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Why Are Railroad Flat Cars Used?

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When you think about the cars that are used with trains, you might think about standard enclosed cars and box cars. However, there are other types of railroad cars that are used for transporting goods, too. Railroad flat cars have actually been used in the railroad industry for a long time, and they are still commonly used today. As their name suggests, railroad flat cars are simply flat cars that don't have sides or tops. These railroad cars are commonly used for the following reasons and more.

They Can Be Used for Hauling Bigger Items

Railroads can be very handy for hauling big and heavy items that cannot be easily transported in semi-trucks and trailers. However, in many cases, these bigger items are too large to place inside a regular box car. This is one of the main things that railroad flat cars are used for. For example, railroad flat cars can be used for hauling large pieces of equipment or machinery. There aren't as many space constraints because there aren't walls or ceilings on railroad flat cars, and railroad flat cars are often able to handle heavier items, too.

They Can Be Used for Hauling Oddly Shaped Items

In some cases, items that need to be hauled by rail aren't necessarily large, but they can still be challenging to transport because of their shape. The entire process of having to make an oddly shaped item fit inside a box car can be skipped by simply using a railroad flat car instead.

They Make Hauling Shipping Containers Easier

In many cases, shipping containers are small enough that they can be placed inside a regular enclosed railroad car. However, the process of loading shipping containers into enclosed cars can be difficult and time-consuming. All of this extra time and hard work is often unnecessary since railroad flat cars can be used. When they are used, a crane or other similar piece of equipment can be used to lift the shipping containers onto the flat cars. Then, once they arrive at their destination, they can be removed with a crane as well, making the entire loading and unloading process a whole lot faster and easier.

There are various types of railroad cars that are used for hauling items by rail. Although you might typically think about box cars, you should know that railroad flat cars are also common and are also useful for railroad transport for the reasons above and more. Reach out to a professional for more information on railroad flat cars.


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