8 Smart Ways To Find Loads As An Owner Operator

illustration of shippers and owner operators

Finding loads as an owner-operator, could be a vital decision for your business. Getting the right load will directly impact how much revenue you earn and your company’s operating costs. At the same time, innovative technology has made it easier and more efficient. But finding out which load suits your freight can be a difficult decision to make. Wondering how you are going to find loads as an owner-operator? Looking for a new way to haul your freight? In this blog, we have covered the various ways to find loads as an owner-operator and determine which option is best for your trucking business.

To make it easier, once you decide to become an owner operator you must set your business goals, and think about what your business goals are. How much responsibility do you want to take versus how much do you want to give to others?

Smart Ways to Find Loads for Your Owner-Operator Trucking Business

1. Use Load Boards Curated Specially for Owner-Operator

The load board helps you to find loads that fit your freight type. Often load boards are free and have multiple sources of loads available for owner-operators on one platform. 

TruckBook has designed a solution to help owners operators find suitable loads aggregated from multiple load boards faster. You need not worry about those empty miles with us; you can book two-way pickup and drop. See loads coming from various shippers across the country. With an enhanced automated dispatching service, drivers and owner-operators can book smart loads and optimize schedules based on their preferences. 

2. Work With A Freight Broker

Working with a freight broker means an owner-operator hires a freight broker to connect with shippers to determine load rates, time, and location. Brokers take between 15 to 25 percent profit each load. 

Advantages of working with freight brokers: 

Brokers do all the leg work; they negotiate with the shippers for the best price possible. This helps to focus more on hauling the freight versus finding loads on google. 

3. Contract With Dispatchers 

Contracting with a trucking dispatching service will help you to find loads; in return, they usually take 5 to 10 percent of loads. 

Advantages of working with Dispatchers: 

  • It helps you to connect with shippers who have freight that need to be hauled, and they will also manage the flow of your freight. 
  • They will help you with all kinds of paperwork like accounting and all those kinds of things for your business. You can focus more on hauling freight instead of worrying about finding one. 

4. Source Directly With Local Shippers

Outsourcing directly with shippers can help you reduce your business operating expenses. It can be challenging to source directly with shippers, it’s not always possible, but it is an option. You can use your professional network to find opportunities with an established carrier.

Advantages of sourcing directly with shippers:

  • If you find a shipper and build a good relationship with them, you may not have to split your profit with any broker or pay anyone else to find loads for you.

5. Lease on with Trucking Companies 

Lease on with carriers like TruckBook. Leasing with a carrier means that you would be doing business with the trucking company and hauling their freight as an owner-operator. This is totally different from the company drivers because here you will decide when you want to work and which loads you want to haul; there isn’t any forefront dispatch. 

Lease onto TruckBook with virtual carrier

Get on to the road and start making more money. Be your own boss while running under TruckBook’s authority and eliminate the hassle that slows your productivity and costs you money.

TruckBook aggregates 50k+ loads in our app from various load boards across the country. You can send requests or, as an owner-operator, book loads directly as per your freight preference. 

Advantages of leasing with Trucking Companies:

  • Free access to private load boards
  • Choose which load will get you to earn more revenue
  • List of large stable companies offering a consistent volume of revenue
  • Opportunity to take advantage of purchasing power

You can also utilize the carriers purchasing power on insurance, maintenance, tires, fuel discount, and more.

6. Network With Business Groups

Start by getting involved with industry associations and attending events that your professional trucking groups and shippers attend. Many of these associations can also provide industry tips on saving money for your trucking business. Some even provide members with a membership list that can be used to build a list of prospects.

Advantages of Networking

There are opportunities to get referrals from people in the trucking industry. Shake hands and meet people. You’ll be amazed how such a small investment in time can pay off in the future.

7. Outreach Prospect Loads 

Prospecting for loads means, as an owner-operator, you need to do a lot of research and reach out to shippers to check if they need help to haul their freight, which requires a considerable time investment. 

Advantages of Cold Calling

  • Great way to establish long-lasting relationships with shipping companies
  • This can also set up dedicated type lanes for your business because you will consistently haul the same freight for the same customer. 
  • Ultimately it’s up to you to decide the best way to get loads for your business.

8. Register As A Government Contractor

Opting to haul government freight can unlock more load opportunities for owner-operators. You can deliver loads for almost any type of government, whether a local government, state, federal, or a specific branch, such as the Department of Defense (DOD).

One way to get a government contract is to partner with a company that already hauls government freight. But if you want to maintain independent agreements, you can register as a government contractor yourself, visit the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

Wrapping It Up!

Think about what you value more as a business owner. Is it about earning more revenue possible or running a most sustainable business? Choose an option that will help you reach your business goal.

If you try out one option and realize it’s not working, don’t be afraid to pivot your business and try a new way of doing business and making more money.

If leasing with a carrier is the best option for your business, consider the TruckBook app. 

You don’t have to worry about spending hours negotiating deals with brokers to book a load. 

Book load instantly in our mobile app, or let us negotiate with brokers on your behalf from different sources so that you can focus more on hauling loads and maximizing your profit. 

Download the TruckBook app today! Grow your business with us, and get free access to 50k+ loads from multiple load boards.

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