A First-Timer’s Look at How to Land Your First Trucking Contract

trucking contractEverything’s finally come to fruition. The open road called– and you answered.

Successfully financing your own commercial truck is no easy feat, but the real work begins now: finding and landing your first trucking contract.

It probably seems incredibly daunting to you now, but with the right resources, it doesn’t have to be so scary. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about building your trucking business, from finding companies needing freight moved to landing truck driving contracts.

Get Your Authority to Operate

First things first: it’s likely that you’ll need to get operating authority, or an MC number, in addition to your DOT number. Unlike your DOT number, your MC number will dictate the type of business you can conduct with your commercial truck and the type of cargo you’re allowed to carry.

Do You Need Authority?

Not all commercial truck operators need to get operating authority. Make sure you determine your need before you start the process to save time and money if it’s unnecessary.

If you’re a private carrier who transports your own cargo, you don’t need operating authority. If you only haul commodities exempt from federal regulation, commonly known as a “for hire” carrier, you don’t need operating authority.

Finally, if you work solely within a “commercial zone” as designated by the federal government, it’s likely you don’t need operating authority. Interstate authority regulations don’t apply to these zones. One example of a commercial zone is the area along the Southern U.S. border, bordering Mexico.

Types of Authority

There are different types of authorities according to the various intentions of a trucking business and the freight it carries. Here are some of the main types:

  • Carrier of household goods
  • Broker of property (excluding household goods)
  • Broker of household goods
  • International cargo carrier
  • International household good carrier

There are other authority types, too, if none of the above apply to you. Notice how carrying household goods plays big into your authority type. This is largely due to the nature of your clientele.

It’s essential to figure out your authority type early on. This will inform almost everything about your trucking business, from your insurance to your clients to your capability to carry international goods.

Get Started with Load Boards

There are tons of trucking contracts available out there– the key is to get your hands on them. This is where using a great load board comes in.

For beginners without long-term clients, load boards are where you’ll find most (if not all) of your freight. Load boards are essentially freight-matching services that pair you up with clients needing your services.

They can be competitive, though. You’re not the only one showing up every day, ready for the long haul.

Make sure you’re using the best load board service you can find. The good ones will offer you the ability to create a truck posting in addition to searching for freight so clients can find you, too. The best ones will even have a quick payment system integrated for faster payment on your hauls.

Of course, your long-term goal is to build a trucking business on long-term contracts so you don’t have to rely on load boards forever. Load boards are a great way to find them, but they’re not the only way.

Think Long Term

In addition to your load board postings, you should also take matters into your own hands. Cold pitching to clients who need freight carriers seems like a shot in the dark, but can actually be incredibly effective.

Take some time to consider your ideal client’s qualities.

What’s their budget? How frequently do they need your services? How long or short term are their contracts?

Doing some self-reflection about your business this way is key to finding clients that are a great match for you. Once you’ve nailed down the characteristics of your ideal client, find them in the real world and start pitching. Usually, they’ll love the initiative that shows and will want to work with you.

Top Tips for Finding Great Clients

Everyone has a hard time finding their ideal clients, across all industries. You’re not alone.

Check out industry boards for industries you know use trucking services frequently. Many of your potential clients will display these on their site. If you can become a member, you’ve got access to tons of potential clients who are ripe for the pitching.

For instance, supermarkets make up a big bulk of freight clientele, so the National Grocer Association would be a great place to try to find a new contract.

The U.S. government also uses independent contractors like yourself for tons of shipments every day. The U.S.P.S. is always looking for owner-operator freight services, and pre-qualification is pretty simple. The General Services Administration, or the GSA, is usually looking for freight carriers as well.

Besides finding great clients, probably the most important piece of advice for building a trucking business with longevity is to keep great clients. Load boards are awesome tools for freight carriers just starting out, but your ultimate goal should be to build a strong client base with long-term contracts so you don’t have to wonder where your next job is going to come from.

In order to build that clientele, you need to keep your current clients as happy as a clam. Sometimes, you have to eat short-term costs to keep a long-term client.

In every business decision, consider whether or not your decision will support the health of your relationship with that client. That should be your only deciding factor!

Land Your First Trucking Contract Today

Now that you’ve read up on how to land your first trucking contract (and all the ones afterward), hopefully you’ve found your footing in the owner-operator freight carrier field and are ready to get out there and get started!

