01925 202020



2021 21 Plate SCANIA R540 Highline Tag Axle – PN21FLX

  • 490,121 Kms
  • Tractor Unit
  • 2021
  • 540 Bhp

2021 21 Plate SCANIA R450 Highline Tag – PJ21YME

  • 490,121 Kms
  • Tractor Unit
  • 2021
  • 450 Bhp

2021 21 Plate SCANIA R500 Highline Tag with Walking Floor Hydraulics – PK21RFJ

  • 490,121 Kms
  • Tractor Unit
  • 2021
  • 500 Bhp

What Is the Maximum Weight Allowed on a Flatbed?


Flatbed trucks are the most popular type of truck on the road in the UK, and it’s no surprise as to why. These trucks have one of the most versatile configurations and can handle freight of various shapes and sizes.

For businesses that transport heavy or irregularly shaped loads, flatbed trucks offer more freedom than an enclosed bed. However, flatbeds can only safely hold a certain amount of weight, so it’s crucial to make sure that you don’t overload them.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing:

– How to work out your flatbed’s weight range

– The maximum weight allowed on a flatbed

– Choosing the right flatbed for the job

Read on to find out what the maximum weight allowed on a flatbed is and how to avoid receiving a hefty fine.

How to determine your flatbed's weight range

The maximum weight allowed on a flatbed varies based on the type of flatbed. It goes without saying that a larger flatbed truck will be able to hold more weight than a smaller one.

To determine the weight range of your flatbed, you will need to locate the manufacturer’s or ministry’s (DVSA) weight plate. This tells you the vehicle’s plated weights and can usually be found inside the cab or sometimes on the trailer chassis.


The weight plate shows:

– Gross vehicle weight – The maximum weight limit for the truck, including its load and fuel.

– Axle weight – The maximum total weight that can be transferred to the road by the wheels on one axle.

– Gross train weight – The total weight of the vehicle, towed trailer, and load.

To work out the flatbed truckload, subtract the kerb weight of each axle (issued by the manufacturer) from the plated axle weight. The heavier the load, the more axles your flatbed will need.

So, what is the maximum weight allowed on a flatbed?

According to the Authorised Weight Regulations 1998:

– 2-axle flatbed trucks can handle a maximum combined weight of 18,000kg

– 3-axle flatbed trucks can handle a maximum combined weight of 25,000kg (or 26,000kg with road-friendly suspension)

– 4 or more axle flatbed trucks can handle a maximum combined weight of 30,000kg (or 32,000kg with road-friendly suspension)

What happens if you exceed the weight limit of your flatbed?

It is an offence to exceed the plated weight limit of a flatbed truck in the UK. Doing so poses a huge safety risk and will result in you being fined.

There are separate offences for exceeding the gross vehicle weight and axle weights, which means that fines can quickly double or even triple if you’re found exceeding the limits.

Take care to make sure your flatbed load does not exceed the maximum allowed weight to avoid fines and reputational damage to your business.


Choosing the right flatbed truck for the job

The best way to avoid exceeding the weight limit of your flatbed is by making sure you choose one that is well-suited to the job at hand.

You’ll need to take factors such as the dimensions, weight, loading and unloading method, weather protection, and load security into consideration.

There are a few different types of flatbed truck to consider, all manufactured with specific freight in mind:

– Standard flatbed – Typically used to carry lumber, steel, machinery, or construction equipment.

– Stretch flatbed – Used to carry long loads that would not fit in a standard flatbed.

– Single-drop or step deck – Has a lowered bed, which makes it ideal for tall or bulky loads, such as farm or construction equipment.

– Double-drop or lowboy – Has an even lower bed for carrying tall and heavy cargo, including cars and bulldozers.

– Gooseneck – Has a removable gooseneck that acts as a ramp for driving equipment such as cranes, shipping containers, and construction equipment onto the trailer.

– Conestoga – Has a sliding tarp system to protect the load from weather and keep it more secure in transit, which is ideal for moving loads such as lumber, steel, machinery, wiring, or aircraft parts.

Smith Bros. can match you with your ideal rigid truck

At Smith Bros., we source pre-owned flatbed trucks from a range of popular manufacturers, including Scania and DAF.

We’re dedicated to providing the best service in the pre-owned commercial vehicle industry. That’s why if you’re looking for a specific truck for sale and can’t find it in our current catalogue, we’ll do our best to track it down for you with the help of our nationwide contacts.

Just get in touch with the team to find your perfect flatbed truck today.


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