Truck Maintenance


On-time deliveries are key to driving a successful business. Customers and shippers alike are counting on shipments to be moved and delivered on time and intact. But there are factors out of everyone’s control, and that can cause delays in deliveries. Traffic, accidents up ahead, and weather are just a few things that can prevent you from doing your job.

With all of these uncontrollable circumstances, you can take responsibility for the one factor you can control: your truck. The last thing you need is for your truck to be out of service, damaged, or in dire need of repair, so be sure to take it in for some TLC and maintenance. That way, you can keep your hauls moving and secure more loads (hopefully through the Cargomatic app!) The following answers the “why and when” you should get your truck maintained in a nutshell. 

Why – as in: Why Does Truck Maintenance Matter?

Short trips are engine killers, (ahem, short-haul) and if you can’t avoid them, be sure to prepare for them. Trucks get maintained for many obvious reasons such as:

  1. Meeting DOT Regulations
    You won’t be able to drive your truck until every noted Out-Of-Service (OOS) Violation is fixed.
  2. Avoiding Costly Repairs
    Having routine systematic maintenance will make your costs predictable and is cheaper than emergency roadside service or emergency repairs which can eat away your profits and impact your bottom line.
  3. Increasing the Lifespan of the Truck
    By maintaining your truck, you increase uptime, lower your operating cost, lower your cost per mile and make your business more profitable.
  4. Safety
    The most important reason for having a truck maintained is safety. Safety for the drivers, the shipments and the road-sharing traffic.
Maintenance of Trucks - Costly Repairs

When – Like, When and How Often Should a Truck be Maintained?

This answer varies but there are a few different things to keep in mind. You can do periodic maintenance checks based on:

  • The type of truck you have (different makes and models)
  • Oil viscosity
  • Age of the vehicle
  • Time of year
  • Operating environment

Of course, there’s always mileage to consider when deciding when the best time is to bring your truck in to get serviced.

Maintenance of Trucks - Mileage

On average, the suggested range to receive basic service is every 10,000 – 20,000 miles. Basic servicing covers a quick inspection of your truck to ensure lights and brakes are working properly as well as getting your oil and lubricants refilled. Refer to the owner’s manual to get your intervals.

For a more thorough inspection (like the preventative maintenance check), the suggested mile usage for that would be every 30,000 miles. The maintenance check would include critical components such as:

  • Oil and lube change
  • Oil, air and fuel filter change
  • Fixing any repairs needed to ensure that the truck is up to DOT standards
  • Brake inspection
  • Proper tire inflation
  • Alignment and steering inspection
  • Lighting and electrical inspection

Conclusion

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires at least one Period Maintenance Inspection in a 12-month period*. Don’t do the bare minimum! Safety first, go get your truck serviced. Otherwise, what’s the point? Ensure that your truck is safe, legal and ready for the challenge of driving on the roads.

Planning it out will help you stay prepared and reduce the risk of surprise repairs, and ultimately make the truck last longer! In doing so, that will make you more reliable to your customers and repeat business.

Once you’re done getting the truck serviced, you’re ready to get back on the road. Don’t forget to have that full truckload. Check out Cargomatic’s Marketplace to see what’s on your route and fill that well-maintained truck up! Download our app at the Google Play Store or the App Store and check out our website for more information.

*Disclaimer: For state specifics, please refer to your local DMV, state troopers, highway patrol, regulatory body, etc.

Unexpected Partners: LTL Carriers and The Cargomatic Marketplace


How do LTL Carriers meet the needs of today’s clients?

If you’re an LTL trucking company, you’ve more than likely run into some challenges. From loose freight and shorter, more frequent hauls, to empty miles, there are plenty of obstacles. In the latest Cargomatic white paper, we provide insight into how our marketplace brings a field-tested combination of on-demand access to drivers and equipment, end-to-end visibility and easy-to-understand pricing that supports the needs of carriers in real-time.

