A load board is a communal listing of available loads. Individual owner-operators, trucking companies, and shipping companies all use the board to get loads onto trucks for the quickest possible delivery of those loads. Companies use load boards to maximize their drivers’ time on the road. Truckers themselves don’t want to sit idle when they’re paid by the mile rather than by the hour. Here are four ways that shrewd use of load boards will help your company attract and keep the best professional drivers.
1. Reducing Deadheading
Deadheading is when a driver hauls an empty trailer. Either the driver is returning the trailer to the company that provided the initial load, or the driver is going someplace where there is an available load. Ideally, every time a driver hits the road, there should be a load in the truck. Even if there’s space available on the truck, that’s infinitely preferable to a deadhead run. By reducing deadheading, you make your company more efficient. You also reduce your drivers’ downtime, which is attractive to any prospective drivers you might hire because they’ll be receiving pay for their time on the road.
2. Enhancing Your Drivers’ Work-Life Balance
Let’s say that you have a reliable driver who almost always delivers on time, meticulously maintains the log book, and is loyal to your company. But, that driver has a family with small children and cannot do long hauls across multiple states anymore. You know that if you make that driver do those long hauls, then that driver will leave the company. Find that driver local hauls on a load board, which will be attractive because that driver can then spend more time at home while still earning a good living.
3. Keeping Your Customers Happy
If you reduce the deadheading and haul the loads that your customers need to be hauled, then your customers will be loyal as well. Having a stable of loyal customers will contribute to your company’s stability. Just three years ago, the turnover rate in the trucking industry was 91%. By keeping your customers happy, remaining stable, and nearly always having available loads, you’ll make staying with your company that much more attractive to your drivers.
Building up the number of people “whom you know” is essential in 21st-century business. If you develop a reputation on the load boards for punctuality, few hassles, professionalism, and friendly customer service, then you’ll get noticed. Freight brokers might start sending more and more customers your way. Better yet, companies might start requesting that your company be the one to haul their loads. Both of these will then attract more and better drivers to your company because they’ll see that you can give them a steady flow of loads to haul.
The chief point here is that if you take care of your drivers, then your drivers will take care of you. Remember, though, that load boards are not the only tool in your quest to find, hire, and retain top-quality drivers. Diversifying your tools and strategies can yield even more effective results.