How to Find More Owner-Operator Contracts to Increase Your Hauling Income

owner-operator contracts

2019 came in with a threat and ended with a few ugly scars. No one knows that better than truckers.  2018’s optimism met oversupply and then more than 600 freight carriers folded. Driving for just one company could leave scary weeks of no or low income. A shipping pattern shift or freight price increase could dry up listings indefinitely. At worst, companies could cease operations, stranding drivers and trucks on the road. Independence and owner-operator contracts are the answer.

Why place all your eggs in one basket? As an entrepreneur, you can choose to haul for any company. Want to learn more? Keep reading.

Your Truck, Your Rules

Owning your own truck gives you access to profits and independence. You can take any load you want, without depending on a single company for income. You determine your schedule, the route and the cost per mile.  

You need authorization from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to book and carry your own loads.  You will also need your own insurance. Once you make the transition to a truck owner and you meet all the regulatory requirements, you need to find owner operator contracts. 

Common carriers are available for hire by the general public. Your FMCSA authorization (Property or Household Goods) determines the type of insurance you must carry.

Types of Truck Freight 

More than 70% of the nation’s total freight tonnage moves by truck. Different types of cargo require different equipment. For example, livestock haulers rarely use the same type of trailer as petroleum tankers. On the other hand, dry van drivers can have almost any cargo. 

Flatbed trailers carry large or bulky loads and refrigerated trucks carry perishables. There are trailers built for almost any load.

How To Find Owner Operator Contracts

As an owner-operator, you need to drive to get paid. That means finding contracts and loads.  You have several options. 

Freight Brokers Connect Shippers to Truckers

Freight brokers help shippers find truckers to take their loads. They do the legwork and negotiate rates for the shipper.  Watch out, it can cost you. Although freight brokers offer good loads, they may have fees hidden in with their service.

Independent Truck Dispatcher Services 

A dispatcher with industry experience and contacts or an independent truck dispatcher service connects you to brokers and shippers. Many trucking dispatchers also provide the back office administrative services that owner-operators sometimes neglect. 

They provide accounting, billing, and collections as well as looking for loads for a fee.

Load Boards

There are dozens of load boards to connect shippers directly to owner-operators.  The boards make it very convenient to find hauling contracts by gathering many requests for shipment all in one place. Most listings include shipment details.

Load boards can be free or pay to list. Reading and responding to load listings can also be free or pay for access.  Good trucking load boards offer free trials so that you can find the right types of loads without wasting time.


It takes a little research to begin.  To start prospecting, find out what shippers are in your area. Determine where and what they ship.

Then you cold-call the person in charge of shipping.  Knock on their doors, telephone, and email. Meet with them to introduce yourself and discover their needs in person. Ask questions and be prepared to follow up with them.

Prospecting is somewhat a numbers game. More attempts are more chances to gain loads.


Get involved with industry associations like the American Trucking Associations or the National Association of Small Trucking Companies. Go to events that your shippers attend. Use the power of the internet to hunt down industry trends.

Find out what associations focus on the type of freight you’re interested in hauling. Get to know your competitors and possible collaborators. Some membership associations can provide collective benefits like insurance and emergency funds.

Become Your Own Broker 

This is the least attractive way to find loads. It’s complex and requires lots of lead time. The investment is can be hefty too.  You need training and some specialized contacts.

Become a Government Contractor

Government entities outsource transportation contracts all the time. If you are a woman, U.S. Veteran, Native American or other protected or underrepresented class, you have a good reason to register as a contractor. Certain classes may have preferential bid requirements.

The federal, state and local governments have trucking contracts to fill.  On top of that, they pay a market rate and pay their bills on time. To become a government contractor requires a few extra steps.

Expect registration and certain proof of ownership if you are a member of a protected class. You can also partner or subcontract for a company already under a government contract.

Find and Manage Owner-Operator Contracts with Ease

As an entrepreneur, finding time to market yourself, manage contracts and drive is vital to your business. It’s a competitive market. 

You need to make sure your equipment is in top condition. Then you need to monitor load boards, contact brokers, and manage all your back-office functions like invoicing and collections. On top of that, you need to plan your routes and use time efficiently.

Without a small army of helpers, it can seem nearly impossible to add networking and cold-calling to the list. Consider using software to help. Software automation can streamline your back office work to leave you more time to drive and less time pushing paper.

ComFreight offers tech-based logistics solutions for owner-operators and brokers. Access via mobile apps to post trucks, search for loads and book contracts. Get paid within a day with the integrated payment system. Best of all, explore industry trends to price your bids right.

We can help you find more owner-operator contracts and grow your business. Start your free trial today. 

How to Prevent Fraud in Your Trucking Business: The Best Tips

how to prevent fraud

Trucking fraud costs legitimate businesses $80 billion every year. Operating a trucking firm and pleasing customers can be a stressful affair. Between looking for more business, learning how to prevent fraud, and ensuring you deliver each shipment on time and remain profitable, there is little time for distractions.

Trucking fraud can cost your business a lot, not just by way of financial losses but also by the lost opportunity to do more business as you attend to the fraud. 

Here is a comprehensive look at some common trucking scams to help you learn how to prevent fraud from hurting your firm. 

1. Chargebacks

Chargebacks hit certain sections of the trucking industry hard, leading to merchants losing $5.8 billion in 2016 alone as a highlight of the issue. A chargeback happens when a customer disputes a transaction reflecting on their statement through their bank. 

Where a merchant ignores or cannot validate the legitimacy of such a disputed transaction, the bank in question will end up withdrawing the value of the entire transaction from the merchant’s account. Not only that, but the bank will also charge the merchant an additional fee for their troubles. 

Chargebacks pose a problem for trucking companies because they have the potential to hit between 5% and 15% of a firm’s invoices — that then translates to around 2% to 10% of lost revenue for your trucking company. Common chargebacks include defective ticketing and late deliveries, among others.

To avoid chargeback scenarios, it is best to not take card payments in situations where it is hard to authenticate the customer’s identity and billing address. Receiving such information over the phone, for example, is one scenario you should avoid despite the temptation not to lose the business. 

