Once you get your CDL and have finished getting all your certifications, you’ll need to find a load. This won’t be a huge issue if you work for a company that dispatches you on a job, but it’s imperative for owner-operators to be able to quickly find truck loads to haul. So how do independent truckers find loads to haul?
Finding Truck Loads as a New Driver
When looking for a new client, you’ll want to consider factors like how well they pay, how often they need a driver, and if they ship to reasonable locations. After you’ve created a list of criteria, you can start working towards finding your first load.
Load boards are a good place to start, but they’re not the end-all, be-all of resources. These forums serve as a place where companies can post available truck loads for drivers to haul. New loads are posted every day, so there’s always a chance of finding a promising candidate, but the competition is fierce and you’re only guaranteed one job before you have to go back to the board to start looking again.
We’re not talking about the trucking industry, but rather the industry in which your prospective client works. In some groups, you can find a membership list online. Otherwise, try joining the group itself to get a list of members. Call companies directly to offer your services. This may seem daunting, and it takes a lot of phone calls before you may find the right match, but your hard work will pay off in the end.
Consider Being “Drafted”
One of the largest commercial shippers in the United States is the government. For example, USPS outsources it’s freight to independent contractors who in turn do such things like delivering the mail. There are resources you can consult to find opportunities to drive for the government. Just remember – getting established in whatever you choose to do will take hard work, but it will be worth it in the end.