Are you in the trucking industry and you are wondering why some trucking companies are no touch freight? If YES, then here is the reason. Being a professional truck driver means serious business. But, what a lot of people don’t realize is that many options come with the profession.
What kinds of products do you want to haul? What types of trailers do you own? How do you want your schedule to look? Are you more interested in over-the-road (OTR) trucking, local driving, or something more in the middle, like being a regional driver? Do you want to touch freight or not?
No-touch freight has been around the industry for quite some time, but there are still questions on exactly what no-touch freight is. In most cases no-touch freight means just that, the driver doesn’t touch the freight in any way. They pull in and someone else will load and unload the truck. Some companies will state that 99% of their freight is no-touch.
However, even in a no-touch freight situation, there might be some cases where a driver will have to rearrange freight to make sure the weight requirements are correct and he can move the load through multiple states if needed. As a no-touch driver, you will spend all your time behind the wheel, taking products to company terminals, or delivering loads to customers that don’t require you to unload the trailer.
Note that even though you don’t have to touch any product, you will still have to bump docks and pick up loads from suppliers (but don’t worry, you get paid for it—and you still don’t have to touch the freight). You can be a no-touch driver and still get the benefits of other schedule options.
Benefits of No Touch Freight to Truck Companies and Drivers
No-touch freight is exactly what it sounds like. You don’t have to touch the freight that you are hauling. Whether you’re picking it up or delivering it, it is loaded and unloaded for you. This is great for truck companies and also drivers for a few reasons.
No-touch freight saves drivers a lot of time
By letting the shipper or receiver load and unload the freight, the driver now has a chance to rest. However, depending on the shipper or receiver, it could take anywhere from a half hour to a few hours to unload or load the truck. Within this period, some drivers take small naps to catch up on rest, some check-in with their dispatcher to find out information on their next load and some take the opportunity to call the wife and kids.
No-touch freight prevents injury
Drivers are quite open to different types of injuries from just driving the truck itself. Injuries can occur from accidents, slipping or falling, stress and strain on the muscles from sitting for long periods of time and various other concerns with this type of work. A good number of persons won’t want to have to unload or load freight after driving for eight to ten hours a day. When drivers are fatigued, there is a lot of room for error.
Less Liability for You
Operating a truck on the road is enough liability for any driver. Handling the freight on a loading dock adds a whole level of liability on top of that. With elevated platforms, heavy cargo, and machinery like forklifts and dock ramps, a lot can go wrong.
Since truck drivers are usually not certified forklift drivers, this places the liability on the shipper or receiver in case of any damages to the trailer or freight. Preventing these potential injuries and errors saves a lot of time, paperwork and money for the carrier, shipper and receiver. This also helps to prevent lawsuits between companies trying to figure out who is liable for the damages or hurt employees.
As a truck driver, your job is to get your freight from point A to point B as quickly (and safely) as possible. But some companies like to try and add responsibilities to that. For example, loading and unloading your freight from your truck. If that isn’t something you want to be responsible for, you’ll want to make sure that “no-touch freight” is listed in your contract.