How to use loading boards to grow your trucking business (2023)

The trucking industry is highly competitive and sometimes margins can be tight. As a result, trucking contractors often look for ways to increase efficiency and profits. Loading boards are tools that can help you achieve both of these goals. Using tail lifts can help keep your trucks full and profitable by reducing capacity gaps, scheduling the next cargo pickup near previous cargo drop-off locations, and securing cargo for return transportation.

Charging boards offer a variety of benefits that can make them an essential part of your business plan. However, tail lifts cannot be your only solution. Read on to learn more about charging boards, who uses them, their benefits, and the best strategy for using them.

What are loading boards?

load boards, sometimes referred to as Freight Boards, are online platforms that help shippers and freight brokers connect with carriers. Shippers looking for trucks to move their cargo can contact shippers who will post details of their empty equipment. Freight brokers post their loads on these platforms to allow shippers to purchase freight to optimize their efficiency and income.

Raye Ackerman, VP of Subscription Services at eCapital, compares loading boards to dating sites, connecting brokers and carriers rather than people looking for the right partner. "Freight brokers post details of their loads and shippers post their skills, such as: B. Refrigerated truck or a temperature-controlled dry transporter. Shippers can search the listings to find the best available loads at a specific location. Conversely, a broker might look for a specific type of carrier to transport their products.

Who Uses Charging Boards?

Almost all freight forwarders use tail lifts as part of their business activities. So let's look at how trucking companies can use a truck bed to grow at different stages.

Start up Company

Astartup carriercan use cargo boards to find cargo while building its customer base. As with all industries, it can take time to build a solid customer base that does regular, reliable work. A loading board can stage cargo and help your business connect with freight forwarders and freight brokers to build relationships and build your reputation as a reliable freight forwarder. As your customer base grows, your trucking company may rely less on loading boards.

Growing Businesses

A growing trucker can use tail lifts to fill gaps as their customer base grows. It can reduceempty mileswhile connecting with potential new customers. For example, you may have regular work from your customers, but a growing fleet may require additional customers to be found on loading boards to fill that new capacity.

Established freight forwarders

Established haulage companies also use loading boards. Loading boards can help established companies to fill up capacities and avoid empty runs. In addition, many companies use charge boards to find higher-paying charges and maximize their profitability.

What are the best strategies for using loading boards?

Reducing idle miles is paramount to protecting your bottom line. Finding and hauling fronthaul cargo is the easier half of the equation for running a profitable trucking business - finding cargo to fill the backhaul is considerably harder. According to a 2019 survey, the number of empty miles available for return transportation rose to 28%, up from the 26% reported in the previous year's survey. Perhaps the most common reason for growing and established trucking companies to use tail lifts is to secure cargo to fill backhauls.

Often trucks run with available capacity or worse, they run empty. A loading board can help you maximize equipment utilization to develop your business more profitably.

(Video) How To GROW Your Trucking Business CASH FLOW

A longer term benefit of using charge boards is that you can connect with brokers who could become regular customers. By using a loading board that includes broker data, you can connect with verified freight brokers who can become trusted partners.

Finally, Last Boards can provide data to help you make better business decisions. For example, you can track rates and target better loads with higher rates. Many loading boards also provide market data and trend analysis, which is essential for planning, forecasting, and making informed business decisions. This data allows incumbents to position additional devices in high-demand areas where agents pay much higher average rates.

Be careful not to rely too heavily on tail lifts as the sole source of cargo acquisition - it's an extremely competitive venue. Instead, focus on building lasting relationships - every load you acquire and transport off a cargo board is another opportunity to prove your service value to a new potential customer. Using charging boards in this way will strengthen your brand reputation and provide better connections to get the loads you need tomorrow and well into the future. As your business growsSet up lanesto acquire constant loads and continue to make optimal use of load panels - to fill remaining capacity and reach new customers.

What are the advantages of using charging boards?

