Confused About Towing Options? Lowboy vs. Flatbed Towing Explained

Stuck choosing between a lowboy and flatbed tow truck? Fleetworks Inc. explains the key differences! Lowboys excel with super heavy & oversized cargo, while flatbeds are more versatile for regular loads. Learn when to choose each & get a free quote!

Confused About Towing Options? Lowboy vs. Flatbed Towing Explained

Do you need to transport several massive pieces of equipment but aren’t sure what kind of tow truck to call? You're not alone. When dealing with heavy-duty vehicles, choosing the right towing option is crucial. This blog post from Fleetworks Inc., your trusted heavy-duty truck repair shop, will help you understand the key differences between lowboy and flatbed towing. By the end, you'll be a towing pro, ready to confidently choose the right option for your next heavy-duty haul.

The Workhorses of Heavy-Duty Towing

The world of heavy-duty transportation relies on two mainstays: lowboy trailers and flatbed trailers. Both are designed to haul significant cargo, but their strengths lie in different areas. 

Lowboy trailers are particularly impressive in terms of longevity and transportation needs. With proper maintenance, a lowboy trailer can easily surpass 20 years of service, making them a reliable and cost-effective investment. These trailers are characterized by their long frames and multiple axles, a testament to their ability to handle the immense weight and size of their cargo.

What Is the Difference Between a Flatbed and a Lowboy?

While both lowboys and flatbeds handle heavy loads, they excel in different situations. Let's delve into the key factors that differentiate them:

Deck Height

This is a critical difference that significantly impacts how each trailer is used. Lowboy trailers sit significantly lower, typically around 2 feet off the ground, compared to a flatbed's usual height of 5 feet. This lower profile allows for easier loading and transportation of oversized equipment that wouldn't fit on a standard flatbed trailer. 

Imagine trying to haul a massive excavator on a flatbed — it simply wouldn't work. The lowboy's design solves this problem by providing a much more accessible platform for loading and unloading towering cargo.

Load Capacity

When it comes to sheer muscle, lowboy trailers reign supreme. They can handle much heavier and taller loads compared to flatbeds. We're talking behemoths up to 12 feet high and weighing a staggering 40,000-80,000 pounds, compared to the 8.5-foot height and 48,000-pound capacity of flatbeds. This increased capacity makes lowboy trailers the perfect choice for transporting construction machinery, massive generators, or even entire wind turbine components.

How Much Weight Can a Lowboy Carry?

As mentioned previously, the weight capacity of a lowboy trailer can range from 40,000 to a staggering 80,000 pounds. However, it's important to remember that this capacity can vary depending on the specific trailer model and axle configuration. Always consult with a reputable lowboy service provider to determine the exact weight capacity of the trailer that best suits your needs.

The design of each trailer dictates what it excels at hauling. Lowboy trailers are tailor-made for transporting colossal, heavy equipment that wouldn't fit on a standard flatbed. Think construction machinery like excavators and bulldozers, massive industrial generators, over-sized storage tanks, or even entire wind turbine components. 

In contrast, flatbed trailers offer more versatility for general cargo that doesn't have height or weight restrictions. They're commonly used to haul lumber, steel beams, pipes, small vehicles, and other materials that can be safely secured to the flatbed surface.

How Does a Lowboy Trailer Work?

The unique design of a lowboy trailer allows for efficient loading and unloading of oversized cargo. The most distinctive feature is the detachable gooseneck, which is the lower section at the front of the trailer that connects to the towing vehicle. By detaching the gooseneck, the trailer bed dips down significantly, creating a low ramp for easy loading of even the most cumbersome equipment. Once the equipment is securely positioned on the trailer bed, the gooseneck is reattached, and the trailer is ready for transport. 

Some lowboy trailers may also utilize hydraulic tilting mechanisms instead of detachable goosenecks. These systems offer similar functionality by lowering the front portion of the trailer bed to facilitate the loading process.

Due to their low deck height, lowboy trailers often feature ingenious features like detachable goosenecks or hydraulic systems. These innovations make loading and unloading towering, heavy equipment a breeze. Flatbeds typically rely on external assistance from cranes or forklifts for loading and unloading. 

Choosing the Right Option: Lowboy vs. Flatbed Towing

By understanding the strengths of lowboy and flatbed towing, you're now equipped to make informed decisions for your next heavy-duty transportation need. Here's a quick guide to help you choose the right option:

Lowboy Trailer Towing

When do you call for a lowboy? If you're dealing with extremely heavy, oversized, or tall equipment that wouldn't fit on a standard flatbed trailer, a lowboy is your champion. Imagine needing to transport a massive excavator across town — a lowboy trailer towing service is the clear solution. Its low deck height and impressive weight capacity make it perfectly suited for hauling these behemoths with ease and safety.

Flatbed Towing

Flatbed trailers are your go-to for general cargo that doesn't have height or weight restrictions. They offer more versatility for various hauling needs. Flatbed towing services are commonly used to transport lumber, steel, vehicles, construction materials, and other cargo that can be securely strapped down to the flatbed surface. 

Final Words

Now that you're a towing pro, you can confidently choose between lowboy and flatbed towing for your next heavy-duty haul. Remember, when your heavy-duty vehicle needs repairs, or if you require expert lowboy towing services, Fleetworks Inc. is here to help!

Our team of certified technicians is equipped to handle a wide range of repairs for your heavy-duty trucks and trailers, ensuring they're operating safely and efficiently. We also maintain a fleet of well-maintained lowboy trailers, ready to handle any transportation challenge you might face.

For high-quality repairs, reliable lowboy services, or expert flatbed towing, contact Fleetworks Inc. today! Visit our website or call us to discuss your specific needs and receive a free quote. We're committed to providing exceptional service and keeping your heavy-duty fleet running smoothly.

Repair Shop Locations

Fleetworks Inc. is proud to have expanded to three locations across California, providing a wide-range of truck repair & fleet services from our locations in Oakland, Santa Fe Springs, Riverside, & the surrounding areas.

Santa Fe Location

14011 Marquardt Ave, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Oakland Location

72 – 98th Ave. Oakland, CA 94603

Riverside Location

*Equipment Service & Repairs only*

1310 Dodson Way, Riverside CA, 92507