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What Is Uber Trucking? (9 Facts You Should Know)

In 2017 the company Uber launched a new service known as Uber Freight. Specifically, Uber Freight connects truck drivers seeking work to shippers with loads in need of drivers.

On the Uber Freight app, a shipper can easily upload their request for a driver, and the app will search for local drivers who meet these requirements.

Payments can be made and received on the app, and the services are streamlined for ease of access and management. 

Here’s a short summary of what is Uber Trucking:

Uber trucking can be associated with Uber Freight which operates in a similar manner as the original taxi service. Uber Freight is a third-party shipping company that brings available drivers for loads in need of delivery. The business model is similar to the original Uber app.

What is Uber Trucking and how does it Work?

Uber freight operates similarly to how its original business model worked: Connecting the driver to the need.

Where in the original model Uber connected car drivers to people seeking a ride, Uber freight connects truck drivers to shippers in need of drivers. 

It operates through the Uber Freight App or website (depending on your preference). The load details are input into the system which then seeks out local truck drivers who could meet the requirements. 

The truck driver has their own details as well, such as prices and such, and if it’s a good match, the trucker is connected to the load and sets about picking it up and delivering it.

This is but a brief overview of how this company operates, and we will delve more in-depth into the operations. 

Is there an App like Uber for Trucks?

Uber Freight does have its own separate app from the original Uber app used for taxing services.

The app consists of 5 distinct steps for setting up and creating your account for the truck driver. The setup is slightly different for the trucking company. 

Prior to downloading the app, you must be approved as a driver for freight. This consists of submitting required documents that verify your identity and your credentials. 

After you sign the required agreements to use the app and drive with the company, after which you may start setting up your account.

There are 5 steps to setting up your preferences, which consist mainly of establishing what kind of jobs you want and the distance you’ll travel. The app allows you to claim jobs, locate the loads, deliver, and collect payment all on the same system. 

Please watch the following video if you want a step-by-step guide on how to get:

Do you need your Own Truck for Uber Freight?

Uber does not provide vehicles for its drivers. The vehicles are provided by the driver themselves. Similarly, you are forbidden to rent or lease a truck when driving for Uber Freight.

Many of these rules stem from state regulations regarding CDL licenses and truck specifications. 

Uber Freight requires that all their drivers carry a valid DOT or MC number. The federal government identifies these numbers as indicating the right to operate in interstate commerce (or, to go across state borders for business purposes). 

If a driver does not possess this then the trucking company can authorize certain drivers for their loads if they have the freight app, but this takes some of the autonomy away from the driver which isn’t usually preferred. 

What about the truck requirements?

Actually, Uber Freights is relatively vague on its website with regards to what is expected in a truck. On their website, Uber states that there are 4 types of trucks ideal for operating with their company. 

These include flatbeds (48’-53’ loads available), reefers, Dry-loads, and power-only. The reasons for ambiguity are partially due to state and local regulations being the main indication of specifications regarding trucks and truck types.

You can read more about Uber’s requirements here.

What Kind of Truck do you need for Uber Freight?

The rules aren’t especially specific and tend to be based primarily upon the state and local laws that dictate what is required for shipping trucks.

Uber freight does require that they be a size of at least 48’-53’ for a flatbed truck. 

This is due to the sizes of the loads often requiring such a truck. Each business owner inputs their own requirements and preferences which are paired with the right driver upon a pickup request. 

Although there is the option for smaller trucks, similar to the box trucks used by more traditional shipping companies, these are less common requests. 

Due to the rates and fees of Uber, it isn’t as reasonable if you are only shipping small packages (unless you have a very large quantity). For these shipments, Uber freight isn’t the best option. 

Do you need to Hire your Own Drivers for Uber trucking?

You definitely do not need to hire your own drivers for Uber freight. In fact, in many ways, this service exists to help those who do not have or are short-staffed with regard to drivers. 

One can use the Uber freight app and service for their own business, and many find it beneficial and efficient. It is not required, however. 

In the Uber Freight Broker and Motor Carrier Agreement, there are directions about the obligation between the truck driver and the company which hired them, such as the agreement to deliver the load, and the obligation to pay the driver, etc. but there is no need to hire them permanently. 

Who are Uber Freight Customers?

Uber Freights boasts of some large corporations using their service, the most popular of which is Land O’ Lakes. Understanding what drew this giant to the tech-savvy truck industry is helpful in understanding what may draw others to the company. 

Land O’ Lakes states that one of the most appealing aspects of the company for shipping their products was the technological advancement of the company versus the very outdated systems used by most other companies. The pay system, tracking, and load post options are the main aspects that draw users to this platform.

One common struggle is the lack of the 3rd person. Most load agreements can take a while to complete and pay can be slow, however, this is due in part to all the intricacies involved.

Traditional trucking has a system (however outdated) which Uber Freight has yet to implement which can make bookkeeping more difficult. 

What Insurance do I need for Uber Freight?

The exact insurance provider and requirements will depend upon the State you’re incorporated in. Obviously, it must meet the requirements of these institutions.

That aside, Uber Freight requires each of its truck drivers to have at least $100,000,000.00 in cargo liability insurance as well as $1,000,000.00 in auto insurance. 

Uber Freight explains on their website that carriers are liable for damages and/or loss to loads while in their care. Uber Freight will act as a sort of mediator in such cases, however, this may help one understand why there’s so much required in insurance.  

How long does it take Uber Freight to Pay?

Uber Freight prides itself on the ability to get jobs done and drivers paid. The policy of the company is that payment is disbursed for drivers 7 days after the shipment has been submitted as delivered and proof given. 

Providing proof typically consists of uploading a photo of the unloaded load at the determined destination.

Uber stresses that it’s important you select “load complete” after you have completely unloaded the truck and can provide photos of the unloaded items and an empty truck. This must be uploaded right away and will be submitted to the shipper. 

Some drivers have reported issues with this system due to there being disputes about the delivery between the shipper and the carrier without receiving sufficient support from Uber.

This is why they recommend working efficiently and reporting everything accurately to ensure no delays in payments. 

What do the Reviews say about Uber Trucking?

The reviews of Uber Freight are fairly split. Many like the flexibility and being their own boss. The “all-in-one” nature of the app has made things much more simple for both shippers and carriers. 

However, many claim the service is not sufficient for managing the bookkeeping and tracking the interstate travel needed for reports.

The fees collected by Uber Freight discourage some drivers in areas where the loads pay less than in the city regions. 

 Is Uber Trucking worth it?

Uber Freight rates are best for when you are delivering in certain regions, especially nearer to cities. On average Uber Freight drivers make about $32,000.00 a year based upon reports from Indeed and Glassdoor. 

Per mile, most drivers make about $.20, however, this can depend upon the shipment and the agreed-upon rates. A shipper can opt to lock in the rate, and in such cases even if the market fluctuates, the shipper will not be charged anything more. 

All together this averages to about $15.00 an hour. Keep in mind you must also have your own insurance and manage your work on the app.

Of course, the freedom that is gained through the Uber Freight system is what attracts a lot of drivers looking for work, but it comes with its costs and it depends upon what you seek and your situation in life. 

For shippers, the app is a blessing for managing difficult tasks such as uploading loads and managing payments to drivers. It also allows them to get drivers much quicker than the standard method.

The rates can be a little more than average, but the convenience is a big plus.