Truck Accidents: Lowboy Trucks


Tractor-trailer accidents can be some of the most serious accidents on U.S. highways, simply due to the massive size and weight of these types of vehicles. Lowboy trucks, in particular, pose several specific safety concerns.

What is a Lowboy Truck?

A lowboy truck is defined as large trucking vehicle connected to an open, flat trailer. The trailer’s deck height is extremely low to the ground, so that cargo can be loaded and unloaded easily. The trailer is typically used to carry large, heavy construction or industrial equipment. Special permits are often required for lowboy trucks because of the oversized loads.

There are two types of lowboy truck-trailers, front loading and rear loading. With a front loader, the gooseneck (large metal apparatus that connects the trailer to the truck) either detaches or folds down for loading from the front of the trailer. Rear-loading lowboy trailers have a stationary gooseneck and a rear, folding ramp for loading.

Lowboy Accidents and Safety Concerns

Unsecured loads

The heavy loads carried on lowboy truck-trailer combinations need to be securely attached to the center of the trailer. This prevents the load from shifting during transit. If shifting occurs, the truck and trailer can become off-balance, leading to driver control issues, or a jackknifed rig.

In addition, if the load is not secured well, a piece of heavy equipment could roll off during transport or at the point of unloading. This is a real concern for workers loading and unloading equipment, and vehicles traveling near, and especially behind, a lowboy truck.


Brake and parking brake system maintenance is important for these lowboy truck-trailer combinations, as a lowboy driver unable to brake effectively can cause a serious highway accident.

Pinch points and crushing hazards

Lowboy operators and workers must be extra cautious, as there are many highly dangerous “pinch points” from movable parts in the goosenecks, ramps, winches and other areas. These pinch points can crush a worker easily during loading and unloading cargo, strapping cargo and hooking the lowboy trailer to the truck.

In addition, to avoid potential crushing hazards, unloading and loading on hard, level ground is paramount to safety.

Diminished driver views

When a lowboy truck is hauling a large load of equipment, the driver will be unable to see, in most cases, people around the vehicle or other traffic in the truck’s blind spots.


Source by Erich Shrefler