If a customer transaction hits the $1,000 mark and you must use the phone, then you need to get voice authorization for it. Additionally, where possible, ensure you get a signed consent form from the customer once you conduct a walkthrough. 

Business data analytics can help you avoid chargeback issues by identifying potential customer fraud attempts. Using data analytics, you can pinpoint chargebacks that happen due to a mismatch on the ‘address verification service’ (AVS) and the ‘card verification value’ (CVV) numbers to reduce such instances. 

2. Fuel Pump Fraud

Identity theft for your trucking companies poses just as much risk as other kinds of hazards. As you give your drivers safety tips, you also need to enlighten them on the dangers of identity theft. 

When it comes to fueling, skimmers tend to add magnetic strips to payment terminals so that they can steal payment card information. Some malicious actors can even go as far as placing fake keypads on top of the existing one to capture your PIN as you enter it. 

Whenever you are fueling up, scrutinize the keypad or the card reader for any signs that something is out of place. Compare the payment device you have with the one next to you to spot any variations that might be of concern. Does the payment device look suspicious to you? Try physically moving it. If it stays solidly in place, then you have nothing to worry about.

Consider adopting trackable fuel cards for your fleet so that you can have an eye on each activity on the card as soon as it happens. That gives you control in curbing suspicious card activity as soon as you notice it. 

Furthermore, whenever you are paying with cards, you should only use those with an EMV chip. These types of cards help keep your transaction more secure as they keep the authorization data on the card without transmitting it. Thus, a fraudster can’t use a magnetic strip to capture your payment information during transmission. 

3. Practice Prudent Payment Security Habits 

In general, payments in one area that business frauds look to infiltrate. To combat these efforts, your trucking business needs to be proactive in how it handles payments across the board.

Whenever you are embarking on a trip, ensure that you only take the card you need to facilitate payments for that specific trip with you. If you bring a fuel card along with you, carry it separately from the fleet card to reduce the chances of someone infiltrating your payments when you lose your wallet. 

Whenever you are using your fuel card, don’t take your eye off of it. Ensure that you have it in view the whole time and take it back before doing something else. Along the same line, never give your fuel card number to anyone over the phone, and neither should you note it down randomly. Commit it to memory to avoid some unscrupulous person coming across it.

One of the ways that you can effectively spot any hidden fraudulent charges is by scrutinizing your fuel card reports. Make it a habit to go through them in detail instead of glossing them and immediately get in touch with your card issuer when you notice transactions that look unfamiliar. If you retain your expense receipts, it will be easier to compare them against the card statements. 

When you get a blank receipt, never sign it. Draw a line across any blank space over the totals. 

4. Fake Load Booking

At times fraudsters can collude with a driver to steal a load. In such a scenario, the malicious actor will steal your trucking company’s identity and place it on the side of the illegitimate truck they are using. Often, scammers will use a removable door placard for this, and it is one way to spy out a potentially illicit truck.

Since the fake truck and driver look legitimate, an unsuspecting customer might entrust them with their load as they assume they are dealing with your firm. The customer’s shipment will then get stolen as the fake driver and truck vanish into thin air. 

To avoid this scam, ensure that you sensitize the market to confirm they are dealing with your firm at the start of each transaction. You can provide a toll-free number for them to do so. 

Master the Trick on How to Prevent Fraud

Trucking is a lucrative business, and many fraudsters who know this target your hard-earned profits. To keep your business safe, you need to learn how to prevent fraud from hitting your business by identifying the types of scams being perpetrated and finding ways to neutralize such threats. 

ComFreight is a respectable logistics firm focused on problem-solving for its customers. Sign up today to smooth out your logistics and concentrate more on your business. 

10 Truck Driver Safety Tips You Should Already Know

truck driver safety tips

Driving a big rig for a living is a noble career with a rich history. Truck drivers are the unsung heroes of the American economy. They drive long hours in order to keep the country on track.

Truck drivers understand better than anyone how difficult yet rewarding life on the road can be. After all, it’s a demanding job that not everyone is cut out for. That’s why every driver needs to have a complete understanding of good truck driver safety tips.

This article takes a look at 10 commercial driving safety tips to help you keep out of trouble on the highway. Keep reading to learn everything you’ll need to know. 

1. Truck Maintenance 

It’s no secret that one of the biggest things a truck driver can do to stay safe while on the road is to keep their truck in top running condition. This requires a basic knowledge of your rig as well as the discipline to beware of your rig at all times.

Semi trucks are complicated machines that take a lot of abuse on the road, clocking thousands of miles each week, hauling huge loads across the country.

The more you know about every inch of your truck, the better chance you’ll have of keeping yourself, and everyone else on the road, as safe as possible at all times.

2. Avoid Drugs & Alcohol Use

Long hours on the road can become exhausting. A driver needs to have a clear head and be able to focus totally and completely on the road.

That’s why you need to steer clear of drugs and alcohol at all times. These intoxicants have no place in the trucking business. You might be tempted to indulge in certain substances to help deal with the loneliness of the open road, but you need to handle it in a healthy way that won’t impair your senses. 

3. Plan Ahead

Truck driving is a fast-moving business. There’s a ton of pressure to get from Point A to Point Z as quickly as possible. That’s why it’s crucial to take the time to plan ahead.

Once you know your destination, you need to research the route, locate alternate routes in case of emergency, and always be aware of places you can stop if the weather takes a turn for the worse or you experience mechanical difficulties.

Keep in mind that life is full of unexpected surprises, some good and some bad, thus the better prepared you are for the journey, the better the outcome.

4. Take it Easy at Turns & Curves

You’re in a hurry. We get that. But there’s no reason to be reckless. 

When it comes to turns and curves in the road, you need to exercise caution. After all, you’re driving a semi filled with freight, which can make it an enormous challenge to keep the truck under control when traveling at high speeds.

You might think you can handle the weight and speed, but there’s no reason to take unnecessary risks. Take it easy out there and don’t push your rig too hard.

