Trucking Contract Template

All states | 18 types
Trucking Contract Page 1
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Updated May 14, 2024
~ 7 pages
A truck driver contract template helps define the scope of their business relationship and payment terms. This agreement will make all signers aware of the trucking services' expectations. Get a sample from Lawrina Templates, fill out necessary fields, and download the prepared document in PDF. Customize this transportation contract template whenever you need it.
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Template Description

Paper titled "Trucking Contract" and tractor with boxes

Whether you own a company and want to hire a trucker to provide transportation services or you are an independent trucker looking to contract for your transportation services, you need a trucking contract. It is essential that you use a comprehensive agreement to define the scope and terms of your transportation project. You can download a professionally created truck driver employment agreement in pdf to tailor it according to your unique needs.


Contracts for trucks are crucial documents in the industry of transportation and shipment because it secures the safe transit of high value goods. Therefore, you should always include in the trucking contract that the carrier is liable for the safety of the transported goods at all stages of transportation.

Parties of the Trucking Contract

There are generally two parties involved in a truck driver employment agreement:

  • The Client, who agrees to pay specific compensation to the transporter in exchange for their services. 
  • The Transporter –– the trucker who will provide transportation services and sample trucking invoices in exchange for the defined compensation. 

Key Terms

The transportation industry uses certain unique terms and phrases. Some of the most common key terms of CDL driver contracts include:

  • Transport contract –– also known as the trucking contract, truck driver employment contract, transportation agreement sample letter, and other contract carrier examples.
  • Consequential damages –– most trucking contracts include a waiver for consequential damages that may include the damages of the truck or goods in it.
  • Limited liability clause –– an important clause in the truc driver employment contract template contract that states the maximum liability the trucker can be responsible for in a damages claim.
  • Standard of care –– carriers should define their standard of care as a high quality; however, they should not guarantee a perfect standard of care in the contract.
  • Authorized carrier –– a trucking carrier that is pre-approved to provide services for a client.
  • Bill of lading –– a document that includes information about the goods being transported, such as the type of commodity, the delivery date, and weight.
  • Bulk carrier –– a carrier that hauls unpackaged goods such as gravel or gasoline.
  • Cargo –– another term for the commodity being transported.
  • Certificate of insurance –– issued by an insurance company to certify that the trucking company is insured.
  • Freight –– another term used to describe the goods being transported.
  • Hazmat –– materials that are controlled and may only be transported by a carrier with a special hazmat endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL). 

Insurance is also a key issue while transporting the goods and shipments. Thus, the insurance of the vehicles used for transport shall be the responsibility of the carrier, while the transported goods may be insured by the shipper against unforeseen circumstances, which is especially recommended for the goods of high value. 

Types of Trucking Contracts

As well as disclosing rates and responsibilities between trucking brokers and carriers, truck owner operator contract samples also define liability. The broker may be required to juggle a variety of contract types, depending on the type of agreement and the nature of the business.

Broker carrier agreements

These agreements are signed after a trucking rate is agreed upon in a simple rate confirmation sheet. They include a variety of information, such as agreement date(s), pay dates, invoicing procedure, and liability or insurance information.

Load tenders

In tenders, freight and measurements are described, as well as contact information for the client receiving trucking services.

Rate confirmations

A brokerage rate agreement is a form of contract that binds all parties to the agreed-upon brokerage rate for freight. These agreements are typically filed and applied to ongoing freight deals.

Accessorial contracts

Accessorial costs are acknowledged in these contracts, which outline handling fees, detention and wait time fees, refueling costs, and other unexpected charges that may occur.

Bill of Lading (BOL)

Once signed and filed, a BOL becomes a legally binding document that signifies the delivery of freight services.

Having the ability to categorize, confirm, and recall these trucking contracts for sale is of vital importance to both trucking brokers and carriers.

What To Include in a Truck Driver Contract Agreement?

truck, boxes, and a woman

Your company wants to ensure that independent truck drivers follow its rules and regulations. To help encourage this, you can use a truck owner operator contract template and fill out the details of the job and requirements. Your company will know exactly what to expect, and your drivers will know exactly what to do and how to get a trucking contract. Here are some of the most important clauses to include when writing a contract template.

Services Performed

To ensure everyone is on the same page, it is important to specify what services the driver is performing.


If you deal with transportation of special goods, for instance, hazardous substances, explosives, and other chemicals which need a special license, you should check that the carrier has this license and it should be clearly stated in the contract and a trucking company description example.  


Make sure you understand what expenses the company pays and what expenses the driver pays.


It is important that drivers know whether they are driving their own trucks and the company’s ones. 

Independent Contractor Status

The fact that the drivers aren't employees is important to clarify. If they do not understand their status, they may be confused about their rights and responsibilities.

Dispute Resolution

Disagreements arise from time to time, but the main issue is how they're handled, not that they occur.

With a trucking owner operator contract agreement sample, you need to be sure that it contains everything necessary to protect your business. Then you can focus on its growth and development.


An indemnification clause should be included in your contract which serves to indemnify the shipper against all losses that arise due to the negligence or misconduct of the carrier or its employees when transporting goods. For instance, if an accident takes place while the driver is under the influence of alcohol or driving recklessly, the losses for the damaged goods should be indemnified by the carrier.

