Why the Documents Matter.
An owner operator truck driver has a number of responsibilities that they must bear in mind whenever they receive a job from a broker. A lot of these responsibilities revolve around the documents that must be filled out prior to beginning a job for broker. The documents that you will come across the majority of the time are the bill of lading, insurance form, broker agreement, and the load confirmation. These documents are all crucial to the process, and each one is important in its own way. Let’s try to break them down a bit further.
Bill of Lading
The bill of lading is actually so important, that we will be creating another, more in-depth article discussing it, but we will supply a more brief summary of what it is here. A bill of lading acts as numerous things. It’s a receipt and a contract for both the broker and the owner operator. The bill of lading goes over all of the details of the job and shows each and every item being hauled. This item ensures accountability for the owner operator and provides the broker with a sense of peace that the job they assigned will be completed. As I mentioned before, the bill of lading has a lot that goes into it that will be covered in a future article, so with its basic contents laid out, we can move on for now.
Next we have the insurance form.This form is essential to every job and for good reason. Depending on which insurance company you partner with, this form will look different in a couple of ways, but it always is essentially just to cover you in case something happens during a delivery. Not to mention, insurance is pretty much required in the United States, and is needed when you’re involved in the trucking industry. Most clients want to see that you have the proper levels of coverage before they start working with you. Having insurance for your trucking company can also cover you for other issues such as damage to your vehicles or the cargo they are transporting, and injury to your employees on the job. In general, the insurance form is just another formality that keeps you, your clients, and your client safe and happy.
Then there’s the broker agreement, which is also known as a shipping packet. The broker’s agreement is a document that allows the freight broker, or the person that arranged the deal between you and a client, to set the terms of the deal between all three parties. The appearance of the broker’s agreement will vary depending on the role of the broker in the deal, but if you were using a load board to find work then it is likely that the load board would have some sort of template that you would make use of. A broker agreement ensures that the broker gets paid for setting up a job, and in some cases lays out some more information about the job itself for the truck company and the people they are moving cargo for.
Finally, there’s the load confirmation. This form can come in a variety of ways. When moving construction equipment, it can be called a house scale ticket. The load confirmation sheet covers the more specific details of a hauling job. It will show you what the address of the load destination is, and when they are available to receive freight. It will also show you who will actually be receiving the cargo once you arrive at the location. Finally, it will show you the type of vehicle that will be used for the hauling, and the dimensions of the freight. This also comes with a description of what the freight actually is.
These documents are all necessary for a successful freight job and knowing your way around each one is something that will come with time. However, if you choose to ignore these documents you are sure to be met with a number of issues with the job. Our last article talked about the many responsibilities that come with being an owner operator truck driver and the paperwork mentioned here is something that every owner operator truck driver needs to do. The documentation may seem daunting at first, but after you’ve done it a number of times, it won’t be so hard anymore. With the help from this article, the documents listed here should seem less difficult for anyone who may be new to the hauling business world.