If you’re like most long haul drivers, spending upwards of 5 to 6 weeks on the road at a time, be sure to keep all your paperwork organized and up to date. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING more frustrating than finishing a 6 week run and then having to sit down and try to determine which fuel, toll, scale receipt, signed BOL (Bill Of Lading) and stamped customs clearance goes with which trip.

Try to get caught up with it all at the end of everyday.  For all toll and scale receipts, write your driver ID and trip number on them before submission.  Your payroll department will thank you in the event everything gets messed up. Take pictures of all the receipts, customs documents and signed BOLs as well, just in case something goes missing, and hang on to the copies at least until the expenses are settled. BOLs can get lost, and most shippers and receivers won’t pay up with out a signed BOL, or POD (Proof Of Delivery). There have been cases where hundreds of trip envelopes have gone missing, or worse, been lost due to fire.

Some companies have gone to using cell phone apps or onboard scanners to submit paperwork.  If available, use them as much as possible. If your company doesn’t use these methods, you can take a picture and export it to email as a PDF to submit. Either way, there is an electronic paper trail to follow if the worst does happen.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.