Each year, around 12 billion tons of freight are shipped via trucking. To reliably move products on time, companies will choose a flatbed trucking company that meets their logistical needs.
If you are looking to hire a freight forwarding service, asking the right questions can ensure that your logistical needs are met. Read on to learn the top 9 questions that you should ask before hiring your next flatbed trucking service.
1. Do Your Drivers Have a Clean Record?
Potential customers have a reasonable expectation that any driver they hire does not have a bad record when it comes to delivering freight.
A clean record is a good indicator that the driver who picks up your products has a level personality and professional attitude when it comes to being responsible for shipments. Ask how far back the company goes when checking the record of any drivers they use.
The more in-depth the driving record, the more confident you’ll be that the trucking company takes driving professionalism seriously.
2. Are Your Drivers Licensed?
Having a clean driving record is a great start, but drivers should also be licensed and certified to operate a flatbed. Flatbeds are difficult to maneuver.
A professional trucking service or trucking broker will ensure that all drivers are properly licensed and trained to follow driving rules and road signs.
3. What Security Measures Do You Take?
There are many unexpected problems that can occur while loading, driving, storing, and unloading products. For instance, heavy equipment might topple over in the event of a windy situation. Ask questions like how they plan to load and unload items to and from the flatbed.
You may also want to ask if they have the right tools for the job. Don’t be afraid to get specific. Any reputable flatbed trucking service will have a prompt and precise answer to those questions.
4. Do You Offer Insurance?
Even with expert drivers, you’ll want to know that some sort of insurance policy is protecting the safety of your freight. Consider the amount of liability the trucking service offers your company. You’ll want to make sure that amount exceeds the value of your products.
Beyond insurance, do they offer a warranty that ensures that goods and services are delivered as agreed to?
5. What Is Your Company’s History in the Trucking Industry?
This question can help you avoid fly-by-night companies that pop up to trick customers into thinking the company has a history of providing services. Ask the trucking service provider to describe the company’s history. If they do not describe how many years they have been in service, follow up by asking when the company was founded.
The companies that have been around the longest tend to have the best record of providing prompt and reliable service.
6. Does Your Trucking Company Offer Tarping?
Flatbed trucks are, by design, devoid of any built-in cover. For that reason, you’ll want to ask the company if they provide any sort of covering. Inclement weather is one of the biggest threats facing your products.
The proper covering can prevent your load from being damaged or even destroyed while en route. Tarps also prevent items from becoming dislodged or falling off trucks, especially during high wind situations.
7. Will Your Company Use Chains, Straps, or Both?
Details matter. Even with proper covering, your delivery is not safe unless it is securely fastened to the bed of the truck.
Some companies prefer straps or chains. If they use chains, you’ll want to make sure that steps are taken to protect your delivery from nicks and scratches.
8. Does Your Driver Have a Criminal Record?
Don’t worry about feeling uncomfortable with this question. Your shipment has value, and you should reasonably expect that the driver who is entrusted to deliver your goods has as clean records.
Most companies provide criminal background checks as a routine step. You can follow up by asking if drivers are screened for drugs. Driving a flatbed truck is a serious skill that requires a clear mind.
9. Does Your Company Have Experience Shipping My Type of Product?
Not all freight is equal, and some items require specialized experience. If you are shipping perishable items or potentially fragile products that require special handling, it is probably worth calling around to see which companies have first-hand experience safely transporting those types of goods.
Of course, there are more than nine things to consider when shopping around for a trusted trucking service. Before you start calling, make a list of questions that come to mind. You’ll need to know the delivery radius the trucking fleet covers.
The location of the company is also important because you will want to avoid extended trips just to reach your business for the loading phase. Finally, ask around and read online reviews to ensure that your final choice is respected and trustworthy.
Learn More About the Flatbed Trucking Company Industry
Finding the right flatbed trucking company doesn’t have to be a hassle. Coming prepared with the right questions can give you peace of mind before you load up your precious products for delivery.
If you are looking for an intermediary trucking company, contact the team at Patriot Freight Group. Since 2014, our owners have pursued a vision of providing a fully functional trucking service. Our fleet can reach the lower 48 states and Canada.
Shoot us an email or give us a call today. We look forward to meeting your flatbed trucking needs.