Create valuable partnerships
No man is an island – this might be a saying from 1624, but it holds true for trucking owner-operators and small fleet owners today. The truth is you can’t do it all on your own. There are several partnerships that can be invaluable to you when you are looking to find more loads and grow your business.
A key valuable partnership is to find a reputable and reliable load planning and dispatch service. When you partner with the right trucking dispatch service, they can help you in several ways. Most importantly they can help you find more loads that are going where you want to, when you want to. They can also negotiate the best rates possible for you. Additionally, they might complete and submit all paperwork for the load, manage all back office support and administrative tasks for each load and follow and track loads and miles.
Use your time wisely
One thing that is easily overlooked is outsourcing some of the back office aspects of your trucking business. You can easily free up your time by working with a partner who can manage some of the business aspects for you. For example, invoicing and collections, so you have more time to be on the road. There are a few partners who can help you with this such as the above-mentioned dispatch companies as well as freight bill factoring companies.
There are many apps available to truck drivers that can help you save time. One is Drivewyze that can help you bypass weigh stations that can slow you down. As well as Big Road which is a digital log book. In addition CamScanner can save you time by organizing and saving your receipts. When you save time using these apps, you can spend more time looking for new loads.
Build lasting relationships
The old business saying is that it is easier and less expensive to keep clients than it is to find new ones. To do that you need to build lasting relationships with your brokers and shippers. There are a few things you can do to help with this. The first is to send out your freight bills promptly. If this is challenging for you while you are on the road, you might want to enlist the help of a bookkeeper or freight factoring company who offers those services.
The second is to always under promise and over deliver, with that I mean make sure you do what you have said you will do. Brokers and shippers won’t keep calling you with new loads if you are routinely late with your deliveries.
Ensure you always have the funds to cover fuel, maintenance and other costs that will increase as your miles do by working with a trucking factoring company. Not having the working capital needed to stay on the road once freight has been accepted negatively impacts your relationships. With a trucking factoring company, you can get access to fuel advances and immediate funds for your freight bills. An added bonus is that some trucking factoring companies will offer additional benefits. For example they may check the credit of your potential brokers and shippers. Knowing their credit will help ensure you haul loads that you will get paid for every time.
Lastly, always be pleasant and friendly in your communications with them. If they enjoy working with you, they are more likely to keep sending loads your way.
The reality for trucking owner-operators and small fleet owners is that you won’t find more loads without putting in some effort. The good news is several things can be done to help you find more loads and grow your business.