Your Guide to Commercial Truck Financing

commercial truck financingAre you getting into the commercial trucking industry? Then you’ll want to learn your options for commercial truck financing.

Commercial trucks are incredibly expensive. When you’re just getting started, there’s probably no way you have the cash to buy the trucks you need outright. Luckily, there are plenty of financing options that will help you get your business underway without breaking the bank.

In this guide to commercial truck financing, we’ll walk you through the whole process.

Keep reading before you get started!

Why Do You Need Commercial Truck Financing?

If you’re a truck driver or work in the trucking industry, you might decide to walk away from your regular paycheck for the exciting promise of being a business owner. Becoming an owner-operator can be incredibly rewarding, with a high-income potential. But as a business owner, you’ll also have new risks and responsibilities to manage.

Getting financing for your truck or trucks is just one of those responsibilities, but it’s a big one. Without the vehicle, you can’t get your business started at all.

There are a few steps you need to take to help ensure that you’ll qualify for commercial truck financing at the lowest rate possible. The good news is that this kind of financing is easy to get compared to a lot of other kinds of business loans. The truck works as a form of collateral, so institutions are more likely to take the risk of financing you, knowing they can easily get their money back by selling the truck.

However, if you’re only buying one truck, lenders can be a bit more reluctant to give you the funding. That’s because your entire business becomes reliant on that single vehicle. And, if you’re just starting out, you won’t have a track record to prove your business can make money.

That’s why it’s so important to follow all the necessary steps so you’ll qualify for commercial truck financing, no matter what your business situation is. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to financing your commercial venture in no time.

1. Show Proof of Business

First, you’ll need to prove that you own a registered business that the lender can finance.

There are a few different ways to show this proof, depending on the kind of business you have.

Corporations and LLCs

This is the easiest type of business to show proof for. The lender can simply look up the official records of your business on the internet – you’ll be listed on the Secretary of State site for your state. The good news is that it’s also very easy for you to set up this type of business.

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships – Existing

If you haven’t yet organized your business as a legal entity, you’re a sole proprietorship or a partnership by default. If you’ve shown business income on your taxes for at least a year, you can use your Schedule C form as your proof of business.

If it’s a partnership, you’ll use the Schedule K-1 form instead.

Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships – New

If you don’t have a year’s worth of taxes to show, you can use your Employer Identification Number to show proof of business instead. You can sometimes also use your Doing Business As name.

To get your Employer Identification Number, just visit the IRS’s website – it’s free. The confirmation letter they send will serve as your proof of business.

What Else Will You Need?

In the trucking industry, you won’t just need proof of business – you’ll also need your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). You might also need to get a U.S. Department of Transportation number.

Even if your lender doesn’t ask you to document these things, you should still have them – otherwise, you risk getting in trouble and losing your business.

2. Grow Your Credit Score

Next, you need to get your personal credit score in order so you’ll qualify for commercial truck financing. This can have a huge impact on whether or not you qualify, especially if you’re just getting started.

You’ll need your credit score to be approved for your fuel card and fleet card, too, which are important tools for your business cash flow.

The higher your credit score, the lower your down payment will tend to be. If your credit score is low, getting a co-signer for your application can help.

3. Find Your Truck

With that in order, it’s time to find the right truck to lease.

You probably won’t be able to afford to finance a new truck, so you’ll need to look for a good used option. Find a truck that’s under 10 years old, and has under 700,000 miles. The better the condition, the better your financing options will be.

Most lenders won’t want to finance old, worn-out trucks at all. That’s because they’re more likely to break down, and don’t offer as much collateral value.

4. Save Up Your Down Payment

If you’re just getting into the business, you’ll need a down payment for the truck. You should also have some cash reserve saved up for business expenses along the way.

Depending on your credit score, you can expect to pay a down payment of about 10 to 30 percent. Save up enough cash to cover a month or two of repairs, living expenses, insurance premiums, and the like. Lenders like to see that you’ll be able to keep things going if business starts out slow.

5. Get Insured

Proper insurance is essential for commercial truck financing. Even if you get pre-approved without insurance, you’ll need to show proof of insurance after the financing goes through.

Looking for Commercial Truck Financing?

Once you’ve completed all these steps, the only thing left is to find the right commercial truck financing company for your needs.

When you become an owner-operator, you can be your own boss and grow your business to your heart’s content. Good financing sets you up for success by getting you off to the right start. If you follow these steps, you’ll have everything in working order before you approach a lender.

Want to know how to make your trucking business stand out from the crowd? ComFreight can help – find out more about us here.

 

Refresh Post Age for Loads & Trucks

We’ve added a new feature to allow you to refresh the age of your posts. You can now refresh the age of your posts for loads and trucks that you post. This will help you get more eyes on the posts that you create, especially loads.

