“Can you give me directions to the nearest load boards?”

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights Leave a Comment

You could hear the cries across the nation. The news came across the radio. It was news that upset millions across the nation.

The popular British boy band, One Direction, was splitting up. Well at least they were getting rid of a guy named Zayn Malik (it’s always a guy at the end of the line with a first name starting with the letter ‘Z’ that causes problems anyways). Millions of teenage girls were heart-broken.

But didn’t you find it a bit ironic that a group called, ONE DIRECTION, wasn’t actually moving in…one direction!

It’s like the time that the Rapper ‘50-Cent’ declared bankruptcy to save his name – ironic to realize, that if he had only saved his name – 50 Cents – he wouldn’t have had to declare bankruptcy at all!

If you are hauling up in Canada, heading north on Highway 2, running from Calgary coming into Edmonton, you would see the sign that says, “Welcome to Edmonton: City of Champions.” Well, this was a great slogan in the 80’s when their football and hockey teams were winning all sorts of championships. But it was a hell of a moniker to wear over the next 30 years as your teams didn’t win anything.

Then someday, in the middle of the night, you get one of the city work crews to go over to remove the sign quietly…only to be harassed by some old guy sleeping outside under it, complaining about being disturbed, wanting the sign to remain in place, and regaling you with stories of Wayne Gretzky as you toss the broken pieces with ‘amp’ and ‘ions’ on them, into the back of your truck!

But this One Direction thing got me thinkin’ (Watch out!).

Since I started selling trucking software, I have seen some trucking companies with great names – some that clearly identify the value proposition they offer to a customer, some that are created to be memorable and others that are just pure whimsy and convey a down to earth, fun approach to commerce.

But I gotta think that One Direction would be somewhat problematic for a trucking company. Sort of like the time one small town got their first traffic light. Unfortunately, it got stuck on green and all the cars were trapped on one side of town and couldn’t get back.

So that is why it is so important for trucking companies to be able to find a backhaul. You see, no trucking company wants to get their trucks all caught up on one side of the country, not being able to get back. And god forbid they come back empty!

Nope, that is why load boards were created. All sorts of load boards were created where ‘the guys with the loads’ could meet up with ‘the guys with the trucks’…sort of like eHarmony, only it doesn’t end up with a million marriages afterwards.

In the olden days (that is when I was young, according to my ten year old), they used to post notes on the corkboards at truck stops, advertising loads and truck availability. In today’s world, it’s done electronically over the internet, on sites like 123Loadboard, Load board 360, Truckstop.com, DAT,    Getloaded, Free Loads, so many loads that if you can’t find a back haul, its probably because you’re sleeping under a sign in a park or somewhere like that.

Good trucking software and good freight brokerage software connects into all of these load boards. Ideally, it would allow you to connect to all of them with one click of a button, so you can maximize the exposure and availability of a load or a piece of equipment.

So next time, when you start your new trucking company, say you call it ‘Two Directions,’ you can go to a load board, and list your truck availability.  And if you come across some guy named Zayn, just kick him off the load board!

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