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How to Become an Uber Freight Driver [& How It Works]

Key Takeaways

  • Uber Freight matches drivers with shippers via an app, offering transparent pricing.
  • Drivers use a special Uber Freight app to book loads, submit delivery proof, and get paid.
  • Eligible drivers need a CDL, satisfactory safety rating, and meet insurance requirements.
  • Uber Freight pays drivers market rates, with additional compensation for detention and layovers.

How Does Uber Freight Work for Drivers?

Uber Freight enables drivers to directly book loads through its app, offering a streamlined approach to finding work. Drivers can browse available loads by setting preferences such as location, cargo type, and desired shipping lanes.

This functionality removes the need to deal with multiple shippers or wait for assignments from carriers, granting drivers greater autonomy and the ability to stay busy on their terms.

The app also provides transparent pricing, ensuring drivers know what they will earn upfront.

Additionally, Uber Freight ensures a smooth logistical experience by offering real-time updates on shipments and facilitating easy document management, including the submission of proof of delivery.

This efficient system not only simplifies the booking and delivery process but also guarantees payment within seven days without additional fees, making it an attractive option for owner-operators and drivers looking for consistent work with reliable shippers.

Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert

While Uber Freight sounds like an incredibly promising revolution to the trucking industry, a lot of drivers and users express a bit of skepticism and disappointment with the service.

I dug in a little deeper and found that, when compared to traditional freight brokers, Uber Freight didn’t offer the personal touch or deep understanding of the logistic industry that traditional brokers offer.

It is clear to me that technology can streamline operations and result in efficiency, but I believe the trucking industry still needs humans to manage the complexity of the market.

I also think that while Uber Freight’s approach can help drivers, it is also a bit concerning that it could have an impact on lowering driver rates, making it harder for independent operators and smaller brokers to compete.

My Suggestion: If you can, give it a try and see for yourself.

It is hard for me to say whether you should or shouldn’t give the platform a try, as there are many different caveats that could sway my recommendation for a variety of different situations.

If you like it, keep at it. But if you don’t, just go ahead and work with a traditional broker once again.

How Much Do Uber Freight Drivers Get Paid?

The average yearly income for an Uber Freight driver is estimated at $54,000, with an average hourly rate of about $21.

Drivers do not receive tips as Uber Freight involves business-to-business transactions, but they are paid for agreed rates and specific additional fees like detention, driver-assist, and TONU.

Uber Freight drivers’ earnings vary based on factors like mileage and market conditions, with payment rates comparable to other shipping companies.

They benefit from simplified load booking and upfront pricing, eliminating haggling over rates. Payments are also quick, which imroves cash flow.

Uber Freight offers additional payments, including $75 per hour for detention time (with proper documentation) for up to four hours, layover pay of $300 per day, $75 for driver-assist per load, and Truck Order Not Used (TONU) compensation at $200 plus $2 per mile for deadhead miles.

Using the Lane Explorer tool, drivers can view and lock in market rates for loads.

Uber's lane explorer tool on Uber freight
Image: Uber

Where Can You Be an Uber Freight Driver?

Uber Freight is available for drivers primarily in Texas, with significant operations in metro areas like Dallas and San Antonio.

The company has also expanded, establishing headquarters in Chicago and San Francisco, and offers loads in other states including California, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Arizona. Uber Freight has plans for further expansion across the United States and into Europe.

Additionally, the Powerloop program, available in Texas, California, and Oklahoma, offers drivers pre-loaded trailers, eliminating waiting times for loading and unloading, thereby saving time and reducing delays.

Requirements for Uber Freight Drivers

If you’re interested in joining Uber Freight as a driver, here are the key requirements you need to meet:

Driver Requirements

  • Must be an authorized carrier with a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
  • Safety rating should be satisfactory, not conditional.
  • Must provide an MC or DOT number upon sign-up. Independent owner-operators are required to have this, while those driving for an authorized carrier do not need to provide one personally, as the fleet owner will handle the Uber Freight registration and load assignments.
  • No Uber background check is required for Uber Freight drivers.

Vehicle Requirements

  • The vehicle must be a 53-foot truck, which can be a refrigerated truck (reefer), a dry van, or a flatbed.
  • Proof of state registration and the necessary permits for the vehicle are required.