5. Pay Attention to the Weather

It should go without saying that the weather is perhaps the biggest safety factor involved in the trucking industry. Harsh weather conditions can make driving a semi a total nightmare.

Rain. Snow. Wind. Ice. 

Each of these elements can create extremely hazardous conditions that threaten the safety of everyone on the road.

That’s why it’s so important to be constantly studying the forecast in the area where you’re traveling. The more up-to-date you are about the conditions you’re heading into, the better you’ll be able to prepare, make plans, and decide how to proceed.

6. Get Plenty of Rest

Driving a truck is all about mileage. It can be tempting to skip sleep in order to get in as many miles each day as possible. The problem with this approach is that it takes a toll on both your mind and body.

You need plenty of sleep. That’s just a reality of life. As your mind gets tired, your cognitive processes will begin to slow down, and your reaction time will lag, creating a potentially dangerous situation on the road.

Proper sleep is a vital part of being a good truck driver. You might think that you don’t need it, but you do. Take the time each day to sleep, recharge, and take care of your health so that you’ll be at your best when it matters most.

7. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Another aspect of staying healthy is to maintain a healthy diet. Spending so much time on the road, it’s easy to fall into the rut of eating fast food. After all, fast food is quick, easy, and tastes pretty good.

Too much fast food is not good for you, however. Fast food lacks many of the fresh ingredients and vital nutrients necessary to keep your body operating optimally.

8. Stay Off Your Phone

Stay off your phone when driving. Period. 

This is a big one. If you need to make a call, pull to the side of the road first. One of the keys to driving safety is to eliminate distractions, and talking on the phone is a huge distraction. What’s more, it’s against the law.

9. Take Breaks

Stop your truck at regular intervals and take breaks.

It’s far too easy to become hypnotized by the road and let your mind wander. So get out, get some fresh air, eat a snack, then head out again.

10. Get Some Exercise 

Lastly, make sure to get plenty of exercise. You’d be surprised how much this can help you be more comfortable at the wheel. After all, driving long hours can take a huge toll on your body.

Walking, running, and lifting weights to strengthen your back, legs, and arms, can have a significant impact on your long term health and make your time on the road far more tolerable. 

Important Truck Driver Safety Tips

When it comes to driving a semi, there’s nothing more important than staying safe while on the road. Fortunately, this list of truck driver safety tips can help.

Click here to learn everything you need to know about semi truck repair and maintenance. 

Icy Roads: 7 Truck Driving Tips for Safe Winter Travels

truck driving tips

Winter roads don’t facilitate safe driving.

Indeed, the awful reality is that driving in winter is a deadly combination. Around 4,000 Americans died in winter road collisions between 2012 and 2017.

That’s a shocking statistic that shows the importance of taking extra precautions on winter roads.

For truck drivers, in particular, those precautions can make a vital difference. After all, it’s one thing to drive a 1.5-ton car; driving a 35-ton big rig is a whole new ball game.

Both the likelihood and consequences of a winter accident can be altogether more extreme.

Winter truck driving tips are crucial for preventing potential problems.

Want to stay safer on the roads this winter? Read on for 7 top tips for safer winter truck driving.

1. Perform Your Pre-Trip Checks

Prior preparation is an almighty key to safety on winter roads.

Performing all the requisite initial checks helps cover all bases.

You know your tires are at an adequate pressure. You know your lights work properly and that you have sufficient fuel. You know your heater and defroster are functioning; that windscreen wipers and brakes work, and that air tanks are void of moisture.

Never rest on your laurels and assume everything is fine. That’s a one-way ticket to an accident.

Be diligent in your preparation for a winter trip; ensure you know in advance that your truck is good to go.

Here’s what to know about semi-truck repair and maintenance.

2. Take it Slower

Inappropriate speed is a primary reason for many winter road accidents.

Inclement weather provides a host of natural challenges. Visibility and traction are both reduced; trucks are harder to control.

Maintaining the same speed as normal is a recipe for disaster.

This winter, make sure you drive at a slower pace. Doing so automatically limits the chance of an incident. It prolongs the time you have to react and keeps the vehicle under greater control.

You’re on a job, which can create a sense of time pressure. Avoid the temptation to rush though. Your life and that of others aren’t worth risking.

3. Brake Strategically

Brakes are less effective on slippery surfaces.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that much. Be sure to brake smoothly and well in advance to reduce your speed.

In fact, you want to avoid excessive use of the foot brake in general. When you do, make sure the unit is straight and in line with the road.

Units that are misaligned won’t slow down at the same rate as the truck. They’ll keep traveling at the same speed, which can pull you into an uncontrolled spin.

Another braking consideration relates to the Jake brake. Thankfully, it isn’t hard to remember: don’t use it on icy roads!

4. Give Yourself More Room

Space is another essential component of safe winter driving.

Everything is reduced in bleak and icy conditions. We’ve already noted how visibility and traction are limited. Likewise, your ability to respond to a problem and brake quickly is far less as well.

That’s why having additional room on the road is so important.

Make sure you leave a significant distance between your truck and other vehicles on the road. Don’t, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid a collision if the worst were to happen.

As a rule of thumb, in snowy wintery conditions, you’re too close if you can see their taillights. Back off and give both of you more room for manoeuvre.

5. Evade Instead of Braking

This tip almost leads on from the last.

Sometimes braking isn’t the best way to avoid disaster. Slamming on the brakes is unlikely to help on icy roads- it may even make matters worse.

At relatively slow speeds, consider decelerating just a fraction and taking evasive actions instead. Driving around the obstacle is often a safer and more effective approach.

This is, of course, entirely reliant on the exact situation you’re in. Prevention is by far preferable to cure. Driving slower and with sufficient space on the road can limit the need to take evasive action anyway.

Nonetheless, there are times when obstacles in the road come out of nowhere- especially when visibility is limited. Evading of braking could be the best way to respond.

6. Don’t Be a Martyr

You’re on the job and a conscientious worker.

You don’t want to let anybody down by being late.

It’s tempting to plow on regardless of the weather, driving in extremely adverse conditions. Don’t do it. Take the sensible approach and find a way to pull over.

