Independent owner operators always face the same dilemma. Once the freight is delivered, they have to drive back with an empty truck. Even if you are only doing local deliveries you know what it feels like – an empty truck is like pouring money on the road and driving over it.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a way to pick up some quick local freight to cover the ride back. Even for long haul independent truckers, it can be worth it to find local freight wherever you are to help cut down on your costs. The question is how to find local truck driving jobs? There are two ways of doing it – the old-fashioned way and the new way.
The Old Fashioned Way
It used to be that you had to either have an in with a local company that would use you for pick up work or, you would read the ads posted at the truck stops or in the local trucking papers. A lot of the freight that was advertised was already gone by the time it even went to press. It got even riskier if you were looking for owner operator jobs because you really no way of knowing if you were going to get paid or if the check was going to be good until you had already put in the time and expense to deliver the load.
The old-fashioned way worked because it was all there was, but it also broke a lot of independent drivers before they could get started. This is one of the reasons shipping companies that used independent contractors began to get popular. These companies acted like brokers between loads and drivers and took care of all the payments – they also took a portion of the fee.
The New Way
The Internet and mobile technology have completely changed the way that truck drivers find local jobs. Now, you can sign onto sites called “truck load boards,” these are real time advertisements of loads that you can respond to. Sites like getloaded.com have worked hard to streamline the process and move it onto smart phones so you can even find your next load while on the road. Getloaded.com works like any other freelance job board site only they are offering owner operator jobs.
Companies or individuals who will be shipping register with the site and go through a verification process about payments and load types. Then, they can post any load to the board with a clear description of the lading and delivery. Owner operators then create their own accounts with a profile and can “bid” on the job. Once the job is won and delivered, payment is exchanged between the two and both the company and the driver can post reviews of each other. The more good reviews you get the more and better loads you will win.
How to do it Right
One of the problems with taking on owner operator jobs even off the truck load boards is that you don’t get that kind of face-to-face experience with a client where you can get a feel for whether or not they are reliable. Your best way to start using a board is to go small and make sure that the client is well rated and has a good credit score. You don’t want to take on too much and spread yourself too thin and wind up having to absorb the cost for the delivery because of a no pay.
Local Trucking Driving Jobs Are Not Just For Freight Forwarders
Not just tractor trailers either …
Trucking job boards don’t just list large freight loads. They also list chauffeur jobs, flatbed trucking and delivery driver jobs so being an owner operator is not always a requirement. There are companies that post jobs looking for drivers as well. The thing is, don’t limit your opportunities by only looking for one type of posting.
While you may be an owner operator, you could pick up other work driving someone else’s truck on a short term basis. While you are building your reputation on a service it is best to take what you know you will do well first. In the beginning, smaller is better until you establish a reputation and get a feel for how the site works.
A good approach to getting involved with the truck job boards is not to. What? Don’t immediately log in and start taking jobs, get a free level account and spend some time exploring the site. Make sure you read the forums and the FAQs and educate yourself on how things work. Then, when you think you are ready – don’t do anything again. Pick out a few jobs that interest you, don’t take them on but go through your day and imagine what would have to do to get it done well. This will start to show you which jobs are realistic and which are not. Once you have an idea about all of this, go ahead and start taking jobs.