Lowbed Trailer Vs Flatbed Semi Trailer

The article focuses on lowbed trailers vs flatbed trailers, including the following aspects: definition, types, history, applications, features and maintenance. After reading this article, I hope you can make a better choice between lowbeds and flatbeds.

1. Definition

1.1 low bed trailer types

There many types of lowbed trailers, such as hydraulic low bed trailer, detachable lowbed trailer, dual line axle lowbed trailer, extendable lowbed trailer, modular trailer. Lowbed trailer is mainly used to transport non-detachable objects, such as excavators, harvesters, loaders, forklifts and other special vehicles which are not easy to move by themselves. Generally, lowbed trailer is with two ladders at the head or tail, which can help excavators and other equipment to go to the lowbed trailer.

lowbed trailer for sale

low bed trailer for sale

1.1.1 Ordinary lowbed trailer

Ordinary lowbed trailers can be loaded from 20 tons to 200 tons, and are generally with 2 axles, 3 axles, 4 axles, and up to 10 axles. (More about lowbed trailer)

width of low bed trailer: 2500mm,

1.1.2 Extendable low bed trailer

The most popular extendable lowbed trailer is 3 axles 60 tons. Meanwhile, we also produce 2-5 axles, maximum loading 120 ton detachable lowbed trailer. (2/3/4 axle removable lowbed trailer)

hydraulic detachable gooseneck lowboy trailer

1.1.3 Dual lane axles low bed trailers

Most lowbed trailers are dual line axles low bed trailers, and usually the ramps are at the rear, while the detachable lowbed trailer is loaded at the front.

1.1.4 Extendable low bed trailer

Extendable lowbed trailer is often used to transport cargo with different lengths more conveniently.

extendable lowbed trailer

1.1.5 modular trailer

Modular trailer, also called hydraulic modular trailer, or SPMT for short, is particularly suitable for the overall transport of drilling platforms, offshore modules, modular plants (petrochemical smelting, etc.), power station construction, ro-ro loading onto and off ships, chemical. It is a large work piece logistics transport equipment with driving system, helpful for some oversized and extra-long goods that cannot be disassembled for transport.

modular hydraulic platform trailer

1.1 what are the different types of flatbed trailers

Flatbed semi trailer is one of the commonest means of transportation, which can be used to transport containers, as well as bulk goods. Sometimes, flatbed semi trailer can be used as side wall trailer, fence trailer, a double flatbed trailer.

1.1.1 flatbed semi trailer

Flatbed trailer is available in 20ft, 40ft, 45ft, and 2/3/4 axles. Different configurations depend on the cargo transported (3/4 axle and different type of flatbed trailer)

3 axle high bed trailer images
 Manufacturer Panda Mech 40 ft flatbed container semi truck trailer
 Axles 3 axles, BPW/SAF/FUWA Brand
 Dimensions/size 12500×2500×1500 mm
 Capacity 70 ton
 Weight 7-9 ton
 Twist lock 8-12 sets
 Material Main beams Q345B, upper flange:14mm, middle:8mm, down:16mm
 King Pin 2 inch or 3.5 inch JOST Brand
 Chassis 3mm,4mm,6mm, carbon steel or aluminum alloy
 Suspension Mechanical, airbag suspension
 Tire 11.00R20, 12.00R20,12R22.5, 385/65R22.5 Triangle/Hankook/ Bridgestone brand

1.1.2 side wall trailer

Sidewall trailer is a flatbed trailer surrounded by additional baffles. The application is basically the same as flatbed semi trailer, drop side trailer can be used to transport some slightly higher cargo.

sidewall trailer
40ft drop side trailer

1.1.3 fence semi trailer

Fence semi trailer is higher, mainly used to transport cattle, pigs, livestock, poultry etc.

4 axle fence semi trailer
4 axle fence semi trailer

1.1.4 A double flatbed trailer

A double flatbed trailer is a triangle in the front, and two flatbed can work together.

A double flatbed trailer A double flatbed trailer

1.1.5 Flatbed trailer with headboard

Flatbed trailer with frontborad is designed to carry and heavy items. It has a board in the front, which can protece the tractor in case of emergency braking. Flatbed trailer with front board is typically used to transport large cargo, such as: construction materials and bulk cargo. It’s often used in the construction industry.

flatbed trailer with front board

Different of High bed trailer vs low bed trailer

The difference between High bed trailer and low bed trailer mainly lies in the working platform and purpose. High bed trailer is also called flatbed trailer, flatbed truck trailer. Its platform height is 1500mm, while the lowbed trailer’s platform height is between 100-1200mm. In terms of purpose, the high bed trailer is mainly used to transport cargo, while the lowbed trailer is mainly used to transport construction machinery. Common high bed trailer has 20ft, 3 axle 40ft, 45ft, low bed trailer has 3 axle, 4 axle, 5 axle, 6 axle, 50ton, 60 ton, 80 ton, The maximum load is 200 ton.

