What do you need to do to get good-paying partials?
This article will give you three simple tips to help you book partials that pay well. Now these are not the only keys, but they are based on the experience of some experienced hotshot truckers.
1. Fill 20 feet of your deck space with at least $1.20 a mile.
As for the rest, you can fill it up with either 80 cents or more. For example, let’s say you have one load going 2,000 miles paying $2,400. That comes to $1.20 per mile. Let’s say you have another load going 2,000 miles paying $2,000 — $1.00 a mile. All together, you get $4,400 on the trailer. With your deadhead and everything, it comes up to $2.00 a mile — very good.
Make sure that the broker does not give you a very short window of time for the delivery. So if it takes you three days to get there, make sure you have at least five so that will give you enough time to find the load and go pick it up.
Sometimes brokers tell you that the load is partial but when they send you a rate confirmation it says that the trailer must be empty at the shipper and at the receiver. That means that they only want their load to be on the trailer, not anyone else’s. That makes it very difficult to find something on the road to put on your trailer.
So whenever you get a partial, make sure the broker does not mention on the rate confirmation that the trailer needs to be empty at the shipper or at the receiver. Sometimes what these brokers do is they give you a partial but then they say that the trailer must be empty or empty at the shipper and at the receiver. That means that you really cannot put anything on it.
So if you go in with a load on your trailer the shipper may not may know about it and then they probably will not like the fact that you have a load on your trailer because the shipper has paid for a full load but the broker is giving it out as partial so they can keep the majority of it. Things like that happen sometimes you just have to be aware of it.
2. Consider doing long haul (1,500 miles or more).
Why? Because it takes a lot of time to find a partial, go deadhead there, and pick it up. If you usually have 2-3 partials, it’s a lot of work. If you’re only going 500 miles, it’s just not worth it. But if it’s 1,500 miles or more then obviously it would be a good idea because by then it pays for your time to get loaded and unloaded. So a 2,000 mile run for $4,400 is good money.
So if you are doing partials, make sure it is 1,500 miles or more. But first, make sure you fill up the 20 feet of deck space with at least a $1.20 dollar a mile and then fill it up the rest with more.
3. Do not get greedy.
For example, let’s say you already got a partial for $1.20. Then you got another partial that was paying only a dollar. If you get greedy and insist on another $1.20, the broker may say they will call the customer and let you know but he may never get back to you. So you don’t want to be too greedy and lose out on a potential load. Go ahead and lock it in when you can. Just make sure that all your miles are more than $1.80 or something like that.
The Bottom Line
In summary, make sure you have at least 20 feet of your trailer filled with $1.20. Because if you have two partials set up and the one cancels out on you so you still don’t have to run the entire trip and lose money on it. Secondly, consider doing long-haul (over 1,500 miles). And finally, don’t get greedy. Just lock it in. Otherwise, the broker may give it to someone else.