Don’t go it alone — owner-operators can make the most of their trucking business with effective tools that help them grow their rate.
Running your own trucking business and ensuring that you’re getting the best rates possible is a challenge, but when owner-operators take advantage of the wealth of tools, data, and resources that are available to them, success is sure to follow. In particular, DAT is an excellent partner to rely on in order to find more opportunities and make better decisions for your operations.
If you’re a carrier looking to increase your rate, here are some of the top tools that DAT offers that will help you do just that:
What kind of data is important for owner-operators to have access to? As someone with over a decade of experience running the spot market, I believe first and foremost that rate information is fundamental. Knowing what the going rates are for your truck type can give you a solid frame of reference for what rates you should be receiving from brokers or see being offered on a load board. This can help you avoid taking on unprofitable loads.
DAT Trendlines provides a weekly overview of national and regional metrics across truck types, and gives owner-operators details such as fuel price trends, load-to-truck ratios, and more so that they can get a current birds-eye view of the trucking industry.
DAT Trendlines also offers a sneak peek at Hot Market Maps and Hot States Maps. For insights into specific markets and lanes, the best bet for owner-operators is the DAT Load Board.
The DAT Load Board
The DAT Load Board is packaged with a ton of tools and features that give full agency to owner-operators seeking to grow their rates. And with the DAT One mobile app, owner-operators can do everything they need on their smartphones, so managing your business on the road and looking for your next load is a seamless and painless process.
Even the most basic subscription plan offers valuable information such as load counts by state, which is particularly helpful in determining which markets will give you a negotiating advantage, depending on the inbound and outbound load volumes.
Some other key load board tools and features worth highlighting include:
- Broker credit data and reviews: A particular load might seem appealing at first glance, but broker information and reviews can reveal the full picture. Negative reviews help owner-operators avoid problematic brokers to ensure their bottom line isn’t affected. On the other hand, credit data and information like average days-to-pay can help you determine whether a particular broker is a financially reliable partner for you to work with. Remember, it’s not just about the quality of the load, it’s also about the quality of the broker.
- Average lane rates: Depending on the load board package you get with DAT, owner-operators can view 30-day or 15-day average rates for the lanes they’re searching. While DAT Trendlines offers weekly, monthly, and yearly overviews, this load board feature provides further context for current truckload rates and market conditions.
- TriHaul: TriHaul is a unique tool that helps truckers take on more loads efficiently and maximize their rate. By providing users with automatic triangle haul routing suggestions, TriHaul gives them the opportunity to find loads that are conveniently located.
For example, say I was hauling a load from Lexington, KY to Nashville, TN. TriHaul might recommend making a short run to Louisville, then to Nashville. The tool will also tell you how much more your rate will be with the additional load, making it clear whether or not taking on that extra freight is a good choice for your business.
When carriers are deciding which loads to haul, there are many factors that go into consideration. Save time and optimize your rate with the new Profit Estimator.
It’s fast and simple. You just enter your business costs and goals into the Profit Estimator one time. After that, DAT One automatically shows you a breakdown of your potential profits based on the broker’s offer rate on any load. Easy as that. Now you can plan with confidence and zero in on the best loads for your business.
DAT is the best toolbox for owner-operators
From earning your authority to hauling loads, DAT has something for everything trucking-related. Their products and solutions are a comprehensive way for owner-operators to come out on top and maximize their rates, especially when the market is tough. Take it from someone who’s been in the industry for a long time: the more you’re able to rely on various tools and resources to make better business decisions, the more success you’ll find.
If you’re interested in more tools to take your trucking business to the next level, check out DAT’s other products and tools here. And for more advice on how to grow your rates, check out The DAT Exchange.