Drop Deck Trailers (Step Deck Trailers)

Trailer Type - Drop Deck Trailer

Drop Deck Trailers

Drop Deck Trailers, also known as step decks or single drops, are a type of flatbed trailer that has two deck levels. At the front is the upper level of the trailer which couples with the tractor’s fifth wheel. Past the tractor the trailer drops to a lower level, which can accommodate taller loads than those hauled by standard flatbed trailers.

Trailer Characteristics

Common Freight


  • Common Length: 48′
    • Upper Deck: 11′
    • Lower Deck: 37′
  • Overall Width:  8’6″ (102″)
  • Overall Height:
    • Upper Deck: 5′
    • Lower Deck: 3’4″ – 3’6″


  • Maximum Payload Weight: ~46,000 lbs

Loading and Unloading

  • Commonly loaded from the sides or rear with a forklift, or from above using a crane.


  • Because the deck is not enclosed, tarps and straps are commonly used on drop deck trailers to protect and secure freight.