How To Write a Trucking Contract

Whether you are the client or the transporter, you can easily create a professional truck owner operator contract sample. Download the printable PDF trucking contract and negotiate the terms of the agreement with the other party. Once you have purchased the blank form template, take the following steps to customize your trucking contracts for trucking opportunities:

  1. Ensure that everyone is clear about the details of the transaction by reviewing any notes in a blank rate confirmation template made during discussions with the other parties.

  2. Draft the contract based on the truck driver schedule template and any trucking contracts available. Include the names of all parties in the introductory paragraph, along with their contact information. Be sure to include the date the contract begins and when it expires.

  3. Add a detailed list of key terms and definitions throughout the trucking contract to clarify vague terms. For example, the contract writer may refer to the goods or services offered through the contract as "Deliverables" for simplicity. It is, however, essential to define the exact goods and services that comprise the "Deliverables" from the outset.

  4. Begin by defining the deliverables involved in the business transaction, then discuss each party's role and responsibilities. This includes any goods or services the seller will be required to provide and any payments the buyer will be required to make. In order to avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation, keep the language simple, succinct, and easy to understand. However, make sure you include as much detail as you can.

  5. Provide a detailed description of the payment terms, including when and how payments are due, as well as a schedule detailing all sale deadlines. It is also a good place to note any performance incentives or deductions for late submissions.

  6. In this section, you should include the protective terms of the agreement, including what happens if any party breaches it. You can also include liability, confidentiality, dispute resolution, termination, or ownership statements.

  7. Ensure that all parties understand the details of the contract and any obligations and expectations. Continue to revise the trucking contract as many times as necessary to reach an agreement.

  8. In order for a contract to be legally binding, it must be signed and dated by an authorized representative of each of the parties.

If you want your contract to stand up among other potential parties, make sure you know how to find contracts for trucking and include all the details on your trucking contract, then get it in writing. Be sure to use simple language and clear terms when learning how to write one. It is important to follow the steps mentioned in this article and provide as much detail as possible in order to ensure the contract holds up in court if any party breaches it.

When using a truck driver contract template, there are some important considerations that can help you be more successful. The following are some of these considerations:

  • Make sure you and the driver understand all the details of the services purchase contract.
  • You can use a truck driver contract template that contains the necessary clauses and information.
  • Utilize independent contractors and carrier agreement templates to keep costs down.

You can save your company money by using a trucking contract while still providing your clients with the help and support they need.

When To Use a Hauling Contract Agreement?

You may choose to make a trucking contract regardless of the type of work you will perform as a commercial trucker, as it yields the following benefits:

  • Agreement on contract length;

  • Client and truck driver understand their roles;

  • Billing dates are agreed upon.

In the end, if you and the client decide not to sign a trucking agreement, you might not receive the same protections.

Common Use Cases

You can use a trucking contract in the following cases:

  • You are the owner-operator of a truck providing service to a trucking company as an independent contractor.
  • You are a trucker contracting with a company to provide transportation services.
  • You are a company that wants to hire an independent trucker to transport goods.

When Not To Use the Trucking Contract

If you have any questions about the trucking contract, be sure to contact an attorney experienced in the trucking industry to advise you before entering into a contract. However, any time services are being provided by a transporter for a client, a trucking contract is essential. Both parties are protected by a professionally created trucking contract. 

State Law

Because federal law governs the U.S. transportation industry, state laws incorporate and defer to those federal laws:

  • US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 “Transportation” 
  • Transportation Conformity Regulations –– This document reflects all transportation conformity rulemakings promulgated by EPA as of April 13, 2012, including the Restructuring Amendments final rule and the MOVES Regional Grace Period Extension final rule.
  • Clean Air Act, Conformity Section –– This link includes Clean Air Act Section 176(c) as amended by the 2005 transportation act known as “SAFETEA-LU".

Frequently Asked Questions

How much would I usually need to pay to get a hauling contract template from a lawyer?

Depending on how complex your case is, hiring a traditional lawyer can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. With Lawrina, you can customize each truck driver contract agreement sample that you create. Once the document has been generated, you should always consider having it reviewed by an attorney.

Consult with an attorney if you have any specific questions or concerns about how to proceed. You can also browse our collection of legal documents for contractors and service providers.

How to get a trucking contract?

One of the greatest challenges for new owner-operators and small fleet owners is finding loads and long-term trucking company contracts. Here are some steps to kickstart:

  1. Search the internet for load boards to get started
  2. Define your ideal shipper and approach them for work
  3. Approach the government for contracts
  4. Call up prospective clients. Be sure to let them know about:
    1. Your equipment
    2. The lanes you drive
    3. Your availability
  5. Look for reliable trucking brokers
  6. Use trucking factoring to improve your cash flow by advancing funds against your slow-paying invoices
How do trucking contracts work?

Shipping is probably a major part of your business. However, even if you're just starting out, you may still need a few truck drivers. It's important to hire good drivers, but it's even more important to have the right contract with them. This is where a truck driver contract template can be useful.

You can keep your employee costs down as well as get your goods shipped efficiently if you hire truck drivers as independent contractors by using the printable truck driver contract agreement template as is, or customizing it for your needs.