What are Flatbed and Tabletop Trailers? Your Complete Guide

Finding your perfect trailer isn’t always going to be easy.  You may have already seen that there are plenty of choices available!  Some drivers opt for cage and box trailers, while others choose simpler constructions.  However, the right trailer for you is going to be that which suits your needs throughout the year.

You may, for example, already be looking at flatbed trailers and tabletop trailers.  These trailer choices are some of the simplest, at least to look at.  To many people, they are the ‘default’ option.  However, they are a little more complicated and dynamic than some people give them credit for being!

People use tabletop and flatbed trailers for various purposes.  In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at what a flat or tabletop trailer actually is, and why the choice might be useful for your home or business needs.  Don’t be sure to make a purchase until you’ve read up on what to expect!

What Are Flatbed and Tabletop Trailers?

First of all, it is worth considering what’s in a name.  Flatbed trailers are known by many different terms!  There are open trailers, tabletop trailers, and flat-top trailers.  Although, there actually isn’t much difference between these options!

What ties them all together, however, is their basic construction.  Flat or open trailers, or those with tabletops, are simple platforms.  While box and cage trailers offer you walled sides and even ceiling, a flat trailer offers you a rigid, reliable platform on wheels.  You can buy a tabletop trailer with multiple axles for added stability and control.

However, the principle is the same.  These trailer choices may seem simple, but not everyone will benefit from walled trailers.  In fact, some people and industries may do better investing in an open unit.

It’s worth noting that some tabletop trailers come with sides and ends.  However, for the enclosed approach, it’s probably more likely you’ll opt for a box or cage trailer.

Why Might I Need a Flatbed or Tabletop Trailer?

Flatbed trailers and open trailers give you simplicity in design.  The main reason why people choose to buy an open or tabletop trailer lies in the load-bearing.  More often than not, a flatbed trailer can carry more than your average box trailer.

Not only are flatbed trailers perfect for carrying heavy cargo, but they are also superb at handling large amounts of cargo, as well as unwieldy items.  If a box or cage trailer is simply not big enough to hold your industrial equipment, for example, an open trailer is a great choice.

Many people see the trade-off for security – comparing between boxes and open trailers – as worth the added suspension.  You can quickly secure large items and collective cargo to a flatbed trailer without losing sleep.  To some people, this may mean a little extra effort, but more often than not, it is worth the investment of time and money.

Who Uses Flatbed Trailers?

Many people use flatbed trailers and open trailer systems for residential and business purposes.  Open trailers offer a considerable amount of flexibility.  Therefore, anyone likely to need to haul heavy, bulky loads are probably going to benefit from the simplicity of a flat trailer.

Here’s just a quick breakdown of a few people across Australia who might find flatbed trailers useful.

Vehicle Manufacturers and Mechanics

Flatbed and tabletop trailers are fantastic for moving extremely heavy parts.  If you work in an automotive factory, for example, you’re going to need a safe way to haul some of the biggest features in your assembly line.  When heavy-duty trucks aren’t available, a sturdy flatbed trailer will do the job.

This, again, is thanks to its incredible weight-bearing.  With open trailers, you also benefit from a lack of restriction.  Oddly-shaped factory or construction parts, and tools, are free to tie and secure to these trailers.


People Hauling Varied Loads

Flatbed and open trailers offer plenty of support to varied loads.  While other trailer options might specialize, these trailers provide fantastic ‘general’ support.  That’s because there’s no restricting walls, slopes, or other faculties.  You get a basic platform, a sturdy set of axles, and plenty of accessibility.

Do you know how much you’ll need to haul one day to the next?  Do you need a trailer for ad hoc work?  You may find a flatbed trailer or tabletop option to be a catch-all solution.  Buying a trailer is a serious investment.  Therefore, it pays to be careful not to tie yourself down.

Gardeners and Farmhands

Flatbed trailers make for fantastic farm work resources. While a box trailer can hold and take a lot, an open trailer offers more in the way of flexibility. If you are uprooting plants or planting trees, for example, you’re going to need a long, heavy-duty, and reliable system to bear everything on the road.

They are also very easy to access. You can throw garden and farm refuse onto a flatbed trailer, secure it, and drive away. Aside from ties and fastenings, there are absolutely no fussy setup demands. A good flatbed trailer will also be low down enough for you to pick up and place down items.

Why Might a Flatbed Trailer Not Be a Good Idea?

Of course, there are going to be occasions where a tabletop or flatbed trailer isn’t ideal.  That’s why there are so many different specialist trailers available!  As part of our honest approach, we want to make sure you get the full lowdown on trailer types, so you know you’re making the best choice for your long-term needs.

A flatbed trailer, while great for general loads, pales in comparison to the fixed security of box trailers.  While a basic flatbed is easy enough to fasten and secure, a box or cage offers instant enclosure.  That is likely to be ideal for sensitive cargo, or for when you need to move animals.  For example, a flatbed trailer is never going to be ideal for zookeepers.

Many people have very specific needs, too.  For example, not all flatbed trailers tip or tilt, but some can, and it’s a custom request we honor.  However, at the most basic level, you are merely looking at a flat platform – which in some cases may not offer the dexterity and flexibility you need.

Why Flatbed Trailers are a Great Idea?

However, let’s take a look at some positive thoughts.  Flatbed trailers are simple, easy to manage, and are extremely sturdy.  You must check features such as suspension, axles, galvanization, and fastenings before you buy.  We look at shopping and buying advice in a little more detail in our complete buyer’s guide.

Flatbed trailers are fantastic when you are dealing with unwieldy loads.  They are often low and easy to load onto and off.  What’s more, without restrictions, you have more freedom in terms of what you can haul.  You’ll need to adhere to road laws, of course, but there’s significantly more wiggle room on the go.

Flatbed trailers and open trailers are also amongst the most customizable.  You can customize almost any type of trailer for your own needs.  However, a flatbed option offers you something of a blank canvas.

You can choose the dimensions, the load-bearing, the fastenings, and even the finish.  Need a tipper trailer function?  You can add that in, too.

If you would like minimal walls for a flatbed trailer, this is easy enough to arrange.  You won’t receive the full restrictions of a box, but you’ll have just enough security and stability for more sensitive loads.

Therefore, a flatbed option may be the perfect choice if you’re unsure of what to look for.  However, as always, it’s worth comparing between various types.

Buying a Flatbed Trailer

While buying a flatbed trailer or tabletop might seem easy, you’re still going to need to take care. Not all sizes will fit all needs. Regardless of who you buy a trailer from, ask to see a model in person. Make sure that the welding is of high quality, and that the build is sturdy.

Above all, you should check a flatbed trailer for its suitability to your vehicle. What’s more, how big does a trailer look in person? It’s all well and good to look at dimensions and various data but take a look at your trailer in the flesh. Is it going to give you the support you need?


Flatbed and open trailers seem simple enough.  They are, in fact, some of the best general or catch-all trailer options around.  They are easy to customise and very versatile.

However, they may not always be the best options for your needs.  Make sure to read our continuing posts and guides before you put any money behind a trailer of your own!

As always, Muscle Trailers is here to help you find the best fit for your car.  Need a flatbed trailer for home or business use?  Take a look at our full selection or get in touch with the team for customization support.