LTL Carriers and The Cargomatic Marketplace. The Cover of the latest White Paper.
Cargomatic White Paper Cover


Download “Unexpected Partners: LTL Carriers and The Cargomatic Marketplace” now! Gain insight on:

  • The differences between traditional LTL Carrier models and today’s Omni-Channel Models of shipping
  • The challenges LTL Carriers face on their own
  • How Cargomatic’s Marketplace addresses LTL Carrier issues with mission-critical transportation
LTL Carriers and The Cargomatic Marketplace Quote.
Quote from the Cargomatic White Paper


Cargomatic’s Marketplace and community of truckers provide solutions that can be applied across the spectrum of traditional LTL scenarios as well as today’s challenges. Cargomatic’s iOS app and Android app is quick, easy and effective for LTL trucking companies to use. More information is just a click away.

The Top 3 Things Our Community of Truck Drivers Love About Their Job

As you might have read in our past blogs and as you’re currently seeing with our Cargomatic, “Daniel, America’s Road Warrior” Comic Series, Truckers face a lot of challenges in the industry. From the aggressive drivers to poor road conditions, there is a lot that can drive truckers crazy. So we wanted to take a look at the other side of the road (metaphorically, not literally; always keep your eyes on the road!). We asked the Cargomatic Community of truckers what the best part of their job was and the following are the top 3 responses we received.

3. Traveling to Different Places

There are very few jobs where a person can tailor their job around their wants like a trucker can. “Where do I want to travel? What do I want to see? What kind of route do I want to take? Do I want to stay local? Go from state-to-state? See the whole United States? Stick to  quick trips?” There are always shipments that need to be delivered and freight that needs to be moved, so there are always places to see and be seen!

2. Meeting New People

I’ll admit, this one was a surprise. For most people, when “Truck Driver” comes to mind they think of being on the road…in a truck..alone. So when the responses were so high for “meeting new people,” we wanted to know more. Luckily, our Annual Driver Appreciation Event presented the opportunity to learn more. Truckers spoke at length about how they frequently make friends out on the road with other truckers. Sharing the roads, the truck stops, the routes, etc., they often see familiar faces and new faces alike. These are people who share and know first hand the struggles and joys of the job and can relate to each other.

1. Creating Your Own Schedule

Oh freedom! The freedom of being able to hit the road at almost any time and go anywhere. Not having to punch a timecard in and out, not having your typical, standard and monotonous day-to-day schedule. Something about the freedom of being your own boss is what captivates truck drivers using Cargomatic the most. Creating your schedule means having the freedom to decide what days of the week you want to work, what time you want to start your day and what time you want to come home. For a lot of drivers, it means getting to take their kids to and/or from school, maintaining a work-life balance, and making sure that they’re able to still do what they love to do for their hobbies. For other drivers, they love getting the freedom to decide when they want to take time off or take a long weekend without having to ask for permission. 

These are only 3 of many reasons why Truckers love their job. Interested in getting more opportunities? Sign up to join our Carrier Community and see what driving with Cargomatic has to offer!

Hot Shot Freight Is A Hot Opportunity

You might think of a hot shot as an important person but in the trucking world, hotshot freight creates hot opportunities for the drivers able and willing to do it. Hotshot freight refers to hauling freight for a shipper in need of expedited delivery —  the load is posted today and needs to be hauled today.

This type of freight-hauling need makes hotshot truck drivers sort of the minutemen of trucking — ready to go on short notice to ensure the customer’s service or operation is not disrupted. Shippers with time-sensitive freight face a lot of challenges in getting it moved quickly. They have to post the load, choose a carrier, negotiate or agree to pricing and ensure the load gets moved on schedule. Cargomatic’s Marketplace is built exactly for this situation. As soon as a shipper posts the load on our Marketplace, our network of truck drivers is notified via our free mobile app that a load in their area needs to be hauled. In most cases, the load is accepted by a vetted, trustworthy trucker within 15 minutes!

Our Marketplace is great for shippers as they know quickly that their load is in good hands and they can track every step of the job’s progress through Cargomatic’s web app. Shippers often expect to pay a premium for same day deliveries, but with Cargomatic you get “normal LTL rates” for same day service. But what is the upside for the trucker? Convenient, local work that pays a fair rate.

