How to pick the best load board for truckers

Written by: Sammy Lloyd on January 28, 2020 3:32 pm

Looking for a load board to help you find freight? Whether you’re an independent owner-operator seeking spot market freight for all your loads, a small fleet wanting to supplement your contract business, or you just need a load to get you back home, you’ll want want to choose a load board that works for your specific business.

How do you know if a load board fits what you need? Below are 4 questions to ask yourself when shopping for a load board:

Looking for loads? DAT load boards are the fastest way to the right load at the right price.

See how owner-operator Sammy Lloyd finds loads for his truck.

1. Does it have the right loads?

Make sure the load board you choose gives you plenty of choices. Any load board will have loads going from Chicago to Dallas or Atlanta to Philadelphia, but what happens when you’re stuck in a Albuquerque on a Friday afternoon and you need to find a load back home to Fargo? Look for a load board that has a wide variety of origins and destinations, as well as a wide variety of brokers and shippers offering freight to haul.

2. Does it have the right rates?

Rates for spot market freight are based on supply and demand, so they change daily. Some loads on a load board will include an offer rate, but not always. And either way, the rate is usually negotiated between the broker and carrier. In that case, you need to know what other truckers are getting paid on that lane before you agree on a price with a broker. Make sure the load board you choose has up-to-date rate information. For example, the DAT TruckersEdge Pro load board includes the average rate for the past 15 days on more than 65,000 lanes.

3. Does it have the right business partners?

Even more important than the number of loads is being able to build strong business relationships with the brokers and shippers who are posting loads on the board. Make sure your load board gives you tools to vet your potential business partners. For example, DAT load boards show the broker’s credit score and average days-to-pay right next to the load posting. Also included are star ratings (1 to 5 stars) and reviews written by other carriers who’ve worked with that broker or shipper.

4. Does it have the right l tools?

The best load boards aren’t just for finding freight. Sometimes it’s those little extra features that make your life easier and give you better insights into the markets. For example, DAT offers a TriHaul tool that gives suggestions for 3-legged routes that pay better than a straight roundtrip. That can help you avoid lower paying backhauls. There’s also Hot Market Maps, which show current supply and demand conditions in 135 freight markets in the U.S.

Want to learn more about load board features and pricing options? Check out DAT’s load board web page.