Home > All Mercertown Blog Posts, Contractor Web > CONTRACTOR WEB CHANGES, PART 2


Let me go on the record to say that yesterday stunk.  We had talked shortly after the truck show here on the blog, about the changes that we were planning to make to the Contractor Web.  Everyone seemed to support it.  Obviously, yesterday, we tried to implement those changes, and I started to become more unpopular than that Shahzad guy.  After nearly an entire day of complaints, we reactivated the old search options.

I know that there are a lot of opinions today about the change.  Someone emailed to me that whoever thought of the new search option, should be fired.  Well, to let everyone know, the search option changes were brought up at the Driver’s Forum during the Truck Show here in March.  By drivers.  We don’t take all of  the time it takes to adapt this system just for our entertainment.  We do it because we think that it will improve the overall performance of the Contractor Web, and make it easier for you.

Let me discuss why I think the new search option is beneficial.  Say, for example, you are sitting empty in Cincinnati.  You are surrounded by 4 states!  Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia.  If you use the old search method, and look up each of those 4 individual states, you will be looking through a lot of freight that will not make sense to deadhead to.  If you look in Ohio first, then you will have to filter through all of the freight in Cleveland, and Youngstown which you probably won’t deadhead that far to haul short.  Then you look through Indiana and have to look through all of the Northern Indiana/Chicago freight, which could be 100 loads on any given day.  To make a long story short, if you were in Cincinnati today, and you looked through those 4 states to try to find a load, you would have to look through 442 loads!  Does it really take less time to fish through 500 loads,  than putting in an origin city, and entering a 200 mile radius?

I will admit that the new search option needs to be refined some.  It is somewhat difficult to use, and it isn’t currently working on all browsers, or cell phones (which is the main reason we switched it back).  But isn’t it a good idea?  Why go through 442 loads when you can enter a little information and see 50 loads that actually make sense to haul?

We have disabled the new load search option for now, but we have not deleted it.  It will happen.  I know I got a lot of emails yesterday stating frustrations of the new search option.  I am starting to get emails today from people who are upset that we went back to the old search option.  I am working with our IT department to try to resolve some of the issues with the program, so we can re-release it.  I am also going to find out if we can run the new search option, along with the old state search option, so you can use both.  Have a great day and go Mercer!

  1. Sandy
    May 6, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Once I figured out how to use it, it was great! Some instructions to go with it to make it more user friendly would help a lot.

  2. Nellie Engleman
    May 6, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Hey Jason, way to go. If you can get the new options up and running smoothly for those who like it, fine. But please keep the old method for those of us who do not.

  3. ken
    May 6, 2010 at 8:41 am

    check out landstar broker load board.com its easy to use or get loaded .com to help make up mercer search board easy.

  4. Karen Hamilton
    May 6, 2010 at 10:04 am

    If you can get it to work on cell phones I think it will greatly improve our ability to find loads. Just one opinion.Keep up the good work!

  5. Wes & Cathy Loflin
    May 6, 2010 at 11:17 am

    We agree with Sandy, once we figured out how it worked it was great. Nice to be able to see all freight available that meets your preferences all on one page. All it needs is some fine tuning….you don’t shoot the horse just because it didn’t cross the finishline….keep up the good work!!! By the way, its common knowledge that truck drivers don’t like “change”!

  6. Wayne
    May 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Didn’t get a chance to try the new system. I looked at it with Firefox and was planning to use IE the next time I had time to experiment with it. Are you planning on making it compatible with Firefox if you implement it again? Just a personal preference.

    • Jason Schaftlein
      May 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Browser compatibility is one of the biggest reasons we took it down. I use Google Chrome, and it didn’t work for me. The compatibility issue was the worst for internet capable cell phones. The words that label the boxes were there, you just couldn’t see them. They were displaying the same color as the background. So it should be an easy fix, as long as we change the color.

      • Wayne
        May 7, 2010 at 7:31 am

        OK, looking forward to trying it.

  7. sam 10664
    May 6, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    hmmm. change. a truckers biggest fear? its all about productivity and effeciency. searches that are more refined are only as good as the one refining them. given time i think it will work fine. thanks jason

  8. david Akbari
    May 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I like the ides and changes and even launched IE last night to check it out. Of course it was switch back by then. Tease.

  9. Kim B
    May 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I’m in agreement with Nellie (as I stated in my earlier post). Only re-instate the radius search as another “OPTION”. Sometimes, we like to check different states just to see where freight is moving in and out of and this would be more labor intensive if done via a radius search….again just my 2cents worth.

