0 0
Read Time:9 Minute, 34 Second

If you’re a step deck truck owner-operator, you know how important it is to find specialty loads that pay good rates. That’s why we built one of the first digital freight matching tools to give you more options, more loads, and more money.

The Truck stop step deck load board is an all-in-one solution to help you find the specialty loads you need, book them fast, and make more money. Featuring tens of thousands of pre-vetted brokers you can trust, and decision tools that put quality rate data at your fingertips.


A step deck truck is a type of trailer that can carry cargo that’s too tall for flatbed trucks. These types of trailers can help truckers move loads that exceed height restrictions and can reduce costs by avoiding the need to get permits.

Moreover, these types of trailers can be safer to load and unload than flatbed trucks. Loads can be dropped directly onto the trailer’s platform, and they can be strapped securely to both the truck and the trailer.

This makes them easy to load and unload, and it also allows for easier transport of heavier cargo. This is especially important if the cargo contains components with varying weights. It’s also crucial to distribute the weight correctly so that the truck remains stable and doesn’t damage its tires.

For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets rules to ensure that the cargo doesn’t shift on axels or on top of the truck. The regulations are meant to protect cargo, reduce accidents and save truckers time.

When deciding which trailer to use, it’s critical to know the dimensions and weight of your load. Taking a few minutes to assess the size of your cargo can ensure that you’re choosing the right trailer for your shipment.

The maximum allowable weight for step deck trailers is 48,000 pounds, which is the same as that of flatbed trailers. However, it’s important to note that the weight limit varies by state. For example, a step deck trailer in Washington can only haul 48,000 pounds while the maximum allowed in Texas is 72,000 pounds.

A step deck trailer can be a valuable addition to any carrier’s fleet. They can handle more freight, allowing them to deliver more goods and make more money.

They can be used to transport large pieces of machinery that are too big for a flatbed trailer, but don’t fit into a standard box trailer. Examples of such shipments include agriculture equipment, crated industrial machinery and other bulky items that need to be shipped in a safe manner.

If you’re a trucker with a step deck trailer, you can use the Truckstop Load Board to find and book loads in your preferred lane. With advanced search and filter capabilities, you’ll be able to find loads that match your specific preferences. Plus, the tools you need to make better decisions will help you maximize your profits on every load.

Fuel Efficiency

When you have a lot of freight to haul, you want to use the most efficient truck possible. One way you can do this is by selecting a step deck trailer.

These trucks are designed to carry loads that can’t fit in conventional dry vans. They also are great for carrying cargo that’s taller than recommended for flatbed trucks.

They’re perfect for transporting machinery, construction equipment, and other tall freight that can’t be accommodated by traditional flatbeds. Plus, they offer extra flexibility in meeting height restrictions, which can help your business avoid detours and delays.

As a result, they can save your company time and money by cutting down on freight costs. In addition, they can help your business stay within legal height restrictions and avoid the hassles of hauling tall equipment under bridges, which can be dangerous.

Step decks allow cargo to sit lower than traditional flatbeds, which means you can travel closer to the ground and still meet all legal height requirements. This allows you to avoid detours, snags, and accidents that can cost your business or your customers money.

Moreover, step decks are easier to load than flatbeds. Cargo can be dropped directly onto the platform and strapped in place, which can help keep it from shifting while driving or during the loading and unloading process.

While loading a step deck, be sure to align the cargo evenly throughout the platform to maximize fuel efficiency and prolong the life of your tires. In addition, you should always place the cargo in front of the trailer, as this will spread it across the platform more effectively.

Finally, a step deck trailer can cut down on fuel costs by reducing excessive idling. The EPA reports that trimming just 1% of empty miles from one long-haul truck could save over 100 gals of fuel.

In fact, limiting excess idling can help reduce fuel consumption by more than 20,000 ton-miles per year. This can translate to more than $1,200 in savings for a typical step van truck, or $2,900 for an enclosed delivery van truck.


Load Management

If you need to haul freight that exceeds the height limit of standard flatbed trailers, a step deck truck may be the right solution. These trailers have two levels and can accommodate cargo up to 53 feet in length and 48,000 pounds in weight.

In addition to providing more space, a step deck can help manage your business by reducing risk and costs. In particular, these trucks can haul oversized equipment and machinery that would otherwise be too tall for a conventional flatbed.