Using loading boards has several advantages. Load boards are usually easy to use and are always available if you have reliable internet access. Many loading boards are free to use. You can also find affordable subscription models that may include additional information and provide greater security and reliability.

Load boards also take care of negotiations and contracts for you. For example, if you are a newly formed transportation company, you may not have the staff to develop relationships with carriers, bid on contracts, or negotiate terms. For new trucking companies, loading boards provide a readily available pool of paid freight to start your business, do business, and build relationships.

But the most important benefit for all trucking companies, no matter what stage of development their business is in, is that loading boards represent a cost-effective tool for filling capacity, filling return transports and attracting new leads. They are a valuable tool for increasing efficiency and profits.


There are many benefits to using tail lifts, but you shouldn't rely on them for your entire business.

A cargo board can help you get started in the industryStart up Company, reduce idle mileage on backhauls and fill capacity gaps as your business grows. However, it is not recommended as the primary strategy for capturing loads. Your primary cargo acquisition strategy should focus on building relationships with carriers and brokers and establishing avenues for your trucking company to dominate. Use charge boards as a secondary strategy to limit empty runs, fill capacity gaps, identify top-paying charges, and engage with potential new customers. Building a solid customer base leads to consistent and reliable work.

Building a solid customer base is the best approach to ensure the long-term success of your trucking business. A loading board should be just one of the tools your trucking company uses, but it is a necessary and effective tool nonetheless!

About eCapital

eCapital has over 25 years of experience serving transportation companies with reliable cash flow solutions and industry expertise. Our mission is to make life easier for truck business owners by providing easy access to working capital and tools and advice for running a smarter business. Available resources for trucking customers include:

(Video) DAT Power Load Board Settings You NEED to Know to Grow Your Box Truck Business

  • Freight factoring
  • Load board
  • shipping software
  • Revolving Line of Credit
  • Free credit check tool
  • Profit and Loss Calculator
  • Cost per kilometer calculator

To learn more about how we can help you grow your trucking business,

More great reading

The blog


(Video) Freight Brokers: Load board Tutorial Step-By-Step

12 New Year's Resolutions For Truck Owners - And How To Keep Them?

The start of the new year often feels like a blank slate, inspiring people to start over and make better decisions. It's like a second chance to improve your quality...

Chantal Giuliani

The blog


Learn what ELDs do - Invest in the right system for your trucking business

An ELD is an electronic logging device required by law by carriers to meet the requirements of the ELD mandate. The device is DOT-certified electronic hardware that…

(Video) 10 Tips for Bookings Loads for New Trucking Business

Chantal Giuliani

The blog


28 Christmas gifts for truck drivers

The holidays are just around the corner and you want to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. If you have a truck driver in your life, you could...

Chantal Giuliani

(Video) Dispatching your own loads w/ New Authority / $7000.00 Loads / How I run my Truck and make $20,000+


Can you make a living off load boards? ›

For one reason, they are not very profitable. You'll be better off getting direct contracts so you are in control and can keep all of the revenue. Other disadvantages of load boards include: You'll be dealing with strangers (who you hope are trustworthy).

How can I expand my truck business? ›

Here are some things to keep in mind to run a profitable trucking business in India:
  1. Choose a Specific Industry. ...
  2. Know Your Truck and its Properties. ...
  3. Lease or Rent a Truck if You Can't Buy One. ...
  4. Keep Your Paperwork Safe. ...
  5. Determine Your Costs. ...
  6. Create an Efficient Strategy. ...
  7. Treat Your Drivers Right. ...
  8. Be Visible.
Jun 7, 2021

How do I succeed in trucking business? ›

10 Techniques required to be successful in trucking
  1. Always have a plan. ...
  2. Know what it costs to operate each piece of equipment on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. ...
  3. Develop a pay-yourself-first plan. ...
  4. Schedule Preventive Maintenance. ...
  5. Stay with it. ...
  6. Communication.
Sep 15, 2017

How do you find loads on a load board? ›

How do owner-operators find loads?
  1. Find a freight broker. Freight brokers are one of the most common ways to connect truckers with shippers. ...
  2. Negotiate a contract directly with the shipper. Entering agreements directly with shippers can be a great way to get loads. ...
  3. Becoming a government contractor. ...
  4. Use a truck load board.
Nov 25, 2020

Which load board pays the most? ›

What is the Highest Paying Truck Load? On average, flatbed loads have the highest rates. Flatbed trucks are used as truck freight for construction goods, large manufactured parts, and various oversized loads.

