CRTS Insights

Top 5 Connections You Need to Make in Trucking

Posted by David Shepherd on Jan 5, 2023 4:07:57 PM

There's a good chance you chose the trucking industry to avoid typical strategies other businesses employ, like networking. 

But the truth is, there's no better way to meet like-minded people than through networking. Everyone can benefit from a connected network, including semi truck drivers.

While networking may not be synonymous with trucking, it's time to change that.

What is Networking in the Trucking Industry

Networking in the trucking business is no different from any other industry. It's about building connections with people in the same profession or with common interests. 

The goal of networking is to share information and grow your career. 

However, networking in trucking is more than casually meeting other semi truck drivers at the truck stop. It's about making intentional connections with people in the industry, from brokers to suppliers to trailer dealers.

Related: Questions To Ask Yourself As A Owner-operator

Why Making Connections is Important for Truck Drivers

Tractor trailer truck drivers are busy hauling critical supplies and transporting hazardous materials across the country. 

With long, stressful hours on the road, it might feel exhausting to take the time to build relationships with key people in your industry. You've got enough to think about as a professional truck driver, and you already spend extended periods away from your family and friends. 

But, as the saying goes, "it's not what you know, but who you know." This statement reigns true in the trucking industry as much as any other. 

Whether you're an owner-operator or a company fleet driver, it can pay to have connections. 

Knowing the right people in the trucking industry could help you land your dream job, receive quick assistance in a remote location, and even gain insights into starting your own trucking company. 

However, semi truck drivers don't always have the luxury to attend weekly Chamber events or bi-monthly coffee meet-ups. You're far too busy driving big loads and meeting deadlines.

So, where do truck drivers go to interact and make connections in the trucking and fleet industry? 

These five places are an excellent starting point. 

1. Digital Freight Matching (DFM) Apps

Also known as load matching, digital freight matching are web and mobile apps that match your available load capacity with the shipper's available freight. 

Businesses will post shipments that need transporting along with critical information like cargo weight, drop off, and pick up dates and locations. 

Trucking companies or owner-operator truck drivers with the available capacity will then book the freight. 

DFM's are essentially brokerages with a digital-first approach. They offer a streamlined process to organize freight for drivers and shippers efficiently. 

Everything happens in real-time on DFM platforms, so it helps to be ready at the drop of a hat or have drivers lined up to take on last-minute loads.

2. Social Media Networking Platforms

Social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are excellent places to network with other people in the trucking industry. 

LinkedIn isn't just for marketers and lawyers. Update your profile and start sending connection requests with logistics companies, trucking businesses, and other semi truck drivers. 

And on Facebook, find and join trucking groups where you can share trucking industry knowledge, learn from others, and even make new connections in neighboring states.

If you own a trucking company, social media is a good place to gain visibility for your business and find new customers. Share relevant information and interact with industry leaders to show off your knowledge and years of experience. 

Social media is a valuable resource for truck drivers to keep up with evolving industry standards and changing regulations. It could also help owner-operators find quality loads and open up other opportunities within the trucking industry.

You may have years of experience and are ready to transition from driving to managing. LinkedIn might lead you to a small business looking for someone to take over its fleet management.

Social media is a great way to stay connected in the trucking industry and help your business and career flourish.

3. Trucking Conferences and Events

After long stretches on the road, attending a trucking conference or event might be the last thing on your list of things to do. However, events organized by trucking or freight companies are one of the best places to connect with top forerunners in the trucking industry.

Fleet managers, trucking company owners, distributors, and suppliers attend these conferences. View them as an opportunity to rub elbows with industry leaders, learn about the latest industrial upgrades, tell people about your company, and even find your next best semi truck driver or supplier. 

Interact with like-minded industry people, gain some new colleagues, and expand your trucking network at trucking conferences and events. Just remember to stay connected with the people you meet!

4. Trucking Groups and Associations

Another great way to build your network and secure new contracts is to join trucking groups and associations like the American Trucking Association (ATA) and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

Your current customers may already belong to many of these associations. If they see you there, they can connect you with other suppliers and companies that could use your services. 

As an owner-operator or new company fleet driver, it could be the place where you secure your next high-paying load. It's also an opportunity to work with fellow members to improve working conditions for truck drivers across the country.

5. Your Local Semi-Trailer Dealership

Local semi-trailer dealerships have a plethora of knowledge and insider information, and connecting with them is a good idea for many reasons. 

For starters, they meet and communicate with trucking companies and suppliers across the country. 

Local dealerships like CRTS have intel on the following:

  • Highway conditions
  • Companies that are hiring 
  • Tractor-trailer maintenance 
  • Fair prices on new or used semi-trailers

And it doesn't end there. 

Visit a CRTS semi-trailer dealership in the South Atlantic and get to know people who live and breathe trucking. Building interpersonal relationships are one of the best and fastest ways to get your name out there as a trusted and reliable semi truck driver or business owner. 

Head on over to a CRTS location and start building your network now!

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For 50 years, CRTS, Inc. has been a trusted partner to hundreds of transportation firms. We accomplished this by putting our customers first, providing unequaled service, and offering the best semi-trailer products available. 

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