2. History

Lowbed trailer

The lowbed trailer was invented in 1920, mainly using riveted gooseneck and solid rubber tires, but the lowbed trailer could only be loaded from the rear. In 1950, the lowbed trailer was improved, with higher loading capacity and easier loading of equipment.

Detachable lowbed trailer was invented in 1958, referred to as RGN. It can be loaded from the front. Ramp is not necessary and loading work is more convenient.

Flatbed semi trailer

The first flatbed semi trailer was born in 1914, with a relatively simple structure and poor loading capacity. As the flatbed semi trailer was constantly updated, the configuration was upgraded and the loading capacity became more and more powerful.

3. Applications

What does lowboy trailer used for?

Lowbed trailer is mainly used for transporting excavators, harvesters, loaders, forklifts and other heavy equipment.

What does flatbed semi trailer used for?

Flatbed semi trailer is mainly used for transporting containers, construction materials, bulk goods, lumber, steel coils, etc., including any cargo that does not fit in an enclosed trailer.

4. Feature

Flatbed semi trailer

1. Easier loading and unloading

Flatbed semi trailer is more spacious to operate, so both loading and unloading are more convenient. Cargoes can be loaded and unloaded from all sides of flatbed semi trailer, and the cargoes can be packed well to ensure safety.

2. Different sizes for different transportation

Flatbed semi trailer is available to be made longer or shorter according to customer’s demand. For example, if transport iron bars, the extended flatbed semi trailer is perfect for this purpose.

4 axle 40ft flatbed trailer

3. Transporting heavy materials.

Flatbed trailers is with high carrying capacity. Flatbed trailers can haul any cargo, from tractors, military equipment, construction materials to containers.

Lowbed trailer

1. Stability

Lowbed trailer is more stable because it has a lower center of gravity, so it is safer in the transportation process.

2. Large space

Lowbed trailer has more space and can be used to load cargo with heavier weight.

3 axle lowbed trailer

3. Suitable for countries with height limit

Lowbed trailer is lower, so it is suitable for some countries with strict height limit.

5. How to load and unload semi trailer

For flatbed semi trailer, generally forklift or frontal crane is needed to load or unload, while for lowbed trailer, generally workers drive the equipment through the track directly onto the lowbed trailer.

6. Maintenance

The maintenance of flatbed trailer and lowbed trailer is same.

1. Check the tires.

The tire pressure should be checked monthly at room temperature. If it is significantly lower than normal, it should be added immediately.

2. Check the oil level of the clutch master cylinder.

When the clutch oil level is between the high and low levels, it is normal. If it is below the standard line, the master cylinder or cylinder cup may be damaged. When the engine is running, it will be difficult or impossible to shift gears. Please go to the nearest service station immediately.

flatbed semi trailer transport

3. Maintenance and inspection of semi-trailer battery

Check whether the semi-trailer battery is firmly fixed. Electrolyte should be between the upper and lower limits, and electrolyte or distilled water should be added to the high voltage line immediately if it is very close to the offline. Keep the positive and negative cables of the semi-trailer battery in good contact, and keep the semi-trailer battery clean and dry.

4. Check the brake fluid level.

If the brake fluid is also between the high and low levels, it is normal. If the brake fluid is near or below the lower limit, it means the system may be leaking or the brake shoes are excessively worn. You should have this repaired immediately at a service station.

5. Check the ABS brake valve

If you have an ABS brake valve installed remember to check it frequently. Follow the maintenance instructions and the principle of the ABS brake valve.

How to use the ABS system

Whether air pressure control or hydraulic control method is adopted, the controller in the ABS system, through the analysis of the signal sent by the sensor, gives reasonable orders to the braking system, ensuring the stability and safety of the trailer in the emergency braking. After the emergency braking, when the wheels of the semi-trailer are clamping, the ABS system will start the pressure regulating valve to control the pressure in each brake hose and intelligently adjust the internal pressure according to the force of the body. So the wheels, tires and road are in the balance of force, preventing the body from rolling over and avoiding accidents.

flatbed smei trailer

7. Which is the best choice

We need to know the local laws, weight limits, height limits and the cargo that we need to transport. Then we can choose between low bed trailers and flatbed trailers.

But the easiest way: tell us what you need to transport, and we’ll give you the best advice.


Different between lowbed trailer and flatbed trailer is end. Flatbed trailers and lowbed trailers have many similarities and differences, mainly in the goods to be transported and classification. We can choose according to the cargo what we need to transport, local height, and weight limits.


What is lowbed

Lowbed trailer usually adopt an open beam (or sound type) frame. The front section of the whole structure likes swan-neck (swan-neck front section of the traction pin is connected with the traction saddle on the traction car, and the swan-neck rear end is associated with the semi-trailer frame), and the middle section is the cargo platform (the lowest part of the frame), and the back end is the wheel frame (including wheels).

Difference between low bed and flatbed trailer

The purpose of flatbed trailers and low bed trailers are very different. The flatbed trailer is mainly used to transport cargo, while the low bed trailer is mainly used to transport construction machinery. Meanwhile, in terms of design, the flat of flatbed trailer has the same height, while the flat of low bed trailer has a lower middle, and its flat design is generally high and low.