Still need to find that first contract? We’ve got you covered.

Sign up for our load board service (it’s free!) to post your first carrier listing and get on the road ASAP!

Happy HaulPay Client Tells Story

We recently had a chance to connect and talk further with one of our current clients who has built a fast growing trucking company off of HaulPay and ComFreight.

Andre, Cheif Operations Officer of BANQUETIL says the company has grown leaps and bounds and he wanted to share with the rest of the world and the trucking community a little bit more about their story and how we were able to help. Thanks, Andre! We’re happy to help you succeed now and into the future!

Respect the Hustle…  A code that those who earn a living from the streets look forward to, more so those who spend hours on these paved roads driving for miles on end, crossing state lines as we move loads from one place to another. In the trucking world whether you are an owner-operator or small fleet owner its comforting to have a reliable way of accessing your hard earned cash…quickly.

 

The introduction of COMFREIGHT and HAULPAY came in March 2018. It took a few seconds to download the app and sign up. The friendly and professional staff made establishing the relationship for BANQUETIL smooth and hassle-free. We are proud to say that BANQUETIL has taken full advantage of the free load board booking 90% of loads hauled in recent months. Using the board and rate trend tools, in a time where freight rates and fuel cost are constantly fluctuating, we have successfully managed to stay above average of the suggested weekly gross earnings for trucking companies.

 

The numbers speak volumes, and while others may enjoy similar success with other factoring companies BANQUETIL takes this opportunity to extend heartfelt thanks to the management and staff of COMFREIGHT and HAULPAY for the assistance and support we received over the last months. This support has powered BANQUETIL to establish and deliver a quality hauling service to our customers.

Copyright © 2018 – ComFreight.com™

Eliminate The Time Spent Collecting Payments

We talk to hundreds of carriers every week and one thing that typically comes up in the conversations we have is how to ensure rapid payments for freight moves. In other cases carriers who do work with brokers who offer quick pay have trouble depending on the advertised timeline for payments to be processed or sent and almost every broker has slightly different processes for accepting documents or invoices to remit payments.

Most carriers spend hours per day just dealing with handling their incoming payments, working with brokers or shippers to get the right docs over and creating invoices.

In order to solve the payment woes of carriers, we developed an entirely new tool within ComFreight last year called Haul Pay. Haul Pay enables carriers to standardize and streamline their accounts receivable and payments. Carriers can get approved the same day in many cases for the program and no credit check is required.

Haul Pay works by enabling carriers to sell their invoice at the time of pick up or delivery. We’re then able to advance money and process the transaction request the same day. The freight payment then arrives in the carrier’s bank account the next day.

Digital Factoring

Instead of spending time chasing down or checking on payments from shippers or brokers carriers can rest easy knowing that they’ve been paid. Because Haul Pay is a totally new form of freight factoring we’re able to do this with no recourse. 100% free of risk to the carrier client.

No need to worry about having to repay a factoring company if the payment is not recovered by us. It’s on us at that point.

The Haul Pay feature in the ComFreight app also enables you to track your payment status, history and check credit instantly for new customers.

This means carriers can focus 100% on hauling loads, growing their fleets and expanding their business operations.

Accounts receivables and collections become a thing of the past, overnight, with Haul Pay. Learn more today here or give our team a call at 888-633-5558.

We’ve served tons of carriers already with more happy ones being made every day. Eliminate the stress of payments, standardize all of your payments and eliminate the time you take creating invoices and dealing with collections once and for all!

Copyright © 2018 – ComFreight.com™

6 Things You Should Know About the Life of a Trucker

life of a truckerIf you own a trucking business, then you may have dealt with the challenge of hiring high-quality candidates. In today’s career world, it’s not unusual for employers to struggle when searching for the right employee for the job.

As a business owner, you can attract a larger pool of applicants when you focus on the positive aspects of the position you want to fill.

The life of a trucker isn’t for everyone. But, there are plenty of reasons that many people choose this career.

Among Canadian men, “truck driver” is the most often cited occupation, according to Truckinfo. In the United States, approximately 3.5 million people work as truck drivers.

When hiring, you have to share a realistic job description, while pointing out what makes the work worthwhile.