Even though those hot loads are often unpredictable as a shipper, same day service is the norm for the drivers on the Cargomatic Marketplace. Whether they use Cargomatic to find all of their work or if they have a regular load that doesn’t need hauled immediately, drivers know Cargomatic is the place to go to find same day, local freight that keeps the money coming in.

If you’re a shipper who needs to move freight locally and wants to enjoy normal rates for same-day shipping, visit Cargomatic.com to learn more. If you’re a driver interested in local freight to haul, download the free Cargomatic app now. You’ll get notifications of jobs in your area and get paid within days of completing the job. For more information about how Cargomatic can help with local freight, connect with us today.

Finding the Best Fit – Freight Brokers, Load Boards or Freight Marketplaces

There’s quite a bit of information out there about freight brokers, load boards and freight marketplaces, so deciding which of these models fits your operation best can be a challenge. If you aren’t sure what the differences are between the three, make sure you read our previous post which explains what role each model plays. When making this important decision, both shippers and truckers have a few things to consider:

  • Market Reach – How many shippers, loads and carriers are engaged with each model?

    1. Freight brokers tend to be on one end of the spectrum with a smaller network of carriers and shippers. While their networks tend to be relatively small, freight brokers build strong relationships over time with the shippers and carriers they work with.
    2. Load boards fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from brokers with large volumes of loads available and a large number of carriers looking at those loads. Load boards aggregate freight from many brokerages and shippers into one place and because there is little to no cost to access these load boards, there are often a very large number of participants involved.
    3. A freight marketplace is in a bit of a sweet spot since there are typically more loads available than a traditional broker, but fewer than a load board. The same tends to apply for the number of carriers engaged with a freight marketplace. As a relatively new model within an industry that tends to be slow to adopt new technologies, freight marketplaces will continue to grow in popularity but will likely remain smaller than load boards in coming years.
  • Flexibility – What impact do spikes in supply and demand have on shippers and carriers?

    1. A potential downside of freight brokers’ more limited capacity and load volumes s is the lack of flexibility. When unusual spikes in volume occur, freight brokers may find it difficult to scale and cover shippers’ loads at a moment’s notice. On the other hand, if there are fewer loads than usual, brokers may not have freight for drivers to haul. In an industry where margins are razor thin, this can be the start of more headaches and difficulties ahead.
    2. While high-volume load boards provide greater flexibility and more opportunities for shippers and carriers to connect, the flexibility may come at the price of building long-standing, reliable relationships with shippers and carriers that may be beneficial in times of market uncertainty.
    3. Again, freight marketplaces fall between two extremes with less risk than that associated with using a freight broker but easier access to vetted, consistent relationships than load boards. 
  • Resources & Level of Effort – What does each model require of shippers and carriers?

    1. In many ways, working through freight brokers requires the most resources. Limited market reach means they may not always have the capacity that’s needed and, as a result, shippers often need to work with multiple brokers at the same time. Matches between shipper and carrier are also time consuming since this is most often done manually through phone calls, e-mails and faxes.  Additionally, the settlement processes for the jobs are typically done through physical paperwork and traditional payment channels which require time and resources for everyone involved.
    2. Load boards require less effort and resource requirements than freight brokers to pair shippers and carriers. Aggregation of many loads from shippers and brokers translates to more load availability. Numerous carriers viewing the load boards mean the market reach is larger, which increases the likelihood that a load will fit well with available capacity. Matches are still negotiated manually like in the freight broker category which requires significant time and resources for both shippers and carriers.
    3. Freight marketplaces require the least amount of effort and resources among the three options. Shippers post loads as needed along with all the specifics a carrier would need to know to accept or pass on the job. When registering with the marketplace, carriers are fully vetted, capturing exact capacity configurations so only carriers with the right capacity are notified when a load is posted by a shipper. Once the carrier/shipper match is complete, the marketplace handles all documentation, paperwork and settlements making the entire process less resource intensive for everyone.
  • Time – How much time does it take shippers and carriers to get connected? Time is money and while this may be the easiest consideration, it is possibly the most important. Establishing the connection between shippers and carriers runs the full spectrum from manual to automated among these three models.

