Housekeeping in Hotshot Trucking…


A big part of any business is housekeeping; having a system in place to keep records necessary for the proper operation of the business.

I thought I would go through my paperwork housekeeping system just to give an example of how what seems like a whole lot of misery can be simplified, which makes it easy for me to stay in compliance with taxes, permits, and other assorted filings necessary in trucking.

Everyone I know in the business has some system in place to keep records straight.  This is not to say my way is the only or best way, it is simply what works for me.

Every time I book a load, I assign a special envelope to that load.  It takes me about half an hour every six months or so to print out and tape on labels for my envelopes, and saves me a lot of time and effort while I’m out there driving as it gives me a single repository for all of the paperwork and receipts associated with the load.

As I go along, I make notations on the envelope and all of my receipts go straight into the envelope as well.  Unless I lose the entire envelope, (and haven’t ever lost one yet, knock on wood) I know where everything is that I’ll need come tax time.  I keep the envelope in my log book so it’s always handy while I’m working.

A typical trip envelope will contain all of my copies of paperwork, BOL, PO’s, fuel, lodging, and any other receipts, the trip invoice, and anything else collected along the way. I also put my file copies of daily driver logs and DDVIRs for each trip in the proper envelope.  Just to keep things simple, if I have any day off logs, they go in the envelope for the trip just following those days off.  This way I have everything in chronological order and know where it all is. Once the trip is over, the only paper that will go into that envelope is the check stub when the load is paid.

When I get back home, I tally up all of the mileage, fuel, etc. needed to complete my quarterly IFTA report, then I file the whole envelope.  My filing cabinet has a folder for every month of the year, and the unpaid loads are filed standing upright.  When I receive payment for that load, I note that on the envelope also, and the check stub goes into the envelope with the rest of the paperwork.  Then it gets re-filed laying sideways.

With a quick look I can see what loads haven’t been paid, and can do follow-up to remind my customers that their payment is due on that particular load.

Come IFTA filing time, I can just look at the front of that quarter’s envelopes and have all of the information handy that is needed to complete my return.

I use inexpensive 6″ x 9″ envelopes, print this out, and tape it to the front:

Trip Envelope  

Truck/Trailer #:  _____/_____

Mileage: Trip Starting _________   Trip Ending _________  

Shipper & PO or Load #____________________________________          My BOL # ______________________________________________     From / To ______________________________________________

Load Rate / Invoiced ______________________________________ 

Date Payment Received / Amount _____________________________

Date      State    Highways         Begin Odometer     End Odometer  Miles in State

______________________________________________________________           ______________________________________________________________     ______________________________________________________________            ______________________________________________________________ 

IFTA Breakdown:  List State & Total Miles in State

 ____ /________ ____ /________ ____ /________ _____/ ________

Fuel:

Date  Invoice No.  Purchased From City & State Gallons  Cost Per Gal  Total

____________________________________________________________________           ____________________________________________________________________     ____________________________________________________________________            ____________________________________________________________________ 

Other Expenses:

Lodging, Fluids, Etc., Other, Misc.

______________________________________________________________           ______________________________________________________________     ______________________________________________________________            ______________________________________________________________ 

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