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Equipment needs for a new flatbedder

I am getting into flatbedding and am wondering what would be a good place to start in terms of equipment. ie:number of straps, chains, and binders, tarps, corner protectors, coil bunks, dunnage etc. I don't want to overbuy right at the start but don't want to get to my first client and be under equipped either.

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well sounds like you know what to get already, some of the equipment you will carry will depend on the freight you will haul. for example if you will never haul coils dont get coil racks. but if you want to be ready for just about anything you should carry the following:

1. Tarps- 3 part 8' drop lumber tarps are very universal, if you know you may have to tarp small partials, get a small tarp in addition to the lumber tarps

2. Bungee cords and rubber rope - depending on the size and shape of the load you can and should use either bungees or rope or sometimes both. sometimes if you use bungees they may rub through the tarp and damage the load, like an aluminum coil with very thin layers and then they have to take off 50 layers of that coil and will charge you. using regular rope works well too in some cases.

3. Corner protectors - plastic ones work for under straps. I carry several pieces of old carpet to use on sharp corners or parts of loads to protect your tarp.

4. Straps and chains - this is basic stuff, carry at least 15 straps or more if you have more winches, you need to have extra straps in case rips. 12 chains and binders is standard, I carry few extra binders cuz sometimes you can use one chain and 2 binders depending on load.

5. Dunnage - you should have 6 -8 pieces of 8' 4x4. this depends on your operation if you will not use them often then it's just dead weight. you have to make that call.

dont buy new, go on Craigslist and get used stuff, there is a lot of people that are getting out of flatbed or trucking and are selling everything at once I have gotten everything used for most of my trucks on Craigslist. If you have Ipad or Iphone get the app and you can search multiple locations across the country.

another think I do is to take pictures of every load before and after you haul it to protect yourself against bogus cargo claims. Good Luck.

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well sounds like you know what to get already, some of the equipment you will carry will depend on the freight you will haul. for example if you will never haul coils dont get coil racks. but if you want to be ready for just about anything you should carry the following:

1. Tarps- 3 part 8' drop lumber tarps are very universal, if you know you may have to tarp small partials, get a small tarp in addition to the lumber tarps

2. Bungee cords and rubber rope - depending on the size and shape of the load you can and should use either bungees or rope or sometimes both. sometimes if you use bungees they may rub through the tarp and damage the load, like an aluminum coil with very thin layers and then they have to take off 50 layers of that coil and will charge you. using regular rope works well too in some cases.

3. Corner protectors - plastic ones work for under straps. I carry several pieces of old carpet to use on sharp corners or parts of loads to protect your tarp.

4. Straps and chains - this is basic stuff, carry at least 15 straps or more if you have more winches, you need to have extra straps in case rips. 12 chains and binders is standard, I carry few extra binders cuz sometimes you can use one chain and 2 binders depending on load.

5. Dunnage - you should have 6 -8 pieces of 8' 4x4. this depends on your operation if you will not use them often then it's just dead weight. you have to make that call.

6. Winch bar

7. Oversize load signs flags amber beacon light and red/amber lights for corners of the load. if you will be doing wide loads, if you will get a book called Oversize and Overweight Load Directory, this book has a lot of info and contact info for all states for permits.

8. Ladder, makes it much easier to tarp and to get on top of loads.

dont buy new, go on Craigslist and get used stuff, there is a lot of people that are getting out of flatbed or trucking and are selling everything at once I have gotten everything used for most of my trucks on Craigslist. If you have Ipad or Iphone get the app and you can search multiple locations across the country.

another think I do is to take pictures of every load before and after you haul it to protect yourself against bogus cargo claims. Good Luck.

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On my flatbed I have

Winch Bar

Portable Winches

6 2" Straps and winch

12 3/8 G80 20' Chains

12 3/8 G80 Ratchet Binders

24 4"x30' Straps

48 Strap Corner Protectors

2 24x27(long) single end flaps Lumber Tarps

2 16x27(long) single end flaps Steel Tarps

12 moving pad blankets

A box of 21" Bunges

12 4x4x8 Dunnage

4 pipe stakes

Just a Basic Any Load Any Road Flatbed

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A lot of that depends on what the most common freight is going to be.

Are you doing this on your own and trying to build costumers?

It's been 10 years since I pulled a covered wagon so I'm not up on this anymore. I think I had 10 chains and binders, 10 straps, 4 sets of coil racks, 16 corner protectors, and a few blocks of dunnage. I hauled a lot of coils and sheet metal that was bundled so I didn't need as much as some other people.

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I carry 12 chains, 8 snap binders, 4 ratchet binders, about 12 30' straps, 8 12' straps for bar and other light loads, and 4-5 short 3' straps that i use on chain, especially on crushed cars. Plenty of bungee cords, carpet, etc. I carry 2-3 2" ratchet straps, lots depends on the winch locations on your trailer. I had a east tri-axle that had poor winch spots and I had to carry 6 2" straps. I would also reccomend no less than 16-24 edge protectors.

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first two answers have a good list of what you need but i don't like portable winches 4 inch ratchets i like better

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All the answers I saw are correct but may I add and if stated above sorry for the repeat.

1. hard hat

2. Steel toed boots

3. coveralls or carhartt jeans and long sleeve work shirt

4. safety reflective vest

5. safety glasses

6. really good pair of work gloves

7. hearing protection

Basically if you have to deliver on a work site whatever the construction workers wear you have to wear. Its regulated by OSHA and if you don't have this equipment you not be able to work onsite which I have seen happen. Hope it helps.

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Add a rain suit and rubber boots ! Coveralls too.

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if you buy used chains look at the markings on the chain that is what tells you what the working load limit is, the dot will derate to lowest working load limit if any doubt. go to www.practicalcargosercurement.com

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This is a pretty good list the personal safety eq was a great point you will always need pulling platform freight and remember you can't ever have to much there will always be s load you need more for

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Jason Clarke will be eternally grateful.
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