    1. A freight broker typically requires the most time as a result of limited market reach and a high level of effort/resources to ‘get the deal done’.
    2. A load board is faster than a brokerage because of larger market reach, but still requires the heavy lifting in the back office to handle all of the paperwork and settlements. Also, when services are free like so many load boards are, you’ll always need to consider quality on both ends. You’re also often left to negotiate with multiple parties and finalize “the deal” on your own, which takes time and may not necessarily be successful.
    3. A marketplace is the fastest and most “touchless” of the three models because it instantly and automatically presents shippers’ posted loads to vetted, qualified carriers.  Carriers with the available capacity can simply tap “accept” on a load that a shipper has posted, go get it, deliver it, capture documents electronically and get paid.  All of the back and forth discussions and exchange of paperwork is automated and touchless for both sides of the job.

Pointing to the strengths of a freight marketplace over other options seems obvious, doesn’t it? Bringing technology forward to address some limitations of traditional freight brokerage while also fostering the speed and ease of a marketplace certainly has its advantages. While the freight marketplace seems to be the best option for most loads when a marketplace is available, be sure to do your research. You’ll have the flexibility of a load board but will need to place your trust in the right marketplace to make sure they’re negotiating fairly on both the shipper and trucker end. Only then does a freight marketplace truly excel.

Questions about how Cargomatic can help you succeed? Connect with us today!

Freight Broker, Load Board and Freight Marketplace…Do You Know The Difference?

Freight Broker, Load Board and Freight Marketplace…Do You Know The Difference?

Terms like freight brokers, load boards and freight marketplaces might be ones you hear often in trucking but they’re often used interchangeably and many people aren’t clear on exactly what they mean or which one best fits their operation or needs. Each of these play an important role in transportation logistics, but they’re also three very different options shippers and carriers utilize to get the job done. Do you know the difference in order to know what works best for your business? This should help:

Level 1: Freight Brokers (The Original)

Freight brokers are essentially the middlemen between shippers and carriers. This can be either an individual or a company that acts as a transportation intermediary. Brokers are typically hired by shippers to find qualified drivers or carriers to haul loads to their final destination. Not only do brokers negotiate pricing with the carrier and arrange transportation for the load, but they also track the load, manage its timely delivery and keep the shipper updated on the load’s status. In order to make money, the shipper pays the broker a certain amount to ship the freight. The broker finds a qualified trucker who will move the load for the best price and is able to keep the difference as payment.

Level 2: Load Boards (The Next Level)

A load board is an online system where people can post or search for loads that need to be moved. While freight brokers can use these load boards to connect shippers and carriers, it’s also used by truckers and shippers to network and match loads themselves. Some load boards are free to use while others charge for a monthly subscription plan. Utilizing a load board gives both parties a large degree of control over the process and an expanded audience, but also requires them to manage contacts, paperwork, billing and other processes involved with load transportation.

Level 3: Freight Marketplaces (The All-in-One, One-Stop-Shop)

Unlike a load board, a freight marketplace is an all-in-one solution for shippers and carriers. This is where Cargomatic shines. Truckers and shippers get connected and conduct their entire transaction via the marketplace. Shippers post the loads they need moved to the marketplace and are instantly quoted a price. Carriers get quick and easy access to job offers and load notifications via a mobile app. Truckers in the region are instantly notified with details and how much the jobs pay. With the Cargomatic marketplace, once a driver accepts a load and the connection with the shipper is made, we handle all the load tracking, billing and paperwork online in real-time. Within the world of the freight marketplace, shippers have access to free technology, on-demand capacity, real-time shipment tracking and alerts, paperless billing, just-in-time delivery, and fair pricing. Truckers receive quick payments within days of delivery at no additional cost and gain access to a diversity of different shippers with different shipment types and routes. This gives them the ability to maximize the use of their trucks, make more money and regain control over their routing and home time schedules.

