It’s no secret that the country (and the entire world) is experiencing supply chain disruptions. With a national shortage of 80,000 truck drivers, you’d think it would be easy to find high-paying truck loads.
Extra demand doesn’t always translate to extra money, though. As a truck driver, you know that sometimes you luck out and land a great gig. Other times, you barely break even no matter how many miles you drive.
Are you wondering how to find truck loads out of Houston and other major cities? Where should you search for the best truckloads available? Here are six tips for how to get loads for trucks that pay very well.
Know Which Loads Offer the Most Pay
First of all, it’s good to be familiar with the types of loads that pay the highest. Although there may be some fluctuation based on supply and demand, you can expect a good paycheck for hauling:
- Hazmat loads
- Heavy freight loads
Don’t keep it a secret if you have a specialization, such as a hazmat certificate or heavy load experience. Your skills and credentials are what set you apart from thousands of other drivers on the road. If you are not sure which types of loads pay the most in your area, sit down and do some research rather than leave things to chance.
Remember: The truck drivers that make the most money are always proactive, not reactive!
Get Familiar With Load Boards
One of the quickest ways to filter high-paying jobs is to turn to load boards. In the “good old days,” you’d find them displayed on truck stop TV screens, but now there’s an array of websites and mobile apps you can access from anywhere.
Load boards are like classified ads for the trucking community. Brokers and shippers post new load information that includes the type of load, the pay rate, and the pick-up and drop-off location. Meanwhile, drivers input their truck type, availability, and other credentials.
Although there are many free load boards online, it’s worth paying for access to premium sites. Not only will you find better (and higher-paying) loads, but you’re less likely to run into scammers and fraud.
Some of the most popular sites include DAT, Truckstop, Direct Freight, and 123Loadboard. Most offer a free trial, so you can get familiar with the platform and see if it’s right for your needs. You should also sign up for notifications, so you’ll know instantly when new loads get posted.
Run Backhaul Searches
If you’re hoping to increase your income, you can’t afford to drive home with an empty truck. Backhauling is exactly what it sounds like — searching for freight to bring back to your original destination.
Let’s say you pick up some of the 285 million tons of cargo that goes through the Port of Houston each year. You deliver the goods to local regional areas or to neighboring states. Rather than driving home empty-handed, a backhaul search lets you find loads that need to go to Houston from your current location.
It takes some time and effort to develop an excellent backhauling strategy. The rewards are worth it, though, since you’ll minimize deadheading while ensuring you continue to make money on the road.
List Multiple Types of Transport
Even if you have a specialization (and a vehicle to match it), sometimes there’s not always an ideal FTL load available. To maximize your earning potential, consider trying some cross-cargo hauling.
For example, do you usually search for FTL loads only? If none are available, there’s no reason why you can’t move smaller loads instead.
Think outside the box and be willing to consider less-than-load (LTL) options as well. If you can pick up two or three LTL loads and fill your truck, you can earn the same money you would have with a single full load.
Join the Canal Cartage Driving Team
Even with all these tips for finding truckloads, it’s easier said than done some days. This is one of the reasons many drivers choose to join a team like the one we have at Canal Cartage Company.
Our 100% contractor-based team enjoys competitive salaries, incredible fuel surcharges, and stable, reliable work. We prioritize every driver’s physical and mental health and ensure they have everything they need to succeed. If you’re ready to start hauling the best truckloads out of Houston, learn more about driving for Canal Cartage Company.
Find High-Paying Truck Loads in Houston Today
If you haven’t already, try some of the expert tips listed above. They’re sure to help you find truck loads that pay well and also help to advance your trucking career.
Speaking of career advancement, are you interested in driving regular, high-paying FTL truckloads out of Houston? Would you like to work for a company with nearly 40 years of experience in the transportation industry?
Click here to learn more about becoming a driver for Canal Cartage. We offer excellent pay and terrific benefits, and there’s plenty of work to go around!