Over the past few months, we’ve talked a great deal about flat beds for trucks and one of the biggest questions we get is, “What floor should I have in my flatbed?”
Traditionally, the flooring options for flatbeds were and continue to be wood, steel, and aluminum. For folks who are making their own, steel and wood usually gets the nod, but its smart to remember this – everyone knows how to join wood, some people know how to weld steel, and very few amateurs are comfortable welding aluminum with a structural strength requirement.
As upfitters, Expertec has seen it all when it comes to the flooring our customers want in place on a flatdeck bed, so let’s look at the advantages each material has.
In the long run, any surface you choose has limitations. Our advice is to identify the most likely “average” and let that guide you.
Case in point: It’s incredibly important to make sure your flat bed provides you with good traction – a smooth, icy aluminum deck is going to be a skating rink half the year, but if you are moving heavy cargo on pallets, that slick surface can come in handy. On the other end of the spectrum, wood provides good traction in and of itself, but if you haul greasy or dirty materials, or chemicals like fertilizer, you may quickly find your bed damaged. That’s not to say aluminum or steel can’t be challenged by certain chemicals, but pressure washing aluminum or steel gets all the dirt off of it. It only gets “most” of the dirt out of the grain of wood.
Any way you cut it, flat bed deck surfaces will be a compromise, and that’s why it’s critical to understand your own needs or the needs of your company. For fleets, of course, this can be overcome by having certain trucks outfitted for certain tasks, but again, in the world of the trades and business, trucks have to work. If you’re in the market for a flatbed for your truck or your fleet, our suggestion is to schedule a call with our team to understand what surfaces work best in your situation and how we can overcome the challenges ANY surface might put up for your installation.