Not sure which option is the best for you? Check out our next blog post, which will help you decide! Finding the Best Fit – Freight Brokers, Load Boards or Freight Marketplaces.

How to Address Local LTL Shipping Challenges

How to Address Local LTL Shipping Challenges

In our last post, we discussed several challenges associated with local LTL shipping. Some of these include rates, capacity, quality and time. While it’s good to identify issues, it’s even more important to know how to address them.

Many times, shippers will work with brokers or use load boards to combat these LTL challenges. These are good options, but shippers may find quicker and more comprehensive support (and very competitive rates) from Cargomatic’s Local Freight Marketplace. We understand the challenges of local trucking and LTL shipping because that is what we do. We have created an entire platform to help you ship your local freight as easily, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. We are your local freight connection.

Rates can vary across the board in this industry, but our pricing is both fair and transparent. At Cargomatic, we’ve already done the job to find and vet trustworthy drivers for you. You can trust that when you choose a driver through our marketplace, you’ll be working with a professional, quality trucker to deliver your shipment. This reliability, paired with our competitive pricing, will help you get the most out of our local LTL shipping services.

Aside from the rates and quality of service, two other challenges we discussed in our last post are time and capacity. It can often take LTL shipments longer to arrive at their destinations as “traditional” LTL carriers strive to fill their trucks. Cargomatic’s large network of truckers helps you cast a wider net when searching for a reliable truck driver to haul your shipment. This helps you find the untapped capacity in your area and also helps those local truckers make the most of their available capacity – a rare win/win for both sides of the equation.  Each of your shipments includes our just-in-time delivery (with same day 2-hour pickup and drop-off windows), GPS tracking and real-time status updates. You’ll never be left wondering where your shipment is in the delivery chain, and you won’t be stuck tracking down your shipment yourself via phone or email.

At Cargomatic, we also handle all the billing, settlements and ”back office stuff” to make shipping as easy as possible for everyone involved. Instead of going through different billing systems every time you go through a different carrier, you’ll be able to streamline your billing process by letting us handle it for you. You can trust that our paperless billing process will take care of your needs accurately and in real-time. For more information about what Cargomatic can do for your business, contact us at 866-513-2343.

California Trucking Show: October 12-13, 2019 BOOTH #106

Truckers are the heart of this industry, and Cargomatic knows it! This is why our Compliance and Recruiting team will be at the California Trucking Show to represent!

As you’re walking the floor and checking out the new and newly modified truck models, be sure to drop by booth #106, just to the left of the entrance, where our Compliance and Recruiting team will be there, answering any questions, and getting you set up! We’ll be there all day on both days, walking you through our free app, and we’ll have some gifts and raffles/giveaways for you just for stopping by!

More Event Details:

Location: Ontario Convention Center
2000 E Convention Center Way, Ontario, CA 91764
Date: Saturday, October 12 – Sunday, October 13, 2019
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm both days
Admission: Free
Website: https://californiatruckingshow.com/

We hope to see you all there! Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see our live updates on the floor!

The Challenges of Local LTL Shipping

Challenges in Local LTL shipping

When it comes to moving freight, Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping is a great option for long hauls and often the only option for local shipments. For long hauls, shippers can often save money by only paying for the truck space they use while truckers and carriers can maximize earning potential by filling the entire truck with shipments from many shippers, but this often comes with the cost of time. For local LTL shipping, the challenges are many. Following is a list of some of the more common issues you’ll find in local LTL shipping:

Rates

Rates can vary quite a bit when you’re looking for local LTL shipping, but it’s important to remember that you often get what you pay for. Choosing the cheaper option to save some money may end up costing you more in time, money and headache later on. Do your research to find someone reliable and trustworthy that can haul your freight at a competitive rate.

