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Thread: pros and cons of covered wagons vs. flatbed

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    BigDumbDog777 is offline Rookie
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    Default pros and cons of covered wagons vs. flatbed

    Curious as a driver what the advantaged/disadvantages are for each. As I apply to several companies (one being Maverick) I am curious. I am in good physical shape for any tarping etc..., so thats not an issue. I live in the Chicago area and a newbie with a CDL.

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    Sealord is offline Senior Board Member
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    Default Covered Wagons/Flatbed

    Can be the same wagon. Some flatbed companies have the trailers configured to carry the tarp, stakes, panels, and bows to set up a "covered wagon". A CW can be faster to load/unload depending on the skill of the driver. Not the same as a curtainside. BOL

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    Depends on what you are hauling. Covered wagons are mainly designed for steel coils. Its alot faster than tarping a coil on a flatbed, especially if you are hauling more than one at a time. But as a steelhauler you may end up with a load of beams, bars, rod, pipe, skids, or anything else that fits inside your wagon. These loads will make you wish you had a flatbed because you have to take down the side panels and there may not be alot of room to work when your trying to put it back together. Maverick has a steel division (covered wagons) with a yard in Gary. I would think it would be perfect for you living in Chicago. Mostly steel coils, run closer to home (800 mi radius), and no problem getting good hometime every weekend. My cousin is in this division. If you want more variety, (lumber, building products, steel, or anything else) and a wider running area then go flatbed.

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    Default Re: Covered Wagons/Flatbed

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealord
    Can be the same wagon. Some flatbed companies have the trailers configured to carry the tarp, stakes, panels, and bows to set up a "covered wagon".
    Your right Sealord but its not something you want to do very often. I've done it and its alot of work. The tarp is 50 feet long and all the ropes have to be retied and adjusted. I'd rather wait for another load than take down my sidekit! :lol:

    But I dont work there anymore anyway.

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    Now are you asking about a covered wagon or a connestoga trailer? Alot of guys call a connestoga a covered wagon. Just asking so we can compare apples to apples.
    Don't trust anybody. Especially that guy in the mirror.

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    redsfan is offline Senior Board Member
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    Ditto on you being in a good area for Maverick's covered wagon division. You should get plenty of hometime, but you'll rarely leave the I-80, I-90 & I-70 areas. Of course the major downside, to the Maverick flatbedders you'll be known as a "sidekit sissy"...
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    Some shippers require a covered wagon. There is less likelihood of weather damage from a ripped tarp. Some shippers load from the rear and unload from the side. If you primarily haul steel and need to do a lot of tarping, a covered wagon will save you a quite a bit of time. It will save time tarping and you can also keep all your chains and ratchets inside the wagon which also saves time and protects your equipment from the elements. Most people who pull a covered wagon prefer to keep the kit up. It can take a couple of hours or longer to break down and secure it. It isn't something you want to do on a regular basis. When I pulled a covered wagon it was rare that I broke it down. I stayed pretty busy keeping it up. One other advantage to having a covered wagon is that you are not as likely to slip and fall off the trailer in bad weather. If you want to pull an over sized load it will be necessary to break the kit down. I know of some who prefer tarping to using a side kit or covered wagon.

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    BigDumbDog777 is offline Rookie
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    Default is it really a pain in the a** to tarp/tiedown?

    is it a real pain in the a** to tarp and tie down on a flat bed? I know it depends on the load but typically how long can it take?

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    BigDumbDog777 is offline Rookie
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    LOL...sidekit sissy....it just sunk in...do the other drivers really raz/harass you? Why? arnt you still doing the same basic flatbed work like tying down/chaining like they are?

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    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan
    you'll be known as a "sidekit sissy"...
    Yeah well you must've been saying it under your breath cause I never heard it! And if I did I'd kick your *&^$^^#!@ERT*^%^UJUTR%&IUI and then _(*^#$^^%$#@$%&^%%^&* you stup*& &^%$*()(&^$@%^%$!

    FYI I'm an ex Ultra Force Transformer. Never heard of us have you? Thats because it takes a triple top secret clearance and the public doesnt know about us. We can be a Navy Seal, Army Ranger, Special Forces or wear any color beret you got! AND I know kungfu!

    Ten?

