The trucking world is constantly changing and evolving – mostly for the better. In the new era of trucking and supply chains, there are endless opportunities out there for owner-operator truck drivers and company drivers. Whether you are new to the industry or have been in it for several decades, this is something to be very excited about.
Sure, the trucking industry is competitive (especially when it comes to securing big contracts), but there is nothing to be afraid of. With the help of these tips and tricks, you will be able to find all the truckloads you need for years to come, allowing your business to truly thrive.
Use an Online Load Board
For owner-operators and fleet managers, use an online load board to find truck loads of shipping orders for your drivers to deliver. This way, you will be able to get matched up with tons of shippers across a variety of different states, whether your business is based in New York or California, and you can assign the work to the driver best suited for the job.
When using a reliable load board for truckers, you will be able to experience a ton of useful features, such as:
- Route calculator
- Instant load-booking
- IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) reporting
Moving into the future, for maximum success, you need to use an online load board to get as much business for you and your fleet as possible.
Find a Good Freight Broker
Freight brokers are the ‘middlemen’ of the trucking industry. They make life easy for you (the truck driver) and the shippers (the companies who need their goods transporting across the country).
When you find a good freight broker, they will match you up with shippers from many locations. You will then complete the job, and the freight broker (the middleman) takes a cut from it – simple. Usually, freight brokers will try to negotiate rates as high as possible with the shippers so that you both get paid well for your efforts.
The two keys to a good freight broker are:
- Consistent work
- Good pay
New freight brokers are constantly emerging in the industry, so there is an oversaturation of choice.
As an owner-operator or fleet manager, you can use multiple freight brokers if you want to (however, this will not be necessary if you find a really good one to handle all of you trucking jobs for you). When it comes to choosing a freight broker, you can either go with an established broker within the industry or a new freight broker. Of course, there is a greater risk involved when you go with a new freight broker with less influence in the industry, but you will typically find that you will earn more money because they take lower cuts. Make sure you also choose a freight broker that covers your sectors. For example, the last thing you want is for your freight broker to find you liquid truckloads if you can only do dry shipping.
Try to Secure Government Contracts
If possible, you should try to secure government contracts for your fleet. Securing these types of contracts can be highly lucrative and also an excellent way to boost your reputation in the industry. However, for this to happen, you will need to register as a government contractor officially. It is also worth noting that you will likely need to build your industry experience for at least a few years before being offered any government contract.
Invest in Training for Your Fleet
If you are a fleet owner, make sure to invest in training for your drivers continuously. The reason behind this is that your truckers will be able to drive to a high standard while avoiding accidents or mistakes while out on the road. Remember, it only takes a couple of instances for a trucking company’s reputation to take a hit, which is something important to bear in mind.
Upgrade Your Trucks
Lastly, providing it’s financially reasonable for you to do so, you should upgrade your trucks for the upcoming years. With better trucks, you will be able to provide better service, enabling more truckloads to come through the door. For example, if you or your fleet are currently using 2015 models, then consider upgrading to 2020 or even 2022 truck models. Remember, newer trucks are typically safer than old ones, which is more important than all the other factors put together. No doubt, your fleet drivers will thank you for it.