So, you are about to go online for your first loads. That’s great, but do you know where exactly to look for? Does it even matter? Should you go for free or paid loads? How to choose the best matches for your business? What to expect from that deals?
Obviously, with so many options out there, you will have tons of question on your mind.
That is also one of the reasons why I organized this article in Q&A form.
The focus is on the most common issues you’ll be dealing with when you decide to use online load boards.
In this text you will find the answers to the most important ones, including pros and cons of online load boards, top recommendations, tips to get it right and much more.
#1 Are the loads boards the best choice for me?
If you are starting a trucking business then load boards are definitely the way to get things going, but always keep in mind that load boards are not long term solution.
Maybe you are assuming that, with such a free, fast and efficient system, there must be a catch. Unfortunately you are totaly right, and it’s more than just one thing.
Just like every business decision, choosing loads has it’s positive and negative aspects.
#2 What are goods and bads of load boards?
Load boards are the fastest way to find loads, and that is their biggest advantage.
This may not seems like the most important thing in trucking business, but it’s far from being frivolous moment.
In fact, at the beginning, when you are struggling with a limited budget, working efficiently with low costs is among your top priorities.
Don’t forget that free boards are getting loads through a sharing service. What’s more, the same loads are often posted on different load boards.
It’s incredibly hard to make a profitable deal, due the competition.
I ran into a comment on Trucking info that reflected situation in the industry quite precisely:
Unlike the free options, paid boards do have exclusive loads, so you won’t face such hard competition like you will using free load boards.
However, don’t expect a gold mine either, because in the end, all load boards pay rock-bottom prices. After all, it’s trucking industry we are talking about. Better get used to it from the start.
#3 What are the best free load boards?
Eventually, you will evaluate offers from different free load boards and select your own list. Until then, here are my list of top 5 recommendations:
Among the free load boards Trulos is a top-notch. On their beautifully designed site, you will find some great searching tools – very simple to use.
ii) Refer a Truck
By visiting Refer a Truck’s site, you can easily find freight from smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. During the period of 35 years, they build a reputation of a most trusted company.
iii) Trucking Planet
Maybe a bit dated site, but widely recognizable name and useful service. Check their live loads.
iv) Load Up
What separates Load Up from a big number of free load boards, is that they don’t have duplicate loads. Loads are filtered before getting posted.
v) Check Freight Broker
They claim to be the largest free load board in the world. It’s free, but you registrations is required.
On Check Freight Broker you can find the comparison to some of the most popular load boards.
If you want to do some more research and find other free load boards, here is a Cashway’s list of top 100 free sources to find freights.
You can also download editable spreadsheet of this load board list.
#4 What are the most trustful paid load boards?
Most of the paid load boards have a free trial memberships which can help you in finding the right match for your businesses.
You may consider some of following suggestions:
With their ultra popular mobile apps, Get Loaded are the well known name in business. If you want to have quick findings they are the service.
ii) DAT Truckers Edge
When you say full package, you mean Truckers Edge. For $34.95 you’ll get unlimited truck load searching and truck posting on the DAT Network, truck stop and regulatory directories, mobile access on any smart phone and much more.
iii) 123 Loadboard
Standard Plan from 123 Load Board costs $35.00, and includes: truck freight and load posting; load and truck freight search, weather and road conditions. For a $10 more you can get Premium Plan.
iv) Direct Freight
Personally, Direct Freight is my favourite option. You’ll love their Serch for loads and Search for trucks boxes:
as well as their clickable maps:
They have great free and awesome paid features.
You can sign up and have a 15 day free trial. The Future of Logistics – Comfreight is covering both USA and Canada.
Quick off-topic tip: If you are visiting their site, check the blog section – you’ll find tons of useful stuff.
#5 How much should I pay for the load boards?
With such huge demand, you have variations on all aspects of trucking business generally. Load boards prices are no exception to that.
Still, as a good fleet manager you always want to have the best value for money.
So, calculate your options and choose number of good loads for yourself, but never stop doing researches and tracking new prospects.
Only you will know how much spendings you can afford. At the moment, anything over $35.00 per month for access is considered to be a bit overrated.
However, the best ones are usually the most expensive, but you will know what you are paying for.
#6 When should I quit load boards?
As soon as you get your wheels rolling, you’ll quickly reach the point of abandoning free load boards.
Also, it’s not like they are the only starting point for trucking business.
You really wouldn’t be the first one in industry who never used the free load boards.