Trucking is a difficult life. But when you’re an owner-operator it can be even more difficult. You’re responsible for driving the truck, and a whole new set of tasks that you haven’t performed before as a company driver. From finding new loads, to invoicing customers or even ensuring your compliance with laws and regulations.
Some owner-operators are lucky to have a spouse at home that can manage these day to day tasks, but others may not have that luxury. In these cases, a truck dispatch service can fill this role.
What does a Truck Dispatch Service do?
You can think of a dispatching service provider as an outsourced back office for your trucking business. They’ll handle almost everything except for driving the truck. This includes finding and booking loads, negotiating rates, invoice customers and receiving payments on your behalf, as well as ensuring and maintaining motor carrier compliance.
This will free up your valuable time that could be better spent running more miles.
How Much do They Charge?
Most dispatching services charge either a percentage of each load’s gross pay or a flat fee such as $50. These rates vary depending on how much value they are actually providing you. For example, you may choose to only utilize such a service to negotiate and book loads on your behalf. This would cost less than if they were to also handle your accounts receivables and compliance related tasks.
Who Should Use One
If you don’t have someone back home to help manage your small trucking business, using a dispatching service can help tremendously. This is especially true if you are just starting out. The small cost is usually more than offset by the additional miles you’ll be able to run. If you have more than one truck or are planning to expand your fleet, it will almost become a requirement if you are going to continue driving your own rig.