Every industry has its fair share of paperwork, but those in the trucking field will tell you it’s on a different level for them. Truck drivers and motor carriers have to keep records, but when you’re always on the go, it can be challenging to keep things organized.
With the right system, strategy and resources in place, you can keep your paperwork organized and ensure it’s working for you, not against you. Here’s some advice on how to keep track of your paperwork.
Why Organization Matters for Truckers
Most people in the industry love trucking because of the freedom and flexibility, but if you’ve been around long enough, you know it’s not that simple. Being successful in trucking requires some serious organizational skills. When you don’t keep track of the paperwork in the trucking industry, you’ll lose time and money, possibly in the form of:
- missing deadlines
- receiving delayed payments
- paying late fees
- losing time looking for a specific document
If you can identify with any of the above, we have some recommendations for you.
Top Tips for Truckers to Stay Organized
The nature of this industry means there will be mountains of paper, from receipts to load assignments to tax records to maintenance and service records, you’re going to have a lot of paper. How do you ensure your paperwork is in order? Here are the top five ways to help keep all of it in order.
- Schedule Organizational Days: Depending on your schedule, set aside a few hours each week to sort and organize your paper. Taking the time to regularly sort, organize, and label your documents and receipts will ensure you are on top of your tasks.
- Don’t Throw Anything Away: Well, only if the documents are under 10 years old. You never know when the government may want to see some of those files. But remember, just because we’re telling you to keep all of your documents doesn’t mean you can neglect tip number
- Scan Everything: Thanks to the technology of today you can record, organize, share, and more all from your phone. Check out different apps like CamScanner, Transflo, and Genius Scan that allow you to scan documents by taking a picture with your phone. Be sure to take a quality photo, and then you’re able to send via email, share through the Cloud, or print at any time.
- Create Trip Summaries: Much like a journal, keeping a notebook with a short summary of trips you make could be helpful in the future when organizing paperwork or for references. Write down details about when the trip started, ended, your trailer number, the miles traveled, and drops or pickups made. This method should be used as a backup; we recommend keeping all supporting documents (like receipts) in one place and having a digital copy.
- Go Digital: When you convert to a digital logbook, you also gain access to benefits like interactive maps and more, depending on the software you choose. This can also save you time and lower the risk of human error. And having an ELD is now required by law, so make sure to take full advantage of its capabilities.
Do you follow any of the above recommendations? Let us know! We hope that you find these tips helpful and will be able to implement them into your trucking operation.