Not all freight is created equal, so it’s important to understand what makes each type of freight unique. Even more important, though, is understanding what you’re looking for in your truck driving career — which will guide your freight decision. You want to find the best freight to haul while you’re on the road. In other words. . .
What is the best freight to haul?
The best freight to haul is the type of freight that works best for you and your needs.
We’ll look first at key factors to help you frame up your decision, then look in closer detail at each of the major types of freight available and how they line up with each factor you consider important.
3 factors to determine the best type of freight to haul
- Your lifestyle
Answer a few simple questions to narrow down your top needs:
- Are you interested in becoming a Team or Solo driver?
- Are you looking to travel the country for weeks at a time or get home every day?
- Do you want to spend most of your time driving or add variety with other non-driving tasks?
Then start to think about …
- Your pay needs
While there isn’t a hard and fast rule, typically the more specialized the freight is, the higher paying the job will be. Your pay and benefits requirements can often play a role in helping you decide which freight to haul.
So can …
- Your company preferences
Are you looking to work for a smaller company with a more personal feel, but perhaps less reliable freight volume, or are you considering a known industry leader with wider varieties of freight? Some companies specialize in one type of freight; others boast broad portfolios. Researching the best companies to haul freight for can help you choose the best freight type for you.
A closer look at the top types of freight for you to haul
Many truck drivers enjoy the simplicity and variety of hauling 53-foot dry van or refrigerated (often called reefer) freight. Typically these jobs are part of larger networks, and you’ll run different lanes to different customers each day.
- Lifestyle: Typically long-haul/over-the-road or regional truck driver networks and driving-focused work.
- Pay: Typically paid by the mile, so the more miles you run, the more you earn.
- Companies: Huge variety of companies, as this comprises a large percentage of the industry.
Intermodal simply means two modes of transportation, so intermodal freight will travel longer distances by ship and/or railroad and shorter distances by drivers. You’ll haul loads back and forth between ports and/or rail yards and customers.
- Lifestyle: Typically regional truck driver or local routes near major rail hubs with drivers home more and rarely touching freight.
- Pay: Sometimes paid by the mile, sometimes by the load, sometimes a combination.
- Companies: Mix of larger and smaller companies with a network near major rail hubs.
These elite truck drivers can haul either liquid (water, fuel, etc.) or dry bulk (food, sand, etc.) freight. In either case, it is more specialized work with more training involved, and usually involving additional endorsements like Tanker and HazMat.
- Lifestyle: Variety of route types available, but all will involve more non-driving work, like unloading with pumps and hoses.
- Pay: Generally higher pay due to the added training and responsibility, often with a combination of mileage and accessorial (loading, unloading, tank wash) pay.
- Companies: A smaller number of companies to choose from, but choose one with quality Tanker-specific training.
Dedicated customer freight
Enjoy consistency hauling freight for one primary customer, either with a larger company that’s contracted with select customers, or directly with a larger brand that has its own fleet. The types of freight can be as varied as the customers themselves since they often have unique needs that don’t quite fit a network model.
- Lifestyle: With so many customers to choose from, it’s just about finding the best company or fleet for your requirements.
- Pay: The amount of pay varies considerably, but you can at least know the pay package is specifically designed around the unique work you’ll do.
- Companies: Many large companies contract with a huge variety of customers and add more regularly, while many business-run fleets hire directly.
This can include a huge variety of freight types in its own right, but if you desire to haul something specific, there’s probably a way to do it — each with its own unique lifestyle, pay packages and companies to choose from.
A few popular specialized freight varieties include:
- Flatbed freight: Strap and tarp freight onto a flat trailer.
- Doubles/Triples freight: Haul multiple trailers connected together.
- Oversized freight: These require special equipment, permits, and markings.
- Car hauler: Deliver new vehicles from manufacturer to dealership.
Now that you know what factors you need to consider and what each freight type offers, start your search, including a freight type filter. There you will find the best freight to haul!
Written by: Schneider
Schneider has been a leader in the trucking industry since 1935, offering a wide variety of truck driving jobs throughout the country that allow you to pick your freight type, number of drivers and driving style. Schneider offers a multitude of pay packages, benefit offerings, home time configurations, leading equipment, and military-specific benefits.