Capacity

Just because you have freight to ship doesn’t mean you’ll always have access to a truck that can move it whenever and wherever you need it. Space is a recurring issue as many traditional LTL carriers strive to always operate at full capacity. Additionally, not all carriers provide local LTL shipping, so you have to find someone who offers the service or you may have to utilize a third-party provider to help connect you with the right carrier.

Quality

Not all carriers are created equal. As a shipper, you want a carrier who will be professional and can ensure on-time delivery. It can be a challenge to find quality carriers and vetting carriers and drivers properly takes time, money and persistence. Always be sure the carriers you work with have the proper authority, licenses and insurance as well as a solid history of safe operations.

Time

It can often take LTL shipments longer than you’d like to arrive at their destinations because the carriers work to fill the trucks to capacity by aggregating freight from many shippers. This often leads to manual monitoring of your shipment via emails and phone calls so you can track where your shipments are in the process.

Insurance

Even when you’re shipping a smaller amount of freight with LTL shipping, insurance should be a priority. Trucking companies carry a variety of insurance policies, and some may not fully cover your freight in all situations.  Always be sure your shipment is covered.

When it comes to local LTL shipping, what other challenges have you faced? In our next blog post, we’ll be going over ways you can overcome these challenges to help you utilize local capacity as successfully as possible. If you’re interested in learning how Cargomatic can help you, connect with us!

The Top 7 Things That Drive Truckers Crazy

It’s common to hear motorists complain about truck drivers on the road. Whether it’s the space you use or the speed you drive, truckers often get the short end when it comes to respect. The truth is that driving a truck is one of the toughest jobs around. You’re constantly having to pay attention to your surroundings and to other drivers. If you’re a local driver, you also have the added challenge of navigating roadways that aren’t necessarily built for vehicles your size. So, we asked drivers, “What are your biggest pet peeves as a truck driver?” Here’s a list of some of the more maddening pet peeves: 

  1. Traffic – Getting stuck in high volume and slow traffic is always a nuisance wherever you are. However, local truck drivers are at a significant disadvantage because there’s not always an alternative route to take.
  2. Shipper/receiver delays – Every second you’re delayed costs you money as a driver. That’s time you’re not spending making another run and increasing your income. It can be especially frustrating when you’re committed to making your pick-ups and deliveries on time but get held up for reasons out of your control.
  3. Drivers on cell phones – Despite this issue being a hot topic for years and the countless number of incidents caused by drivers being on their cell phones, this remains a huge problem on the road. As a truck driver, it’s frustrating to see drivers who still insist on using their phones while in the car. Many states have started introducing hands-free device laws in order to curb drivers from using their phones, but this is still a major concern.
  4. Aggressive drivers– Cars that weave in and out of lanes without signaling, tailgating, cutting off other drivers and ignoring traffic laws…all these moves are characteristic of aggressive drivers. They pose a huge risk to other drivers and truckers on the road
  5. Narrow roads – Unlike OTR jobs, local truck drivers have to navigate local streets. Many of these are narrow roads, making them difficult to maneuver. These types of roads will often require lots of backing up in order to angle your truck correctly to make turns safely or to locate another route.
  6. Lack of respect for space – Trucks need a lot of additional space on the road. It takes you longer to stop your vehicle, you make wider turns and have larger blind spots. Many motorists seem to disregard a truck’s need for additional room, which makes your job more difficult and take you longer to get to your destination.
  7. Poor road conditions – Some accidents aren’t caused by other drivers but rather poor road conditions. This includes road erosion, potholes, uneven road surfaces and debris in the road. While any type of roadway is susceptible to poor conditions, local roads don’t always get the same amount of maintenance as larger roadways. 

Truck driving is a hard job. You deal with many different elements of trucking and logistics and are the key to making commerce work. For local truck drivers, you’re responsible for ensuring your local communities run smoothly. Your job is important and at Cargomatic, we understand that it certainly has its challenges. That’s why we’re proud to offer the opportunity and flexibility of local runs that you’ll want so that you can make the most out of your career. 

Connect with Cargomatic for info on how we make the best career for local truck drivers!