Read on to learn what you should share with your potential employees about a career in the trucking industry, and the life of a trucker in general.

1. Independence Defines the Life of a Trucker

Many drivers love the freedom that their job provides.

There is no one looking over their shoulder when they are driving a truck. They won’t be confined to a cubicle, warehouse, or crowded office.

Truck drivers can stop for a break when needed, roll down your windows and breathe the fresh air, or turn up the radio tunes and sing along without anyone around to interfere.

Life on the road is great for people who don’t need much supervision to stay motivated and whose job satisfaction doesn’t depend on socializing with others. That said, there are plenty of opportunities to chat with people along the way. Truckers tend to encounter a lot of interesting folks on their routes.

2. High Earning Potential

In 2015, the median salary for a truck driver was around $40,000 and for drivers of private fleets, such as those working for Walmart, the median salary was $73,000, according to a report by CNN News. Around the same time, the average median net wage for Americans was $28,031, according to My Budget 360. On average, truck drivers earn at least $10,000 more than the average American worker.

Over the several years, the shortage of truck drivers has caused truckers’ salaries to increase 8 to 12% each year. As a truck driver, there’s the potential to earn a high-paying salary with a relatively short period of job training. Due to the shortage, pay has consistently remained above average, especially for workers without a college degree.

3. Employer Benefits

Most trucking companies offer employees competitive benefits, including valuable perks such as health and dental insurance, retirement plan options, as well as paid sick time and vacation time.

For many employees, benefits can be a major selling point. The high costs associated with obtaining things such as personal health care is often one of the reasons that employees consider full-time work in this industry. For a family, the savings that insurance benefits offer can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more.

4. Long Hours Away From Home

Despite the fact that it’s not uncommon for truckers to make over $100,000 per year, the stakes may be too high for some.

In a recent article published by the Washington Post, truck drivers cite time away from home as one of the hardest things about the job. Some of the workers interviewed blame their time on the road as the cause of their divorce and some felt their job kept them from being available to their kids over the years.

This is an important aspect of truck driving that may impact an employee’s decision. People with family obligations might be uncomfortable with the amount of time they will spend away from home. While this might deter some from taking on the job, it can benefit company owners, as well as drivers, to disclose this information prior to entering into an unfavorable work agreement.

Men and women who do not have family commitments might find the industry more appealing than those who have others depending on them at home.

5. Truckers Get Paid to Travel

People that enjoy traveling to unique destinations and cities may find that truck driving is the perfect work opportunity.

Truck drivers have the chance to see sights in cities, towns, and along highways all across the country. In some cases, they may even have routes that include territories spread all over North America.

6. Flexibility and Job Security

Due to the shortage of truck drivers combined with long periods on the road, companies tend to offer employees flexible options whenever possible. Some workers may be able to choose from a variety of locations, have a choice in working hours, and more.

In addition, competent truck drivers enjoy solid job security. They often have a wide range of companies who are constantly recruiting dedicated workers, in the event they decide to change jobs within the industry.

Looking for Advice to Boost Your Truck Driving Business?

If you want to find out more about what it takes to run a successful trucking business, we can help.

Our freight matching marketplace covers a wide range of services. We offer professional assistance to trucking companies interested in finding bids, loads, and getting paid.

Our professional expertise extends beyond the life of a trucker, to cover the details of the industry that company owners have to deal with.

If you’re looking for a professional partner that you can trust, and is committed to helping companies like yours advance, we have what you are looking for. Contact us today to initiate a conversation!

Produce Carriers Get ELD Break!

Hope for Produce Carriers

Some great news is here for produce and agricultural carriers. Now, these carriers can ignore the hours of service regulations along with ELD requirements (electronic logging device) while they are within 150 miles of a shipper or receiver. The new update and guidance released by the FMCSA on Thursday, June 7, 2018 will be in effect for the next 5 years to start. This is great news for produce and livestock carriers.

ELD break for produce carriers

What this means for Carriers with ELD

This practically means that when a carrier is within 150 miles of picking up or dropping off an agriculture load, that they do not have to comply with the ELD or related HOS regulations, making it much less stressful and cumbersome to handle these loads.

This is sure to help when there are multiple stops, additional wait time or movement needed in and around docks when hauling ag loads.

