If you are still struggling in finding loads, there are a lot of places online where you can find one. I’m talking about load boards that allow you to easily search for loads that match your criteria or specifications. But before you start scouring, here are the best practices that can help you land a good paying load.
Choose your load board carefully.
Not all load boards have the same features. Before you sign up, make sure you initially did your homework of checking what your fellow hotshot truckers have to say about the platform by checking review sites and forums. That is especially true if it is a paid load board. You don’t want your registration fee to go to waste.
You can also do your own research by checking what the load board has to offer beyond free listings which can help you make a good decision about a particular offer.
Make your company profile attractive.
Your company profile works as an advertisement for your business. Be honest with what you put on it. At the same time, you need to highlight those information which you think gives you an edge over your competition. It’s important to be more specific when it comes to putting your fleet size, types of freight you handle, home base as well as how far you can drive.
Set your target earnings per load.
Before you express your interest to take a particular load, think about how much you’ll possibly earn from it. A profitability calculator can help you for this purpose. It is important to keep in mind that a high-paying load does not necessarily mean high-earning one because you have to factor in relevant expenses.
Turn on your freight notifications.
Free and paid load boards typically allow you to set your settings in such a way that you’ll receive a notification whenever a new post will match your criteria. This will not only save you time from unnecessarily checking the platform but also gives you an advantage of responding to a post quickly.
Using a load board, it can take some time before you find the right load for you. Don’t rush but have patience with the process. Don’t make it obvious to shippers and brokers that you are too eager to get a load or you’ll diminish your negotiating power.
Develop a solid reputation.
Once you find the right load, give your best efforts to make the shipper or broker happy. As each load will add to your portfolio, if you build a reputation of being reliable, shippers will seek you out. Some truckers are able to get regular work from relationships that start on load boards because they deliver a solid reputation each time.
Watch your spending.
If you subscribed to a paid load board, watch your monthly spending. Ideally, you should just spend $20-$30 per month on load boards.
Don’t take on more work than your company can handle or you will compromise not just your reputation but also your chance of getting future workload from an unhappy shipper.
Prepare to negotiate.
The law of supply and demand applies when negotiation. If there are more loads available than trucks, you can negotiate a higher rate. Keep track of the market trends so you can negotiate for a better rate.
The best practices for load boards can help you get started in using these online platforms to find work. However, knowing the best practices does not guarantee finding a suitable load. Here are the five questions that you need to answer to make a better decision.
- What is the load weight?
Pay attention to the load weight and compare it to your weight limit. Also consider if the weight will require you to get a special permit. Also note that your fuel consumption is higher with heavier freight. Considering the load weight, also ask yourself if the rate makes sense considering the weight and distance.
- How much money will you make on the load?
Remember that one of the best practices for load boards is to set a target earning per freight. This will help you easily narrow down your options when choosing a suitable load. You’ll be wasting your time if you take on loads that will only pay for your estimated operating cost. When computing your operating cost, consider the deadmiles as well as fees related to the drop-off locations such as tolls, lumpers and detention times.
- How much is the average spot rate?
When checking a freight, compare its rate to the average spot rates. Knowing the average spot rate can help you avoid accepting freights that are too low for the load. At the same time, it keeps you aware of possible broker’s scams especially if the rate is too good to be true.
- How many loads are available in your lane?
Knowing the number of loads in your lane can help you plan out your hauls. Do check out the availability of loads at your drop-off location.
- How many trucks are available in your lane?
Knowing the available loads in your chosen location is just half the battle. You should also check out the number of trucks in that same location so that you can have an idea of the competition. Say, in your chosen area there are 100 loads and 20 trucks. Since the loads are higher than the number of trucks, you can negotiate for a better rate per load. But if say there are more trucks than loads in your area, you can expect that the freight rates will be low.
Knowing the answers to the five questions can help you plan out your approach when deciding which load to get. Your knowledge on the best practices as well as the answers to the above question is key to maximizing your potential income when using a load board.
Using load boards is a great way to get loads to haul. With a number of load boards to choose from, our favorite is the TruckersEdge. This load board gives you access to over 600,000 loads daily. It also has an easy user interface where you can do unlimited searching and posting and alarm matching. You can also check broker’s credit scores, days to pay, market rates, mileage routing and more.
Sign up for your 30-day free trial with TruckersEdge and find your next high paying load today.