How to Manage Paperwork as an Owner Operator

Paperwork is necessary for any owner-operator trucking company. For many entrepreneurs who are also the drivers of their own business, it can be difficult to manage paperwork. You’ve got to keep your truck DEA and DOT compliant, stay on top of maintaining the vehicle, and comply with all state and federal regulations. This can take a significant amount of time that could have been spent on other things.
Don’t let paperwork get in the way of your success. Here are some tips for how to keep paperwork from becoming a burden on your bottom line.

Adopt a system for managing paperwork

Quite often, we’ll find ourselves with stacks and stacks of paper that need to be organized and filed. It’s important for you to adopt a system for filing your paperwork so that it is accessible when you need it.
Adopting a system will make it easier to find the information you need in a timely manner. You’ll only spend the time looking for things once instead of spending time each day looking through piles of papers. There are many different systems for organizing your paperwork, from simple folders to more complex systems like filing cabinets or binders. You can start with a basic system and then build on it as you need more storage space. Whatever system you choose, make sure it’s something that is easy enough for you to maintain on a daily basis.

Use technology to help you

These days, technology is a viable option for many business owners to help manage their paperwork. You can use a variety of apps and programs that offer assistance with things like truck maintenance scheduling and tracking, logbook compliance, and driver safety. Traditional forms of paperwork can be digitized as well. For example, you might be able to file your DOT logs on the computer or on an app. This will help you avoid missing any deadlines or keeping track of where your paper copies are.

Make sure your employees are trained

Driving a truck for your company is a big responsibility. And when you’re also the owner of the business, it can be easy to put off important paperwork, such as training for your employees.
It’s critical that all employees know how to operate the truck and maintain it in accordance with DOT and DEA regulations, but it can be tough when you’re also responsible for managing paperwork and other tasks related to running the business.
Make sure your employees are trained and understand their responsibilities and what they need to do if something goes wrong. This will help you save time from having to train new employees on how to be on top of maintenance while still keeping all the paperwork up-to-date.

Keep paper on hand

One of the best ways to manage paperwork is to have it on hand. It’s not always easy to find a printer when you need one. But by keeping printer paper and toner with you, you can print out anything at any time.

Create a checklist for the truck

A checklist is a great way to keep track of your truck’s paperwork. You can use it to compare the truck’s current status against what’s required for DOT and DEA compliance.
Many truckers like using a checklist because they’re able to conduct their inspections without having to remember everything that needs to be done. With a list in front of them, they’ll know if they need to do something or not. That way, you don’t forget anything!
You should also create another checklist for the driver. This will help you stay on top of your records and make sure you don’t forget any important things like filling out logs or getting rest breaks.

Paperwork is a tedious and time-consuming process that can become a major annoyance for owner operators. Your best bet is to adopt a system, use technology to help, and train your employees so they can handle the day-to-day load.
There are a lot of ways to cut back on paperwork, but it’s important to have a system in place. Whether you choose to use a paper-based system or a digital system, it’s important to have a system that works for you.

In addition to adopting a system, consider using technology to help you stay organized, such as using apps on your phone or tablet to help you record your mileage, ensure you have the appropriate licenses for your truck, and more. Along with adopting a system and using technology, make sure your staff is trained in the paperwork process so they can take care of the day-to-day load. It may be worth it to train all your employees in this process so they can be prepared for the eventuality of you not being around.