This is welcome news, as many produce companies were feeling the pinch of crammed docks and additional detention time, among other issues that arose when the ELD mandate took full effect on April 1 of 2018.

Issues with livestock transportation was also a factor that helped to move the needled on the update from the FMCSA.

Are there more amendments or updates to the ELD regulations yet to come? Keep your fingers crossed. It seems as though the shippers helps pushed this update over the top but continue to stay active in your trucking groups and communities.

Excerpt from the FMCSA site:

The HOS regulations do not apply to the transportation of agricultural commodities operating completely within the 150 air-mileradius by for hire or private carriers.  Therefore, work and driving hours are not limited and the driver is also not required to use an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) or keep paper logs.  In an operation where a driver uses a vehicle equipped with an ELD, a driver that is exempt can use an “Exempt Driver” account or annotate the time as exempt ag operation

 

Read the full update

We recommend carriers review the full guidance provided by the FMCSA on their website at this updated FMCSA link here to get completely up to speed on the details. Staying compliance saves you time and money in the end.

We’ll continue to try to help you with invoice advances and finding more business in the meantime. Stay tuned for more as we try to keep you up to date on relevant industry news.

Copyright © 2018 – ComFreight.com

Tips for Acquiring First-Time Commercial Truck Financing

commercial truck financing

When deciding to purchase a commercial truck, financing it may be your best option. New trucks can cost $80,000-$150,000 each, which may be out of the reach of most operators.

If you have made the decision to purchase your own tractor and trailer, congratulations. Being an owner/operator in the trucking industry comes with a lot of rewards you cannot get working for a major carrier.

Be aware though, commercial truck financing is expensive.

A decent used tractor will start at about $60,000 and go up from there. New tractors are more expensive than a house, so before you quit your job make sure your finances are in order.

Can you afford the down payment? Can you afford the monthly payments?

Let’s find out.

Credit Habits

Before seeking financial arrangements, some basic loan guidance will be helpful.

Individual credit habits will affect loan applicants differently. Persons with decent credit, say a credit score of 660 or greater, usually are able to find financing. On average, a 15% down payment usually translates to an 80% loan success for those with decent credit, although sometimes lower down payments can be found.

For those with poor or no credit, some alternative options may be found here. These options may also benefit those with a new business, low cash reserves or those wishing to purchase older vehicles.

Some of these circumstances have been known to make financing more cumbersome.

Vehicle Age

Vehicle age should also be evaluated prior to financing. Vehicles 10 years old and newer have little trouble finding financing.

Trucks 10-15 years old are slightly more difficult to finance but usually do find financial backing. However, trucks older than 15 years are more prone to breakdowns and are harder to resell so financing them can be difficult.
Vehicle types can also affect financing options.

Vocational trucks, like dump trucks, are more easy to finance than semi trucks. Some institutions will refuse to finance semi trucks while others specialize in these types of loans.

Type of Operators

Fleet operators are also preferred over single truck operators when seeking financing. If a single truck owner has any vehicle downtime, he is unable to earn until his truck is repaired. A fleet owner, however, can still generate income with his remaining trucks, if one is down for repair.

Financial institutions have been known to use this as a determining factor when considering loans.

Bankruptcy

Past due child support, current bankruptcy or recent vehicle repossession can all be red flags preventing you from securing financing. Discharged bankruptcy generally is not an obstacle to finding adequate financing.

So when you’re ready to leap into the trucking business National Truck 8 Equipment Sales has you covered. Whether truck sales, parts, service or repair we have something for you.

How to Purchase Your First Truck

You should have good credit and a good work history.

When you go into the process with a less than average credit rating and a spotty or short work history, you can get hurt on the interest rates and the size of the down payment.

When you finance a vehicle, at the end of the loan term you own it outright. You are responsible for all taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

Financing a vehicle will improve your credit rating as the years go by, as long as you make payments on time.

Different Types of Commercial Truck Loans

There are a lot of different truck loan types. The type of truck and its age are considerations. There are companies who make loans on commercial vehicles to people with poor credit.

There are companies that make loans on vocational (dump trucks, cement trucks) only, while some companies finance both vocational and OTR. Do your homework and find the interest rates and financing structures that work best for you.

The most important aspects of financing a commercial truck:

1. How much will the down payment be? You should be able to get a clear and concise answer to this question. If your credit is good or the machinery is newer, you may not have to make a down payment at all.

