There are two ways to load pipe on a flatbed tractor trailer: pyramid load and strip load. One is not necessarily better than the other. Rather, preference will depend on the type of equipment the receiver has to unload the pipe.
As the name suggests, pyramid loading forms a pipe pyramid.
The pyramid configuration is preferable when the truck needs to navigate tight spaces. The narrow load makes the truck more maneuverable. Also, if the receiver is using a vacuum to unload the pipe pyramid loading is preferable. Pipe in a pyramid in a shape will not roll when the operator uses the vacuum to unload the truck.
The pyramid load can also be extremely dangerous to unload if the receiver only has forklifts. You see in the image above there are no spaces for forks to get in between the pipes. A forklift could cause the pyramid to tumble and potentially injure a worker.
Strip loading is simply putting a piece of wood between layers of pipe. The wood, typically a 4” x 4”, creates a 4” space between layers. The space between layers allows the forklift to easily unload the pipe. Most pipe yards prefer strip loads versus pyramid loads. In fact, some yards, because of the danger, will refuse to unload pyramid loads.