7 Best Methods – Finding Truckloads for Owner Operators, Truckers

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Truckloads for owner operators / truckers is a difficult task to find. It takes street smarts and strategy to find good and high-paying truck loads.

Whether you are looking for truckloads for owner operators / trucker or a fleet owner. Getting good loads makes your trucking business success or failure.

Not everyone in the trucking business knows the best mix of methods to get good loads.

That's one of the reasons why a lot of trucking companies fail. Many fresher owner-operators find it difficult to get good & paying loads because big and established brokers don't work with them.

Whether it be a recession, pandemic fuelled slow down, freight shortage the wheels need to be spinning to make you money. There are various methods to find truck loads for an owner-operator./trucker.

Here we are pointing out 7 best ways to find truck loads for owner operators truckers:

1) Freight brokers find good truckloads for owner operators /truckers:

Also a fresh owner operator you will find it difficult to find good and paying hauls. In such a scenario relationships with brokers and shippers will help you to get good loads.

If you can get a freight broker to negotiate a specific lane or a load for you, it will make your life a bit easier. These brokers will do all the work for you, which makes your life easy.

Freight brokers make shippers get good loads because they have a relationship with shippers. To join a broker there are many hidden/obvious fees associated with it. And many brokers do not take inexperienced truckers to haul their loads.

Benefits of using a Freight Broker to get loads for truckers or owner operators .

  1. A freight broker is a strategic partner, they work as your dedicated dispatching department without the expense of a dedicated dispatching department. They also save time, money, and expenses by providing you invoicing, audits and training. They help you to focus clearly on your business
  2. Freight brokers produce you apt capacity according to the requirements of your business. So there is no need to ponder about cyclical or seasonal trends.
  3. Freight brokers are strategically positioned to help small owner-operators with their connectivity to big-ticket shippers. An owner-operator can be sure that these brokers will use world-class best practices, big experience, and knowledge to help you land good clients.
  4. It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Freight broker partners have expansive shipper networks that provide many advantages over an in-house dispatching department.
  5. Can access supply capacity that is otherwise unavailable or costly for an in-house dispatching department.
  6. It’s a win-win partnership. Your broker works for you and will put your interests first, because when you succeed, they succeed and when your business grows, so does theirs.

Disadvantages of entering into a contract with a freight broker for trucker or owner-operator:

Most of the freight brokers do not entertain working with fresh owner-operators. They help you land up dedicated lanes but you don't have the power to negotiate with the brokers, because they are holding the relationship with the shipper.

2) Freight dispatchers find good truckloads for owner-operators/truckers:

Hiring a dispatcher, who has the industry experience and contacts in tow is a good idea. They will help to build relationships with brokers and shippers.

Truck dispatchers also do administrative services like accounting, billing, and collections. With their back-office services, they ensure that shippers or brokers pay their invoices on time

Benefits of a dispatcher for trucker or owner-operator.

A dispatcher functions as a logistic arm of your trucking business. Dispatchers connect you fast with good deals comparative to broker deals, thus reducing the empty miles hauled.

Dispatchers work for small owner-operators and freight brokers work for the shipping companies. Dispatchers will let you know hazards, weather trouble, road or infrastructure closure, etc beforehand.  Which means smoother and more timely operations.

Dispatchers help your company with operations, carrier compliance, customer service, and administrative works like billing, collections, and other paperwork.

Disadvantages of a dispatcher for trucker or owner-operator:

Current or projected revenues don’t suggest hiring an outside dispatch partner then don’t do it. If you have dependable clients providing dedicated hauls to and fro consistently, then dispatch service doesn’t make financial sense.

Experienced drivers working familiar routes may not need help working around or through hazards and slowdowns. A carrier with a knowledgeable and efficient operations staff might not need assistance with billing or collections operations

Small carriers and owner-operators should exercise caution while selecting a dispatcher. We should exercise long-term thinking while selecting a dispatcher to partner with your business.

3) Load boards to find good truckloads for owner-operators/truckers:

As inexperienced trucker load boards help you to find good and paying loads to and fro. There are many benefits of using a load board like finding good listings that match your criteria, finding the dollar per mile of a route, finding the 15-day average rate of a lane.

A good load board helps you find loads on the road using mobile maps, you don't need to waste time setting up your routes. Once you set up an interesting route, the application will send the notification message to alert you of loads coming up.