When you use a step deck truck, you’ll also find that it’s easier to load and unload than a regular flatbed truck. This is due to the lowered deck, which allows you to load and unload cargo without using cranes or other heavy equipment.

This is especially beneficial for freight that requires permits to be shipped, as the lowering of the flatbed allows you to move it through customs faster than a traditional truck. The lowered flatbed also reduces the weight of the cargo, which can reduce your fuel consumption.

To make the most of this type of trailer, you need to be able to know what types of freight it can transport and what regulations are in place for it. If you’re not sure, an experienced logistics consultant can help you determine the best option for your freight.

You can also save time and money by partnering with a step deck trucking company that offers additional freight services, such as dry vans or flatbeds. This means that you can get all of the shipping services you need from one source, which can be beneficial for your business.

As a result, you can expect more profitable shipments. Additionally, you can build a strong relationship with the freight transportation company.

A step deck can also help you save on costs by allowing you to run more loads with less downtime. In fact, it’s a great way to level up your profits by keeping up with the pace of freight shipping and booking loads more easily.

If you’re an owner-operator of a step deck truck, there’s no reason to let the shortage of specialty loads keep you from building your fleet and making more money. With the help of the Truckstop step deck load board, you can find specialty loads that meet your specific needs, book them fast and make more money.


Step deck truck is a popular type of trailer for hauling tall cargo. It can transport loads that exceed the height limit of a traditional flatbed trailer without requiring additional permits. This saves time and money for drivers and logistics managers alike.

Compliance with federal transportation laws and regulations is important to any trucking company. This is particularly true when hauling freight that is taller than 8 feet, 6 inches in height. This means that you must have the proper equipment to load and unload your load correctly.

If you want to ensure that you can meet these requirements, it’s crucial to understand the compliance features of a step deck truck. This includes its commodity height, deck height and axle spacing.

Commodity Height – This is the height of the trailer’s lower deck from the ground to the top of the upper deck. This is the legal maximum cargo height that can be loaded on a step deck trailer, and it may vary from state to state.

This also varies depending on the commodity being hauled. The most common types of commodities that are transported on step deck trailers are construction materials, equipment and machinery.

A large advantage of using step deck trailers is that you can load and unload cargo with ease. This is especially beneficial for forklifts, which can lift heavy weight more safely and efficiently.

Additionally, step deck trailers have lower axle spacing than flatbed trucks, allowing them to move through low bridges and other tight spaces. This makes them an excellent choice for hauling cargo that has to go over narrower roads or through residential neighborhoods.

The axle spacing of a step deck truck can be adjusted in order to fit different cargo. It’s important to consult with your logistics manager about this, as it can help you determine whether a step deck truck is the best solution for your needs.

Lastly, you should make sure that you have the right equipment to load your cargo onto your step deck truck. This can include pipe stakes, a TWIC card and cargo hooks that allow you to secure your cargo on the trailer.

Flatbed Trailer Vs Step Deck Trailer

There is obviously a key difference between step deck vs flatbed, but it’s mainly just the step deck dimensions. When it comes to length and width, the step deck and flatbed have the same dimensions, but there is a key difference with the height of these trailers. With the lowered deck, as mentioned before, the step deck dimensions allow for larger cargo to be hauled, even if all the other specifications are pretty much the same, including the weight limit.

Freight Carried on a Flatbed Trailer

Due to their large surface area, flatbed trailers are great for hauling large loads with high freight weight, though they won’t suit when it comes to taller loads. Some examples of commonly transported traditional flatbed trailer cargo include:

  • Raw materials
  • Construction materials
  • Agricultural equipment
  • Scrap metal
  • Heating and cooling units
  • Certain oversize loads
  • In the transportation industry, we measure a truck and trailer’s legal capacity by subtracting the weight of the semi-tractor plus the weight of the empty trailer from 80,000 pounds. 
  • The number we’re left with is the total amount of freight weight that a trailer can legally haul without over-dimensional permitting. Although this number varies from one trailer to another, the typical weight capacity of a step-deck trailer falls right around 46,000 pounds. 
  • As such, these trailers are used to haul freight that falls at or near 46,000 pounds and below their 10 foot, 2-inch ceiling. 
  • Although these trailers can be used to haul open deck freight interchangeably with a flatbed, such as construction materials (I-beams, concrete, lumber), they also have a specific use-case centered around hauling taller freight. 
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *