The first time that Joe and Angela decided to try LTL trucking, the whole process struck them as waaaaayyyy harder than it needed to be. How difficult could it be to put three loads on a truck in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and deliver them to Houston, Austin, and Lubbock, Texas? It sounded simple.
It was more of a nightmare. Angela won’t talk about it and Joe said he’d never do it again… but they had to. They couldn’t find loads that filled their trailer that paid enough and the loan payments forced them to learn the hard way how to manage LTL shipping.
The Key Is In the Routing
Joe and Angela were terrified of deadhead miles. They thought that taking small loads, even at extremely low rates, was better than an empty rig. They didn’t have any evidence of that, but it made sense, right? They called it Goldilocks Routing – it had to be just right. Sometimes they’d drive five extra hours out of their way just to pick up a load so when they dropped the last one, they’d still have something in the trailer.
Angela would puzzle over maps for hours to find the right routes. A keen eye on the load boards helped them start to make more money, but after a year, they both agreed: they needed better tools. Routing and LTL had to be managed with precision. Google Maps was just not cutting it.
Drivers have to be aware of the roads – which ones they want to take and what they want to avoid. After an unexpected detour took them through the panhandle of West Virginia and cost them an extra IFTA payment, Angela now plots things a lot more carefully. Deciding to focus on the Midwest and leave Texas to the Texans, she’s starting to learn what are the best loads for them, but the routing can still stump her. Finding the best way to put together LTL loads in the 21st century shouldn’t require index cards and a magnetic white board, should it?
Routing and LTL and TruckingOffice
TruckingOffice Pro now offers LTL shipping management with a great tool – the Load Planner. Using this allows truckers to create the best possible (profitable!) trips with a minimum of deadhead miles quickly, so they can get the loads off the load boards before someone else does. With the great invoicing tools and the FileSafe™ option to send images of the bills of lading to speed up payments, truckers can make LTL shipping more profitable than ever in the days of Amazon and overnight shipping.
First you’ll need to enter a dispatch into the TruckingOffice system:
This creates all of the data for TruckingOffice to prepare your invoices, driver settlements, IFTA, IRP and business reports. Then you can go to the Load Planner screen that allows you to determine the best options for you. Is this a good load for you? Will you end up with hundreds of deadhead miles? Will you make a profit?
You decide what works for you. TruckingOffice makes it easier by providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions.
Joe and Angela are making LTL work for them. Should you give it a try? TruckingOffice Pro can help you not only work at it but succeed with it. Try our 30 day free trial to see what you can do.