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Best load boards for truckers

Trucking is a competitive industry, and it’s usually difficult for start-ups and new owner-operators to find loads to transport. Many shippers have developed close relationships with their carriers, and as such, they don’t want to entrust their livelihoods to anyone else, especially strangers. 

Fortunately, newcomers can turn to trucker load boards when it’s time to locate shipments and build rapport with shippers. This guide will provide useful information regarding the best load boards so that you can decide which ones might benefit your business the most.

Quicklook: best load boards for truckers

  • Best for specialized vehicles or loads: Truckstop
  • Best for last-minute loads: Uber Freight – Find Loads
  • Best for free load board: TruckSmarter
  • Best for expanding companies: Convoy – Find Loads
  • Best for cost value: 123Loadboard – Find Loads
  • Best for customized features: Direct Freight – Find Loads

7 best load boards for truckers

Load boards help keep the economy moving by getting the products we need from point A to point B. Here are the boards that are frequently used by truckers looking for their next load. 

Truckstop.com

Truckstop.com

If you want access to a large quantity of quality loads, this board is the one. It will make it possible for you to see new loads in real time. Truckstop will also let you compare up to ten loads at once so that you can choose the one that works for you. You can even use the app to negotiate directly with brokers. Select from one of the three pricing plans offered by Truckstop and watch your business grow.

Best for: Specialized vehicles or loads

Network size: More than 600,000 load listings

Sort by state: Yes

Unlimited search and posting: Yes

Real-time notifications: Yes, included in the Pro Plan

Company reviews: Yes

View pay cycles: Yes

Company credit score visibility: No, but in-app credit features are available

Special features:

  • Reputation of excellence 
  • Will help you break into the industry
  • Large network

Benefits:

  • Search by load type or truck type
  • Highly rated
  • Fast payment
  • Market insights with Pro plan

Disadvantages:

  • Pricing is high for most advanced features
  • Less loads available than some competitors 

Pricing:

  • Basic plan:
    • $39 per month 
  • Advanced plan:
    • $125 per month
    • Broker credit 
    • Days-to-pay feature
  • Pro plan:
    • $149 per month
    • Real-time load boards
    • Route planning
    • Broker credit 

Uber Freight

A great load board for truckers is Uber Freight. The company offers the advantage of being under the umbrella of the well-known Uber brand. Uber’s simplicity and ease of use translates well to the company’s freight service. Uber Freight eliminates the need to go through a broker as a way of locating loads by connecting you directly to shippers. The company recently developed a program to consolidate LTL traffic and build the freight into an FTL shipment. As Uber Freight continues to grow, so will the services and features that are made available to its customers.

Best for: Last-minute loads

Network size: 

  • 50,000 carriers 
  • Companies of all sizes
  • Small businesses to Fortune 500 companies 

Sort by state: 

  • No
  • Sort by short, regional or long distance 

Unlimited search and posting: Unlimited search

Real-time notifications: Yes

Company reviews: Yes, and facility reviews

View pay cycles: Paid within seven days of load delivery

Company credit score visibility: No

Special features:

  • No negotiations
  • Select and pick up load right away

Benefits:

  • Facility reviews
  • Fair market pricing
  • Instant booking
  • Ease of use
  • Greater earning potential

Disadvantages:

  • Higher fees
  • Little information provided by app 
  • Reduces potential clients

Pricing

  • Free
  • Uber fees built into app pricing

TruckSmarter

TruckSmarter is the only 100% truly free load board in the industry. It’s one of the highest rated load boards in Google and Apple app stores because it makes it easy for drivers to spot and win the best loads. 

TruckSmarter eliminates the need to go through multiple load board apps. TruckSmarter combines all of your other load boards into its platform, along with 300+ brokers, so you can see all available loads in one place. You can also bid and book directly from the load board. 

Best for: free load board

Network size

150,000+ carriers

100,000+ daily loads

300+ brokers

Sort by state: Yes

Unlimited search and posting: Yes, unlimited search. Posting coming in late-2023.

Real-time notifications: Yes

Company reviews: No

View pay cycles: For factoring customers only

Company credit score visibility: Yes

Special features:

  • Combines all of your other load boards
  • Includes more rates and load details than other load boards
  • Backhaul recommendations

Benefits:

  • Ease of use
  • Search loads by newest, rate, RpM, trailer type, weight, and more
  • In-app bid and book
  • Save and manage loads
  • Deadhead estimator
  • Available on all devices, including personal computers and phones
  • Access to cardless fuel discounts, up to $1.50/gal off
  • Access to 2.5% flat rate factoring

Disadvantages:

  • You have to connect all of your load board accounts manually into the TruckSmarter’s platform. But once you’ve done this, you’re all set; you’ve combined all available loads in one place to easily spot the most profitable loads.