Waiting out the storm and driving on when it’s settled down is safer for everybody. As an aside, make sure you have supplies and warm clothes to cater for this eventuality too!

Also, try avoiding parking up at the side of the road. In bad visibility, other drivers may see the rear of your vehicle and assume it’s on the road. That, of course, can have disastrous consequences.

Find somewhere off the roadway to pull over.

7. Double and Triple Check

It’s hard to overstate the seriousness of poor visibility.

Being fully sighted will forever be of vital importance to safe driving. When the weather makes it harder, it’s up to you to be particularly cautious.

Signs and lights can become impossible to see clearly.

Be sensible and check, check and check again before making a move at intersections. Never rush a decision in wintery conditions. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Time to Try these Truck Driving Tips

There you have it: 7 top truck driving tips for safe winter travels.

Thousands of people die every year from road accidents in winter. Bad conditions are just not conducive to safe driving. You can’t see, steer, or grip as easily.

Each and every vehicle has a higher chance of an accident in winter.

However, huge big rig trucks have a harder job than others. These colossal vehicles take some serious stopping and manoeuvring at the best of times. In snowy, icy weather, the job becomes ten times harder.

Taking extra precautions is essential. Hopefully, this post has provided some useful reminders as to how to do exactly that.

Looking for loads to haul, whatever the weather? We can help. Click here to sign up.

Top 10 Best Truck Stops in the United States

Truck Stops

Whether someone is a truck driver, RVer, or is just someone who likes driving around and across this vast country of ours, chances are that they have been drawn to and been charmed by the mysterious allure of the truck stop.

Truck stops are a very American invention. Each one serves thousands of people each day. They offer food, gas, camaraderie, and a wide variety of other services.

Our Favorite Truck Stops

If you’ve traveled the United State’s famous Eisenhower-era interstate highway system, you have likely stopped at a number of these institutions in your journeys. As a long-distance or even local trucker, you have probably visited some of the same truck stops time and time again.

Surely, you have a favorite or two. Each one is similar, but they are all different and unique. Location, services, employees, and clientele will differ from place to place. Some are clean; some are dirty. Some are enjoyable to visit; others you only stop at in dire emergencies.

They’re everywhere. Truck stops exist in every state in this country and onward into Canada, too. It’s hard to narrow the best to just a few, but we’ve compiled a list of some of our truck driver’s favorites here for you.

Read on to learn about these great highway stopping points. Make a checklist, and try to hit them all. Each one is a gem.

Our Country’s Best Truck Stops

There are hundreds if not thousands of truck stops in the United States, but here are ten of the very best of all of them. Some of these are the best because they are just plain great. Others are the best due to history, decor, theme, or additional services offer.

Regardless of the reason for its fame, you can’t go wrong with any of these stops as you make your way along the open road.

1. Jubitz Travel Center; Portland, OR

Jubitz is not just a truck stop. It is a nationally-recognized Portland icon. This place has been fueling and feeding people since 1952.

This truck stop not only includes a hotel, a gas station, truck service, and several restaurants, but it also offers live entertainment on weekends in its Ponderosa Lounge and Grill. Dance lessons are also offered there, and the truck stop’s movie theater shows first-run films for only $6.

2. Stage Stop; Boise, ID

The Boise Stage Stop first opened as Regina Store in 1891, making it one of the longest-running businesses in Idaho and the oldest stop on this list.

There’s a gas station, store, showers, and an arcade here, along with a laundry mat, small movie theater, and restaurant that features online ordering for those who want to pick up and eat on the go.

3. Whiskey Pete’s; Primm, NV

Whiskey Pete’s is located on the border of California and Nevada and opened in its current form in 1977. The modern founders wanted to give California residents an opportunity to gamble at their casino without having to go too far into Nevada. It achieves this and offers a lot much more.

The hotel has 177 rooms and a pool. The complex features four restaurants, a casino, sports betting, and a gift shop. The car in which Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death is on display in the lobby.

4. Little America; Little America, WY

Little America of Wyoming was the first location of this chain truck stop to open in 1934. It is very clean and friendly and includes a 140 room hotel, a truck repair center, sixteen fueling islands, seventeen private showers, and a driver’s lounge.

The deli and convenience store are open twenty-four hours, and there’s a laundry mat and a U.S. post office on site.

5. Johnson’s Corner; Johnstown, CO

Johnson’s Corner, located on I-25 in northern Colorado, is famous for the on-site bakery’s World Famous Cinnamon Rolls. People come from miles around to try them. Fortunately, they also sell them online with three day FedEx delivery, but it’s just not the same.

The restaurant also has fantastic, home-cooked style food. There’s no hotel on-site at Johnson’s Corner, but there is a chapel, showers, laundry, and a banquet room that can seat and serve up to eighty people.

6. Sapp Bros; Odessa, NE

There are seventeen Sapp Bros locations on I-80, but this one in Odessa is one of their oldest. This truck stop chain is clean and fresh and offers perks like 24-hour roadside service. You don’t want to miss their tasty Apple Barrel chain of restaurants.

7. Trail’s Travel Center; Albert Lea, MN

This Minnesota travel center and truck stop has a lot to offer but is most memorable for its Viking theme. The Skol Tavern is just one place you will enjoy Viking decor as it is visible throughout the center.

Trail’s Travel Center also has a hotel on-site and a fast-food court with a variety of offerings. There are over 300 truck parking spots, a laundry, free WiFi, showers, a movie theater, and a chapel.

8. North Forty Truck Stop; Holladay, TN

The North Forty Truck Stop is known best for its on-site restaurant that serves its excellent American diner cuisine twenty-four hours a day and three hundred sixty-five days a year. It opened in 1982. There is also a deli and store on-site and a traditional truck stop style gift shop that has a little something for everyone on your list.

9. South of the Border’s Pedro’s Truck Stop; Hamer, SC

South of the Border is a little ridiculous, but that’s what makes it so great. This is a tourist trap of the greatest caliber and there is a lot to see and do. The main facility offers a wide variety of photo-ops along with an observation tower shaped like a sombrero, amusement park rides, an arcade, many gift shops, four restaurants, and a hotel.

