Find the Best Loads
Using the best tools will help you achieve a $100,000 truck driver salary. One tool you will need is a load board. There are many load boards available for truckers and finding the best one can be a challenge.
The load board I use most often is the DAT load board called Truckers Edge. This load board has become the industry standard and is updated every two minutes with loads from hundreds of brokers. I will write a full review of Truckers Edge in a future blog.
Posted loads usually do not show an offer rate. Because of this, I pay for Truckers Edge Enhanced Package that gives me the average spot rate for each load that is posted. This feature is critical to your profitability and is well worth the extra cost. This average spot rate tells me whether or not I should pursue calling the broker for the load.
In our example from my blog about determining your minimum acceptable rate (i.e. breakpoint), if the average spot rate for that lane is less than $1.74, then I will bypass that load and continue searching until I find a load with a spot rate above that break point.
But there are exceptions to this rule - keep reading.
When I find a posted load with an average spot rate above $1.74, I will call the broker and discuss the load. During the discussion the offer rate will usually be made by the broker.
TIP: Always have a calculator handy whenever you call a broker because they will quote you the total rate for the load. You will have to quickly calculate the rate per mile. The distance of the load is given in the posted load. So take their total offer rate and divide by the load distance to get your rate per mile.
If the rate per mile is better than $1.74, then you're in business to haul the load. If you come across a load where the average spot rate for the lane is more than $1.74, then you negotiate for that rate per mile. You could take a little less, but never less than $1.74 per mile.
Among the biggest challenges for Owner Operators is piecing together several loads to get back home and doing it profitably. This is where flexibility and a little math comes in handy.
Now, not all of your loads need to pay $1.74 per mile or better. What's critical is when you are taking multiple loads, your average rate per mile should be $1.74 or better.
For example, if I find a load from Chicago to Denver that pays $2 per mile for 1,000 miles, but a return load from Denver to Chicago only pays $1.48 per mile for 1,000 miles, the average rate per mile for both loads is $1.74. In this example I would go ahead and book both loads.
Sometimes you will be tempted by a juicy load paying, say, $2.30 per mile. A problem can arise when you are taken to a destination where the load rates leaving that location are very low and are going to destinations that you don't care to go to. Or even worse, there are no loads leaving that location for days.
Which brings me to another business principle: utilization. Read my blog on Getting the Most From Your Truck to learn why this business concept is essential for your success.
-May the wind be at your six and weigh stations closed.
TruckersEdge Load Board – Get your first 30 Days Free!
TruckersEdge, powered by DAT®, is designed specifically for owner operators. TruckersEdge, has over 250,000 fresh loads daily, many that you won't find anywhere else. TruckersEdge provides unlimited searching and posting, instant alarm match notification, broker credit scores and days to pay, weather and road conditions, average market rates as well as other helpful business tools.