Glossary of Trucking Terms

Bobtail: Truck in transit without trailer attached.

BOL: Bill of lading. Legal document provided by shipper displaying where the freight originates from, where it is delivering to, amount of product, commodity, weight and billing party.

Cartage Company: Company that provides local (within a town, city, or municipality

Consignee: AKA receiver. Destination/delivery location.

Container: Standard-sized rectangular box used to transport freight by ship, rail and highway.

Day Cab: Tractor without an area for driver to sleep. Cannot be used for any overnight trips.

Deadhead: Miles traveled by driver to pickup or reach ultimate destination with an empty trailer. Also called empty miles.

Delivered: Freight has been delivered to destination.

Detention: Delay time getting loaded or unloaded. Detention begins 2 hours after driver’s arrival to shipper or consignee.

Doubles (Twins, Twin Trailers): Combination of a tractor and two semitrailers connected in tandem by a converter dolly.

DOT: Department of Transportation.

Driver Assist: Physical assistance required by driver loading or unloading.

Equipment Type: Refers to type of trailer needed for a load. Can also refer to type of tractor required ie: day cab or sleeper.

Exclusive Use: Our freight must be the only product loaded on to carrier’s trailer. Carrier cannot load any other freight from another source on to their trailer.

FMCSA: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Hazmat: Hazardous materials, as classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Transport of hazardous materials is strictly regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

HOS: Hours of service. Department of Transportation has established regulations relating to the amount of hours a driver can be on the road.

Intermodal Transportation: The transportation movement involving more than one mode (e.g., rail/motor, motor/air, rail/water).

In Transit: A load has picked up from shipping location and is en route to consignee.

Layover: Driver delayed overnight by shipper or consignee after arriving on time.

Loaded: Trailer is loaded at shipping location.

Load Locks: AKA load bars. Extendable or retractable bars used to hold product in place on trailer.

Lumper: Unloading service that requires payment for services rendered.

Mode: Type of service offered by a carrier. (ie. truckload, partial, intermodal)

NOA: Notice of assignment.

OS&D: Over, short or damaged freight.

Origin: Location where freight is being picked up.

Partial: Load that requires less than full trailer length.

Wooden Pallet: Reusable wooden objects that product is loaded onto. Typically made from 2×4’s. Product is loaded directly on to the pallet as a means to safely load onto or unload off trailers. A standard pallet is 48” x 40”; however they come in a wide variety of sizes.

POD: Proof of delivery. This is proof from carrier that a load has been delivered. A verbal POD may be requested (person who signed for the load); however hard copy proof (signed BOL) is always required for carrier to receive payment on a load.

Reefer: Refrigerated trailer with insulated walls, and a self-powered refrigeration unit. Most commonly used for transporting food.

Shipper: Company where freight is being picked up.

Sleeper: Portion of tractor designated for driver to sleep.

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure.

Stop Off: Any additional locations between origin pickup and final destination

Straight Truck: Vehicle which carries cargo in a body mounted to its chassis, rather than on a trailer towed by a vehicle.

Tarp: Material used to cover freight on an open trailer such as flatbed or step deck.

TONU: Truck ordered, not used. This means a driver arrived at pickup location then the load was cancelled.