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Feb 28, 2024

Legal Things to Include Within a Truck Driver’s Contract

Legal Things to Include Within a Truck Driver’s Contract

Truck drivers play an important role in making sure there is a smooth flow of products and goods that move across the country. As such, truck drivers and the companies they work for should both have a clear understanding of what makes a contract enforceable. When drafting a truck driver’s contract, there are legal and other aspects that both parties should be aware of.

What to Think About When Making a Truck Driver’s Contract

Both parties should thoroughly understand their responsibilities and expectations. What are the delivery schedules and routes, and what additional duties should the driver be aware of? Understanding the compensation package is crucial for the driver and their trucking company. What is the hourly wage or commission structure? Are there mileage rates to apply? Is there a bonus package? A clear understanding can help prevent future problems.

There are labor laws that address working hours and break times. To comply with labor laws, a driver’s contract must state the maximum hours for driving without a break. The contract should also include mandatory rest periods. Is there a payment for overtime work, and if so, how much overtime is allowed? A clear understanding is important for a driver’s well-being and safety. They become aware of their work parameters. A well-written contract can also help a trucking company, or truck driver, avoid any legal risks for breaking labor laws.

Legal Things to Include Within a Truck Driver’s Contract

The driver’s contract should contain a provision explaining insurance coverage, and clearly explain the amounts and types. Coverage can include cargo, liability, and comprehensive insurance. If there is an unfortunate accident, the driver and their company can expect protection. There should also be a clear method for reporting an accident, and every driver should know the reporting steps.

These steps can include contacting emergency services, informing the company, and documenting how the accident occurred. Such actions are important for any legal proceedings or insurance claims that might arise. The truck driver’s contract should also explain the process for accountability and responsibility. The outline can define who is legally responsible for injuries or property damage. Clear contract clauses can help simplify things and prevent legal disputes that might arise.

What Else to Know About a Truck Driver Contract?

There are additional elements that a truck driver’s contract should state. How long will the employment contract last? Is the employment for an indefinite amount of time, or is there a fixed term? Are there provisions for renewing the contract? What are the conditions for terminating a driver? This degree of clarity can help to avoid misunderstandings.

It is also important to outline maintenance responsibilities for the truck and any other equipment in use. What are the maintenance schedules and expectations for keeping the vehicle clean? Is the process for reporting and repairing mechanical problems clear? A non-compete and confidentiality clause in contracts aims to protect a company’s interests. These clauses prevent drivers from working for a competing company for a specified time after the driver’s contract ends.

Commercial drivers have rights, and the scope of those rights can protect against anything from coercion and driving an unsafe vehicle, to ignoring operating laws. Of course, there are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines set forth to protect drivers. These guidelines include rules for reporting coercion and other similar incidents. The guidelines are found in state and federal labor laws.

Additional Considerations for Truck Driver Contracts

A driver’s contract can also include processes for resolving disputes that may include litigation, mediation, and arbitration. Does the company offer safety and training programs? What are the consequences for drivers who violate compliance or safety standards? What are the provisions for alcohol and drug testing, and what happens if there is a positive result? There are also clauses that can address unforeseen events that affect a contract’s provisions. Truck drivers and trucking companies have the freedom to consult with legal professionals to ensure that contracts are within legal guidelines.


It is crucial to create contracts that are clear and thorough for drivers and companies. Working relationships do matter. By addressing elements like job responsibility, compensation, and the conditions that can surround an accident, everyone involved can help establish a successful working relationship. When terms are clear, it helps to provide clarity for enforcing a contract.

The transportation industry, like all things, evolves over time. This is why it is so important for drivers and companies to stay on top of best practices and legal requirements for every aspect of their industry. Transparency protects each party’s rights and helps to prevent future disputes or misunderstandings. A clear contract can establish expectations for performance for truck drivers and companies.

Written by Taylor McKnight, Author for Manfred Law.

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