2. How much will my monthly payments be? Again, this should be an easy answer for the salesperson. You have to find payments that work within your budget or you will run into trouble.

You Can Also Lease a Truck

Depending on your financial/credit scenario, you can lease a truck. You can lease a tractor from an independent leasing company, or lease with an option to buy from a carrier.

Leasing can be far less expensive than financing depending on factors like the age of the equipment and your work history. Generally, you don’t have to make a down payment and the monthly payments are less expensive than financing.

This is a good alternative for people with bad credit. At the end of the lease term, you might have to pay a sizable amount of money if you decide to purchase the truck.

Things to Know When Leasing

You need to know who is responsible for repairs and maintenance. In the event of an accident or emergency, who is responsible? Who pays taxes, insurance, and fees?

Assess a lease contract as carefully as you would a loan contract.

Section 179

Are you looking to add a new or used truck to your fleet, or are simply considering the purchase of your first truck?

There is not much time left in 2018 to make a purchasing decision that could potentially benefit you and your company well in the form of tax write-offs.

Section 179 is a tax write-off for any new or used medium or heavy duty truck purchased in the 2017 calendar year.

If you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to purchase or lease, this may very well affect your decision as this tax measure allows business owners to write off $500,000.

Obviously, with the potential to write off half a million dollars, this can have a very big impact on your overall equipment costs.

Reliable Commercial Truck Financing

Buying a truck comes with a lot of financial responsibilities.

Make sure you are capable of taking them on. Don’t be so rushed that you walk into a financing structure that will crater your finances.

When you are ready to find out more about commercial truck management, please contact us.

7 Tips for Starting Your Own Trucking Business

trucking business

Every year, trucks in the United States move 10.5 billion tons of freight, which is 78 percent of all freight tonnage in the country. This effort requires over 3.6 million trucks and 3.5 million truck drivers.

Clearly, without the trucking industry, America would crumble to its knees. With the supply line from manufacturers to wholesalers, retailers and end consumers cut, millions of Americans will be unable to access various products.

Do you want to play a part of this industry and help to keep American moving? Well, you can do so by becoming a truck driver or starting a trucking business.

But we’re not interested in truck drivers today. In this article, we’re telling you how to build a trucking company from the ground up.

Understand the Market

About 30 percent of new businesses fail within the first two years of operation, and the number 1 reason, according to Investopedia, is founders fail to investigate the market.

To start a successful trucking business, you must gain an intricate understanding of the trucking industry. Does your location have a great demand for trucking services?

What trucking problems or gaps is the market facing? What does the trucking future look like? How will disruptors, such as self-driving trucks, shape business?

If you already have some experience as a truck driver, or you’ve previously worked in an established trucking company, you certainly already have a fairly good grasp of the industry.

Build on that by doing more market research. Read up the latest industry magazines and journals, and talk to experienced truckers and freighters, shipping brokers and other industry players you can get ahold of.

Identify a Business Model

Trucks and truck drivers are the lifeblood of any trucking business. As such, the next step is to establish how you will acquire these assets.

You can purchase your own trucks and hire drivers, or you can subcontract the service to drivers who have their own trucks

Either model has its own strengths and weaknesses. Buying your own trucks, for instance, is cost prohibitive. Entrepreneurs who pursue this model typically start out with one or two trucks, and then scale over time. On the upside, you’ll have greater control over your business, and the model has a higher profit return.

The subcontracted driver model doesn’t require as much capital to start and you won’t go through the hassle of hiring competent truck drivers, but you have to put a lot of effort into building a recognized brand that can pull in shipping clients.

This model is ideal for people who have vast connections in the trucking industry (can easily get clients) but lack the capital to invest in their own trucks.

Register Your New Trucking Business

Although registration requirements for trucking businesses vary from state to state, you generally need to:

  • Choose and register your business name and physical address
  • Pick a business structure (Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation). Find a business lawyer to help you make a smart choice
  • Get federal and state tax IDs
  • Apply for business licenses and trucking permits. These include the Federal DOT Number and Motor Career Authority Number, Heavy Use Tax Form, International Fuel Tax Agreement Decal, Internal Registration Plan Tag, and BOC-3 Filing.