Carriers, brokers, and shippers have trusted the DAT NETWORK, credited as an industry leader with more than 60 million loads per year. Of those, 42 million are either found on the DAT Network first or nowhere else.

Benefits of using Load boards for owner-operators/ truckers:

  • Online availability – 24 x 7 x 365
  • Easy to use on the road
  • Many offer additional services (credit checks, days to pay, etc.)
  • Can help reduce deadheading
  • Most are free or inexpensive

Disadvantages of using Load boards for owner-operators/truckers

  • You are working with strangers and hoping it goes well
  • You give up revenues to freight brokers
  • Most loads will have a lot of competition
  • You work for a low rate compared to face to face contract

4) Be a government contractor and find good truckloads for owner-operators/truckers:

Whether it be the federal government, state government, city government, or counties there is a lot of government outsourcing happening. Register with a government agency, get all the required permits, and start hauling for the government.

You can also partner or haul for a company that is already hauling for the government. Dial-up your city or state government for more details.


Benefits of having a government contract for owner-operators/ truckers:

  • Good Compensation
  • Good reputation
  • Long contracts

Drawbacks of having a government contract for owner-operators/ truckers:

  • Lots of Rules
  • No Stability
  • Slow Payment

5) Prospecting and doing cold calling to find good truckloads for owner-operators/truckers:

Do some research on the shippers, brokers, and other load dispatchers in your locality. Cold call, knock on their doors and introduce yourself. It takes a lot of work to come into the good books of shippers and brokers.

Many of the freight companies find their owner-operators by prospecting. Do not shy away from the good old cold calling and introducing your freight company. Inquire about their shipping needs a position yourself as a reliable trucking solution provider.

You can't tell when a new opportunity might come up at a later date. Prospecting for loads is an of a numbers game, so keep at it.

Benefits of Cold Calling for owner-operators hunting for loads

  • Freedom of hunting alone
  • Helpful for freshers in the sales sector
  • All-time marketing, more opportunities
  • Go hassle-free

Drawbacks of Cold Calling for owner-operators hunting for loads

  • Customer Find it Irritating.
  • Not Sustainable.
  • Can Damage Company Reputation.
  • More Time-Consuming = Less Success.
  • Reaching Decision Makers is Difficult.
  • Difficulty in Educating Customers Over the Phone.

6) Networking to find good truckloads for owner operators/truckers:

Networking is important for any industry, to find and get connected with industry associations. And go to events that brokers and shippers are attending.

Do some internet research to find what is happening in the industry, find out about events, meetups, etc. Find out events that cater to the type of freight you haul.

Being a part trucking association is a good idea if networking or prospecting is your goal. Because such places will have mostly just competitors. However, we get referrals opportunities from people who work in your industry. A small investment of time in networking will pay rich dividends in the future.

Many of such networking associations can provide with best in class industry tips and advice on how to save money in your trucking business. You can also prospect using a membership list that these events provide you with.

 Benefits of Networking for owner-operators hunting for loads

  • Strengthen business connections
  • Get fresh ideas
  • Raise your company profile
  • Gain more industry knowledge
  • Get an answer to every business question
  •  Develop long-lasting personal relationships
  • Gain a different perspective
  • Build customer confidence
  • Get business advice and support
  • Access to more reviews
  • Access to more clients

 Drawbacks of Networking for owner-operators hunting for loads

  • Too Many Business Connections
  • Too Many Resources
  • Not for all owner-operators
  • Limited Expectations
  • Reduced Privacy
  • More Open to Fraud and Negativity

7) Be your own broker to find good truckloads for owner operators /truckers:

After trying all the above methods, if you feel the problem of finding yourself a good haul still exists. Then try being your own freight broker?

Give yourself a lot of time at this juncture because this is a very complex process, and the lead time is the highest in being your own broker.

Being your own broker isn't a small task. You need to train yourself with an established broker or take some classes. The lead time is substantial.

The above are some of the most common ways of finding high-paying “Truckloads for Owner Operators”. As an owner operator, if you use a mix of these 7 ways you will be able to land on high-paying loads regularly.

Other urgent requirements for a owner operator

Firstly, you need a good insurance agency/provider covering you for various circumstances/policy types. You need to take 3rd party liability, cargo, uninsured motorist, trailer/equipment insurance, etc.

Secondly, we need to enlist a factor that has competitive rates and above-par service quality to make your company bottleneck-free. This will help you to have a good cash flow and working capital.s

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