What are the two most popular load boards? ›

Here are some of the best load boards for truck drivers, owner-operators, and brokers:
  • DirectFreight. DirectFreight is both a trucker and broker-friendly load board packed with every feature you might need in the trucking business. ...
  • TruckStop. ...
  • DAT. ...
  • 123Loadboard. ...
  • Trucker Path.
Dec 22, 2021

What are the 2/3 most important drivers of a company's success? ›

Having worked with dozens of companies, including many in the Fortune 500, Cope has discovered that focusing on the five key drivers – cash, profit, assets, growth and people – enables everyone to understand how their organizations operate, make money and sustain profitable growth.

How do trucking companies get leads? ›

12 Ways Freight Brokers Can Find More Shipper Leads
  1. Uncover all shipping locations for current clients. ...
  2. Make cold calls. ...
  3. Ask for referrals. ...
  4. Make a warm call. ...
  5. Prospect similar businesses. ...
  6. Get on the reserve list. ...
  7. Contact the customers of your customers. ...
  8. Create a loyalty program.
Sep 23, 2021

How fast do load boards pay? ›

The majority of load boards come with what is known as a D2P number – that means 'days to pay' so you can see how long, on average, a broker takes to pay out. Some will offer you full payment in 15-20 days, others will offer a quicker payment in installments.

What is the number one load board? ›

With over 485,000 loads per day and a database of 1.3 million trucks, DAT solutions is an industry leader as well as one of the most trusted load boards according to professional truckers. Finding freight is faster and easier thanks to their load board for truckers.

What are the benefits of using a load board? ›

Load boards allow brokers to match loads to drivers and trucks, stay up-to-date with available shipments, increase efficiency and profits, and keep drivers happy.

How do I get clients for my trucking business? ›

7 Ways to Get Truck Loads for Your Trucking Business
  1. Owner Operators or Fleet Owners Looking for Freight Brokers. ...
  2. Dispatch Services for Owner Operators and Fleet Owners. ...
  3. Best Box Truck Load Boards for Owner Operators. ...
  4. Registering as a Government Contractor. ...
  5. How to Find Freight Contracts for Owner Operators. ...
  6. Networking.
Jan 27, 2023

How do I grow my fleet? ›

How to Grow Your Small Fleet? | CoverWallet
  1. Plan Ahead. Sometimes, it's in our nature as humans that we act or do something without forethought. ...
  2. Slow and steady wins the race. ...
  3. No deal is better than a bad deal. ...
  4. Develop a Loyal Customer Base. ...
  5. It's a Business – Not a truck driving job.

How do you attract owner operators? ›

3 Simple Tips for Attracting Owner Operators
  1. Pay on percentage – Freight rates are at all-time highs and owner operators know it. ...
  2. Keep on-boarding costs low – Efficient and effective orientation is critical to starting a good relationship with an owner operator.
Jan 13, 2021

How often do trucking companies fail? ›

Typically, around 85-90% of startup trucking companies fail. It's not always easy to run a company, but it's especially difficult in the competitive transportation industry.

What is a good profit margin for a trucking company? ›

The average net profit margin of a trucking company averages between 2.5% and 6%. That means it can be a profitable business and an industry that you can make a decent living from, provided you get into the trucking business with your eyes wide open.

What are the 5 types of loads? ›

The loads in buildings and structures can be classified as vertical loads, horizontal loads and longitudinal loads. The vertical loads consist of dead load, live load and impact load. The horizontal loads consist of wind load and earthquake load.

