What exactly is a load board?
Load boards are used in the haulage business to bring shippers, brokers, and haulage companies together. Each party requires something slightly different from the boards:
A shipping company has freight that needs to get to its final destination. As a result, they will be using a load board to post their needs to the public. Freight that is posted on the load boards is called “wanted loads”.
Freight brokers act on behalf of importers that don’t want to get involved with the detail of organizing the final leg of the freight’s journey. They have freight that they feel needs to get to its final destination.
Benefits of a load board for a shipping company and for freight brokers
Load boards provide an online place to advertise their cargo. They can also display other details such as routes, dates, and times that trucks are needed. This information allows truckers to find loads they are interested in and then quote for delivering them.
Haulage companies / Truckers
Truckers are looking for freight to transport for money. They will want to use a load board to find the jobs that are suitable for them and quote on them quickly. Haulage companies quote on loads that they feel they can complete and get paid for. Consequently, the freight will arrive at its destination and the haulage company, who posted the quote, will be paid by the person who posted the load.
Benefits of a load board for truckers
Truckers want to reduce the number of miles they drive with an empty truck. Known as deadheading, driving an empty truck means the trucker/company isn’t making money (more on the dangers of deadheading follows). Therefore a load board is a useful tool for truckers to identify loads that match with their current work. For example, if they have been contracted to take a load to a particular port they can use the load board to identify a load originating from that port that needs to be delivered on their return journey.
Which load boards are best?
Several load boards are available to truckers, both small and large. As a result, you need to choose the one that best suits your needs. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before using a load board:
Is the load board you are using up to date?
You will need to make a decision on whether to use free or paid load boards. It sounds very appealing to go with a free load board, however, there is a real concern about listings on free boards being out of date.
What information is included on the load board?
A further benefit for truckers of using a load board is the extra information you can get about your potential client:
- What is their reputation?
- How long do they take to pay?
Which is the best load board and why?
There is a lot to be said about using a paid load board. All parties paying for access have an incentive to keep the information up to date. Paid for load boards also have resources to develop their platform further. Due to these considerations, Truckstop is the best load board for many reasons:
- The number of available loads
Truckstop has been described as the “Nasdaq of Freight“.
- Book now feature
The book now feature offered on Truckstop.com allows truckers to plan ahead as they can quickly confirm loads.
- Compare loads feature
Truckstop allows users to compare loads side by side and compare the best rates.
- Ease of use
Truckstop continues to invest in its platform ensuring that the layout is user-friendly and intuitive.
- Map search functionality
Carriers can locate loads using the map search functionality. Saving time and money.
- It is ideal for hotshot trucking
The ease of use and rapid booking features makes Truckstop.com ideal for truckers looking for hotshot work.
So, there you have a round-up on load boards, the following is a little more information on the benefits using load boards bring to truckers.
Problems with Deadheading
Earlier in this article, deadheading was mentioned. As promised here is more information about the issues of deadheading. As stated deadheading is the practice of driving an unladen truck. This can have serious consequences:
The Truck becomes more difficult to control
Driving a truck without any load is much harder for the truck driver. As there is less weight bearing down on the tractor’s rear axle there is less traction making it harder to control the vehicle downhill. The truck also reacts differently under braking. Empty vehicles are also more susceptible to crosswinds.
Drivers have less experience driving empty vehicles
Trucks with empty trailers are less common. As a result, drivers don’t get the opportunity to practice driving them.
Empty trucks are not as maneuverable
Empty trucks take longer to stop and are harder to turn in tight situations. For example at the beginning and end of parking bays. Also, the lack of weight can cause problems when maneuvering a truck in tight situations – for example turning into small car parks or moving alongside another vehicle for loading/unloading.
You can quickly see why reducing the deadheading milage benefits all road users and not just the trucker. Load boards are instrumental in ensuring empty journeys are kept to a minimum.
Load boards provide a powerful tool for truckers to use in their work. By using the load board to find the best freight available, you can increase your earning potential and reduce the risk of empty truck journeys.
Load boards are also an efficient way for carriers to communicate with haulage companies. They can find information about a carrier quickly such as their reputation, payment terms, and whether they have carried cargo from its origin before. The entire process is streamlined making it easy to find loads they would prefer to have and pay them accordingly.