By using the Refresh Age button you’ll be able to update the age to reset it in the system. This will move it to the top of the results (by age) for other users who are looking for your posted loads or trucks (or loads or trucks in that same area).

Check out this video to see more about where the buttons are placed and how to use them. Thanks, everyone!

 

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Save Loads & Save Trucks Feature Added

We’ve made it easier to come back to a load or truck that you’re viewing at any time in the future by saving the load or truck to your saved loads, trucks or saved posts section. This new feature has been added to every load and truck details page as a button that allows you to the save the post you’re viewing.

Once you’ve saved the load or truck post to your saved section of the Timeline you can navigate back to the post to interact with it or review it at a later time. This is especially helpful to carriers who want to Save Loads that they have just found and are planning to haul. Anytime you haul a load you find on ComFreight you can just save it from the details page. If you’re a Haul Pay client then you’ll be able to easily click back on a load and tap on the “Get Paid Now” button to request a payment too.

Here is an example of the saved load feature working:

Save Load post on load board

Saved load post

Save Load on Truck Board

Saved Posts on Load Board

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Hide User – Block Posters To Save Time

We’re always trying to find ways to improve your experience on our ComFreight load matching board and apps. We’ve added a capability recently that helps you to save a lot more time when going through your match alerts for loads, trucks or viewing results for load matches or truck matches. This feature allows you to block/hide users if you don’t want to see their posts or allow them to access yours.

This feature allows you to block/hide users if you don’t want to see their posts or allow them to access yours. Sometimes you might see a particular broker that you can’t or don’t want to haul for and this will save you time by hiding their results from view.

If you’re on mobile you would just navigate to a load details view/page and you’ll see a button to block “post” or hid “user.” If you want to block just one post from view, you click the block “post” button and that specific post will no longer show up to you in results. If you want to block all posts from a particular user, then you want to click on the hide “user” button. This will block all posts from this user and also hide your posts from them.

On desktop, you can find the same button on expanded result line items in your results and these buttons work the same way. See images below for more insight:

You can manage your hidden users from the “Account” section in the main “Settings” menu. This allows you to unhide users from your block list at any time.

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Want to hide another user’s loads or trucks from view? Yes It’s Possible!

We’ve all been there throughout our careers as logistics and trucking professionals. There is a vendor or a company or even a potential customer that you just don’t want to work with. You had a bad experience personally, you’ve shared your negative reviews on ComFreight for their profile and on message board or forums with other truckers.

Now you’re seeing their load posts or truck posts all the time in your results and you just don’t want to have to take the time to filter through all of their posts. Well we have a solution and it couldn’t be easier.

Some of us or maybe all of us (haha) have had to block some people on social media right? Well we invented something very similar to this for you while you’re using ComFreight. This new feature allows you to hide a user by tapping or clicking a button right while you’re viewing their post.

Please note that if you’re on mobile you will have to do this from the details page. When you tap/click the Hide: Posts button and approve the hide, all posts from that user as well as their ability to match up to your other posts that you create will be blocked for the duration of the hide being in effect. Check out the video below to learn more and if there is someone you don’t want to see in your results you can start using this right away on ComFreight.

 

Once the user’s posts are hidden you won’t see their loads (or trucks if you’re a shipper or broker) in your results or matches for the duration of the block.

Don’t forget that you can un-hide users/companies from the Account section in settings if you ever need to or want to as well.

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Logistics Document Tool

As we begin to tie more and more of your experiences as a logistics and trucking professional together via our open marketplace, we are always looking for easy to use and straightforward tools that can add value to your experience.

The Documents tool is just that kind of tool. Now you can upload and store important documents like your authority information, onboarding pdfs and packets and insurance certificates right from your ComFreight web app account.

Gone are the days of searching through your email inbox or your laptop for the key documents you need to store and send to conduct your logistics business. Now you can simply upload, name, and store your documents in the ComFreight cloud. If you need to send a specific document to a ComFreight user or anyone else you’re doing business with, you can simply login from any device, tap the document(s) you want to send, enter an email and the other party will get your documents along with a custom message.

We’re helping you save time, reduce headaches and grow your business with our innovative and easy to use tools every day. Thanks for using ComFreight.

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Find Loads with Post Truck

Here at ComFreight we believe in options. It’s an American tradition. Choice. That’s why we provide carriers with three different ways to find loads from brokers and shippers. Load Search, Load Maps and of course Post Truck. We’ve updated the truck posting tool to make it faster and easier to find load matches from any device.

For most carriers, this process can be tedious and involve multiple contacts and platforms. We wanted to find a way to make it easier for carriers to find loads matches and signal to load posters that they have availability on a given lane in one simple move.

Post Truck is that tool. It’s the perfect tool for carriers or owner-operators who are looking to find loads from quality brokers and even direct shippers. Posting a truck on ComFreight comes with the ability to enable “Load Match to Your Truck” alerts in the “Notifications” menu under “Settings.” This load match alert allows users to elect to get an email alert for every new load match that is found for their posted trucks.