The truck stop here has everything a trucker would need, including showers, fuel, repairs, a picnic area, coffee—and is open twenty-four hours a day.

10. Iowa 80; Wolcott, IA

Iowa 80 is the World’s Largest Truck Stop and you will be amazed at its size every time you stop in. It has been open since 1964, and it just goes on and on inside. It has several restaurants in a food-court format as well as an always-open, sit-down, diner-style restaurant, a dentist, a barbershop, and a chiropractor on site.

There is also a dog wash, a library, a movie theater, a lounge, a workout room, several gift and supply shops, a truck wash, a trucking museum, private showers and more. It boasts over 900 truck parking spots.

Their yearly Trucker Jamboree is a trucker festival that includes rides, live music, contests, fireworks, and games. It takes place one weekend in June and attracts truckers from all over the United States.

Keep on Truckin’

Truck stops and truck stop culture is a wonderful part of America. There are so many amazing places to visit in this country and truck stops are just the icing on the cake to visit along the way. Try to check out these truck stops on your travels and let us know if there are any favorites of yours that we forgot.

If you’re looking for more information about trucks, truckers, and trucking, check out our blog for more great articles.

How to Choose the Right Mode of Transportation for Your Freight

mode of transportation

The trucking industry generated $700 billion in revenue in 2017.

Transportation is one of the most critical things businesses can invest in since it ensures that their product gets delivered to customers safely and efficiently. 

While some companies transport their goods on the road, others make use of the railways, waterways, or sky. Each vessel has its own advantages and setbacks.

Which mode of transportation is right for you?

Let’s take a look.

1. Railway Transportation

Several factors will weigh in on your transportation decision. You will want to consider your budget, the urgency of your delivery, and the size and fragility of your freight. Not all goods should get transported in the same way.

Railway transportation is an economical way to transport heavy or bulk materials. It is safe, reliable, and cost-effective. Freight transported by railway will probably only be one to three days in transit. 

On the negative side, the place you are shipping to may not always be located near a railway depot. You may have to pay for an additional shipment to get your freight delivered. Railway transportation may also take longer than other land options.

2. Water Transportation

Water transportation is the least expensive mode for moving goods. It is great for heavy or bulky items that do not have to get delivered quickly. You can also get breaks on pricing during certain seasons, or for specific volumes.

Water transportation, however, is considered the riskiest in terms of safety because you are exposing your freight to elements like wind, cold, heat, and waves. Special packaging is sometimes recommended, and this could influence costs. You may also need unique services like refrigeration or security.

If you are delivering goods to a location where a seaport is close by, water transportation might be the right option for you. It is, however, a little more challenging to monitor your goods while they are in transit. You will also be subject to customs.

3. Air Transportation

Air transportation is best suited for lighter or more valuable goods. It is the most efficient, and most expensive, mode of transportation there is.

You can be assured of speedy delivery with air transportation. When figuring out your cost, however, you will need to factor in insurance premiums and finance charges. Your goods will also be subject to customs.

4. Land Transportation

Land transportation and trucks, in particular, are best suited for transporting goods over long distances. It costs less than railway transportation.

Land transportation is cost-effective and suitable for transporting temperature-controlled products, like food or drug items. Truck transportation time, however, can be affected by traffic and bad weather. 

Compare and Contrast

Keep in mind that all modes of transportation are affected by the weather. Inclement weather will slow your shipment down no matter what method you choose.

Your budget will be a critical factor in determining how you will ship your product. The mode of transport you choose will also depend upon how dangerous, fragile, or valuable your products are. Air and land are best for breakable, valuable goods.

Your destination will also play a role. If your client is on another continent, for example, you will not be able to use trucks or trains to deliver your goods.

You will also want to consider the location of your client as it relates to airports, seaports, and railway stations. Consider the facility and whether there are container and bulk handling available.

Shop Around

You will want to do some serious evaluation before committing to a transportation company. Don’t just go with someone whose location is convenient for your warehouse.

Get a few different quotes before you make your decision. Rule out any prices that are too high or too low.

Ask other folks in your business who they use for transportation. Be sure to look at online reviews, as they often offer anecdotal information. You can get a good idea about what it will be like to work with the shipping company of your choice.

You will also want to get some references and call people to hear about the details of their experiences.

Make sure that the company you choose has delivered your type of freight before. The salesperson should be knowledgeable, patient, and trustworthy.

A credible shipper will be able to provide you with a US Department of Transportation authority number and proof of insurance. 

The US Department of Transportation requires shippers to have at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance. You will want to look over the company’s bill of lading to determine what their responsibility is if damage occurs. 

You should have all of our services confirmed in writing before you ship. If your shipper does not provide a written commitment, it is a big red flag.

Inspect your freight carefully both before and after shipping. Snap a few photos, so you have proof in case any damage occurs.

Be sure to follow any and all guidelines provided by your shipper. You may even be able to leave special instructions taped to the freight.

Choose Your Mode of Transportation

Choosing your mode of transportation should not be done carelessly. Consider your budget, freight size, and need for speed before deciding on a shipping vessel. You will also want to compare prices, study reviews, and look for licensing and insurance before committing to a shipping company.

For more information on freight shipping, contact us today. 

All You Need to Know About Semi Truck Repair and Maintenance

semi truck repair

Did you know that approximately 5,000 people lost their lives in road accidents involving personal vehicles and semi-trucks?

This is why it’s imperative to take all necessary steps to ensure your truck is in shipshape at all times. Being unprepared for different issues on the road often leads to disastrous outcomes.

Mind you, semi-trucks take more damage than any other type of vehicle. And the moving parts and materials used to make them degrade over time.

So to stay on the safer side and preserve your beloved rig, you must undertake ongoing semi truck repair and maintenance.

Check out the guide below for everything you need to know about caring for a truck.

