Trucking and farming businesses have a lot in common. They’re both risky because they’re affected by weather, fuel costs, and huge maintenance requirements for their equipment. Both have similar objectives. On the farm, the plan is to prepare the ground for planting by tilling and fertilizing, creating a fertile place to plant the seeds. Next comes nurturing and care through proper watering, keeping weeds from infiltrating the planted areas, and keeping insects from eating or destroying the crops. Finally comes harvesting and delivering the crop to market for sale—so the farmer can do it all again next year.

In trucking, all we need do is replace the word ‘crop’ with ‘load.’ A trucker must first find lanes providing the necessary quality paying loads, much like finding fertile soil to start. By finding the lanes with ‘fertile’ freight, it’s far easier for the trucker to grow the loads and create a profitable result. The trucker must prepare his ‘ground’ (lanes) through researching which lanes and areas have the greatest number of loads available at the highest hauling rate.

Next in this ‘growing your loads’ task comes the nurturing and care required. This is accomplished by providing the multiple shippers and brokers in selected lanes with highquality customer service, helping to create a high load yield and growing a profitable return on loads hauled.

Now think of other trucking companies competing for the same freight as the weeds that could infiltrate your lanes and customer base, reducing or eventually even destroying your load harvest. The best way to keep weeds out of your crops is to build and maintain a weed barrier. The best weed barrier is high-quality customer service. Achieve the highquality label by consistently producing customer service above the level other carriers are either unwilling or unable to provide.

Another danger to growing your profits is complacency, or presuming your customers will always be there. This smugness becomes the insects that slowly eat away at the leaves, stems and roots of your customer base. Keep insects out of your crops by providing the plants with the best care thus creating strong, healthy plants which thrive. Add to this a solid ‘pest barrier’ to keep marauding insects at bay. It’s all about going above and beyond for your shippers and brokers by looking for ways to improve your efficiency and maintain reasonable hauling rates.

Just like a well-cared-for plant, a well-cared-for customer will generate higher yields, both in reasonable hauling rates and increased loads being offered to your trucking company. The result of all this selection, preparation, nurturing and care will be an abundant, consistent harvest of profitable loads that will be much easier to maintain and grow. All that’s required is continued ‘farming’ of your shippers and brokers, making sure your lanes remain fertile, free of weeds and insects.

Fire up the tractor and go grow some loads.