What’s The Difference Between A Flatbed & Dropside Truck

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Flatbed trucks and dropside trucks do not look so different from each other, but it is essential to understand those differences to make the right choice when picking a lorry type for your business. Both are robust and suited to heavy-duty work, but the subtle differences can, in the right situation, save you time or let you carry a load the other would not, or do so less efficiently.

Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed trucks have no sides or roof, and they are often chosen by businesses who require material loading with a crane; however, you can still load them by hand or with a forklift.

The best thing about flatbed trucks is that they maximise space, and without the restrictions of sides, they are incredibly versatile. If you want to shift tall items, items of irregular size, or oversized equipment, a flatbed lorry is the way to go. You can secure loads safely using chains or straps fixed to rope hooks or anchors positioned in and around the bed.

From long lengths of scrap metal to large furniture, you can move loads that other trucks cannot and save fuel by making fewer trips by capitalising on every inch of the load bed.

Flatbed trucks are excellent at preventing ice or snow build-up, without sides and corners for them to accumulate. They can be kitted out with all the accessories you might need, from light bars, to tow bars and toolboxes. Many models have GPS tracking for real-time fleet management and theft alerts, deadlocking cab doors for extra security, and heated mirrors.

DAF and Iveco make the most popular models, but every manufacturer has a long history of flatbed trucks rolling off the production line, each with its own quirks and benefits.

Dropside Trucks

Dropside trucks are characterised by their short folding sides that are hinged at the bottom, letting them drop down to give easy access for loading and unloading. The side’s design allows them to drop down below the level of the deck, reducing the risks of forklift drivers damaging the hinges or sides.

If your business operates in the construction sector or you are a builders merchant, then dropside trucks are fantastic movers of palletised materials such as bricks, blocks, paving, and bags of cement and adhesive. Some of the larger dropside trucks can hold up to four pallets.

Dropside trucks are also a firm favourite with gardening and landscaping companies and sole traders, with mixed loads secured with plenty of anchor securing points that help prevent dangerous load shifting issues.

There is a branding and advertising opportunity to put your livery on the sides or tailboard. Your driver’s safety can also be improved with assistive technologies such as collision warning, speed limiters, cruise control, distance and crosswind assistance, and autonomous city emergency braking.

If you are looking to purchase or can’t decide if a flatbed or dropside truck is right for you, please give our team a call.



Based at our four-acre site in Stonnall, near Walsall in the West Midlands, Cromwell Trucks is open seven days a week and sells only the very best second-hand trucks. We have a huge stock of used trucks and pre-owned commercial vehicles at our base, which means the truck of your dreams is right here waiting for you.

Cromwell Trucks has been selling quality used trucks from all the major manufacturers, like DAFIvecoMitsubishi, and Hino, for the past 65 years. We are a reputable used truck dealership and pride ourselves in selling a wide range of trucks, from scaffold trucksbox vans, and cranes to ex-council trucksskip loaders, and tipper trucks.


Whether you are in the construction business looking to upgrade your fleet of vehicles or a landscape gardener desperate for a more reliable and dependable truck, Cromwell Trucks will find the ideal truck for you.

When you buy a used vehicle for sale from Cromwell Trucks you are guaranteed to be buying the best-used vehicle around. Our skilled, passionate, and professional automotive team tests every single truck that enters our yard before it’s placed for sale on the website, ensuring your next vehicle is fully functional, roadworthy, and has plenty more life in the tank yet.

Our vast turnover of stock can sometimes mean not all vehicles are currently on-site or featured on our website. That is why we recommend you call us for availability or to enquire about any specific used vehicles. As well as our knowledgeable sales team we have a truck engineering department to meet individual requirements. Please be aware we usually have duplicates and variants of most of the used trucks featured.

For the best used DAF commercial vehicles, Iveco trucks, scaffold lorriestipper trucks, or ex-council vehicles for sale, contact us on 01922 663686.

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