What Is Full Truckload & What’s the FTL Max Weight Limit

Defining full truckload (FTL) shipping is relatively easy: this mode of shipping indicates the use of an entire tractor-trailer. However, explaining what the FTL max weight limit is, is a little more complex. Fortunately, the team at On Track Freight Systems can help. 

We are a leading trucking carrier, offering fast, next-day deliveries throughout New York and New Jersey. We offer less-than-truckload (LTL) freight shipping, full truckload shipping, and several other transportation solutions. At the same time, we offer fast transit times and exceptional deliveries throughout the United States, including:

Regardless of the cargo or destination, the On Track team will be with you throughout the final destination. Let’s take a closer look at FTL shipping as well as the FTL total weight limit. 

What Are Full Truckload Shipments?

As the name suggests, full truckload shipments are a popular shipping mode where you have enough cargo to occupy the entire volume of a truck trailer. However, you can also utilize FTL service if your cargo occupies less than a full truck trailer. Many customers with less than a full truckload choose FTL when they prefer exclusive use of the truck trailer. 

No matter your needs, FTL offers a dedicated truck trailer for your cargo.  That means the entire journey or truckload is reserved for only one shipment — yours. As logic would suggest, FTL service results in faster delivery due to the reduced number of stops. It also opens the door to a myriad of enticing service benefits:

  • Gain efficiencies for large shipments and cost savings
  • Safety benefits from less package handling
  • FTL boasts exceptional speed and transportation times for the load. 

What Is the FTL Max Weight Limit?

Finding the FTL max weight limit may sound straightforward, and it can be when you consider the weight of the trailer and tractor. It’s important to understand that individual States determine regulations and laws that impact the truck size and FTL max weight limits on parts of the National Highway System that aren’t part of the Interstate System. 

What Is the Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight for FTL?

Today, current truck standards — including FTL max weight limit rules — are a mixture of State and Federal laws and regulations. Federal law sets limits for axle loads and maximum gross vehicle weights that operate on the Interstate System. And the FTL max weight limits are as follows:

  • 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight
  • 20,000 pounds on a single axle
  • 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. 

This means the maximum FTL weight can’t exceed 80,000 pounds, which includes the weight of the trailer and tractor. So if you’re shipping extremely dense freight to a destination, you may notice additional space in an FTL trailer. Shippers will still, however, have to abide by the FTL max weight limit.

What Is the Average FTL Max Weight Limit in 53-Feet Trailers?

 The majority of 53-foot trailers are engineered to accommodate anywhere from 42,000 up to 45,000 pounds of freight. Depending on the volume of your cargo and what you’re shipping, we may be able to maneuver pallets to accommodate a few more. 

This strategy may allow you to stretch your shipping dollar a bit further. If you do plan on leveraging this strategy — the turned skid technique — it’s imperative your pallets are 4-way pallets. 

Not all pallets are 4-way, which means they are forklift accessible from all four sides. No matter the technique, your freight must adhere to all FTL max weight limits, including maximum gross vehicle weight. 

Fortunately, the team at On Track Freight Systems will guide you through the process. But planning ahead and clearly communicating with us will help our team leverage best practices to help you maximize your logistics dollars. 

Does FTL Shipping Weight Impact Freight Quote? 

Compared to LTL freight quotes, FTL rates are the easiest to calculate, utilizing a cost per mile traveled or a flat door-to-door rate. Here are the top factors used to determine FTL freight quotes

  • Mileage is critical in determining FTL rates, but it’s not straightforward. As a rule of thumb, longer distances will usually incur higher rates because of the additional fuel required and the driver’s time. However, not all lanes are created equally or cost the same — even if the mileage is identical. 
  • Fuel surcharges are one of the main factors driving FTL rates. 
  • Trucking lane is the route a carrier covers, and this can directly impact FTL rates. 
  • Truckload rates and market capacity can both be significant factors when determining FTL rates. This explains the overall trucking availability compared to the demand for trucking services. 
  • The attractiveness of the load can determine rates for FTL freight. Attractiveness can include ease of appointment scheduling, ease of access, and availability of backhauls. 
  • Timing and flexibility can both dictate higher or lower FTL rates. 
  • Lead time is a key factor. In general, the more time you offer your New York or New Jersey trucking carrier to book the order, the lower your costs may be. 
  • Accessorial charges are additional costs that can be levied during transportation. Common accessories include residential delivery, liftgate, inside delivery, and more. 

Contact On Track Freight Systems for FTL Shipping Solutions

At On Track Freight Systems, we offer reliable, affordable, and fast FTL service for virtually all types of goods, cargo, and freight. Whether you need FTL in New York, New Jersey, or efficient shipping across the country, we will be with you from your first mile to the last.

Contact us today for FTL shipping solutions and logistics services.