To make a living, you have to find loads, meaning the more you find, the better your trucking experience will be. Unfortunately, though, many truckers struggle to find the right haul and end up going out of business. So, to all of our owner-operators and small fleet owners out there, 2016 is your year to find the highest-paying freight loads. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how it’s done!
Beware the Load Board Sharks
Initially, load boards are great! They help you get started in the trucking industry, but just ask any seasoned driver and they’ll tell you load boards won’t make you the big bucks. Load boards usually only provide low-paying loads. Besides, jumping from broker to broker won’t get you anywhere in the trucking industry. This leads me to my next point, new clients really mess up your cash flow.
New Clients and Your Cash
So as I’m sure you know by now, clients often pay their bills in periods of 30 to 60 days. When you gain a new client every other month, this can dramatically affect your cash flow. You have to cover all of the delivery expenses upfront and then wait to be paid. Sticking with the same client can eliminate the dead period between payments, and give you a continuous income. So how do you find a good client?
The Type of Client You’ll Want to Work for
You might think that a load is a load, what’s it matter who the client is? Well, having the type of client you want to work for is pretty important if you want to be paid more. Setting criteria for your clients knowing what you want, will help you find more high-paying loads. Here are some starting points:
Are they an established shipper?
Do they pay well and on time?
Will they be a regular client?
Are they a good company?
Sure, not every client that meets these criteria will be perfect, but it’s a start in finding a good, loyal company to work for.
How to Find Good Clients
So you’ve listed your criteria and stopped using load boards, now it’s time to actually go out and find these clients. How? Start by looking at industry associations, for example, the National Grocers Association or the American International Automobile Dealers. These types of associations are where your clients will most likely be a member. You don’t have to join, you just need to find out the list of local members in your area. When you get that list, you’ll have to put on your best salesmen hat and sell. Call, email, write a letter, schedule a meeting—whatever you have to do to get the attention of these guys.
Alright, it might sound a little tougher than originally thought, but while your buddies are searching load boards, you’re interacting with real high-paying clients. In the long run, which one sounds more worthwhile?
The US Government
Yes, the federal government moves quite a bit a freight every year and they can be a great client to work for. They move freight regularly and you can pretty much guarantee they’ll be reliable on payments (I mean that’s what our national debt is for, right?) It might not be the easiest route to go down to get on their payroll, but it’s not impossible. A good place to start searching for government jobs is at FedBizOps.
Finding higher-paying loads in 2016 can be a new year’s resolution you’ll actually want to keep. Good luck!
Want more great tips like this? Stay tuned to TruckLogics. We’re leaders in the trucking business management industry, so we know a thing a two about trucking. As for this year, we hope it was a good one but be ready to make 2016 a great one.