Whether you are a breand new owner operaator or wheether you have been around for a while – finding good paying loads to haul is a critilal element of your business.
If you are leased on to a carrier then you have far fewer choices and while they will be responsible for getting the loads from customers – you are still responsible for what you choose to haul. That means you need a good relationship and great communication skills with your dispatcher/load planner or what ever they choose to call such a person at your current company.
If you have your own authority – then the need to be able to find and aquire loads is expecially imporatnt to your business. It can make or break you and determine in lareg part whether your trucking business will be succeessful or whetehr it will fail or not.
Where Most Loads Come From
The typical sources most owner operators and small fleets get ther loads from include;
- Load Boards – Technology is a wonderful thing. Load boards allow you to search thousands of loads in seconds, select one and then book it quickly. But it is a double edged sword too – there are so many available and some far better than others. Thats why choosing and then learning how to use the best ones for you and your business is so important. As long as you do they can play huge role in your ability to quickly find plenty of good loads – and to keep you moving and earning.
- Brokers – Love them or hate them they are here to stay and they are another important part of your load getting system. That is especially true if you are a brand new owner operators with little to no track record and few if any direct customer relationships. But brokers are NOT all created equal either – some are excellent at what they do, and honest an d fair. Others are lyers, and will definetly rip you off right and left if you let them. Learn how to tell the difference – an establish long term mutually beneficial relationships with good freight brokers
- Customer Direct – You need to build relatinships with key customers that routinely ship loads you want to haul in your operating areas. This takes more time and ore effort than the first two above – but it can also pay off far better in the long run. Yet many drivers never even attempt it – or if they do they do so timidly and not very well. Learn how to contact shippers and get your own freight – then start doing it on a regular basis.
Ideally you will combine all three and continiously work to increase your efficicncy and effectiveness with each one, That will help you keep rolling even when others are struggling to find that next load!
Build Your Own List
Whetheryou use an app or an online tool of some kind or whether you keep track of them all in an old fashioned notebook with pen or pencil on paper – start collecting contact names and numbers and profile information every day from every where you go. Write it all down and start using it.
Do follow up calls, send email where allowed and appropriate, send snal mail letters and post cards.
Hand out business cards like you are giving away candy – and note who you gave them to whenever possible.
It takes time and it takes effort. But over time this list of people will yield benefits to you and it will become a very valuable asset to your trucking business.
t may be scary and it make be uncomfortable to approach people and talk to them about poads and wanting to do business with them. do it anyway. The funny thing is that the longer tyou do this and the more you do it the easier it becomes – and the better you get at it too!
But you have to get started first – so what are you waiting for? Start Today!