Nowadays there are many ways for owner operators to find loads. They don’t need to be waiting in truck stops, like in the old days, constantly checking the physical load boards. They don’t need to be rushing into the nearest payphone praying to be the first caller and hoping it’s good pay. This is all part of the past. Independent truck drivers need to learn how owner operators find loads in this new era. At Status Transportation, pay is nothing to worry about, and you’ll soon read why.
Today, with the internet, cell phones, and smartphone apps, truck drivers should be able to find loads easily, right? Unfortunately, this is not so easy for new owner operators. It is, in fact, one of the most common reasons why many truck drivers go out of business. Because it is not just about finding a load, it is about finding clients and networking. This will keep your trucking business running and making a profit all year!
It is not a secret how owner operators find loads. In this Status Transportation “Pay it Forward” article, we are going to describe the available options to find loads in the market. We’ll describe the pros and cons of each one so you get a clear understanding. This way, you can make the best decision when picking a contract for your trucking business.
Keep in mind, the key to a successful business is finding the right clients with lucrative paying freight. Preferably, these will be ones that are reliable for years to come, not just for one event.
The Freight Broker’s main job is to connect you with shippers once they have negotiated the deal. This takes all of the legwork from you. It also helps find the high paying freight loads, because a broker also benefits from this. Most of the time they handle all aspects of the deal for you, including rates, time, location, etc.
A broker could be operating as a company or as an individual. In any case, they must to be licensed by the FMCSA and cover adequate insurance costs. It is important to have a good relationship with the freight broker, especially when you are new in this business. Not surprisingly, it is a very good option for starters.
Pros: If a broker has been around for a while, they have a lot of technical resources that will benefit you. They can also help you win challenges such as inventory management, claims, documentation, shipment tracking and more.
Cons: All the freight brokers are obviously middlemen in the negotiation process, and because of this they cut into your profit. Sometimes, a broker will drop the price in order to make a sale. Depending on your situation, it could be an unnecessary cost.
You may be asking, “How do owner operators find loads?” Well, the dispatcher plays an important role. They manage the flow of your freight in an efficient manner. Their main objective is to maximize truck drivers’ profit per mile by avoiding empty miles from one place to another. This is done by maintaining close communication with owner operators.
Some of them help with paperwork, billing, collections, accounting, etc. They usually have great skills like finding loads, speak multiple languages, handle multiple trucks and most importantly, provide excellent customer service. These attributes, for owner operators with Status Transportation, pay off in a big way. These are the skills that will improve owner operator profits.
Pros: The main benefit is that it will take a lot of burden off you. They will handle the complicated office work so you can concentrate on routes and roadways. You’ll be at ease knowing everything is taken care of safely. They ensure owner operators the cargo they need. A dispatcher will arrange compliance with the expected arrival time and will provide the destination with constant communication.
Cons: Sometimes dispatchers have high skills on the computer, but little to no experience in truck driving. It is very important to know what his or her abilities are and offer them a broader view of your business and how they can best serve your needs.
The load board is mainly an online site where truck drivers or brokers search for best-paying loads to haul. Shippers post their available loads with the details of origin, destination, and important job details. They usually have smartphone apps with multiple listings for you to choose from that helps find loads faster. There are 2 main types: the public load and the private load. In this Status Transportation Pay it Forward article, we recommend avoiding jumping from broker to broker. Relying only on the load board option won’t help you get the high-paid loads you want.
Pros: Load boards could be very convenient if you are leased onto a dedicated carrier, then you will have access to the carrier’s internal loads. Sometimes a dispatcher can help you find loads, however, you can also connect to shippers directly.
Cons: There are some free load boards you can gain access to, but most of the high-quality boards require you to pay some subscription fee. This fee may vary from $50 to $200 per month. They are also known to provide low-paying loads or those that nobody wants. The main issue with load boards is that by the time you accept a load you already lost precious time you could have used driving.
You can often find federal, state and local governments outsourcing transportation needs. This is one method owner operators use to find loads in their city. There is always a government agency near your city that you can contact for information. Registering as a Government Contractor could provide you with regular work and good pay. However, it does require some extra steps, like registering and approvals to be one.
Knowing how owner operators find loads by prospecting require a little more hard work on research. It could be very time-consuming at the start, but you can find your own contracts through this process. You can find a lot of available information in your area about which companies are shipping and where. Then you can introduce yourself and ask about their trucking needs. In this method, you may be able to find your ideal client.
Networking basically means “making friends in the trucking industry.” Keep involved with associations, attend events, shake some hands and meet new people that can help you. Create professional connections that could lead you to new loads. This can help you stay informed on industry tips that can pay great dividends in the future. Knowing the key trucking company people around your area might connect you with good opportunities. You may be hauling in the big bucks sooner than you think. Learn how to network more effectively.
Now you know how owner operators find loads, it is now time for you to choose one strategy or maybe all until you get the loads you expect. Whatever option you like, we encourage you to just keep on going and you will soon watch your owner operator business grow. At Status Transportation, pay is steady, and so is our assistance in growing your business. We care about your success and prosperity and invite you to contact us.