Pricing: 100% free

Convoy

Convoy, a renowned player in the realm of digital freight networks, provides an optimized platform for truckers through its efficient load board. Leveraging advanced technologies such as machine learning, automation, and software services, the company operates a highly interconnected freight marketplace, facilitating seamless connections between shippers and carriers. This innovative approach yields numerous advantages, including reduced shipping expenses, amplified carrier revenues, enhanced operational efficiency, real-time planning capabilities, and invaluable visibility into the transparent dynamics of the supply chain.

Best for: Expanding companies

Network size: 

  • Three million truck drivers
  • Clients include Unilever, P&G, Wayfair and more 

Sort by state: Yes

Unlimited search and posting: Yes

Real-time notifications: Yes

Company reviews: Yes

View pay cycles: Yes

Company credit score visibility: No

Special features:

  • Transparent data and insights to choose the best loads
  • High quality and compliance standards
  • Search by state, ZIP code, geographic region or load type

Benefits:

  • Real-time data
  • Large network of shippers
  • Biggest companies in North America
  • Set up load bidding in minutes

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive option
  • More competition if you are not an official Convoy carrier
  • Load volume control issues with the app

Pricing: Free to use

123Loadboard

Look no further for the ideal solution to your trucker load board needs, offering affordability, flexibility in negotiations, and the ability to create hauling contracts. The pricing structure is designed to cater to the budget of most owner-operators, ensuring accessibility without compromising quality. In addition, Convoy provides a dedicated and approachable support team, well-versed in the intricacies of the process, to guide and assist you every step of the way. As a valued customer, you can expect fair and respectful treatment, as Convoy firmly believes that fostering customer loyalty is fundamental to their continued success.

Best for: Low-cost features

Network Size: Over 68 million truckloads posted annually

Sort by state: Yes

Unlimited search and posting: Yes

Real-time notifications: Yes

Company reviews: Yes

View pay cycles: 

  • Individual with carrier
  • Payments within three to four weeks

Company credit score visibility: Yes

Special features:

  • TransCredit scores for brokers
  • Rate checks
  • Quick payments
  • 10-day free trial with each plan

Benefits:

  • Cost insights
  • Free to post loads 
  • Large network

Disadvantages:

  • Doesn’t have a hotshot filter
  • Complaints about the PC version of the app

Pricing:

  • Free app with limited usage
  • Standard: $35 per month
  • Premium: $45 per month
  • Premium Plus: $55 per month

Direct Freight

Established in 1997, Direct Freight offers a cost-free platform for posting loads. By opting for a premium subscription, users gain access to an array of enhanced features such as route planning, load filtering, saved searches, real-time weather reports, and much more. Direct Freight collaborates with a software company to create a user interface that strikes the perfect balance of being intuitive and user-friendly, including a recently updated app for seamless usage across devices.

Best for: Customized features

Network size: More than 300,000 daily loads

Sort by state: Yes

Unlimited search and posting: Yes

Real-time notifications: Yes

Company reviews: Yes

View pay cycles: No

Company credit score visibility:  Yes

Special features:

  • Credit reports
  • Free option

Benefits:

  • Low-cost option
  • Improved load filtering
  • Text alerts

Disadvantages:

  • No guaranteed quotes
  • Insurance issues in some cases

Pricing: $34.95 per month

What is a load board for truckers?

A trucker load board connects shippers to carriers in an online marketplace. Shippers and brokers post their available loads in these marketplaces so that carriers can find the loads and then offer to transport them. The majority of these load boards allows postings and searches based on specific criteria that match loads with the right carriers.

How does a load board work?

Shippers post available freight as well as the equipment needed to safely move the shipment and any other relevant delivery information. The carrier will then search the trucker load board to find the best option. 

After communicating, the shipper and the carrier will make arrangements to have the shipment picked up and then delivered. That said, there may be negotiations available if the feature is offered on the site or via an app.

Advantages of load boards for truckers

For small fleet owners or new owner-operators, a load board can significantly simplify the process of securing initial loads. It serves as a valuable tool for establishing contacts and gaining valuable experience along the way. Furthermore, utilizing a load board offers several additional benefits, including minimized deadheading, round-the-clock online accessibility, and streamlined payment options.

Disadvantages of load boards for truckers

The major disadvantage of load boards for truckers is that they are not a profitable long-term strategy. It’s better to get direct contracts so that you can be in control and keep all of the revenue that you make. 

Using a load board also means dealing with strangers and a decent amount of competition. If the board doesn’t have credit scores or reviews for the companies that you’re dealing with, then you’re going to be taking a real risk as the carrier.

Research load boards to find the perfect match

A load board can help you find shipments and partnerships that align with your business needs. However, it’s important that you not just choose the first one you find because not all load boards are created equally. 

Start by conducting research, at which point you can compare rates, features and services. Check the reviews and talk to experienced truckers who were once in the same place.

FAQ

How do truckers find loads?

Loads are typically found by sourcing directly from the shipper, freight brokers, load boards and load-matching apps.

How much do load boards cost?

Load boards can be anywhere from free to $150, though that price is on average. Some prices are higher due to special services that are offered.

Are load boards worth it?

Overall, load boards are worth it, but the stage that your company is currently in will play a huge factor in using a load board.

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