Uber Freight is a new app to connect truck drivers, carriers and owner-operators to available loads near them. Although it is not the first load-matching app on the market, Uber promises innovative new features such as fixed nonnegotiable rates and seven-day driver payments. As Uber Freight gains traction in the trucking community, many wonder how the technology might change the future of the industry. Some worry about it leading to total trucking automation, while others applaud it for reducing inefficiencies that currently plague trucking.
How Uber Freight Works
Uber Freight uses on-demand technology to connect truck drivers with available loads, much like Uber’s rideshare app connects drivers to riders. Uber Freight can accommodate carriers of all sizes, but it is especially beneficial to independent truck owner-operators and small fleets. The app is Uber’s attempt to streamline the trucking industry, which historically has had many obstacles and challenges for all involved. Uber Freight may have the power to make shipping more efficient and cost-effective for everyone.
- Increases market transparency
- Puts drivers in control
- Offers fast driver payouts (7 days vs. 30 or more)
- Enables load control with just a few clicks
- Reduces the time it takes to book a shipment
- Offers upfront, nonnegotiable pricing
- Automatically stores important freight data
Uber Freight has many benefits over other load-matching apps on the market. When the app first launched, however, it came right after Uber announced its purchase of Otto, the autonomous truck company. This led many to believe Uber would use the app as an introduction into fully automated trucking. Since then, Uber announced it would be halting its work in the self-driving truck industry to focus on self-driving cars. This came as a relief to drivers concerned that Uber’s self-driving trucks would take away jobs.
Accidents as an Uber Freight Driver
Uber Freight is not impervious to trucking accidents. Every year, thousands of truckers, drivers and trucking companies cause preventable collisions. In 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported over 4,200 fatal large truck accidents in the U.S. These accidents caused over 344,000 injuries. If an Uber Freight driver gets into an accident, liability and coverage of damages can be difficult issues to understand.
Carriers using Uber Freight must have at least $1 million in auto liability and $100,000 in cargo liability insurance. This insurance will pay for truck repairs and cargo replacement if an Uber Freight driver gets into an accident while on the job. If you cause a serious or fatal truck accident as an Uber Freight driver, your auto insurance may pay for victims’ damages. Since Uber Fright – like Uber’s rideshare enterprise – does not hire drivers as employees, the company will not be vicariously liable for most accidents involving Uber Freight drivers.
If you have any questions regarding accidents and who is liable for your injuries and damages, contact a local truck accident attorney. Claggett & Sykes Law Firm offers free consultations with no obligation.
What You Need To Become a Driver
If you want to book your own loads and receive payments within seven days, consider joining Uber Freight. As a truck driver or shipping carrier, you can use Uber Freight to book shipments without negotiations or phone calls. To drive trucks for Uber Freight, you must provide your own Department of Transportation (DOT) or Motor Carrier (MC) number. You must be an authorized carrier. Create an account on the app and give information about yourself. Attach the required documents to prove you have purchased adequate insurance coverage.
If you do not have a DOT or MC number, contact your carrier to see if it has an Uber Freight account. If so, your fleet owner can authorize drivers to accept loads through the app. As an owner-operator, your truck must meet certain requirements to drive for Uber Freight. You must have a 53-foot dry van or reefer that complies with federal safety and fleet regulations. Sign the Broker-Motor Carrier Agreement document, download the Uber Freight app and start booking loads.