How do you find good loads? ›

5 Ways to Get Loads for Your Trucking Business
  1. Use a Freight Broker. Among the most popular ways to connect your business with shippers is through an intermediary freight broker. ...
  2. Become Government Authorized. ...
  3. Build a Network. ...
  4. Work Directly with a Dispatch Service. ...
  5. Use a Load Board.
Jul 21, 2022

What is the formula of load? ›

Load weight = weight per volume * total volume.

What is the best time to check load boards? ›

Most carriers start searching for loads at about 8:00AM Eastern Time on weekdays. However, brokers often set up their loads to post automatically from their TMS, and many are posted between 5:00 and 7:00 AM.

What state pays the most for truck loads? ›


How do I get the best truck loads? ›

  1. Identifying Freight Brokers. Freight brokers are in the business of matching truck loads from shippers with truck drivers. ...
  2. Shippers & Dispatch Services. ...
  3. Load Boards. ...
  4. Become a Government Contractor. ...
  5. Plan Your Loads Ahead of Time. ...
  6. Networking & Relationship Building.

Which load would be preferred by most truckers? ›

In very general terms, we can say that the Full Truckload transport service (FTL) is recommended for large and heavy loads, while the Less Than Truckload service (LTL) is the best option for smaller loads. However, there are other aspects to take into consideration to fully understand these two transport services.

What is the monthly cost of DAT load board? ›

Power Select runs at $180/mo. This includes the complete DAT load board, real-time result filters, market analytics, and more. Power Office runs at $295/mo, and includes all the tools from Power Select, plus LaneMakers, freight rates, and other features. How do I sign up for Power?

Are load boards worth it? ›

The solution most trucking companies use is a high-quality load board. But, are load boards worth it? In a word, yes. A good load board can help you find the best-paying jobs and broaden your customer base.

Can a truck driver be rich? ›

It's well known that the higher the risk - the higher the reward. The trucking industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that rewards very generously those who earn it. So, a trucking company can turn into a tremendous success. And it can make you a Millionaire in just 2 years.

What is a super trucker? ›

A super trucker can be an independent trucker, an owner operator or a company driver. They are often loud. No one else in the room can talk when they're around. He's the one that flirts with all the truck stop waitresses. They are self-centered and know pretty much everything about trucking!

Is trucking profitable right now? ›

Is the trucking business profitable? The short answer is yes.

What are the 5 keys of business success? ›

As a reminder, the 5 Key Success Factors are:
  • Strategic Focus (Leadership, Management, Planning)
  • People (Personnel, Staff, Learning, Development)
  • Operations (Processes, Work)
  • Marketing (Customer Relations, Sales, Responsiveness)
  • Finances (Assets, Facilities, Equipment)
Apr 1, 2015

What are 3 important keys to success? ›

Irrespective of what “Success” means to each, what has been clearly understood that there are three key elements of success. They are - Clarity of Purpose, Growth Mindset, and Courage. Without purpose, it is hard to have a clear direction. It is important to know what you want and what you are striving for.

What are the 5 drivers of success? ›

This FREE 2-hour workshop will focus on building skills in the following five interrelated areas: Self-Confidence, People Skills, Communication, Leadership, and Managing worry & stress.

How do I find freight customers? ›

How To Find Customers For Freight Brokerage
  1. 8 Ways To Find Clients as a Freight Broker. ...
  2. Expand Within Your Clients' Companies. ...
  3. Look Up and Down the Supply Chain. ...
  4. Make Cold Calls. ...
  5. Utilize Social Media. ...
  6. Create a Referral and Rewards Program. ...
  7. Reach Out to Similar Businesses. ...
  8. Offer to be a Backup.

