A Trucker's Trip Envelope (How We Get Paid)

A Trucker’s Trip Envelope (How We Get Paid)

or “Paperwork We Send to the Company”

When you start driving for a new company, a payables clerk will hand you a big stack of trip envelopes and will carefully explain how to fill them out. It is important that you fill everything out—accurately, clearly, and completely. This is how the company bills the customer and how the company pays you. If you don’t send in this paperwork, you won’t get paid. Also, be nice to the payables clerk. She handles your money.

Don’t Procrastinate

Many drivers consider the paperwork to be a nuisance, something to be done “later,” or something to be ignored. This can only get you into trouble. Weeks later, pieces of paper will have “wandered off,” envelopes will be mixed up, and you will have forgotten which paperwork goes with which job.

Personally, I fill out the trip envelope as part of my pre-trip planning. I keep the shipping papers (and all the other bits of paper) inside this envelope. This keeps everything together and makes my life easier at the end of the run.

On the front of the envelope will be the trip information. On the back will be the expense report.

All Those Papers!

Put your truck number on every piece of paper in the envelope. That way, if the papers get separated on someone’s desk, they can get everything put back together again. (If your company uses driver numbers, put driver numbers on everything.) Don’t staple things together. Stapling is a serious annoyance for the clerk. It takes time for the clerk to un-staple things. (Of course, if they specifically tell you to staple things together, do so.)

Note: Some companies use a single sheet of paper, as a sort of combination work order/cover sheet—and have you staple everything to this cover sheet. But, the basic principles are the same.

And a Couple of Hints

  • Don’t hold on to the envelopes. Some drivers will accumulate a couple of week’s worth of trip envelopes so they can submit them all at once and get a big check right before vacation. This makes things difficult for everyone.

  • Record load information. I keep a little book with all my load information in it (job numbers, axle weight, route planning, paid miles, expenses, etc.). I make a checkmark on the page when I send in my trip envelope and make an “X” when I get paid. I have never had a company cheat me. I just like to keep track.

Keep Reading