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

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    BigDumbDog777 is offline Rookie
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    hey snowman do you prefer the wagon over flatbedding? I forget are you with Maverick? If you are any insight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDumbDog777
    hey snowman do you prefer the wagon over flatbedding? I forget are you with Maverick? If you are any insight?
    For me it was a means to an end. I wanted one of those high paying LTL jobs pulling doubles. Which I now have. I make more now and I dont touch any freight.

    But to get driving experience I worked for a covered wagon outfit here in Ohio called Valley Transportation. My cousin is at Maverick. I chose flatbed/covered wagon because it pays more than vans for a new driver and you get home weekends. I had no desire to live in a truck 2-4 weeks at a time for $600 a week. Whether you go flatbed or wagon you should be able to make 800-1200 a week gross with either TMC or Maverick and get weekends off.

    Securing is hard dirty work especially in 100 degree heat, 0 degree cold, 50 mph winds, rain etc. Some people like it, others hate it. Easy loads take a half hour to secure, hard loads can take 2 hours. I prefer steelcoils in a covered wagon. Fairly easy work compared to flatbed. If you went to Maverick's steel division you might even get an occasional shower, dinner, sleep in your own house during the week. Chicago is perfect for steel. Depends on what your looking for. Its a pretty good gig for a new driver if you want money and home time.

    I did it because it paid more when I was new and the weekend thing. Once you get experience you can find that same money pulling vans and the pay begins to even out. Or like my job, where I work 40-50 hours a week with great pay, bennies ,pension etc and sleep in my own bed. For some people driving is a lifestyle, for me its a job, I already have a lifestyle!

    But everyone's got the own opinion on what makes them happy.

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    BigDumbDog777 is offline Rookie
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    Thanks snowman. you just answered a question I posed in another thread about the time it takes to tarp/secure.

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    Bigmon is offline Senior Board Member
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    I keep hearing about tarping in the rain. Isn't the load already wet?

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    redsfan is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman7
    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan
    you'll be known as a "sidekit sissy"...
    Yeah well you must've been saying it under your breath cause I never heard it! And if I did I'd kick your *&^$^^#!@ERT*^%^UJUTR%&IUI and then _(*^#$^^%$#@$%&^%%^&* you stup*& &^%$*()(&^$@%^%$!

    FYI I'm an ex Ultra Force Transformer. Never heard of us have you? Thats because it takes a triple top secret clearance and the public doesnt know about us. We can be a Navy Seal, Army Ranger, Special Forces or wear any color beret you got! AND I know kungfu!

    Ten?

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
    No, we never said it under our breath. It was just a little jab the flatbedders threw at the covered wagon guys because they didn't have to sling tarps. Just good fun.

    Your training is impressive, however, I'll warn you. To steal a quote from "In Living Color", I know Taekwondo, Tai Chi and Tyrone, he's the one who taught me all that sh*t...
    The opinions expressed are those of the author's only. They do not represent the views of CAD or of the other members of CAD...

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    redsfan is offline Senior Board Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmon
    I keep hearing about tarping in the rain. Isn't the load already wet?
    I can't say that I ever actually tarped in the rain. If I did, the tarp was rolled out and pinned down then I might button it up in the rain.

    However, you'd be surprised at how often you might untarp in the rain. Many shippers or carriers will require you to tarp something that the customer didn't require to be tarped. You get there and they pull it off and stack it right out in the middle of a muddy field. Then you get into partial tarp loads, etc. and sometimes it doesn't make much sense. Maverick's stance was always, if on the Qualcomm it has a Y beside the word Tarp? you just tarp it. You don't call your FM and whine about it, just do it. They are paying you for it. That was the approach I always took. Some guys would sit around and cry about it for a half hour and by that time the job could've been done.
    The opinions expressed are those of the author's only. They do not represent the views of CAD or of the other members of CAD...

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    tbogle05 is offline Member
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    Ive tarped in the rain outside and the load was already wet. The reason for doing it was to keep all the road grime off of the wood. The load was going from conneticut to memphis. it was a load of fancy light poles that had electric lanterns that hung off of them for the zoos expansion.

    It was a fun load to tarp, they were L shaped and banded together to form a square hollow in the middle. only 13' high.(Im also scared of heights) Once I got the tarp spread out up there It was a breeze to get tarped but a pain to get rolled out. That load took a couple hours to secure and tarp.

    Coils and fairly smooth low loads maybe 30 mins to an hour to tarp depending on conditions. high loads and jagged load that require a lot of padding may take me 2-3 hours to tarp or more depending on conditions.
    On the road again Finally!!!!!

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