Need to find loads fast to keep your trucks moving? Well, Then you could always use a load board. There are hundreds of them all over the internet that post loads for you to book. It sounds easy enough, right? You find the load, you book the load, you pick up and deliver the load! Then you get paid.
Well actually, load boards can be a little tricky and like everything else in the trucking industry you should research your options before just diving in. Luckily we have your back with advice on how to efficiently utilize load boards to get the best bang for your work.
How to Use Load Boards to Make More Money
You can’t marry the first load board you find. You could, but who knows what other loads you might be missing out on? Research different load boards to find a few different ones to use on a regular basis. Keep in mind that some have a monthly subscription so you will have to add the charge into your monthly budget. If the fee is over $30 then move on, you can do better.
When shopping around look at the load boards with the most loads and the best rates in the lanes your serve. It can be easy to settle for low rates in the lanes you don’t serve if you get tired of looking, but stay focused and take your time. Also, always have more than one load board.
Don’t go in blind. Before calling a load know your break-even point and your lowest possible rate per mile, that will at least let you break even on the load, even though, of course, you want to make a profit. Also, if a shipper or broker has no credit or low credit avoid them.
Be aware that with load boards you will be working with strangers, so you will have to feel comfortable contacting a lot of different people. When you call them, be firm and ready to negotiate, but don’t get frustrated when they try to hit you with lower rates. Loads have a lot of competition for them. Remember that you can always walk away from a load if it doesn’t suit your needs. Hold out for the right one for your business.
If you’re tight on funds see if the broker can give you an advance, and if they can’t you can always consider factoring your freight bills to get by until your next load. Factoring is a great way to get started as an owner-operator until you have enough cash flow to support your business.
Calculate the distance of your load in order to keep your deadhead miles to a minimum. Is your return trip too expensive? Maybe there is another load close by to deliver close to home base. This is where referring to multiple load boards can help you, just remember to never overbook your business.
As you work with brokers and shippers your reputation will start to build. People in the transportation industry will talk, and you can’t control what they say but you can have a hand in if the conversation is good or bad by being professional and reliable. Once you have a positive reputation shippers and brokers will choose you over other truckers and may even come to you with loads.
So how do you do that? Deliver loads on time, and follow through with the work you agree to. Have good communication skills and call a shipper as soon as you know about a potential problem so they can help solve it. Maintain your appearance and shower often. It also doesn’t hurt to wear jeans and a polo or button-down shirt instead of a t-shirt with gym shorts and slides. Also, be polite and carry yourself confidently without the use of profanity.
Get Those Loads
Load Boards are becoming increasingly popular as a way for owner-operators and fleets to find business. They can really help you get your business off the ground and find business fast as long as you take the time to find the right load for your needs. Just research your options and know your financial requirements before picking one and running with it.
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