What company pays CDL drivers the most? ›

10 Best Paying Trucking Companies
Annual Salary
3.Epes Transport$83,921
4.Acme Truck Line$82,892
7 more rows
Apr 23, 2019

How do I find customers for logistics? ›

6 Tips for Logistics Marketing to Help Customers Find Your...
  1. Define your target customer.
  2. Identify your main competitors.
  3. Develop your value proposition.
  4. Optimize your website.
  5. Identify other digital channels like blogs and email marketing.
  6. Take advantage of social media.
Aug 11, 2021

Why are loads paying so low? ›

Today, retailers have too much inventory and consumer demand has dropped due to inflation and renewed spending on services. The result is weakening demand for truck capacity and falling trucking rates. Truckload spot market rates are below contract prices and 15% lower than a year ago.

How do you negotiate loads on a load board? ›

How to Negotiate Freight Rates (8 Tips for Success)
  1. Know Your Operating Cost. ...
  2. Pay Attention to the Drop-off Location. ...
  3. Identify the Load-to-Truck Ratio. ...
  4. Look Up the Average Spot Rate. ...
  5. Mark the Load's Times. ...
  6. Ask about Fees. ...
  7. Get Everything in Writing. ...
  8. Verify the Broker and Shipper Information.
Mar 10, 2021

What is a quick pay in trucking? ›

QuickPay is a payment option that offers carriers a faster option of getting paid from a broker. A QuickPay can take, on average, between two and five days after you've completed the load. Not all brokers have a QuickPay program, but it's important to remember that each broker determines its terms and cost.

How do I get high paying freight loads? ›

How To Increase Your Chances Of Getting High-Paying Truck Loads
  1. Turn To Load Boards. ...
  2. Look For Freight Brokers. ...
  3. Hire A Dispatcher Directly. ...
  4. Register As A Government Contractor. ...
  5. Prospect Shippers. ...
  6. Build A Good Network. ...
  7. Broker Your Loads. ...
  8. Find Out Your Unique Selling Proposition.
Sep 23, 2020

What is the best app for loads? ›

DAT has the most-used truck load app in the industry — carriers and owner-operators have relied on it for years. DAT One is the single source for all things freight, combining 15 apps into one fast and easy set of tools to find loads, truck services, fuel prices, truck parking, rest stops and much more.

How much does it cost to use load board? ›

DAT Load Board Pricing
Carrier PackagesStarting at $45.00Per Month Contact Us
Broker PackagesStarting at $139.00Per Month Contact Us
Combo PackagesStarting at $235.00Per Month Contact Us
Shipper PackagesContact UsPer Month Contact Us
Nov 3, 2022

How do trucking load boards work? ›

How does a load board work? A load board is usually hosted online. Users pay a subscription to log into the load board to post loads or empty trucks, either moving their freight or loading their trucks. The load board facilitates communication between broker, shipper, owner-operator, or small carrier.

Is truckloads a good load board? ›

Best Load Board App

Truckloads is the highest rated and most popular app to find freight.

Do freight brokers use load boards? ›

A load board is an online system where people can post or search for loads that need to be moved. While freight brokers can use these load boards to connect shippers and carriers, it's also used by truckers and shippers to network and match loads themselves.

Why do small trucking companies fail? ›

Lack of Resources

A lack of cash-flow and customers is often the reason for trucking companies go out of business within the first few years. Transporting low-paying freight can cost more money than it profits. Not to mention that trucks themselves are expensive, between payments, insurance, maintenance and gas.

How can I attract more CDL drivers? ›

  1. List Openings on Online Job Boards. When drivers search for truck driving jobs, online trucking job boards are often the place where most drivers begin. ...
  2. Keep Your Company Website Up to Date. ...
  3. Ask for Driver Referrals. ...
  4. Think About What Drivers Want.
Jan 2, 2022

What is the most profitable type of trucking? ›

9 Highest Paying Trucking Jobs
  • Ice Road Drivers. ...
  • Oversized Load. Salary: $71,442 per year. ...
  • Specialty Vehicle Haulers. Salary: $82,099. ...
  • Team Drivers. Salary: $96,573. ...
  • Private Fleet. Salary: $95,999 - $110,000 per year. ...
  • Mining Industry Drivers. Salary: $58,862. ...
  • Liquids / Tanker. Salary: $88,024. ...
  • Hazmat Drivers. Salary: $65,466.

