NOTE: I wrote this article on September 4, 2019. It may read old but I have taken the time to update it for 2024. I think it’s still as useful as it was initially intended to be.
In today’s post I’d like to look at the three main load boards we’ve used over the years. We don’t only rely on load boards to find profitable loads but load boards are a big part of our business.
For our purposes, when I say load board I am not referring to load boards provided by brokers or free load board sites. The following three load boards are broker-independent and are a paid service.
So here are your three load boards reviewed:
- DAT Power by DAT Solutions (Now Called DAT One)
DAT used to offer a basic service, then they added a live service. That was about the extend of the change. Now everything has changed since DAT now offers 5 levels of service. Called DAT One Standard, Enhanced, Pro, Select, Power Select, and Power Office. Formerly, they had different names likes TruckersEdge or Power but the base level is the same, it’s a load board where brokers and shippers list their freight and truckers contact them to negotiate the rates and terms of those loads.
DAT’s pricing now ranges from $45 – $295 per month and offers different features and benefits.
DAT is my number one load board and the one I’d recommend first. We didn’t start with DAT right away. I remember speaking with DAT’s sales reps and and delaying my purchasing decision because I just couldn’t see the benefits for the seemingly high monthly fee. I was wrong and the price is worth the benefits. Until very recently, DAT was the world’s only live load board. What this means is that DAT’s networks are directly connected to the networks of large brokerage houses like TQL, C.H. Robinson, and several others. This is a huge advantage because you get instantaneous access to the loads as they’re posted. This is what makes it a live board. It may not seem like a big deal but only because it’s a huge deal. There have been countless times when I lost deals because the data was not up to date. If you’ve got a driver stuck in a bad area, and you lose the best deal of the day, you just made your life harder. As of this writing, (Internet Truck Stop) ITS began offering a live board service.DAT has two pricing points. One is $149/mo and the other is $249/mo. Both are live, with the second providing a wider feature set. In the past DAT offered an absolutely painful software for the $149/mo customers. It was called “3sixty Freight Match” and is among the worst pieces of software ever written. Now everyone has live board access using a web browser.
- Truckstop.com (formely Internet Truckstop – ITS)
We still use Truckstop as one of our load boards of choice, it’s a good choice and is a great compliment to DAT. They also have a live service and you can still get their old load board for a very low price which still works amazingly well and refreshes automatically. They’ve made changes over the years but at it’s core, this is a very good load board.
Prices have also changed over the years but it’s simpler, as there are only 3 levels from basic to advanced to pro. Prices range from $39 – $149 per month.(2019)
Internet Truckstop (as everyone knows them by), is one of the big boys of the online load board business. They’ve rebranded and are now called Truckstop.com but I still remeber them as ITS.
Internet Truckstop has helped us make a lot of money, especially considering they didn’t have live load board service. In fact we used the very basic load board access without any of the additional nifty services they offer. The one issue with truckstop.com is their insistence on having customers pay more for faster service. By default the load board refreshes every 60 seconds. This means that a load may have been posted and the broker is receiving calls and quite possibly closing the deal but while you’re sitting there waiting for the data to refresh. Of course they do give you the option to click the refresh button yourself.The fact that you’re paying for outdated information is one thing. But charging $10/mo for every 10 seconds you shave off the refresh rate is an odd way to approach the situation. The best you can do is get down to a 20 second refresh rate. If I’m not mistaken, before ITS began providing their live load board service service, you could actually get down to a 5 second refresh rate.Now they offer a live load board service under the moniker of Truckstop Pro. The service is priced at the same level as DAT’s basic live load board at $149/mo and offers different features not available to regular customers. As of this writing I haven’t used their live load board but have been happy with the basic level which costs $35/mo.
We stopped using 123loadboard long ago and never came back. It was an attractive and user-friendly load board and it certainly more than paid for itself but at this point, with DAT and Truckstop, it would be too much duplicate data and would only serve to confuse you at an additional cost. They also have 3 levels of service, ranging in price from $39 to $79. This is nice since it’s considerably cheaper than the competition especially at the highest tiers and I’m sure they have only improved their site and service over the years.(2019)
This was the first paid load board we used when starting American Freight Trucking, Inc. We made money with it, we learned the business with it, and we learned to move on to better services. This is not to say that 123loadboard.com is a bad service. Far from it actually. I’ll explain below.
I’d call 123loadboard a starter load board service because it provides a number of features to get a new MC going and does an okay job with proving you loads. Their interface is nice and user friendly, and I even remember when we switched away from them, the other higher priced service provider was missing a few of the features I really liked with 123loadboard. Obviously they weren’t a deal breaker since I don’t remember what they were.The reason I would not recommend 123loadboards.com is because I believe their level of service is not worth the monthly charge. As of this writing they have two plans you can register under. You have your standard plan and the premium plan. From the looks of it, some features may have migrated from the standard into the premium but it’s been a long time since I’ve used their service.When we did use their service, the results were outdated and consisted of too many duplicates. Their data feed is slow to update and so while loads are removed from large load boards they aren’t from here. They are often manually removed by the individual broker when you speak with them. This is a total waste of dispatch time and can be directly attributed to loss of income. They do offer a free 10-day trial of either plan so you can give them a shot.
We still use ITS (Truckstop) and we still use DAT. We no longer use 123loadboard.com. We’ve experienced issues with two of the three reviewed load boards (DAT and 123loadboards.com). I would still recommend DAT and ITS but I would not recommend 123loadboard.com over the other two.
Since most independent truckers will use load boards to find their freight, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest updates and offerings. In 2024, DAT continues to be our top recommendation, now offering five levels of service under the name DAT One, providing enhanced features for a range of needs. Truckstop.com remains a reliable complement to DAT, offering a simplified three-tier structure and valuable features. However, our experience with 123loadboard.com led us to discontinue its use due to outdated data and duplicates. For new carriers venturing into the trucking business, the value of efficient load board access cannot be overstated. If you’re just starting out, consider the benefits of our truck dispatch service tailored to support your journey. Feel free to reach out to us at (801) 448-6363 for personalized assistance. Additionally, don’t forget to explore our YouTube channel, where we regularly share educational videos for truckers. Take the next step in optimizing your trucking operations by completing the opt-in form below.