Set Up Your Business Office/Premises for Success

Regardless of the model you choose for your trucking business, you’ll want to set up a proper office. This is not a kind of business you can run from your garage at home.

In the early days, you don’t need a large team to keep the wheels turning. A front office manager, bookkeeper or accountant, and one or two sales personnel will suffice.

Also, set up a reliable business phone, get an internet service provider and secure any other service that is crucial for your daily operations.

Purchase Business Insurance

Truck accidents are a constant worry for trucking business owners. In 2015, 4,050 trucks were involved in fatal crashes, and 87,000 were involved in injury crashes.

A single truck crash can have devasting effects on your company. You could lose to the truck driver to death or a long-term physical injury, the truck, as well as the freight. Cumulatively, the loss can render your business bankrupt.

This is why it’s very important to buy adequate insurance for your fleet. You also need general liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, cargo insurance, and even cyber liability insurance. In the event of an accident or any other event that results in loss, your insurance provider will step in and provide compensation.

Do your homework well to find a reliable insurance company. You don’t want to get on board with an insurer who will take ages to process and pay out your claims.

Make Use of Trucking Technologies

Self-driving trucks are here, but that’s not the only technology you should be thinking about.

To find clients and ensure your trucks are always on the move, use load boards. These are web and mobile platforms that connect shippers, freight brokers, and forwarders to trucking companies.

The shipper posts a load, trucking companies bid for it, then the shipper selects the winning bid.

While load board makes finding clients easier, you’re advised to keep using other methods to find clients.

For instance, you can reach out to manufacturers in your region and propose to be their shipping partner.

Stay on Top of Industry Trends

The trucking industry has a well-worn reputation for being slow-moving and resistant to change, but that is slowly changing! From new technologies to safety regulations, trucking companies have no choice but to embrace them.

As a trucking company owner, you have to stay on top of these changes and adapt to them accordingly. If a new safety law is enacted, you’ve to comply or risk facing hefty fines.

Get Your Trucking Business Moving

Starting a trucking company is a smart choice. With the manufacturing industry grinding on to meet increasing consumer needs and the e-commerce industry exploding, the demand for trucking services to move goods will keep surging.

With the tips fleshed out in this article, you’re now in a better position to start a trucking business that can grow into a dominant player.

And when the time to find your first client comes, count on us to hook you up.

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.

 

What is digital freight factoring?

Digital Freight Factoring

What is digital freight factoring?

Digital freight factoring is a new way to request, manage and service payment advances. It automates purchases of freight invoices. Digital freight factoring is superior to old-school freight factoring in several ways:

  • Instant digital payment requests
  • Digitization of backup documents
  • Digital updates on payment status
  • Faster payment processing
  • Faster accounts receivable

Haul Pay – Digital Freight Factoring & Quick Pay

We realized just how much more factoring and quick pay clients could benefit from a fully digital experience. We built Haul Pay to ensure the best possible freight payment experience. Haul Pay reduces the time to manage and get payment advances.

Haul Pay is currently offered to owner-operators and trucking companies (carriers) through our web app and an available free mobile app. We included our open source load board to help you find loads. Payment requests can be make in the app in seconds and documents are digitized. This makes tracking payments a breeze.

Invoices are automatically generated for you. This means you don’t need to worry about providing an invoice to factor a load or request an advance. We generate that for you. You just upload/attach a copy or image of the rate confirmation and BOL.

What are the core client benefits of Haul Pay?

  • Fastest possible payment processing
  • 24/7 Mobile and web payment requests
  • Get push, text and email for payment status
  • Same day and next day payment options
  • Get instant payment advances at pickup
  • No extra fees, large reserve or long term contracts

Haul Pay enables carriers to get the lowest possible non-recourse and recourse factoring rates. Haul Pay provides the best peace of mind for credit and accounts. We include free software that can integrate with your accounting tools. The web app even lets you pull reporting and track payment history from any device.

Is Haul Pay only for carriers and owner-operators?

A new broker program is currently in the works. This new program will enable brokers to offer quick pay. There will be two options for the program and they will enable brokers to offer quick pay to their carriers. This program will ensure brokers maintain a competitive advantage and are able to service their carriers with the fastest possible payments for freight invoices. If you’re a broker and are interested in offering your carriers quick pay send us an email today at [email protected]

Stay tuned for more updates on Haul Pay and digital freight factoring here on our blog.

