Re: Flat bed size
I have an F-450 w/ a 14'3" bed on it. I get 5 rows of 4way pallets on the deck and another layer on top of that. That's 80 hives per load.
What do you need a liftgate for? It adds weight to the rear and limits your payload carrying capacity. Besides, if you are using pallets, you need a skid steer loader to load and unload your hives. So you will have trouble w/ a tow hitch for the trailer if you have a liftgate.
Once you have a flatbed you won't want to switch back to the box. Leave it off and use it for storing equipment in. Put it up on railroad ties and it may not be considered permanent enuf to effect your property taxes.
Mark Berninghausen "To float, upheld, as salt water would hold you, once you dared." Denise Levertov, poet