DAT News

How to Get the Most Out of Our Free Trucker App

By Michael Tupper, Product Manager, DAT Solutions

If you use the DAT Trucker™ mobile app for Android, you probably noticed some big changes recently. We redesigned the app to work the same way that most other mapping apps do. More importantly, now DAT Trucker lets drivers find what they need faster and easier. Based on your location, you can find truck stops, rest areas, fuel prices, Walmarts, nearby loads, truck-friendly hotels and more.

We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from new users who love the app, but truckers who’ve been using the app for a long time are telling us that they’ve had trouble finding the tools they used in the old version.

Everything is still there, and after you first get the app set up with your personalized settings, you can find what you’re looking for in one click.

When you open the app, there’s a map based on your phone’s GPS location. The markers show locations that match your search results – just like in Google Maps. You can see everything at once, or choose whether you want to see truck stops, rest areas, Walmarts or more. Tap the magnifying glass in the top-right corner to search other cities.

If you tap the triangle icon circled in the screen above, you can choose which categories you want to search: Truck stops, rest areas, etc. The app will remember what you select and do the same search anytime you open the app, based on your GPS location. Once you have it set to your preferences, you’ll find what you’re looking for faster than you could with the old version.

If you want to see a list of search results like you did in the old version, you can tap “list” from the map screen. Tap on the sort options (circled in the picture), and you can sort the list by name, distance, fuel price and more. Also, this is often the most useful way to see search results if you’re in a place where the internet connection isn’t strong.

Trying to find a parking spot? From the list, you can get more details about each business. Tap on a truck stop to see how many parking spots they have and get info about showers, laundry, scales and much more.

You can still search for nearby loads. Just tap on the main menu in the top-left corner and choose “Find loads nearby.” You might see fewer results than you used to because the old version showed loads for every equipment type. The new version shows loads that match the truck and trailer in your profile, so the loads are more relevant to what you’re looking for.

You can also tap the DAT Trucker icon in the bottom right corner and choose what you want to do. For example, you can tap “Fuel up” and find the cheapest nearby diesel prices, or “Sleep” to find truck-friendly hotels.

Another advantage of the new version is that it lets our software developers make updates faster and make changes based on your suggestions. For example, many of you pointed out that we didn’t include landscape mode, which flips the display when you turn the phone sideways. That’ll be fixed in an update coming soon, so keep sending suggestions.

Get the DAT Trucker mobile app in the Google Play store or the Apple App Store.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in April, 2016.

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Houston is mostly a backhaul market, meaning that loads going into the city usually pay more than loads going out. There are some popular lanes out of Houston that do pay headhaul rates, though, like Houston to New Orleans, San Antonio, or Texarkana. You can use that to your advantage when planning a roundtrip.

Haul Two Loads on the Return Trip Instead of One

If you upgrade your load board subscription to DAT Express, you get our TriHaul tool, which gives you suggestions for triangular routes that pay better than a regular there-and-back roundtrip. You can also research the average rates paid on those lanes, so you can decide if the extra money is worth the time it’ll take for the extra pick and drop.

Let’s say you’ve got a load booked for Atlanta to Houston, which has paid $1.60/mile on average for the past week. The average rate for loads heading back from Houston to Atlanta is only $1.37/mile.

If you can fit it in your schedule, you’d be better off hauling a load from Houston to St. Louis or to Cape Girardeau, MO, about 120 miles to the south. The average rate on that trip is $1.44/mile, which isn’t a whole lot better, but loads going from Cape Girardeau to Atlanta have paid $1.98/mile on average. You’d boost your loaded miles from 1,600 up to almost 2,000 miles, and the TriHaul will pay $869 better than the roundtrip. That gives you more than $3,200 for 2,000 miles.

Some truckers make it a point to drive 55 all the time to save fuel, but the speed limit is at least 70 in all the states you pass through in this TriHaul. So if it’s safe and economical for you to drive faster, you could get back to Atlanta with enough hours for another quick roundtrip, maybe to Charlotte. That’s another $1,000 at today’s rates, to finish your week on a high note.

 

Get the TriHaul tool by upgrading your load board subscription to DAT Express.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

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DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 15 – 21 vs.
May 8 – 14
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads 3.7% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity 5.6% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +1.4% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +4.7% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +18% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +1.1% +2.9% 23%
Tighter Capacity Could Spark Rate Increase


Last update: 5/24/2016 – Next update: 5/31/2016

Rates Dip as Ratios Rise

May 15 – 21 – Van and reefer rates edged down 1¢ per mile, and flatbed rates were unchanged as a national average. Load-to-truck ratios rose, however, so rates may increase this week.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

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Below are your best bets for finding loads fast on DAT Load Boards this week. All the cities listed below are in the top 5 for load posts and have load-to-truck ratios that are above the national average for that equipment type, which means your truck is in higher demand in each of these places.

VANS

National load-to-truck ratio: 1.6 van loads available per truck 

The national average spot market van rates finally rose last week. Rates held steady for weeks, even though load posts had been going up at a pretty steady clip. Produce season is also keeping a lot more reefer trucks busy, which helps vans, too. That’s because carriers with reefers sometimes compete for van loads when there aren’t as many reefer loads to go around.

REEFERS

National load-to-truck ratio: 3.4 reefer loads per truck

Notice that Florida isn’t on this list any more. Reefer volumes are slipping in Lakeland and Miami, and those markets aren’t short on trucks now. If you’re in the Southeast, Georgia produce is still going strong. Otherwise, a lot of reefer activity has shifted to the West.

FLATBED

National load-to-truck ratio: 14.7 flatbed loads per truck

Flatbed rates have been trending up in the big Texas markets for the past month, but Houston is the one to make the top 5 for load posts. Places like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Raleigh are usually busier this time of year, but they’ve had a quiet spring.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 8 – 14 vs.
May 1 – 7
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads 3.9% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity +12% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck 8.3% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.9% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 22% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 18% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.1% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +0.2% +2.9% 23%
Mid-May Rates Exceed April Averages


Last update: 5/17/2016 – Next update: 5/24/2016

Van Rates Lose 3¢

May 8 – 14 – Van rates lost 3¢ of the previous week’s 7¢ increase, and reefer rates declined 2¢ after rising 11¢ in the first week of May. Flatbed rates were unchanged, week over week.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 1 – 7 vs.
Apr 24 – 30
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads +5.1% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity +1.9% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +11% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) +4.7% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 11% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +5.9% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +6.1% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +3.1% +2.9% 23%
Rates Rise Sharply for Vans and Reefers


Last update: 5/10/2016 – Next update: 5/17/2016

Loads Abound in Sun Belt

May 1 – 7 – Boom! Rates rose sharply last week, following a steady increase in demand for vans and reefers, especially in the Sun Belt: California, Texas and the Southeast. By contrast, flatbed demand and rates held steady.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 24 – 30 vs.
Apr 17 – 23
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads +8.8% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity 1.9% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +17% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +6.4% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +22% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.6% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +1.5% +2.9% 23%
Late-Blooming Spring Freight Yields 9% More Loads


Last update: 5/3/2016 – Next update: 5/10/2016

Reefer Rates Rise

Apr 24 – 30 – More loads were offered for all equipment types, and reefer rates began to climb, in a long-awaited blossoming of the spring freight season.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.