While one of the most lucrative businesses, the heavy haul industry is one of the more dangerous to enter. Truck drivers risk accidents, injuries related to mechanical breakdowns, illness, and other potential setbacks every day. Disturbingly, many heavy haul carriers enter the heavy haul field without knowing the basics of insurance. Let’s cover those basics and show you how to protect yourself.
What Kind of Insurance Do I Need?
Most carriers need more than one type of insurance, but many want heavier coverage depending on the type of vehicle they drive and freight they deliver. For any given job, you could need primary liability commercial insurance, motor cargo insurance, or physical damage insurance. While you should not skimp on any of these, you should examine the ones most beneficial to you. For example, operators that work in high-traffic, urban areas might need more liability insurance than those who focus on rural routes.
Read Insurance Policies
If you work for a large trucking company, ask to see insurance policies before going into the field. Knowing what your company covers will give you an idea of areas where you need more thorough protection. If you or your business owns a private fleet, examine all insurance options.
Choose the company that will best cover your most pressing needs. If you regularly ship fragile items, be sure your motor cargo insurance is more than adequate. Additionally, stay up to date with your insurance company. If a policy changes or becomes defunct, be the first to know. If this happens, immediately contact your company for recommendations on how to proceed.
Protecting Yourself, Your Vehicle, and Others
Do not take unnecessary risks just because your company has a good policy. Be aware of all possible dangers, as well as which ones may cause the most vulnerability. A few key ways to protect yourself include –
- Updated licensing. Be sure all your heavy haul drivers have current commercial driving licenses (CDLs). Confirm the commitment of those with commercial learning permits (CLPs), and make sure they’re prepared to pass the skills test.
- Medical clearance. All drivers should have current DOT physicals and, if required, carry DOT clearance cards. Keep abreast of all drivers’ medications and health needs.
- Federal assistance. Your drivers should carry interstate authority CDLs, which allow them to carry inventory across state lines. This allows trucking companies in different states to ensure efficient delivery