As a truck driver, your life is ruled by the clock. The smoother you can deliver, take your break, and get back on the road with your new load, the more driving you can do before you have to break again. Money is quickly lost when you don’t have another load lined up.
There are enough challenges on the road without having to worry about getting your next reload lined up. Having reloads lined up helps you make the most of your HOS. While the Interstate Truck Driver's Hours of Service are complicated, they must be adhered to in order to maintain safety. Finding your reloads and backhauls quickly is the most productive way to keep your trucks on the road making money. Additionally, shippers & brokers prefer having their loads pre-booked rather than searching and booking on the same day as pick up. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your loads are booked and ready to go before your next driving window.
Why use load boards?
Work in this industry long enough, and you’ll know that the best loads never get posted to a load board. Usually those loads are given to shipper’s and broker's preferred carriers who have earned their keep. Unless you develop direct relationships with them, you'll never have access to the best, fair-paying loads.
Shippers and brokers use load boards in addition to the direct carrier relationships they develop. Load boards are your "foot in the door" in building those relationships and proving yourself as a trusted carrier. (See more on this in our post Positioning Yourself as a Trusted Carrier).
Load boards can often be deceptively complex, leading many carriers to misuse them and miss out on opportunities. Here are some tips to help you find the best loads before they’re gone.
There are a few key ways to optimize your search on load boards.
1) List within multiple zones - Many load boards divide the United States into destination zones. One way to get the most out of a load board is to include as many of those destination zones as practical when you post your capacity.
By including multiple zones as your destination, your truck is seen as “wanting to go” to the same zone as the board's loads.
2) Establish lead times & note flexibility - Be clear on how much pickup lead time you are willing to consider. Shippers are looking for flexible drivers willing to consider various cities/states/regions/zones. For example, if a carrier has a reefer trailer and is willing to haul a dry load, this should be clearly stated along with target rate and break-even amount.
3) Multi-leg bookings - Multi-leg bookings maximize revenue per mile on your way back home. Clearly state to shippers all the ways you can accommodate multi-leg bookings.
Master the search function
Though including destination zones is important, many drivers miss out on great loads because they misuse a load board’s search function. When you post your truck, be sure to include all of the trailer types that apply.
Some loads can go on several different trailer types, but you’ll never see them if you search for “ONLY VAN” loads. By not using the “ONLY” search functionality, you’ll see dry loads that can also ride on a reefer trailer.
Understand seasonal freight markets
Posting your truck on load boards to build those stable relationships will go a long way in helping you book trucks faster, and so will knowing where and when to look for the best freight. By knowing when a particular commodity will be in peak season in a specific market, you can pre-book your load, position your truck, cut down on wasted time, minimize downtime, and get the most out of your time spent behind the wheel.
How newtrul can help!
newtrul helps carriers connect to thousands of shippers and brokers by making bookings efficient—and therefore, much faster. We do this by offering:
A private network that centralizes digital bookings through a single platform.
A way to significantly reduce the frustration of endless calls and emails - No more manual bookings!
Giving carriers the ability to provide a load tracking URL so the shipper can track progress, thereby further reducing phone calls/emails.
newtrul is an entirely free, private load portal that allows carriers to connect with their customers and book their customers’ freight well before their trucks arrive in the market, minimizing downtime and ensuring quick, efficient bookings. Contact newtrul today to see our platform in action!