It might seem counterintuitive, but I always make sure to post my truck on the load board when there's plenty of freight to choose from. That's the best time to get calls from brokers who are willing to pay higher than average rates for loads that are going where you want to go.
A lot of carriers don't want to post their trucks in a hot market. They worry that they'll get bombarded with too many calls. My advice: Include more detail in your truck posting, and don't forget to include your destination.
Post your truck to the industry's largest digital freight market exchange. Subscribe to DAT Power or DAT TruckersEdge and find new customers. Post your available equipment, or search the loads posted every business day.
A lot of truckers will say that they leave the destination blank because they will go anywhere for the right money. That could be true, but it also opens the door to receiving calls about a broker's "problem" loads -- the ones that are hard to cover. Brokers have two main problems when covering loads: either the rate is too low, or the load is going to a dead market that no one wants to go to, or both.
Who wants to get calls on a broker's problem loads? If you've positioned yourself in a market with plentiful freight, reward yourself by getting calls on loads that you really want. Believe me, brokers would much rather call a carrier on a load that matches what the carrier is looking for.
The first thing I learned using the DAT load board was how to get positioned in a hot market. This was because I knew the negotiating power of receiving a call from a broker that needs my service versus calling on loads with less priority.
It Pays to Be Flexible
If you were a broker, would you make the most calls on loads that have to get picked up today or on the loads that can get picked up some time in the next three days? You're going to call about the one that's more urgent.
As a carrier, if you are not posting your truck, then you are making calls on load posts. Those loads might be the ones that are less urgent. Rates and negotiations favor the side that has more flexibility. When the broker calls you about a load that needs to move today, there's not much flexibility. That's when you can negotiate for an above-average rate.
Contact us today to learn more about DAT load boards, or call 800.551.8847.
Chad Boblett is the owner and driver of Boblett Brothers Trucking of Lexington, KY. Chad also founded the Rate Per Mile Masters group on Facebook, a communications hub for more than 18,000 members, including owner-operators, truck drivers, and other transportation and logistics pros.