Insurance Requirements

Proof of insurance is required at sign-up, including:

  • $100,000 cargo liability coverage.
  • $1,000,000 general liability coverage.
  • Additional breakdown coverage proof is necessary for reefers.

These requirements ensure that drivers, vehicles, and operations meet Uber Freight’s standards for safety, legality, and reliability.

How to Apply to Drive With Uber Freight

How do you go about signing up for Uber Freight?

Assuming you have an MC or DOT number and are an authorized carrier, the process of signing up is as follows:

1. Visit the Uber Freight Sign-Up Page

Steps to Become an Uber Freight Driver

Go to this page. You’ll need to enter your phone number.

After that, Uber Freight will prompt you to enter your full name, email address, and password.

Be sure it’s a password you can remember, as you’ll need it to sign into the Uber Freight app.

2.  Submit the Required Documents

With your phone number entered, you’ll now need to fill out information about your carrier business and truck.

To proof all the information you provide, you’ll need to submit the following:

  • DOT or MC Number
  • Valid certificate of insurance (COI) evidencing auto liability and cargo liability
  • Bank account information (this lets Uber Freight pay you using ACH direct deposit)
  • State-level motor carrier permits or registrations (if you’re an intrastate carrier)

3. Complete the Broker-Motor Carrier Agreement

Uber Freight requires all carriers to fill out this agreement that outlines the relationship and legal obligations that both parties have when working together.

Be sure to read the agreement carefully before signing it.

4. Download the Uber Freight App

Assuming Uber accepts your application, you can download the Uber Freight app and sign into your account using the email address and password you provide when you signed up online.

Note that if you’re a driver who works with a carrier that uses Uber Freight, you can still download the app and sign up.

Your carrier can also send you an invitation using your phone number.

This will guide you through the steps of signing up to use the app.

Uber Freight Driver App

The Uber Freight app is what you’ll use for all Uber Freight activities. It features a clean, modern interface and automatic notifications of available shipments.

The app is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. Here are a few things you can do with the Uber Freight app:

1. Book a Load With One Tap

How to Become an Uber Freight Driver

Browsing available loads is a simple process.

You can easily see the start and end destination, distance, deadhead (if applicable), and rate.

If you’re happy with the details, you can tap “Book Load” to instantly book it.

Be sure that you and your carrier are ready to transport the load, as accepting the load obligates you to transport it.

2. Get Tailored Loads With Smart Loads

Become an Uber Freight Driver

The Uber Freight has a feature called “Smart Loads.”

It analyzes your history to find loads that match your preferences in terms of lanes, cargo types, and more.

When it finds a load that matches your preferences, it will automatically send you a notification.

3. Submit Proof of Delivery

Submitting Proof of Delivery is one of the most frustrating parts of transporting freight.

You traditionally had to use outdated tools or even analog methods like faxes.

Uber Freight eliminates all of that. You can submit proof of delivery in the app and get paid within seven days of submission.

To submit Proof of Delivery, you’ll need to tap “I’m Unloaded” within the app.

You can only do this once the trailer is completely empty.

After tapping this, the app will prompt you to take a photo of the signed Proof of Delivery.

Make sure the photo is clear and legible. Otherwise, payment delays can result.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shippers use Uber Freight?

Businesses of all size and types use Uber Freight. It plays a crucial role in the supply chain, and as long as the materials can legally be shipped using 53’ dry vans or reefers, Uber Freight will ship it.

You could be transporting anything from beverage cans to butter to tile. To name a few examples of companies that Uber Freight lists on their website.

Can I negotiate the rates in the app?

No, you cannot. One of the selling points for Uber Freight to both carriers and shippers is that rates are non-negotiable.

Since the rates are market rate, you can be confident that you’re getting a fair price (though you should always do your own research just to be sure).

What is Uber Freight Plus?

Uber Freight Plus offers discounts for truckers similar to Uber Rewards for rideshare, requiring booking one load every 30 days via the app. Benefits include up to $0.20/gallon fuel savings, up to 50% off truck parts, phone plan discounts, and up to $16,000 savings on truck purchases.

1 thought on “How to Become an Uber Freight Driver [& How It Works]”

  1. Sound good … Some examples of Sample rates would help! Also why does there website have no area for Box trucks (NON- CDL).

    Reply

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