You call on a load, and the broker tells you what he's willing to pay. Do you accept the load? Do you turn it down? What if you've never run that lane before? How do you decide?
DAT TruckersEdge Pro gives you the information and tools you need to make pricing decisions every day, so you can make more money and use your time better. The new version of the leading owner-operator load board gives you the same access to DAT's super-database of almost 500,000 loads per business day, plus new money-making capabilities, including 15-day average rates.
A member of the Rate Per Mile Masters Facebook group reported recently: “It is my experience when booking a load, if I mention the DAT average...the negotiation [changes] quickly…[The rates offered} usually come up.” Rate Per Mile Masters has 13,000 members, primarily owner-operators, who share business practices and experiences, centering around the truckload rates they are being paid or offered.
When you search for a load in TruckersEdge Pro, and click for more details, you'll see this:
If you have DAT TruckersEdge Enhanced you'll see "past 90 days" there in the rate box instead of "past 15 days." What's the difference?
The 15-day rate gives you a much more accurate picture of today's pricing, especially in lanes where rates are sensitive to seasonal changes. You'll know what other carriers were paid in the past 15 days on that lane, so you can decide when to accept the broker's first offer and when to negotiate -- or to (politely) hang up the phone -- so you don't leave money on the table.
With the 90-day rates in TruckersEdge Enhanced, on the other hand, you get a more general feel for the rates in the lane, but you don't get that sensitivity to seasonal changes. Today's 90-day rate, in late July, includes loads that moved in May and June as well as July, so the average reflects a combination of spring and summer.
If you have TruckersEdge Pro, with 15-day rates, you'll be able to plan roundtrips based on your understanding of the rates in both directions. You can even plan a TriHaul, which is another new feature in TruckersEdge Pro. A TriHaul is a triangular route, and TruckersEdge Pro gives you suggestions for better-paying route combinations that can make you more money than a simple roundtrip.
Overall, you can make better business decisions when you have access to 15-day average rates. Here are 3 examples, based on rates appearing in TruckersEdge today:
Don't wait for a higher rate: Van load from Lakeland to Richmond
Some lane rates change a lot in peak season, and 15-day rate information helps you to set expectations and make a plan.
Let's say you’re driving a van and need to get back home to Richmond, VA after delivering a load to Lakeland, FL. A broker offers you a load to the Richmond area for $1.27 per mile. The 90-day rate is $1.46 per mile TruckersEdge Enhanced, so you the broker is holding back and you decline the load.
If you had TruckersEdge Pro, you'd know that average rate for the past 15 days is down to $1.12 per mile, and you could waste a lot of time if you held out for $1.46. Plus, knowing that the return rate is so low in this season, you would have planned ahead and negotiated a higher rate on the trip down to Lakeland.
Negotiate for more money: Flatbed load from Atlanta to Chicago
Sometimes the 90-day rate is lower than the 15-day rate, so you'd be tempted to accept a lowball offer on a load.
Suppose you pull a flatbed, and the broker calls with a load from Atlanta to Chicago, for $2.30 per mile. You run a quick load search in your TruckersEdge Enhanced load board and find that the average rate over the past 90 days was $2.23 per mile, and his offer is above average. You accept the load. If you had TruckersEdge Pro, though, you’d know that the average rate rose in the past 15 days, and now it's $2.52 per mile — that's 29¢ higher, or more than $200 for the trip. TruckersEdge Pro might have earned you an extra $200, which is more than you'd pay for two months on the load board service.
Seasonality can be unpredictable: Reefer load from Grand Rapids to Atlanta
Reefer demand is heavily dependent on the timing of produce harvests, and those can be unpredictable. Having recent rate information is critical if you pull reefers.
Suppose you have to decide whether to take a load from Grand Rapids, MI to Atlanta, at $2.15 per mile. The 90-day average rate for that lane was $2.09, so $2.15 seems decent. But if you had TruckersEdge Pro, you'd see that the rate is trending up now, and the 15-day average is $2.35 per mile. That's 26¢ higher, which adds up to $206 more in your pocket for the 792-mile trip.
Of course there are lots of other considerations, and DAT TruckersEdge Pro doesn't tell you what to charge for your services. The 15-day rates are there to help you understand what everyone else got paid in the past two weeks, so you can choose how to set your own pricing in a competitive market.
In addition to 15-day rates, DAT TruckersEdge Pro includes TriHaul triangular routing suggestions that help you plan higher-paying trips, plus other valuable features.
Sign up for DAT TruckersEdge Pro
DAT customers: Do you want to upgrade to TruckersEdge Pro? A subscription is $99.95 per month. Send us an email or call 800.547.5417.
New customers: Please call 800.547.5417 or fill out this online form to sign up for DAT TruckersEdge.