall under one of two categories; either short-haul, or regional flatbed shipping. While they may seem to be similar, there are three distinct differences that set these two methods apart from one another.
The most obvious difference between short-haul and regional flatbed trucking is simple; it’s the distance that the driver travels each time. Short-haul truck driver’s routes generally only take them between 200 and 300 miles away from the home terminal. These trips are accomplished during an eight or ten hour work day and include lunch breaks and rest periods. Regional routes, on the other hand, refer to hauling freight within a specific region of the country, such as the Southeast. The routes usually only take the driver around 1,000 miles away from the terminal, however, this varies depending upon the company and route.
Short-haul flatbed transportation is the least expensive option for shippers since it’s such a short distance. It’s perfect for smaller lumber supply companies that serve the local community and outlying areas. Many times, they are willing to deliver to job sites that other companies won’t, such as a home construction project in a city neighborhood. Regional flatbed shipping does cost more, simply because the route is longer than a short-haul would be and the trucking company has higher expenses. That said, some regional flatbed companies offer LTL options that help manage costs by combining shipments from several companies on the same load.
One major advantage that short-haul flatbed shipping has over regional is that it is easier to arrange for expedited shipping. This is vitally important in the case of a tight deadline, or sudden change in the project. If a construction company finds that they need a load of lumber, or other materials, immediately to continue on, they can place the order and have it delivered in a few hours. By contrast, regional trucking companies can take a few days to deliver loads, which can delay a project. Those that only work with a regional transporter, therefore, have to be careful to plan ahead and hope that nothing urgent comes up. Luckily many regional trucking companies also offer short-haul and are willing to work with their customers to ensure loads are delivered when they’re needed.
If your company ships building materials and supplies to construction sites, it’s important that you understand the differences between short-haul and regional flatbed shipping. If you have any questions that have not been answered here, please feel free to contact us at CT Transportation. Our experienced, highly-trained and friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you.