Different Kinds of Semi-Truck Repair Jobs

Here are some semi-truck repairs that you are likely to come across:

1. DIY vs. Professional Repairs

Whether to DIY or call in an expert mostly depends on whether you’re a company driver or the owner of the vehicle, as well as what kind of repair the truck needs.

But you can prevent common semi-truck repairs by having regular servicing and preventative maintenance done on your rig.

2. Simple vs. Not-so-simple repairs

It’s advisable to carry basic tools when driving to deal with simple repair task that may arise at any time.

These are repair tasks that even a novice trucker can DIY and wouldn’t need a lot of time. Some examples include:

  • Replacing a burnt our headlamp
  • Installing a tail-light and grommet
  • Replacing mud flaps

On the other hand, larger repairs and body works require the services of a professional.

Take note that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations behoove truckers to complete daily inspection reports and deal with anything that requires corrective action. This includes issues like

Disabling and Cosmetic Damage

As you know many drivers scrub their wheels in off-set or tight docks

Semi-Truck Repairs After a Breakdown

Drivers will normally have their trucks towed to a repair station depending on the nature of their breakdowns, prior preparations, and the services as well as parts available in the area.

Tire Repairs

If you don’t have spare tires, have a professional replace any blown-out tires due to the weight concerns.

All in all, you’ll need to be extremely skilled and have a large number of tools together with parts to solve major semi-truck issues.

General Semi-Truck Repair Tips

Consider the following quick repair tips to semi-truck problems:

Procure Vital Tools and Services

Even if you’re excellent at DIY repairs, it’s difficult to survive during breakdowns without hazard triangles, flashers, warning devices, and towing services.

Purchase Quality Spare Parts

When it comes to spares, you can choose brand new parts (from manufacturers), replacement parts (third-party manufacturers), or used parts.

Ensure to always consider quality, warranty, and your semi-truck repair financing options before you buy any spares.

Semi-Truck Maintenance Tips

You can prevent many simple as well as not-so-simple problems by having regular servicing and preventative maintenance done on your rig.

Yes, regular maintenance will keep your brakes from grabbing, the engine from humming, and the undercarriage free from dust.

Here are some preventative things you can do to avert major repairs:

Create a Plan to Check Brake Wear and Failure

Brake failure arguably the biggest cause of accidents involving semi-trucks.

Thus, it’s crucial to have a professional service your vehicle’s brakes regularly to avoid catastrophic results that often lead to damages and third-party lawsuits.

How long a rig can roam between brake servicing depends on the driver’s driving habits. And no matter how good of a driver you’re, always have your brakes inspected and the fluid changed every once in a while.

Also, have the brake pad, bushings, pins, and springs changed regularly as they wear quickly. For the drums, your experts should replace them at the same time with shoes since they develop heat cracks and also wear down.

And don’t forget to ask your service provider to grease the S cams, slack adjusters, and check the horses as well as linings.

Conduct Tests to Curb Engine Problems

Drivetrain and engine problems are notorious for taking trucks off the road.

Thus, it’s advisable to always keep an eye out for signs such as loss of oil pressure, decrease in power, and excessive smoking. These symptoms indicate that you’re riding on an unhealthy engine.

Other than that, your maintenance provider should undertake period compression tests as well as monitor exhaust and engine coolant temperature.

This way, you’ll nip all major engine issues in the bud.

Prevent Body Problems

Many load carriers endure extended downtimes because of body corrosion.

Corrosion emanates from rusting, which is mostly caused by the chemicals and salt used to treat ice and snow.

If you’ll be driving through snowy areas, you can’t prevent rust, but you can slow down the corrosion process by:

  • Having big paint chips removed
  • Washing your truck every ten days
  • Spraying door locks to protect them from moisture
  • Cleaning the rig immediately after rain, snow, or sleet
  • Avoiding parking or driving in large puddles

Good vehicle storage will also prevent rusting.

Maintain Lubrication

Keep your truck lubed in the steering, drivetrain zerks, and suspension with only high-quality grease.

In fact, it’s best to lube all applicable fittings and parts as well as check for slop and leaks in the drivetrain area before each haul.

Be Wary of Extended Idling and Short Trips

City driving and short trips are engine killers.

So if you can, try to avoid them or simply prepare well in advance. You can have a pre-lube system installed so that your vehicle delivers oil to critical parts using an electric pump to avoid cranking. You can also go for a tuber timer for alerts when the engine heats up too much.

Inflate Your Tires Correctly

While over-inflated tires are prone to premature tread wear and blowouts, under-inflated tires can negatively affect your rig’s fuel efficiency.

It’s, therefore, paramount to inflate your tires to the proper levels.

Check for Storage and Fuel Tank Contamination

If you want to keep your engine purring and the fuel flowing seamlessly, strive to keep the tank free from moisture or contamination.

Ask your maintenance provider about the most favorable moisture control treatment.

Protect Your Trucks With Proper Semi Truck Repair and Care

Next to equipment and fuel, semi truck repair and maintenance are the costliest aspects of any trucking business.

And the truth is that you’ll be saving yourself a lot of expenses in the future by creating a regular maintenance plan.

For trucking gigs, sign up to Com Freight today!

The Loading Life: How Freight Brokers Can Find Carriers Fast

freight brokers

Shippers use freight brokers because of their expertise in the field of logistics. Freight brokers know what carriers can meet the shipper’s transport needs. And brokers have the tools to find carriers fast.

The logistics industry has a lot of moving pieces. Shippers, carriers, and consignees all need brokers to coordinate their interactions. And there’s no time to waste!

Logistics are crucial to U.S. commerce. Without a fast-moving shipping industry, the business would come to a grinding halt. Discover ways that freight brokers can find carriers fast.

Try Cold Calling

Once you find the name a freight carrier you’d like to use, it’s easy to find a phone number in a business listing. Many carriers have adopted technology for tracking, but relationships are still developed on the phone. Email and web forms are typically not the preferred methods of communication.

When you call a carrier, don’t try to sell yourself as the best broker they’ll ever work with. It’s good to describe your needs, such as where you’ll need to move freight, the size of the loads you need to be transported, and the frequency. Most in the logistics business will be impressed with action, not grand promises.

