NC Flatbed Loads: Best load board(s).. and other questions

Discussion in 'Freight Broker Forum' started by Doing_flatbed_nc, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Doing_flatbed_nc

    Doing_flatbed_nc Medium Load Member

    Mar 3, 2016
    Just starting out with one truck and trailer.

    So far, I'm using Truckstop. Are there better boards I should be using for this area??

    Also one question. I started a conversation via e-mail with a broker. He offered a load, 250 miles and asked how much do I need. Instead of aiming really high, I put $650 out there and he said ok. No negotiation, nothing. How much did I leave on the table, you think? Should I always get the first offer since they know what the loads are paying?
  2. boredsocial

    boredsocial Road Train Member

    Apr 13, 2014
    Louisville, KY
    You should be targeting a daily rate for your truck. If you're looking to run regional 1000 a day is reasonable. Charge more for time than for miles honestly. Not all miles are created equal. Frequently the difference in price on the boards between a 200 mile load and a 300 miles load is 100 dollars... and this is not cheap freight. The 200 mile load will be 1100 and the 300 mile load will be 1200. It's just that the time is worth the vast majority of the rate.

    EDIT: Also when you're brand new you need to be keeping and open mind and learning as much as you can about the freight markets. Try to figure out why things are happening the way they are happening. If freight out of an area is cheap try to figure out why so you can tell when it will turn. Pay attention to the season. In the winter the border regions heat up as produce is imported into the US for the grocery stores. Then as the weather gets warmer in the US and produce begins to be harvested in the south those markets change. Places like FL that are normally hell holes magically become sort of OK. As the year progresses and the warm weather heads north those areas have harvests that produce massive quantities of freight.

    And you don't have to actually haul any of these commodities for them to impact the freight rates. One of the dirty little secrets of the spot market is that we are all swimming in the same pool. Currently you're pulling a flatbed, but if you see enough chicken haulers clearly doing insanely well you'll lease a reefer and try it out. In the short run prices for different types of equipment (including the pain in the ### factor on reefer and the tarping factor on open deck) can get pretty far apart because of short term supply and demand spikes but tend to trend towards each other in the long run. In other words if vans start getting a lot of money people will turn flats and reefers into vans and the shortage will spread like a disease to flats and reefers. Similarly if the price of flats collapses in the short run it doesn't do much to vans or reefers, but in the long run it causes people to sell flats and get into the van and reefer game pushing the glut in the same way the shortage moved.

    You need to learn how to read a loadboard. Knowing how to sort the loads in the market by price is a good start. That at least will show you a starting point on what people are out there offering to all comers. Right now you're a brand new MC so you're kind of the definition of all comers. Go get 'em!

    SECOND EDIT: You'll do pretty well running NC to midwest. MN seems to kick out a lot of loads back to your neck of the woods at pretty decent rates, so anything in the 2 dollar a mile range out that way is going to make you money if you can make 500 miles a day. 2 out and 2.30-2.40 back doing 500 a day is 1000-1100 a day every day and since the route drops you in your home region every 2-3 days home time is pretty easy.

    This is the kind of blueprint that get people through their first few years. Eventually you hopefully get some very good regular weekly freight and build your whole business around that. Because those routes are recession proof generally. The harder it would be to replace you the higher the rates will be and the safer your world becomes. But that next level is a slow building process. The above or something similar will keep you floating until that stuff starts to crystallize though.

    Obviously running midwest means snow and snow means maintenance problems and safety concerns. Unfortunately that's factored into the money. The south gets substantially cheaper in the winter I've found. This seems to be because a lot of southern drivers don't do snow.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    taodnt, Ruthless, whoopNride and 3 others Thank this.
  3. Doing_flatbed_nc

    Doing_flatbed_nc Medium Load Member

    Mar 3, 2016
    When I booked that load, I was going by $100/ hour. DH to pick up, loading, driving to shipper and delivery should be 6.5 hours total.

    Then it's my problem to get another load back. I'm running in a 250 mile radius.

    It's my first load, so I'm open to change my rates.

    I appreciate your time.
  4. whoopNride

    whoopNride Road Train Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    And always remember when you give them a price. You can Always come down, you can't go up.
  5. loudtom

    loudtom Medium Load Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    I'm sure you could go up, but they'll probably never do business with you again. I've had plenty of brokers call me back asking if I could pull the load for cheaper than they previously offered.
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