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As a truck driver you have a lot of responsibilities, especially when it comes to hauling freight.

But before you allow any cargo to be put on your trailer, there are some basic questions to ask the broker or shipper.  

The fact is, once you accept a truck load, you become responsible for it — from pickup through delivery. Any trucker knows that a lot can happen from Point A to Point B. There is no guarantee that a load pickup and delivery will be perfectly smooth, no matter how experienced you are. But there are some basic questions to ask that can make for a better experience for you and your client.

What questions should I ask a broker before accepting a load?

Before getting into specifics about the load, you want to be sure you know all of the important details about the broker you’re working with. Because brokers rely on load boards, they are a great place to start your research.

If you subscribe to a load board, you can usually find answers to most of these questions. If not, even a quick Google search might give you some clues on a broker or shipper. Some basic questions to get started:

  • Do they have a good rating?
  • How long do they take to pay?
  • Do they pay accessorials? What about detention?
  • How long have they been operating?
  • How do they treat their other carriers?

What about for other brokers who may not have a detailed history? Go old school.

Do your research, ask around your network, and look online to make sure the broker you may potentially be working with is reputable and will honor the terms of the contract. Doing so could save you a lot of wasted time and stress.

How do I know if it’s the right load for me?

Even if you’re working with a good broker, you want to make sure that the truck load you’ll be carrying is the right fit for your business and equipment. Start with these basics:

  1. Where does the load begin and end?
  2. Does the rate meet your minimum rate per mile? If you’re not sure what your RPM is, check out one of our earlier blogs on the topic here.
  3. Do you have the right equipment for this load?
  4. Do you have the right insurance?

The more answers you have to these questions, the more it will help you through the entire process, from looking for loads through getting paid. If you’re looking for help searching for loads, you can sign up for the world’s largest FREE load board here.

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