The shipping industry of today is a trucker’s market. There’s a shortage of CDL drivers which is good news for drivers looking for loads―there are a lot of them out there. However, to be a successful owner/operator in the trucking industry, you have to find the right loads. It’s not just a matter of finding any load but finding the right one. For that, you need more than just any load board.
Before you begin your search, think about what kind of client you’re looking for. The goal is to find high-paying loads that are actually going to make you money. If you have an idea in your mind about what you’re looking for, you’ll increase your chances of finding it. Are you looking for a large, well-known company? One with a good reputation? A client that you can work with on a regular basis? One that ships in areas where you want to work? Do you want to work with a freight broker? Do you offer specialized services such as moving oversized construction equipment or refrigerated services?
With the answers to these questions in mind, it’s time to peruse the multitude of load sites out there but where should you begin? There are so many load sites available online that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Free load sites are tempting, after all, why pay for something when you don’t have to? There’s a good reason for that. Free load sites have to make money somehow, and they usually do it by having lots and lots of advertising on their websites, selling things other than load information. Some free load boards are just lists of free load boards. Most loads that are found on the free sites are not posted directly to the site from shippers or brokers; they come from a load sharing service.
Load sites that charge a reasonable monthly fee will generally give you what you’re looking for instead of trying to sell you things you’re not. While they all offer loads and shipping details, it’s important to find one that’s simple to use and that has all of the details you need to narrow your load search. Some of the things you may need to know other than load weight, ship date, and trip distance are:
- The age of the listing
- Full or partial load
- Trailer type
- Number of “deadhead miles” or miles from your location to where you pick up the load
- Is the poster a member of TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Assoc.), i.e. a broker that agrees to a high standard of business ethics?
- Credit rating that includes credit score as well as the number of days it takes them to pay for services
- Mileage calculator that includes tolls
- Up-to-date fuel prices
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to find the right loads. You’ll also be able to maximize your time by scheduling loads for your trips back too. If you want to land these jobs, however, you have to make sure you’re the right driver.
Begin with your insurance. A shipper wants a driver with good insurance that includes freight insurance. They’re trusting you with their freight and want to be covered if anything goes wrong.
Insurance goes hand-in-hand with your safety rating. A driver with an excellent driving record and safety rating will be hired over one with poor ones any day.
Always be professional and be mindful of your reputation. Drivers with a good and dependable reputation will get the higher-paying jobs.
If you’re looking for a load site that’s not just any site, Direct Freight is the place to go. It matches loads and drivers by using pertinent information so you can maximize your driving time and your earning potential. It uses state-of-the-art tools to make the system work for you, including alerts via text or email for when new loads are posted. Direct Freight is so sure that their service will be a tremendous benefit to you that they offer a free trial for 15 days.
Go to DirectFreight.com or call (888)894-4198 to find out how you can get started finding the right loads today!