Show an interest in how the freight carrier currently transports their freight. Get ready for a lot of carriers to turn you down. But sometimes it’s just the luck of the draw. You might hit a carrier that has a need to fill.

Build Personal Relationships

The transportation industry is very much a business of relationships. You’ll need to build a solid reputation if you’re going to be a successful broker. You’ll need to have a good rapport with shippers, consignees, and carriers.

It’s not just about getting your carriers some freight to move. They’ll want you to share their values. And not just “corporate values.” 90% of trucking businesses have six trucks or less. Truckers want you to have the same values they grew up with. And nothing will get you more business like doing great work for your current customers.

Carriers are going to talk to one another. Establishing s referral system is a great way to generate new business. Come up with a single sheet that explains your program and send it to shippers.

Find Leads with Everyday Products

Most products surrounding you at the moment spent time as freight and were transported on a truck. Office furniture. Delivered by truck. Cars. Delivered by truck.

The device you’re reading this on? Truck. Just look up the products you use every day. Find out where they are manufactured and how they are delivered.

An easy way to find carriers is to think about the items that you’ve ordered yourself. Review bills of lading, tracking numbers, or other shipping info to find carrier names. By doing so, you can find local carriers that contract to national networks, expanding your options.

Give Internet Search a Shot

More and more carriers have started recognizing the value of having a web presence. The reason for the slow adoption is that many carriers are small businesses or independent contractors. There are internet load boards to find a near unlimited supply of qualified carriers.

Work with great carriers. If you’re going to build a network of the best carriers, you’ll need a reputation of working with the best. Do you have policies with carriers setting expectations for deliveries? Are you ranking your carriers’ performance over time?

Create Your Own Detailed Systems

When you have a shipper request, can you quickly locate carriers you’ve used in the past for the shipper, consignee, or cities involved? Can you pull up a bill of lading that shows performance data on the delivery? Having quick access to this data can help you select a carrier fast.

Some shippers require carriers to have a certain safety record. They may ask to see a copy of the terms and conditions you have set up with the carrier. Having this information will give you a huge advantage over other freight brokers.

Know Your Freight

You’ll really need to know your freight if you’re going to convince carriers to haul for you. Some carriers prefer certain kinds of freight. Sometimes equipment can be more suited for other goods. You’ll have more success with a carrier if you can describe the type of freight.

And even more, if you can discuss how it compares to products they are currently transporting.

You’ll also be able to qualify your carriers easier and faster. You’ll know who’s sure to be on time for critical freight. You’ll know who has the best record for fragile shipments. And you’ll know who offers the most competitive rates.

Master the Ins and Outs

Along those lines, it will benefit you to become a master at setting uploads in advance. If you ask a carrier to transport freight into Albuquerque, you’d be smart to already have a load set up to come out.

Carriers don’t want to be stranded in a city with no way out for days at a time. Every day the truck sits empty is money lost. Carriers will want to work with you if you promise a quick turnaround. Drivers want to get on to their next destination or on their way home back to their families.

The logistics industry can be called the lifeblood of U.S. commerce. The human body transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body using the blood. Just like businesses send goods throughout America using freight carriers. The brain regulates and keeps the circulatory system running smoothly. Similarly, freight brokers help organize shipments and carriers.

Remember the Other Transportation Methods

Truckload motor carrier services are a common arena for freight brokers. But there are other shipping methods out there. Some parts of the country are well served by air freight and rail.

If you keep these other shipping options in mind, you may be able to find a carrier faster. You’ll also develop relationships with even more carriers.

Find Carriers Fast

Brokers must know how to coordinate the needs of shippers, consignees, and carriers. Because critical issues can come up at any time, freight brokers must be ready to respond quickly.

The logistics industry relies on freight brokers to ensure that shipping goes smoothly. Brokers need advanced tools to find carriers fast and coordinate delivery. Sign up for the ComFreight Logistics Marketplace for free. Find empty trucks and carriers now!

How to Finance a Trucking Business Expansion

Trucking Business Expansion

Without trucks, the American economy comes to a complete standstill. 3.6 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks transport 10.5 billion tons of freight each year.

Are you the owner-operator of a trucking business? Read on to learn ways that you can finance your trucking business expansion. 

SBA Loans for Trucking Funding

Your local Small Business Administration (SBA) may be able to give you a very low interest rate to finance your trucking expansion.

SBA loans are generally long-term loans. You can borrow up to $5 million with a repayment term of up to 10 years for equipment.

If you want to buy several trucks, open a new location or buy a competitor, an SBA loan is a good place to start. 

Operating Lease

If you need access to new trucks, but can’t afford high monthly loan payments, an operating lease may be a good fit for you.

With an operating lease, you lease (or rent) a truck from a supplier. You don’t own the truck. At the end of the term, you give the truck back or pay fair market value to keep it.

The monthly lease payments are quite lower than many loan payments which makes this option good for business owners who need to keep costs down.  

Small Business Line of Credit 

Another option for commercial vehicle financing is a business line of credit. The good thing about lines of credit is that they are not a one-time loan.

A line of credit gives you access to a set amount of funding. As you pay it down, you can use the funds again. This way you can fund your company’s growth.

And, you only pay interest on the amount you use, not the full amount of the line of credit. Having a line of credit for an owner-operator trucking business gives you peace of mind because you have access to funds should you need them for unexpected costs.

You only need to apply once and then you always have that line of credit available for you to use as needed. Don’t forget that your business has various tax deductions that can help you save money come tax season. 

Equipment Financing 

When you want to replace trucks or acquire new ones to add to the road, equipment financing is a great option. Basically, you use your existing trucks or other equipment as collateral for the new loan.

Because the loan is secured (through your collateral), the lender can afford to give you a lower interest rate.

It is common for new and expanding trucking companies to choose this financing because it is a long-term option that comes with low interest rates. Typically, you can expect to pay between 6-9% interest.

Best of all, there’s no penalty to pay off the loan early. So if business is booming, go ahead and pay off the loan as soon as you can. 