We look forward to extending more credit and the fastest payment options as we continue to expand our technology here at ComFreight.

Copyright © 2018 – ComFreight.com™

Why is a Load Board the Best Way to Supplement Loads?

load boardA load board is a great solution for any trucking company or individual trucker looking to supplement loads.

Over 70% of all freight tonnage moved across the USA is moved by truck, so there’s always work out there.

But how do you find customers and take on that work?

You don’t want to be hauling half-full trucks for half the price when you can fill up your fleet to the brim and make far more money.

If your core customers aren’t shipping enough to fill up your truck, a load board could be the solution you’re looking for.

In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a carrier or looking to ship goods. There are great benefits to using this type of board on both sides of the equation.

Find out why you should be using one all the time to make your life easier and more profitable, right here and now.

What Is a Load Board?

A load board is an online digital marketplace where shippers list their goods, ready for truckers to haul.

Truckers make offers to the shipper, using an account registered on the online system for their business. Or it can be the other way around – we’ll explain a bit more about how this works below.

It’s a great way of your maximizing revenue per trip ratio. By filling up your truck with a second load, you’re receiving more cash – rather than wasting time and gas on trips which only feel like they’re partly worth your effort.

Alternatively, you can find specific jobs by telling the world how far you’re willing to drive and how much you can take at once.

Some boards have extra benefits which allow you to get paid much faster. In fact, our Haul Pay freight factoring system means you can get paid immediately after you deliver a load.

You won’t be waiting for your invoices to clear.

This is great news, as your cash flow won’t freeze up. If you’re an owner-operator especially if your business is relatively new – you’ll know how important cash flow is.

So why wait?

Get paid right away with Haul Pay, with no hidden fees – unlike some other freight factoring operators.

We operate this system on a low 3.5% flat fee rate per load, and free next day payments, you won’t have the stress of chasing clients for payments to keep your business running.

I’m a Carrier

Looking to supplement loads?

Log in to your chosen load board and post about your truck. You can tell other users how much space you’ve got and where you’re driving from. Plus you’ll specify the weight limit you’ve got available, so that only shippers with suitable loads get in touch.

Enter your upcoming destinations, and post a radius you’re willing to travel to pick up or drop off any other extra loads. And you’ll set a rate you think is fair, which can be negotiated by shipping companies looking for a truck.

Or, rather than posting your truck and asking shippers to come to you, you can search shipping listings instead.

This way, you can narrow down local options which are convenient enough for you to visit en route to your destination.

You then bid against other truckers to grab the job.

While it’s competitive, there are many shipping jobs available on most days. And new jobs are posted all the time. This means that the chances of grabbing a decent supplementary load for your main haul and increasing your income is high.

With the number of trucks and truckers on our roads steadily increasing each year, finding work easily is a real blessing.

Our system even provides gas and revenue estimates to help you assess whether a job is worth a detour or not.

I’m a Shipper

Load boards are used by shippers to advertise their loads. And to agree prices with haulage truckers to take these loads to their destination.

All you need to do is post the basic information about your load; weight, length, and the required delivery date.

You’ll get a competitive offer for your shipping load, as truckers must bid against each other to win your load. But as they only need take on jobs they want to, on their own authority, it’s a win-win situation.

With intuitive tools at hand to investigate rate trends over time, you’ll know what offers are fair, and which are great.

Meanwhile, truckers can take advantage of the same tools to assess the market and make the right pitch.

You can even save your favorite trucks to your account, so that you can make use of their services again in the future.

Find Work Right Now on Our Load Board

If you’re a trucker or a shipper, get yourself set up on our load board right now.

You can set up an account with just a few basic details.

Whenever you’re ready to take on work, just browse our listings to pick up suitable jobs (or list new work) in no time.

Our helpful and free tutorial will get you up to speed with the system in minutes. So if your truck is idling, or you’re a shipper with a load waiting for the right haulage, you won’t be waiting long to spring into action.

Integrate With Us

As an add-on to software you are already be using, our seamless integration gives you all the benefits of ComFreight’s system in the same place.

This speeds up the freight matching process, so you can list and manage multiple jobs with little effort.

Take things a step further and directly integrate with our load board using our top-notch freight API.