A flatbed truck is a large truck that can transport oversized cargo and other large products on a flat trailer. These trucks vary in size; however, they all carry a flat trailer or load-carrying area that is used to hold cargo.
Flatbed trucks are essential for any fleet operation. Whether you work in construction, manufacturing, transportation, waste removal, or agricultural industries, flatbed trucks are probably a key tool in your business. These trucks allow companies to transport large amounts of cargo, often heavy or oddly shaped, in fewer trips. Some examples of cargo transported by flatbed trucks include military equipment, cars, trucks, lumber, scaffolding, tanks, tractors and other agricultural equipment, airplane parts, and other large machinery.
There are many benefits to choosing a flatbed truck to transport cargo in your business. We’ve listed three main benefits below:
Cargo Security – You can strap down your cargo to a flatbed truck, securing it for the duration of transportation. With regular trucks, there are limited ways to secure your cargo, which results in items being shifted around while they are transported. Flatbed trucks reduce the risk of damage to your cargo.
No Walls – Flatbed trucks have no walls surrounding their cargo, meaning they are one of the few types of trucks that can accommodate large and unusually-sized cargo. In some cases, certain types of cargo can even hang over the edges.
Maneuverability – You can access your cargo from all angles of your flatbed truck. Instead of having to unload cargo to see what’s in the back of most four-walled trucks, flatbed trucks allow you to access your cargo from any angle. You can even use a crane to access cargo from overhead, or a ramp to roll cargo to the ground.
There are three different kinds of flatbed trucks: standard, double drop, and step-deck. The differences between the three are in their dimensions, as described in the chart below:
Load Height (including deck)
8 feet 6 inches
48 to 53 feet
8 feet, 6 inches
11 feet 8 inches
8 feet 6 inches
8 feet 6 inches
Cost Factors to Consider When Getting a Flatbed Truck Loan
Given the size and indirect revenue potential of a flatbed truck, it’s no surprise that they are quite costly. Luckily, there are ways to obtain a loan to help finance your flatbed truck. Before applying for a loan, however, here are a few cost factors that you should consider:
Downpayment: You should plan to put down 15% of the total cost of the flatbed truck as a downpayment, out of pocket.
Interest: Nobody loans money for free. Be prepared to pay monthly interest payments on your loan. Talk to your lender – you can usually agree upon a fixed interest rate for a certain period (ie. 5 years), or variable rates that can sometimes be lower, but less stable.
Sales tax: Make sure that you account for sales tax in your purchase. In Canada, this can usually range between 5 and 14%. For more information about different kinds of sales tax, check out this article.
Term: The term is the period of time that you pay your loan. Let’s say the term is 5 years. That means you should have paid your loan off with monthly payments by the end of that 5 years.
Where Can You Get a Flatbed Truck Loan?
Now that you’ve considered your down payment, interest, sales tax, and term length as cost factors, you’re ready to seek out your flatbed truck loan. Here are a few places to look:
Your Local Bank
Many banks offer loans to their clients. You could look into a line of credit, a small business loan, or perhaps an equipment loan. For example, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) offers an equipment leasing loan, giving successful applicants 100% financing for the cost of equipment used in their business. Keep in mind that the banks are more likely to lend to you if you have a good credit rating.
Banks aren’t the only place to look for loans. There are many alternative lenders that actually specialize in equipment loans, including companies like Peel Financial or Core Capital Group Inc.
Check Your Vendor
Equipment manufacturers will sometimes offer financing to people interested in purchasing flatbed trucks. Because they are more directly interested in the sale, they might be more likely than the bank to work out a financing plan for you.
Need Helping Finding The Right Flatbed Truck Loan?
If you’re in the market to purchase a new or used flatbed truck and aren’t sure where to start when it comes to securing financing, Loans Canada can help. We work with a variety of truck and equipment lenders and can help match you with the right option based on your needs.
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