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A flatbed trailer that should not make high-speed turns
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flat +‎ bed


flatbed (plural flatbeds)

  1. An open freight vehicle with no sides, designed to carry heavy or outsized loads.
  2. A railway freight car with no sides; a flatcar.
    • 2021 December 29, “Network News: DRS acquires compact electric shunter”, in RAIL, number 947, page 14, photo caption:
      The Rotrac E2 shunter was built by German manufacturer Zwiehoff and has been subject to a 14-month trial to prove it can replace diesel traction for moving flatbed wagons in and out of the depot.
  3. (computing) A document scanner with a flat bed.



flatbed (not comparable)

  1. Having a flat bed.
    I can't scan the whole document quickly because I only have a flatbed scanner.
    The accident left the contents of a flatbed trailer scattered across all three lanes.


flatbed (third-person singular simple present flatbeds, present participle flatbedding, simple past and past participle flatbedded)

  1. To transport by flatbed.
    • 2000, Paullina Simons, The Bronze Horseman, →ISBN:
      Tatiana went from working the pulley that lifted the treadless tank and placed it on tread, to painting the red star on a finished tank ready to be flatbedded and put into production.
    • 2011 -, James Hayman, The Cutting, →ISBN:
      'Well, we won't know about prints till we can flatbed his SUV back to Middle Street and check, but given he left the car in a hurry, my guess is we'll find something, maybe quite a lot.
    • 2012, Rus Bradburd, Make It, Take It, →ISBN, page 23:
      “I'm going to have to flatbed this vehicle,” Larry said with an air of importance that irritated Pytel.

Usage notes[edit]

The verb "to flatbed" is most commonly used when referring to the transportation of a vehicle, to make it clear that the vehicle is not being driven.