ATS Transportation Blog

Top 15 Flatbed Trucking Companies in 2022 (& How to Choose)

Companies, like yours, that have goods to move, customer commitments to meet and bottom lines to maintain, can sometimes experience difficulty achieving these ends in the transportation industry. 

With so many providers to choose from and so much to consider when doing so, it’s not uncommon for shippers to see their supply chains falter under the weight of shoddy transportation partnerships — selected hastily or without enough consideration. 

Avoiding issues on your shipments doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with the right grouping of providers in your corner. The added intricacies that accompany many flatbed, step-deck and open-deck shipments, however, warrant a steady-handed, seasoned provider. 

And, as you know, these kinds of providers can be hard to come by.

Here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), we’ve been building our expertise as a specialized flatbed transportation company for more than 65 years. Today, ATS’s open-deck fleet consistently ranks among the best in the business. 

Although we’re confident in our processes and ability to help shippers move flatbed freight, even in the most unique circumstances, we recognize that there are other options out there. 

At the end of the day, the things that matter most to us are your satisfaction and the smooth facilitation of your supply chain — even if we’re not the company you choose. 

The truth is, there are a lot of great flatbed trucking companies in the United States. 

As we continue the march into 2022, a year that promises to hurl even more wrenches into the transportation landscape, your partnerships will matter more than ever. 

To give you the information necessary for making the absolute best transportation decisions for your needs, this article will serve two purposes:

  1. To list the top 15 flatbed trucking companies in 2022.
  2. To give you some tactics for choosing the best flatbed companies for you this year. 

It should be noted that the companies on this list were chosen based on revenue numbers reported by Transport Topics. Each provider listed below has separated itself from the field in gross earnings totals, size and reach. As such, we’re confident in listing these companies as the best in the business for the year 2022. 

Top 15 Flatbed Trucking Companies in 2022 

  1. Landstar System
  2. Daseke Inc.
  3. PS Logistics
  4. Bennett International Group
  5. TMC Transportation
  6. Maverick USA
  7. Mercer Transportation Co.
  8. Melton Truck Lines
  9. United Vision Logistics
  10. PGT Trucking
  11. Prime Inc.
  12. System Transport
  13. Western Express
  14. CRST The Transportation Solution
  15. Beemac Trucking

Let’s continue by outlining some key facts about each of these top flatbed carriers. 

Landstar System

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, cross-border, expedited, project cargo, transportation management.

Founded Date: 1968

Headquarters: Jacksonville, Florida

Visit Landstar’s website

Daseke Inc.

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized.

Founded Date: 2008

Headquarters: Addison, Texas

Visit Daseke’s website

PS Logistics

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, freight brokerage, temperature-controlled shipping, bulk hauling.

Founded Date: 2018

Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama

Visit the PS Logistics website

Bennett International Group

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, oil and gas transport, warehousing, freight forwarding, freight brokerage, customs brokerage, supply chain consulting.

Founded Date: 1974

Headquarters: McDonough, Georgia

Visit Bennett’s website

TMC Transportation

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized.

Founded Date: 1972

Headquarters: Des Moines, Iowa

Visit the TMC Transportation website

Flatbed-truck-empty-trailer

Maverick USA

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, dry van, freight brokerage.

Founded Date: 1980

Headquarters: Little Rock, Arkansas

View Maverick’s website

Mercer Transportation Co.

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, dry van, reefer, freight brokerage.

Founded Date: 1977

Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky

View Mercer’s website

Melton Truck Lines

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, freight brokerage.

Founded Date: 1954

Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Visit the Melton Truck Lines website

United Vision Logistics

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, hazardous freight transport, expedited.

Founded Date: 1947

Headquarters: Lafayette, Louisiana

Visit United Vision Logistics’s website

53-foot-flatbed-trailer

PGT Trucking 

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, bulk /tank, freight brokerage, project cargo.

Founded Date: 1981

Headquarters: Aliquippa, Pennsylvania 

Visit PGT’s website

Prime Inc.

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, reefer, tank/bulk freight brokerage.

Founded Date: 1970

Headquarters: Springfield, Missouri 

Visit Prime’s website

System Transport

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized.

Headquarters: Cheney, Washington

Visit System Transport’s website

Western Express

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, dry van, freight brokerage.

Founded Date: 1991

Headquarters: Nashville, Tennessee 

Visit Western Express’s website

CRST The Transportation Solution

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized, dry van, reefer, LTL, warehousing, freight brokerage.

Founded Date: 1955

Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Visit CRST’s website

Beemac Trucking

Services: Flatbed, heavy specialized.

Founded Date: 1984

Headquarters: Ambridge, Pennsylvania

View Beemac’s website

three-class-8-semi-tractors

How to Choose a Great Flatbed Trucking Company (4 Simple Considerations)

Look, simply listing the top 15 flatbed trucking companies for you to consider in 2022 will do you no favors. Sure, now you know that these companies outpace the competition in size, reach and revenue. 

But so what? Selecting the best trucking companies for your network is about more than picking the ones that have worked well for others. Your business is unique, your processes are sacred and your needs probably differ in many ways. Let’s make sure that you’re matching these needs to the capabilities of the flatbed providers you choose. 

To do so, make sure to prioritize the following things in your selection process:

  1. Company history
  2. Fleet size and areas of strength
  3. Safety practices 
  4. Technology usage

The Flatbed Provider’s History

When it’s time for the rubber to meet the road, for your shipment to pick up and your provider to take over, you’ll want to work with companies that have a long history doing so. 

