Common Documents Needed to Move Freight for a Broker

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Common Documents Needed to Move Freight for a Broker

freight brokering

August 17, 2021

Freight Brokering

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.

Insurance Form

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.

Broker Agreement

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.


Load Confirmation

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.


An end dumps carry weight depends heavily on the specific road regulations, the power unit weight, and the composition of the trailer. A steel trailer, typically referred to as a Round Bottom, will be heavier and will have a payload of approximately 21 to 23 tons. By contrast, an aluminum end dump is much lighter and can carry anywhere from 23-28 tons, with some set-ups being able to approach 30-ton payloads. 

End dumps are typically loaded by heavy machinery, such as a front-end loader or excavator, or by a series of conveyor belts. End dumps are top load trailers. An owner-operator with an end dump trailer will uncover the trailer via an electric tarp switch in the cab. With the trailer uncovered, the heavy machinery is free to load from the top of the trailer, being careful to evenly distribute the material. Once loaded, the owner-operator flips the tarp switch, covers the load, and continues their run.  

There are several different types of hydraulic lifts that are usually part of dump trailers. These include telescopic, dual-piston, and scissor lifts, among others. Most dump trailers use hydraulics to automatically lift the dump box and unload the materials in a quick, seamless action.

An end dump is an excellent investment for owner operators or construction companies that transport bulk aggregate on a frequent basis. Depending on your needs, a steel or aluminum end dump will ensure that you are able to reliable keep your customers jobsites and stockpiles full. 

Depending on market timing, a typical aluminum end dump will range between $15,000 to $70,000+, with steel round bottoms priced around $10,000-$50,000+. These trailers are also offered for rent or lease, with trailers available for around $850-$2,000 per month. When renting or leasing, it is typical for all repairs to be the responsibility of the renting owner operator. 


Flex base can be an excellent choice for a driveway but is not often used as a primary input in TXDOT construction. Flex base is best suited for farm roads, driveways, RV pads, and for other foundations that will not receive heavy traffic. Flex base is cheaper than most alternative options, such as asphalt or base that meets TXDOT specifications. Additionally, once set and compacted, a flex base road or driveway is cheaper and easier to maintain.

Yes, road base and flex base are the same material family. That said, the differentiating factor is typically the testing results of each material. When shopping for material, it is important to identify exactly what type of material you are buying. Retailers will categorize Base as a broad category and can leave identification to consumers, which is challenging and confusing. In general, if a retailer is selling a Road Base it can be assumed that the material is of higher construction quality than flex base, meaning it will have a wider range of approved uses. However, some vendors will sell Flex Base as a Road Base; this makes it important to understand if the material you are purchasing is a true Flex Base, is ‘Spec 247’, or is TXDOT approved. With each increase in quality comes an increase in cost, so it is important to identify which material will best suit the needs of your project.

Flex Base is a mixture of loose aggregate and coarse aggregate, can be a wide range of color based on source location, and is composed of materials ranging from dirt to rock that are 1”-3” in size. Most Flex Base, particularly around Central Texas, will range from tan to brown, will consist of a dirt material and rocks that range from 1” to 2” in diameter. There are specialty materials that will include rocks up to 3” in size, but these are typically reserved for heavy construction projects.

Any driveway’s depth should be at least 5” to ensure structural integrity and better load capacity. For road base in particular, experts recommend a thickness of 6-8”.

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