Every business leader wants to get more bang for their buck. As a hauler in the construction industry, you need to get more bang from your truck. One of the ways to do that is to turn to a digital marketplace.
A dump truck is too costly an asset to have it sitting in the lot or making frequent deadhead trips. As recently as five or six years ago, if you needed to find more work to keep your trucks on the road making money, there were a few tried and true options. You could check out job board listings, reach out to the contractors you had worked with in the past, or connect with a broker with the hopes they could find you that extra work.
Things in the short haul trucking world have certainly changed for the better. You now have more avenues than ever to keep your trucks working. In this article, we’ll take a look at digital marketplace examples and one specific technological advancement that not only makes it easier and faster for you to find more work, it can give you valuable insights into your day to day operations and drastically reduce the number of questions you field from contractors on a daily basis.
Find More Work through a Digital Marketplace
A digital marketplace, also known as an online marketplace or e-commerce site, is a website or app that connects a buyer with products from various sellers or a list of suppliers or sources. The marketplace itself doesn’t own any of the inventory. It simply provides opportunities for an unlimited number of sellers and buyers to conduct transactions in a systematic and competitive way. There are three types of digital marketplaces.
- A vertical marketplace sells one type of product through many different sellers. (Example: GoDirect Trade sells used aerospace parts)
- Through a horizontal marketplace, buyers can find all types of products but they will share some sort of common characteristic. (Example: Greenobazaar sells all things organic)
- And finally, a global marketplace sells virtually everything. (Examples: eBay and Amazon)
For haulers, a vertical digital marketplace like the one that can be accessed using Trux Find is a convenient and reliable place to find more work. Think of an app for dump trucks that works much the same way as Uber. Except instead of drivers finding passengers who want a ride from Point A to Point B, with Trux haulers looking for jobs can connect with contractors and material producers who have loads that need to be picked up or dropped off.
Because Trux offers the nation’s largest dump truck marketplace, it’s become the first place many contractors turn to when they need to fill in gaps in their schedules, find a specialty type of dump truck or quickly add to their resources in order to take on a bigger project. On the flipside, haulers know Trux can help them find replacement dump trucks when the unexpected happens or increase their fleet without the capital expense.
Most haulers who are already part of the 28,000+ network appreciate the fact that they can get all the pertinent details concerning a job right up front. When contractors post a job, they indicate the type of truck they need, how many, the pay rate and any special instructions to make the hauler’s job as easy and clear as possible.
Contractors are confident in hiring haulers through the Trux app. They know that Trux drivers will be insured and in compliance with DOT regulations. In addition, because any driver they hire through Trux will be equipped with GPS tracking and other helpful features, contractors can manage third-party haulers the same way they manage their own trucks.
A digital marketplace like Trux paves the way for relationship-building. You’ll quickly know which contractors you like to work with and vice versa. A reputation that in the past would have taken many months to establish can be built much more quickly when you find jobs through this electronic method.
Finally, one of the biggest advantages to finding work through a digital marketplace like Trux is that you’ll be paid the week after you complete a job via direct deposit. No more waiting 60 to 90 days, or even longer, if there is a dispute over charges.
Gain Insights into Your Day to Day Operations with a Digital Marketplace
Working through a digital marketplace is like turning the light on. Everything is so much easier to see. That’s because critical information is captured electronically. You’ll have greater visibility into drivers’ performance. Do they follow the recommended route? Take unapproved breaks? Spend a little too much time at the job site? Their time is all documented through the app’s real-time GPS tracking feature.
Real-time GPS tracking also provides visibility into a truck’s precise location and conditions that could affect arrival times. Your dispatcher will have the ability to update drivers as to road work, heavy traffic and other situations and communicate alternate routes.
Digital marketplaces provide useful information for decision-making as well. By reviewing the jobs you took on through the marketplace, you can spot trends and adapt your workflows accordingly. For instance, you may notice that hauling jobs for a particular contractor tend to post later in the day. You may be able to adjust your schedule to be ready to take advantage of that time slot.
We’ve already mentioned that you’ll be paid more quickly but there are more financial benefits to working through a digital marketplace. You’ll also receive pay for every minute worked. And those questioning looks you sometimes get because a trip’s duration was a bit longer than usual? Again, digital verification proves you were right where you were supposed to be.
Another task that instantly changes from a pain-point to a no-pain-at-all-point is how your load slips get handled. If you’re in the habit of tracking down drivers to collect load slips, you’ll have to find something else to do with the time you gain from having all your load slips uploaded directly into the app. Add in the hours you save from not having to create invoices (because the app can take care of that task as well) and you’ll find you have time to focus on new ways to grow your business.
Improve Communications Using a Digital Marketplace
Users of a digital marketplace agree that one of the app’s benefits they value most is the way they’re able to communicate more efficiently. It starts with having access to the information you need clearly spelled out on your smartphone screen. There’s no more going back and forth with a dispatcher to get all the details you need.
Then you can relax knowing that if anything comes up that will impact your trip, you’ll get notified right away--without having to scroll through a long and confusing text chain. And because the contractor who hired you has the same visibility you have, you’ll notice a significant reduction in the number of texts or calls you get wondering where you are or what the heck is taking so long.
And those times you’ve driven miles only to find the job site is shut down? Again, those kinds of miscommunications are done away with because the app provides up-to-the minute information.
A digital marketplace with a built-in communication tool makes it possible for you to consistently arrive on time at the right location. By giving you immediate access to all the relevant details you need, including specific instructions and one-click navigation, you’ll improve your customer service and land on contractors’ list of preferred haulers.
Trux: The First Digital Marketplace for Dump Trucks
Although digital marketplaces for trucking as a whole are relatively new on the scene, Trux has been connecting haulers with contractors and material producers longer than anyone else. Our team was able to take their deep knowledge of the unique needs of the heavy construction industry and build a marketplace specifically for dump trucks.
Since then, we’ve expanded the way we serve trucking companies, contractors, brokers and material producers. Our heavy construction logistics platform provides powerful and workable solutions to streamline your planning, scheduling, communications and back-office functions like invoicing and payments.
Trux gives you the control, visibility and efficiency to dispatch faster, keep projects on schedule and on budget. In addition, you’ll have the real-time data and analytics to grow your business based on informed decisions.
It looks like it’s going to be an exciting time for the construction industry, especially for those who are ready to make the leap into the digital age. Whether you want to learn more about how easy it is to use our digital marketplace or how Trux can help you manage your operations more efficiently, give us a call. Our team likes talking trucking logistics in a way that’s helpful and down to earth. Interesting in learning more about Trux’s digital marketplace? Reach out to one of our logistics experts today to learn more and start finding more work or additional haulers in the marketplace.
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