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How to Find Loads as an Owner-Operator Trucker

by Zeeshan Khan

As an owner-operator trucker, finding loads is essential to keep your business running. However, it can be a challenge to navigate the industry and locate the right loads for your business. In this article, we’ll provide you with six tips on how to find loads as an owner-operator trucker.

Have a complete understanding of industry regulations

Before you start searching for loads, it’s essential to have a complete understanding of the industry regulations. Trucking is a highly regulated industry, and not knowing the rules and regulations can lead to costly fines and even the loss of your operating authority. 

Take the time to research the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements and stay current with any updates or changes.

Get familiar with the types of loads that are available

Freight comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s essential to get familiar with the types of loads that are available in the industry. 

Whether it’s a full truckload (FTL), less than truckload (LTL), or specialized services such as flatbed and hauling services, knowing what’s in demand in your area can help you find profitable loads.

Network and find brokers to work with

Networking is key to finding loads as an owner-operator trucker. Attend industry events, join trucking groups on social media, and connect with other industry professionals. 

Brokers are also an essential part of the industry, and finding reliable brokers to work with can provide you with a consistent stream of owner operator trucking jobs.

Utilize online load boards and apps to find loads

Online load boards and apps have revolutionized the trucking industry, making it easier than ever before to find loads. Platforms such as DAT and Truckstop allow you to search for available loads and connect with shippers and brokers. 

These platforms also provide essential information such as the load details and expected payment, making it easier to choose the right load for your business.

Consider specialized services 

Specializing in a specific type of load, such as flatbed or hauling services, can help you stand out in the industry and increase your earning potential. However, specializing requires additional training and equipment. 

Before choosing a specialization, consider the demand in your area and the additional costs involved.

Monitor load prices and negotiate for better rates

Freight rates can vary, and monitoring load prices is crucial to ensure you’re receiving fair payment for your services. Negotiating with brokers and shippers can also result in better rates and long-term partnerships. 

However, keep in mind that negotiating requires a delicate balance, and being too aggressive can harm your reputation in the industry.


In conclusion, finding loads as an owner-operator trucker can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and tools, it’s possible to build a successful business. 

Take the time to research industry regulations, get familiar with available loads, network, utilize online load boards and apps, consider specialized services, and monitor load prices and negotiate for better rates. 

With persistence and dedication, you can find profitable loads and grow your business as an owner-operator trucker.

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