September 23, 2021
Insurance. It has a place in every part of your life. Whether it’s for your car, your house, or even for your life itself, if you live in the United States, you will have many different kinds of insurance. If you’re an owner operator truck driver, you need special types of insurance if you plan on moving freight for a broker. Just to be in business, you’ll need some types of liability insurance. Most packages will come with bodily injury liability, and property damage liability. You’ll also need physical damage coverage; in case yourtrucks end up damaged in the field. You’ll need motor truck cargo coverage as well. This will ensure that should any goods you’re carrying on a job end up damaged, you’ll end up covered. Finally, you’ll need motor truck general liability insurance. This will cover you for any damage you may cause outside of trucking, but that are still related to the business in some way. Now that we have the basic types of coverage out of the way, we can talk about why all of this insurance is necessary.
Moving freight for a broker, or for any client, can be a dangerous job, and it comes with a lot of risk, not only for the truck driver, but for the client. If something happens to the truck,the driver, or the cargo, you’re going to want to make sure that everyone is being fairly compensated. Without insurance, a broker could hold you liable,but it’s unlikely that a broker would ever even take you on to a job without proper insurance being in place to begin with. You need coverage for at least what was mentioned above before you start working for any legitimate clients, otherwise you will have a really tough time finding any work, and even if you do find work, you’ll be left to deal with anything unexpected that might happen on your own.
The cost of acquiring coverage for all of these instances varies greatly from company to company. Most often, an owner operator truck driver could end up paying anywhere between $8,000 and $14,000 dollars, but these numbers are really just some of what you may end up with for your own business. Insurance companies can be sneaky, a small number being offered upfront may end up becoming much larger later. Not every company is trying to act in your best interests, and they may try to con you into paying more for services you don’t need, or into paying more for services you do need. Just be careful when actually signing off on any deals,you wouldn’t want to end up trapped with an insurance company that isn’t looking out for you in the right way. Also, check out the specialties of each insurance company you consider. Some of them may be better suited for those that haul certain goods like trucking construction material, or they may be better for companies that are focused on long distance hauling, or for any other trucking service. It’s good to know what the company has experience in working with, and the prices of their insurance policies will reflect these specialties, which could them make more expensive for reasons that don’t pertain to you.
Yes! Every broker you work with will ensure that your insurance is up to date and will follow up with you if you’re missing a type of coverage they require. Sometimes certain brokers will require coverage that others don’t, again depending on what the job is. You wouldn’t want to get caught by a client that you tried sending an outdated certificate to. You’re better off just getting the coverage that you need. It’s in place to ensure that every party is fairly compensated in the event of an incident, and it protects you and your company as well.
If you’re going to take anything away from this article, it should be that you should never try to go cheap on insurance. You should certainly shop around and look for a good deal, but don’t try and just find the cheapest deal possible. Insurance in the trucking world has a place in every deal, and you don’t want to get caught without coverage in the event that something does happen. Owning your own trucking business can be incredibly freeing and worthwhile, but being the boss comes with additional responsibilities. Making sure that you, your trucks, and your employees are properly covered is a good way to make sure you stay in business.
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.