Short-Term Trucking Business Loans

Short-term trucking business loans work best for companies that need to take on a new expense in order to grow their business. 

Let’s say you have a profitable new route available to you, you’ll need to fund the labor and other expenses for the job before your customer pays. This is when short-term loans are worthwhile.T

You can get approved for a short-term loan in one day, which makes it a great way to get funds quickly. 

Be careful though, the APR can be as high as 50%. Yet, if you repay the loan within the first year, the total cost is a pretty good deal.

If you plan to pay this loan back in full as soon as your customer pays you, it’s a great option for expanding your trucking enterprise.

Invoice Factoring

It’s important to understand that loans aren’t the only options for trucking funding.

One -outside-the-box option for you to consider is invoice factoring. This option lets you turn unpaid invoices into cash. 

You sell your unpaid invoices to a factoring company who pays you cash for the total amount minus a small percentage. This factoring company then deals with your customers to get paid.

Not only does this give you an influx of cash all at once, but it also frees you up from having to work on accounts receivable work. 

Plus, invoice factoring doesn’t impact your credit rating in any way. You can get your funds in just a few quick days from a factoring company.

Invoice factoring is not a loan. It’s just a smart way that you can get an influx of your cash without going into debt.

Working Capital Advances

Another trucking finance option is a working capital advance. This option is not a loan. It is a new source of funding for various types of business.

These advances give you funds upfront that you will then pay back over several months. The advance amount you qualify for depends on your company’s revenue.

Over the following months, you will put a certain percentage of your income to pay back your advance.

This option is not available to everyone. To qualify, you must be in business for a minimum amount of time and earn a certain revenue each month.

Approval is easy and only takes a couple of hours. That means the cash could be in your account in just a day or two.

If your trucking business has got a steady track record, this may be your best bet. 

Final Thoughts on Trucking Business Expansion

Thanks for reading! We hope this guide helps you understand your options for your trucking business expansion.

The fast, open load matching and freight bidding marketplace of the future is here! Learn how Com Freight works and get started today.

Secure Trucking Contracts: What is a Freight Load Board and Why Should I Use One?

trucking contracts

There are 3.68 million Class B trucks moving 71% of the country’s freight across this great nation. That’s 10.55 billion tons of freight moved every year.

So how can your carrier business get a piece of that huge pie? You win trucking contracts, that’s how. But wait, that makes it sound too easy.  

When you have access to load boards, it is that easy. Not sure what a load board is? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn what a load board is, how it works, and how it can benefit your carrier business. 

What Is a Load Board?

A load board or freight board is an online marketplace that allows freight shippers to post their needs. Then carriers can bid on these shipments. 

It works to create a centralized location to connect shippers, carriers, and brokers.

How a Load Board Works 

Load boards are hosted online and work as an online portal that shippers and carriers log into. Some boards require users to pay a fee for access. 

The Carrier 

We are referring to carriers, but load boards work for truck owner-operators, small fleets, and larger freight companies. The process works the same for all of them. 

When a carrier sees that they have empty trucks, they can log into the load board and look at the listings posted by shippers. They will narrow down the listings based on load size, pay offered, and geographical origin and destination. 

This allows the carrier to find the loads that fit their services. They wouldn’t want to pick up a shipment headed to California if their lanes are all focus on the east coast. 

Once they find a shipment that fits, they can bid on it. At this point, they are competing with other carriers who are also bidding on the shipment. 

Sometimes the shipper is purely money motivated. In this case, the shipper will pick the lowest bid. The carrier will need to know how low they can bid while still remaining profitable. 

On the flip side, the carrier can also post empty trucks. This is useful for when you have a shipment going to an unpopular destination. You can then pick up a shipment for the return trip and cut your operating costs. 

The Shipper 

Shippers will use the load board by posting their needs. This could be a business that delivers oversized products, such as furniture. 

They will sell their item, then post on the board where the item is located, where it needs to go, and information about the item. Relevant information includes the dimensions of the item and its weight. 

It is also vital to include if the item has any particular restrictions. This becomes important when the item is perishable or considered hazardous. Both of these types of shipment have special requirements that limit who can transport them. 

The shipper will then field the bids from potential carriers. Often, they will reach out and negotiate the specific terms. They will then choose one and move forward. 

Shippers can also browse the open truck listings. This is a great way for them to score deals. Most carriers offer discounted rates on these return shipments since the carrier made the bulk of their money on the outgoing shipment. 

The Benefits of Using a Load Board 

Load boards provide a platform to make it easy for shippers and carriers to connect. It gives carriers one central location to access potential customers. This reduces the time and labor cost of finding new business. 


Most boards are easy to use. They will display all of the necessary information for you to make an informed decision. 

Up to Date Information 

The best load board will give real-time information. This way you have the most up to date information and opportunities available to you. 

If you want to stay competitive, you need to act fast and bid competitively. You can’t do this with out-of-date information. 


Many load boards are going to be free or charge a low amount to use. This makes them a smart investment in the future of your business. 

Mobile Friendly

If you are a smaller carrier or a driver that owns their own truck, you don’t have a lot of free time to hunt down loads. Load boards today are mobile optimized.

That way you can hunt your next shipment while out on your current shipment. Now you reduce your downtime, and as we all know, downtime means lost profits. 

Available 24/7

Best of all, load boards are up and running 24/7. You are no longer limited to business hours to call on potential shippers. 


Look for load boards that can integrate with your existing systems. Many load boards offer an API that can allow direct access to the board from your own portal site. 

This allows you to book and manage your shippers quickly and easily from one place. 

Score More Trucking Contracts

These days load boards are the go-to way that truck owner-operators and small freight fleets find new loads. It gives them one easy to use portal for finding new shipments. 

This reduces their labor costs in trying to go out and hunt down their own shipments. With an effective bidding strategy, they will have enough trucking contracts to keep their trucks full and on the move. 

After all, you aren’t making money if the truck isn’t moving freight. So stop staring at your empty trucks and start winning bids. 

Sign up today for our freight loads board and start finding loads and getting paid.