Along with optional email alerts we always display new load matches to users on their timeline. This way your company can still get push notifications and easily see new load matches to posted trucks at a glance without requiring an email alert for every match.

Find out more about how to use Post Truck to find loads in our tutorial video below:

 

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

Anatomy of a Posted Load

The anatomy of a load post on ComFreight.

Load. The most relevant unit of freight shipping and the most popular vernacular when talking about over the road hauling.

How does ComFreight display loads and what does the information on a load details page mean? We’re glad you asked (and you’ve asked a few times lately)…

Every load on ComFreight’s marketplace has a unique load details page.

This means that every load can be shared or linked to anywhere else on the web. To share a load as a link you just need to copy the complete load url from your browser window and then you can paste it and send it in text, email, etc.

Here is an example of a load url we copied from our browser from ComFreight.

https://app.comfreight.com/load/197d3cac-018d-45ed-a570-43b2f2da3e0b

On the load details page there are a few things you should note when viewing them.

There is the Ready and Close and Deliver times that should be noted first. Ready is the time the load is first ready for pick up. Close is the closing time for when the load needs to be picked up by. The Deliver is the delivery date required or targetted for the load.

View the image below for more on the anatomy of a load details page.

Find Loads - Load Page

The spot market trend is the current running average for rates and bids in ComFreight and in the spot market for full truck loads on the lane tied to the load you’re viewing.

You can submit a bid on broker or shipper loads with full access at anytime.

Messaging users is easy by posting your message via the Q&A section for any load.

You can see Return Loads or loads on the return route at the bottom of any load page:

backhaul loads

Have more questions on ComFreight? Email us at [email protected].

Thanks everyone!

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

New ComFreight Marketplace V.3

The new ComFreight marketplace is live!

After almost 1 year in development, the new version is working and live for your use.

New updates will be forthcoming for the interface, features and tools will be easier to get up and working for our users. ComFreight boasts industry first with its new features.

Load Boards Search

The ComBoard is now an interactive timeline and will let you quickly and easily track all of your activity and see new shipper load alerts and load matches to truck posts without having to use email alerts for all activity. Mobile use is second to none as well.

Freight Marketplace Alerts

Notifications and alerts are easier to manage and all settings are controlled from one easy to use location inside the web app now.

Find Shippers

Finding trucks with an account is also easier than ever. Just post your loads (posting is totally free) and then you’ll get timeline alerts for matching trucks. You can also use the Truck Search as a full access user to quickly and easily search trucks.

Find Empty Trucks

New capabilities and features are already planned for just a few months from now.

ComFreight is setting the standard for freight matching marketplaces.

Ready to try it out? ComFreight’s freight marketplace is free to try.

Thank you to all of our users for their past and continued feedback!

Copyright © 2017 – ComFreight.com™

The Best Bids on Loads are the Right Bids on Loads…

 

We hope your new year in business in 2016 is off to a great start. We wanted to take some time to talk about shipper loads and loads that are open to bidding and not just direct calls on the ComFreight Marketplace and how bids are commonly awarded.

Although most loads that are posted on the ComFreight load boards are loads that you can call directly on as a carrier, many loads posted by direct shippers are bid-only posts. This means the load poster wants to receive a bid alert (which automatically includes your user profile) to then be able to contact you or award you the bid.

Many users think that the lowest bid wins when shippers or other load posters post loads up for bid. This is actually not the case. The majority of winning bids on loads that are posted by shippers or brokers on ComFreight are the right bids for the circumstance and not simply the lowest possible bids placed. Why is this the case?

In most of the test cases we’ve viewed, the shipper is looking for the right fit for the move and that often times may require a certain type insurance or equipment. In many other cases the shipper is looking for a specific type of partner for the load. This can be a brokerage with more history or time in business but it can also be shippers who want to work with smaller carriers or brokerages directly. It varies for every load poster.

At ComFreight we don’t force bidders to bid lower than a previous bid. When you place your bid on a load the notification being displayed to the shipper or load poster shows them your full profile information you have with ComFreight.

Here is great example of a user profile that’s been filled out with accurate info.

This is why it’s important to make sure you take a few minutes to update your ComFreight profile so that it includes a logo or profile picture, an accurate MC# or DOT# and if possible a review from another company who has an account with a rating from a previous experience. All of this helps you and increases your chances of winning a bid you have placed on a load or lane on the ComFreight marketplace.

 

best load boards for shippers

 

So carriers and brokers be sure to include as much accurate information and if possible a review from another user in the system to improve your profile displayed to posters.

Hopefully this helps shed some more light on loads that are posted as bid-only and we look forward to delivering you an increasingly improved experience with new updates.

Thank you!

Steve Kochan, Co-Founder & CEO.

Copyright © 2016 – ComFreight.com™