September 23, 2021
It may seem like we produce tons of content about paperwork, and this is true. We’ve covered the various pieces of paperwork that go into trucking across many blogs. Everything from the Bill of Lading to Load Confirmations has been covered at one point or another. We wouldn’t discussit so often if it wasn’t important, and this blog is no exception. Whether you’re an owner operator truck driver, or a driver working for a hauling company, knowing the basics of the paperwork involved in your job is important. This time we’re going to get into the broker-carrier agreement and discuss everything you need to know to properly fill one out.
A broker carrier agreement is another document that you will see on every job. It’s the document that outlines most of the monetary aspects of the job. A typical broker-carrier agreement will include both the broker and the carrier’s personal and contact information, the date that the two parties came to an agreement, the days when the carrier will be paid, the requirements for invoicing, and the liability and insurance that the carrier will need to have and be aware of before beginning the job. Some of these aspects are quite simple, such as the broker and carrier’s name and information, to come by. Obviously,the date that the two parties came to an agreement is another piece of information that is easy to acquire, along with the days that the carrier will be paid. However, some of the other aspects of the document are a little more complicated.
The liability and coverage that a carrier will need as per the agreement will vary with every job. There are some basic levels of insurance that every carrier, or carrier company should already have, but some jobs may highlight more liabilities that the carrier will need to be aware of, and some other types of insurance that they might not already have, depending on the job. The carrier will basically always be responsible for any damage that occurs to the cargo being transported, along with any damage sustained to the truck that is carrying the freight, and the driver whois in control of the truck. These are more or less the basics of what a carrier company needs to have insurance, and coverage for going into a job, and brokers will check to ensure that all of these policies are in order. With the basic information needed for a broker-carrier agreement covered, let’s talk about how you negotiate with a broker.
Finding a broker is the easy part of this whole operation. You can go on a load board at any time and find a number of brokers that are looking for carriers to complete hauling requests, but after you get in contact with a broker, how do you come to a payment number that satisfies both of you? You’re going to have to negotiate with the broker to some extent. Some brokers will be more open to negotiation to others, but if you take a job that you feel as though should have a higher rate, then don’t be afraid to try and barter with the broker.
The broker-carrier agreement may just seem another piece of annoying paperwork, but the truth of the matter is,this should be the one that you look at with the most caution. This document not only outlines how much a carrier will be paid for a job, but it also covers all of the insurance information that is essential for the job. This ensures that if something happens on the job, then everyone will be covered properly.The broker-carrier agreement is attached to every job for a reason. Make use of it and fill it out properly.
As I mentioned before, the basic framework of a typical broker-carrier agreement is made up of the broker and the carrier’s names and information, details about payment, and the insurance and liabilities that the owner-operator needs to have and be aware of going into the job. The only thing to be aware of at this point is to know where you stand insurance wise, and to ensure that you are filling out every form that comes your way with accuracy. The last thing you want is to end up in a lawsuit because of a mistake on a form. When filling out a form, keep this information in mind, and you’ll be just fine.
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”.
Twisted Nail is here to help. If you need something hauled in central Texas, we can get your job done, safely, timely, and reliably.