Why Owner Operators Hire Truck Dispatch Companies
How To Choose A Dispatch Service For Owner Operators
On the road to becoming a successful owner-operator, you’ll need to answer an important question: should you manage your own dispatching or outsource to a dispatch service provider? Depending on your specific needs and goals, you’ll have to make the choice that best suits you and the future of your business.
In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into everything you need to know about using a dispatch service, whether you should try self-dispatching, and how to make the right choices for your long-term success.
How Do Dispatch Services for Owner-Operators Work?
Truck dispatch services help owner-operators handle their freight by locating loads, establishing relationships with brokers, handling paperwork, and creating efficient routes for drivers. Dispatchers can even perform additional tasks like tracking driver hours and reviewing their logs, improving your relationships with shippers, helping to ensure motor carrier compliance, and much more.
One important note to highlight is that dispatch services aren’t the same as freight brokers. Where a broker acts as a legal entity or middle-man connecting a carrier to a manufacturer or shipper, a dispatcher works solely on behalf of the carrier.
For most owner-operators, the number one factor in deciding whether or not they want to use a dispatch service comes down to cost. Since dispatch services receive a portion of your earnings from every load, these costs can add up quickly for smaller operations. Keep in mind that most dispatch services charge upwards of 10 percent for each load they book, while others may charge a simple flat rate.
How Dispatchers Help Owner-Operators Succeed
After you’ve signed up with a Truck Dispatch Company, it’s up to your dispatcher to get quickly up to speed on your business and the types of loads that best suit you. Then, they’ll work to find the highest quality loads possible that will complement your equipment, driving preference, and abilities. Many dispatchers have existing connections they can tap to find ideal loads for you – or they can use load boards to find the perfect freight in much the same manner as owner-operators do on their own.
Dispatchers tend to be experts on all details of the freight transportation business. They have more insights on the market, best routes, and negotiations. By using load boards such as the DAT board or TruckStop, they can post your trucks on the board for brokers to reach out and/or directly reach out to brokers that have loads posted to find the right match for you. With the right information about your trucks, lanes, origin, and destination, they can quickly and easily find you the loads you need to keep your business running smoothly at all times. A great dispatcher will always have your loads pre-booked so that you know exactly how to manage your time.
Benefits of Dispatch Services for Owner-Operators
There are many benefits of hiring a truck dispatch company. Below are just a few:
Should Owner Operator Try Self-Dispatching?
Some small trucking companies can indeed benefit from self-dispatching, but it’s certainly not for everyone. The most important deciding factor on whether you can self-dispatch as an owner-operator is whether you’re willing to spend the time searching for your own freight, handling all back-office tasks, and scheduling. You’ll also need to be savvy at customer service and negotiations with brokers. To learn more about how to become a truck dispatcher, taking a truck dispatcher training course will be extremely beneficial.
If you can handle all of that, you can save money because all earnings from shipments will go directly to you without having to pay a percentage to a dispatcher. By building your own relationships with manufacturers and shippers, you can also develop skills that will help you in the long-term future of your business – especially if you plan to continue on your own. Many owner-operators get into the industry because they want to be fully self-reliant, so self-dispatching may be just right for you.
However, if you’d rather focus entirely on making money in your truck, a dispatcher can reduce your administrative workload while ensuring you spend the optimal amount of time on the road. Full-service truck dispatching companies enable owner-operators to compete with the largest transportation fleets in the nation on the best possible schedules for their lives and livelihoods.
Choosing the Right Owner-Operator Dispatch Service
Deciding on the best dispatch service for you as an owner-operator comes down to the services you know will provide the most benefit for your business. Whether you primarily need help finding loads, managing back-office tasks, negotiating with shippers and manufacturers, building new relationships, or all of the above, you should go into your decision-making process with these needs in mind.
Then, you should look for recommendations and positive reviews for available dispatchers. Find out which dispatch service providers your trusted peers use, then look online for reviews of those dispatchers to compare them to what you’ve heard about them. Search through their websites to see if they specialize in the services, you require most, then take their pricing into consideration. Will you be able to afford the dispatch service charge per load in addition to everything else it costs to efficiently run your business?
Ultimately, it’s your choice whether a truck dispatch service is right for your business. Owner-operators are incredibly self-sufficient and self-motivated individuals who know what’s best for them, no matter where the road takes them.
If you’re an owner-operator interested in learning more about dispatch services, we welcome you to reach out to the team at Truck Dispatch 360. We’re happy to walk you through every step of the process while ensuring the lowest service fees in the industry as we work every day on your behalf. Give us a call at (404)987-8447 today!