Trailer Spotting Services 101- What, When & Why
Trailer spotting is one of the most essential yard management services because it helps make warehousing more efficient while reducing costs. Spotting services ensure that products are packed, shipped and delivered in a timely manner. Drivers are responsible for moving trailers around the yard for quick and easy unloading.
If you’re an experienced driver, you may be considering moving into the spotting sector. Although some companies hire rookies, most are looking for drivers that have at least a year of experience on the road.
If you’re thinking about a career change, it’s crucial to learn everything you can about this sector of trucking. What exactly is trailer spotting? What are the benefits of spotting? Which companies offer this type of service?
What is Trailer Spotting?
Trailer spotting is when a trailer is placed at a specific location designated by a consignee, cosigner or other party, detached at that location, and left in possession of the cosigner, consignee or other party. The trailer is unattended by the carrier’s employee and unaccompanied by a power unit.
In other words, the trailer is just detached, left at the site and no longer is handled by the carrier until notified that it’s ready for pick-up. Spotting makes warehousing more efficient and ensures that inventory is always on hand for timely deliveries.
The cosigner, consignee or other party can move the trailer around the yard at their own expense. Experienced drivers use specialized equipment to pick up the loaded trailers and place them at the docking door so that they can be unloaded.
Drivers can work as a spotter full-time and may enjoy daily home time as well as many other benefits. For example, you’ll spend less time on the road and more time with your family as a spotter.
Trailer spotters don’t require an extensive amount of training. You may need a year of experience on the road, but some companies will hire fresh graduates.
Trailer Spotting Companies
If you’re interested in a job doing trailer spotting, it’s important to work for a reputable and experienced company. Reputable companies will offer steady work and opportunities for growth. Some of the top trailer spotting companies include:
Keller Logistics offers trailer spotting services as well as logistics services and yard management software. The company is based in Defiance, Ohio and has been rated one of the best fleets to drive for since 2018.
Annual pay increases, steady miles, pet policy, frequent home time and a comprehensive benefits package make Keller a great company to work for. Drivers’ gross earnings are typically between $1,300 and $1,600 per week.
Additionally, Keller offers training and paid tuition for drivers who don’t have their CDLs yet.
- Must have a CDL A or a desire to attend training
- No DUIs or other alcohol-related convictions within the last 5 years
- Must pass the DOT physical, functional capacity test and hair follicle drug screen
Headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana, Nolan Logistics is a leader in trailer spotting and yard management services. As a full-time spotter at Nolan, you will be expected to:
- Safely move trailers to and from warehouse docks to yard locations.
- Create daily reports of operations.
- Conduct yourself in a professional manner and complete your job in a timely manner.
Nolan hires experienced, professional drivers. Drivers who are willing to go the extra mile and take safety seriously will be a good fit for Nolan.
- At least 1 year of CDL driving experience
- Safe driving record
- Pass the DOT pre-employment drug screening
- Meet DOT’s medical requirements
- Pass a DOT physical
- Have a stable work history
Lazer Spot is a leader in yard management, offering services at more than 400 sites in the U.S. and Canada.
Along with spotting, the company offers:
- Shuttling within 100 air miles
- Gate personnel
- Trailer rentals
- Yard management systems
Drivers enjoy daily home time, competitive pay and great benefits, including 401(k) with company matching.
Lazer Spot was rated a Top50 Logistics Company by Transport Topics in 2020. They have a reputation for being one of the best in the business, so drivers enjoy a steady workflow.
- A clean MVR
- A valid medical card
EGA Logistics offers spotting and shuttling services tailored to meet the needs of customers. The company has been in business since 2001 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company, which is military-owned and operated, offers the following services:
- 24/7 yard spotting services
- Trailer moves, including yard moves, spotting and to/from dock moves
- Yard checks and trailer inventory
EGA hires experienced operators and offers flexible scheduling. Drivers enjoy competitive pay, great benefits and steady work with a company that respects its drivers.
- A valid CDL
- Previous experience driving a truck or in a related field
- Strong work ethic
What are the Benefits of Trailer Spotting?
Trailer spotting services focus on drivers, and as a result, drivers are better able to assist their customers. When you choose trailer spotting, you’re benefitting from:
- Maximizing your time by allowing the trailer to be left at a location
- Eliminate long wait times to allow for more time on the road
- Improve on-time percentages by utilizing trailer spotting
- Shippers can have the trailers loaded when its best for them
- Saves shippers money and potentially unwanted charges
- Improve product flow optimization
Warehouse efficiency is a major concern for many shippers, but when trailer spotting is in place, it leads to an improvement in internal processes and enhances customer satisfaction. In addition, higher quality equipment further improves reliability.
As loads arrive and are unloaded, the yard can become an operational bottleneck. However, spotting services are optimized for clients to provide an individualized, custom service.
Depending on the platform used for spotting, it’s possible that high-end graphical user interfaces are in place. Some of these interfaces offer drag-and-drop technology and make it easier to track trailers and other equipment in the yard.
Spotting service providers offer insightful data, along with reporting, which ensures accurate, real-time tracking. In addition, secure and streamline workflows can further improve yard management.
With the best technology and a customized approach, each shipment is more efficient.