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A lowboy or double-drop trailer refers to a type of flatbed trailer that has a well or middle section that is of lower height, according to Entertainment Transportation Network Inc.

Flatbed Trailers

o One of the features that differentiates flatbed trailers from one another is the trailer bed height. Unlike a standard flatbed, whose height is uniform throughout at 60 to 62 inches, a lowboy has two higher sections along with a lower middle area.

Taller Shipments

o The middle section of a lowboy may only be 22 to 24 inches in height. This type of trailer can carry shipments as tall as 11.5 feet and is more suitable for heavy, over-sized loads. Using a standard flatbed for taller loads may require special permits, resulting in delays and requiring additional safety precautions.

Disadvantages

o Lowboys are a less common type of trailer and cost more to use. For smaller, lighter loads, a standard flatbed is more cost-effective. But lowboys make more sense for larger cargo. Loads can be driven directly onto a lowboy, according to Ryan Transportation Services.

Lowboy trailers should be used with safety in mind at all times. Accidents have occurred when misuse of the equipment resulted in injury. Actions that might seem logical are not always safe to perform with a lowboy trailer.

Steps for Safe Operation

o Read well the operations manual for the lowboy trailer. The University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, you should start the load in low gear, wear a seat belt and drive defensively.

Loading and Storage Tips

o When the lowboy is parked, keep the body of the trailer and the truck aligned one behind the other. Park the trailer and truck on flat ground when loading or unloading the trailer. Do not let your feet go under the deck of the lowboy trailer when loading or unloading the equipment.

Safely Securing the Load

o Lower any equipment that is raised before loading on the trailer. Chain the load on the trailer in all four directions. Make sure all equipment has its parking break on. High tensile chain is the best type of chain to use when securing the load on a lowboy trailer.