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Home » Deal Dive: Iron Sheepdog is improving short-haul transportation from the ground up.

Deal Dive: Iron Sheepdog is improving short-haul transportation from the ground up.

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Will Lawrence, Iron Sheepdog’s co-founder and CTO, believes that constructing something seemingly easy may be quite difficult. Iron Sheepdog aims to provide user-friendly technologies for the short-haul trucking business. That strategy is also why the business believes it has seen a degree of acceptance in the sector that its competitors have not.

iron sheepdog

The Williamsburg, Virginia-based company’s software aims to make the short-haul trucking industry, which mostly includes outsourcing short-haul tasks to truckers booked through brokers, more simple and efficient. Iron Sheepdog allows businesses to track their hired vehicles, providing greater transparency into where trucks are, how long a work takes, and how much to pay. The drivers themselves receive an easy-to-use program that allows them to accept jobs and be paid online.

Iron Sheepdog announced this week a $10 million Series B funding round headed by SJF Ventures, with participation from Grand Ventures, Supply Chain Ventures, and strategic partners. Iron Sheepdog’s co-founder and CEO, Mike Van Sickel, told shuttech that the firm spent the first several years ensuring client uptake and profitability. Now it’s aiming to expand.

iron sheepdog

caption : iron sheepdog

Once you get on these trucks you can start to find ways to better utilize those trucks.

Van Sickel

“Trust is the most important feature; we have to get the subhauler to actually use the app,” Van Sickel told me. “All the solutions out there that contractors force [subhaulers] to use, if they aren’t willing to embrace it, you are creating more problems.”

Van Sickel explained that the three co-founders’ personal experiences inspired the idea for Iron Sheepdog. None of them worked as short-term truck drivers, but rather for firms that employed them. Van Sickel stated that, while software solutions existed for every other aspect of their business, there was no outstanding option for employing short-haul truckers. The current procedure annoyed both parties.

iron sheepdog

While not the first firm to try to develop software to handle these short-haul truckers, Iron Sheepdog has seen its annual growth double since its inception. That’s because it tackled construction differently than its rivals. Instead than relying on contractors to increase adoption, they began with the short-haul truck drivers themselves.

“We chose to look at the problem from the bottom up instead of the top down,” Van Sickel told reporters. “We created a basic app for the subhauler and related it to 24-hour pay. “I call it simple; it was purposefully simple so that they would adopt it.”

Getting truckers to join up for the free software encourages the brokers who source their gigs to sign up, and the process continues up the chain. Contractors want to join up as well, knowing that the app provides access to a network of over 4,000 short-haul truck drivers. The firm gets money when these contractors pay the underlying drivers via the platform.

Van Sickel stated that now that they have a large number of brokers and truckers on the platform, businesses may begin to better use them. For example, a corporation may rent a vehicle to execute two projects on the same day or deliver supplies to two locations, decreasing the number of trucks required. This might also assist reduce pollution.


Iron Sheepdog is building the nation’s largest broker network utilizing our fully integrated dispatch and fleet management solution. Our software creates reliability, efficiency, and transparency in dump truck hauling. The platform provides brokers with complete dispatch, 24-hour subhauler payment, digital ticketing, and invoicing services. The same technology provides contractors and materials companies with tools to track, cost code, and manage tracking in real-time.

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