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Truckers who own their own rigs lose money when they don’t have freight loads. Income is lost when the truck is not running or driven empty. Finding a freight load available near the location where the last load was dropped is essential. Working with a freight broker or online load boards makes finding freight loads easier.

Guidelines:

(1) Review online load boards (see Resources). Load boards match drivers with loads, and many are updated daily. Online load boards typically allow truckers to arrange each job directly with the company. Monthly fees for load boards vary from $30 to $45, allowing truckers access to the load board 24 hours a day to search for available loads.

(2) Check for quick turnover in job postings on the load board. Active online load boards will not have load requests for more than 24 hours. Companies that require trucking services also look for load boards with quick turnover.

(3) Take advantage of the free demos offered by online load boards before registering and paying the monthly fee. Make sure it is easy to find and select loads.

(4) Contract a freight broker. Freight brokers find and acquire jobs for truckers, negotiate fees and other details with the companies needing trucking services. Operating on retainer fees or commissions, freight brokers have industry contacts and access to jobs that aren’t listed on load boards. Don’t sign a long-term contract until the freight broker has proven that she can find appropriate, timely loads for you.

(5) Review websites that list loads and allow truckers to bid on jobs (see Resources). These sites take longer than online load boards but have no up-front costs. A fee is paid only when you’ve contracted to move a load for a company.

(6) Find a reverse load board to post your availability and trucking capabilities, letting companies and brokers find you. Post when you have a one-way load and when you have vacancies.