Why are people quitting trucking? ›

Problems with dispatch, supervisors, and the company in general are among the causes of truck drivers' resignations. Some frontline managers at a trucking company don't treat them like people; they are occasionally harsh and hurtful to them. They resigned as a result.

What is the biggest problem in the trucking industry? ›

The Top 10 Trucking Industry Issues

Across all respondents, Fuel Prices was selected as the top industry concern in 2022. After spending five years as the number one concern, the Driver Shortage dropped one position in 2022 to rank second overall.

What is the biggest problem with the trucking industry right now? ›

The rising price of gas overtook driver shortages as the biggest issue facing the trucking industry in 2022. High gas prices aren't just hitting everyday drivers, as the trucking industry is reportedly most concerned about the rising cost of fuel across the country.

What do truckers love? ›

Listening to audiobooks, podcasts and radio.

Most truck drivers are listening to something on the road, both behind the wheel — as long as you're staying alert while driving — and during time off in their sleeper berth.

How many seconds should a CDL driver look ahead? ›

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Most good drivers look 12-15 seconds ahead. That means looking ahead the distance you will travel in 12-15 seconds. At lower speeds, that's about one block. At highway speeds it's about one-quarter of a mile.

What state pays CDL drivers the most? ›


What type of trucking is most in demand? ›

7 Truck Driving Jobs That Are Always In Demand
  • # 1: DRY VAN DRIVERS. This is a gateway job when you first start out in the trucking industry. ...
  • # 2: FLAT BED DRIVERS. ...
  • # 3: TANKER DRIVERS. ...
  • # 5: FREIGHT HAULERS. ...
Jan 24, 2019

What type of trucking is in demand? ›

Flatbed. Flatbed drivers are some of the most in-demand drivers in the trucking industry today.

What is the easiest type of freight to get? ›

Dry Van And Refrigerated Freight

Most rookies start out hauling a dry van or refrigerated freight because they are the most common types of freight available and they require little in the way of specialized training.

What state is best for owner-operators? ›

North Dakota is the best state for jobs for owner/operators, and Hawaii is the worst. The most common pay in North Dakota is $175,054, while the median pay in Hawaii is $124,852. The bottom 10% level pay for owner/operators is $105,000.
1. North Dakota.
Total Owner/Operator Jobs:1,643
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$243,000
3 more rows
Apr 6, 2021

What apps do owner-operators use? ›

Best Apps for Truck Drivers in 2021
  • TruckSmart. TruckSmart is an app by the Travel Centers of America. ...
  • Drivewyze. Drivewyze is an app that allows for weigh station bypassing, which saves drivers time and money. ...
  • Cost Per Mile. This app is especially useful for Owner Operators! ...
  • Dock411. ...
  • Storm Shield. ...
  • CamScanner. ...
  • Rolling Strong.

What do owner-operators want? ›

Some truckers just don't want to work as a company driver. They want the independence, freedom and profits, that comes with being an owner operator. But, there are are many factors to consider and things you should know, before becoming an owner operator and jumping into the money pit, with both feet.


1. How to Grow Your Trucking Business - 1 Truck to 25 Trucks [GROWTH MANTRA] for Trucking Company
(Max Truckers)
2. Best Load Boards For New Owner Operators
(Mutha Trucker - Official Trucking Channel)
3. How to use a load board: DAT TruckersEdge
(DAT Freight & Analytics)
4. How I GREW My Business to 3 Trucks FAST (Numbers Revealed)
(Trucking From Scratch)
5. Best Load Boards to Use for Trucking. (New Authority and Seasoned)
(Jays Sidehustles)
6. how to book a load : dat load board [ link in description]
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated: 09/22/2023

Views: 6141

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.