Not only will this give you peace of mind in knowing that your freight is in good hands, but companies with strong histories moving specialized flatbed commodities are really good at doing so. 

With these companies you can rest assured that the trailer arriving to move your load will be in good condition, the driver on it will understand safe securement methods, the tractor hauling your freight will be well maintained and the route it travels — where applicable — will be adequately planned. 

When it comes to flatbed transportation, there are things that are only learned over time; through repeat trial and error, failure, adjustment and earned success. As such, make sure the provider you choose has a demonstrated history of growth through the good times and the bad.

Ask prospective companies questions like, “what is your company’s history moving my commodity?” and “do you have customers in my industry that you can provide as references?”

Even if these questions seem like silly things to ask now, the way a flatbed trucking company answers them will give you keen insight into how their history will benefit your supply chain long term. 

The Flatbed Provider’s Fleet Size and Areas of Strength

Not every trucking company is created equally. With more than a million companies out there, yet only 15 breaching this list, that much is plain to see. The best flatbed carriers understand their capabilities and stick to them. You’ll want to do the same. 

With fleet sizes ranging from a single truck and trailer (for owner/operators), to massive pools of assets — which can number in the thousands — working with a company that has the means to meet your demands is crucial. 

The sheer number of assets your flatbed carrier possesses isn’t the only thing you should look for, though. 

You see, if you choose a company that owns 1,200 trucks and 4,500 open-deck trailers, but operates solely out of and around the Southeast — a location that doesn’t match your Northeastern customer base — this partnership won’t work. 

Every trucking company, regardless of how large they are, has specific areas of strength. These are the areas of the United States (and the world) where the vast majority of their truckers and customers reside. 

Working outside of their regions of strength doesn’t make financial sense for flatbed trucking companies. Maximizing the use of their assets is important and extending their reach beyond what their infrastructure allows is too expensive to warrant. 

As such, in the interest of long-term partnership, make sure you firmly understand each carrier’s fleet size, strength areas and capabilities before handing over that first load. 

The Flatbed Trucking Company’s Safety Practices

Specialized flatbed transportation, although vital to our nation’s success and the fulfillment of your supply chain, can be some of the most dangerous shipments to move. 

Jagged edges, over-dimensional sizes and high weights are three of the factors making open-deck shipping particularly precarious. For this reason, flatbed trucking companies need to prioritize safety at every turn. 

The safest carriers approach safety from the top-down, cementing it in every area of their business, plainly displaying this commitment in their company values and hiring safety professionals to oversee and facilitate safety across their company.

Highly-trained drivers, industry-leading securement tools (straps, chains, tarps, etc) and well-maintained asset equipment (trailers, trucks) are three staples of carrier safety, but your carrier’s approach to safety shouldn’t stop there. 

Reach out to prospective trucking companies and ask them questions about their own safety procedures:

  • How do CSA ratings factor into your driver hiring processes?
  • What is the average age of your equipment? 
  • How often are drivers offered in-house training on securement and operation?

The safest companies don’t shy away from questions like these. Choose a company that answers these queries in a way that makes you feel comfortable. 

The Flatbed Provider’s Technology Usage

As we creep further into the digital age, the technology available for trucking companies to utilize continues to expand. When used correctly, technologies like GPS trailer tracking, electronic logging devices and customer experience software help carriers manage every shipment at the highest level. 

Although incorporating these technologies into their own practices is a significant investment for trucking companies, you’ll want to work with the carriers that have made it. 

A commitment to being on the cutting edge of the transportation world is a commitment to putting customer needs first. Unworthy carriers don’t take these investment opportunities as they arise, opting instead to stay a well-worn course — even if their customers suffer. 

Make sure your next flatbed carrier prioritizes and utilizes technologies. Ask them questions about these practices, including but not limited to:

  • What load-tracking technologies do you utilize and what are their features?
  • What technologies do you use to gain up-to-date freight market insights?
  • Do you offer a customer portal? What are its features?

The better you understand what you’re getting by working with each carrier, before offering them your business, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to find yourself in need of load-tracking visibility that your provider simply can’t offer. Avoid these, and many more mishaps, by vetting your flatbed carrier for technology usage. 

How to Select Your Best-Fit Flatbed Company

Now that you have this list of the 15 flatbed trucking companies that deserve a look in 2022, and have some things to consider when vetting them. Let’s take this conversation a step further. 

Putting your trust and leaving your freight in the hands of a bad company can be detrimental to your budget and customer relationships. 

As such, the more steps you take to avoid this in the consideration stage of your selection journey, the better off you’ll be. 

To help you avoid choosing a company that simply won’t fit your needs, Anderson Trucking Service has developed a 30-question Freight Carrier Vetting Guide. 

Download this comprehensive checklist today. It has helped many shippers navigate this decision in the past and will do the same for you in the future. 

Finally, if you have any questions about how ATS’s extensive fleet of trucks, pool of trailers and demonstrated history of reliability could mean for your supply chain this year, reach out to us. We have a flatbed transportation expert standing by to help you in any way you need.

Tags: Flatbed Shipping, Specialized Flatbed Shipping

Gary Stang

Written by Gary Stang

Gary serves as the senior vice president and general manager of ATS Specialized, where he oversees everything having to do with open deck freight. He also manages the Corporate Flight Department, sits on the 401k Committee and acts as the CEO of ATS-subsidiary, Warren Transport. Gary has been with ATS since 1993 in various roles, beginning as a customer service representative for K&W Transportation in Alaska.

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