Hot shot loads are critical to your business. How exactly do you find them?

Truckstop.com is where perhaps 90 to 95 percent of all the loads get posted. While some people think the site and mobile app are OK, some don’t like the usability. So they prefer accessing it through a browser. However, it’s the information contained there that’s important. So here are three rules that are just crucial to keep in mind while you’re looking for loads:

1. Know What You’re Worth

Don’t haul cheap stuff. You don’t have to be mean to the brokers because it’s not their fault. However, that doesn’t mean you have to take their loads. So when they’re paying little or they’re not paying enough, you don’t have to take it. Just remember: You’re worth more and you can do better. There’s plenty of freight out there.

2. Half the Weight, Half the Rate

If it’s taking about half of the trailer in space or half of the weight that you can take, then it has to be paying at least half of what you want to make. Of course, half of what you want to make is ideal. But realistically, if something is 5,000 pounds and 16-18 feet long — and that’s half your trailer — you don’t want to take it for less than maybe $1.50 a mile. That’s just the way it works.

3. You Get Paid Per Mile

The goal is always to do more miles. So keep this and the other two rules in mind.

How to Use Truckstop.com

Now let’s talk about how you can use truckstop.com to find loads. You can’t just go there and set up an account. You have to type in your MC number. Your company may already have one, so make sure you talk it over and do your due diligence.

  1. Click the login button. You want the load board. They have a bunch of other services. But hit the load board button that gives you the sign-in page. As long as your company created an account for you, you just type in your email and password and then hit login.
  2. You are then taken to the main page where you open up your loads, searches, and more. To open up a new search, hit the new search in the top left-hand corner. It opens up a box where you fill it out. The first thing you always want to do is fill out your location. So for example, I would type in Dallas, Texas in this instance but type in wherever you’re located.
  3. Type in your radius, how wide of a search you want to see, how many loads, and how far away you want loads to be popping up. Of course, you want to type in where you’re going or where you want to go. If you don’t want to go anywhere, you can leave this blank, but this is the important part.
  4. Select what kind of equipment you want. You can only select two. Well, you can actually select a total of three, but we recommend only two. There’s flat or step deck and hotshot. Those are the only two options you want to select because they’re really the only ones. You don’t want van freight or reefer freight. That doesn’t apply to you. So flatbed/step deck or hotshot — those are the two ones you want to select.
  5. The last thing you have to type in is your max weight. And even though you can scale 10,000 pounds, truly to do a little less like 9,500.

Then it just opens up the search and it gives you all of the results. Those yellow loads are loads that are new. They just came out so it’s highlighting those for you. But when you first open it, it sorts it by age (your newest loads first) which makes sense. You want to see what’s new rather than what’s old — because that gets deleted.

You can also sort by how far you have to deadhead. You can also sort by rates and what’s the best paying loads. However, when you sort by rate, anything that doesn’t have a rate posted is sent all the way to the bottom. But if you recall rule number three, “you get paid per mile,” so you want to be able to do as many miles as possible. And that’s why it’s important to sometimes sort by loads that are going the furthest away.

The Bottom Line

There is a process for finding loads. One of the best load boards is Truckstop.com. Follow these steps and look for good loads today. Have we missed any tips? Let us know in the comments!