  10. John Bewley
    May 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Since when do things work perfectly the absolute second they are released? They don’t. Software companies beta test programs for months before releasing them for sale. Our own guys are writing the code for these things, cut them some slack!!!! There’s no need for this knee jerk reaction and calling for people to be fired because it’s got a bug or two. Thanks for the effort you put in trying to make it easier to use Jason. I’m on an iPhone so I couldn’t see the labels. Thanks in advance for trying to ensure it is going to work on our smartphones.

  11. Dan Parks
    May 11, 2010 at 1:19 am

    I’m a little late on my reply…. An honestly, I don’t have the time to get on the internet daily. Now as for the new load search function, I never got a chance to see it or use it. I was busy that day at Mcquire AFB getting loaded & trucking freight down the road.

    But I don’t understand the need for a radius search. I may be a stupid truck driver, but if you & your coordinator communicate your preferences…. And have those preferences inputed in the computer…. Whether it be deadhead miles, tarp, securement, weight, whatever….. The current load board will already do a radius search for you. It is called the matched loads search. It will bring up every load available that your matched up to according to your preferences. I honestly don’t think it can get much easier then that. Hell, I barely ever search by state or agency unless I find a little extra time on my hands. And lately, that is something I don’t have.

    • Jason Schaftlein
      May 11, 2010 at 7:14 am

      The issue, Dan, is everyone will use the Contractor Web in a different way. I would say that the drivers that use the Contractor Web are split about 50/50, between the old search options, and the new one. I hope that we can have the best of both worlds, but either way…not everyone will be happy.

      Your right about the matched loads option will show the same radius search that your coordinator has set for your preferences. Coordinators may only set the radius out 150-200 miles though. Some contractors wish to look out a bit further than that. Instead of being on the phone for 30 minutes with their coordinator changing their preferences 50 times, the driver will be able to use the radius search how they choose at the click of a button.

  12. patrick wireman
    May 11, 2010 at 9:52 am

    i my self think its a great idea and am sooooo looking forward to it coming back. if ‘internet truckstop’ and ‘get loaded’ can do it, then i know the extremely smart and capable it guys at mercer can get it figured out. hopefully with the same ease of using the 2 previously mentioned loadboard sites

  13. chris burgess
    May 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I did’nt like the new system. It is not compatible with my phone the droid. I feel that with these new phones and their capabilities it has made the lap top computer obsolete. To design a new system and not take this into consideration is not very smart. The other thing I did’nt like about it was I could not just check a particular states freight. The first question I have for my coordinator when he offers me freight is how is the freight in the area it is going to. If I’m home and see a piece of freight that interests me, I instantly check the destinations freight to give me an idea what that area is doing. We know in this industry that your focus shoul always be on the next load.

    • Jason Schaftlein
      May 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      We will have both search options available when it is back up and running. You will be able to use a radius search, and a state search as well. Best of both worlds.

      As for not being very smart about developing a new system without checking the compatibility of different smart phones. To put it simple, every phone is different. We use Microsoft programs to run the Contractor Web, and every phone has different compatibility issues. Frankly, Apple doesn’t care if the Iphone works well with our Contractor Web. Same can be said for BlackBerry as well. They have never worked well with our CWEB. The Droid typically works well, and all we have to do is change the color of the text in the load search screen. Easy fix. All we can do is the best we can do. Hopefully we will be smarter this time around.

  14. Jane and Dan Danger
    May 11, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    We were all for the addition of additional search options. Glad to hear we may have the old with the new. There was nothing wrong with “quick, easy, simple-to-use” as with the old system; and there’s nothing wrong with added features for those who wish to ” fine tune, or get totally immersed” in their search for freight that will be available with the additions. We used all the old searches, including The Agent Search option, as well as the heading option to change the order of the lists by date, money, ect. The main thing in using the Cweb (or your coordinator) to find freight is all about quick response time, ’cause no matter what phone or laptop you have; and no matter what carrier you have; it all comes down to the availability of signal strength and how long you may or may not have that signal. There are far more “3 minute” zones & “1 bar zones” than there are 3G/4G zones. ..And when freight is more plentiful, like it is now, the Cweb can be a blessing to look at for yourself when in the zone, rather than trying to remember all that your coordinator just tried to tell you about on the phone. (right before you lost all your bars, lol.)

  15. patrick wireman
    May 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    well, i am extremely looking forward to the new search options!!!! i will be delivering in st louis, mo so why do i want to spend the EXTRA time to look thru mo loads and il loads with the map all up in my lap?? way to go mercer IT! hope its back up soon.

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