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Acronyms Every Trucker Should Know

Acronyms Every Trucker Should Know

The trucking industry is the driving force that keeps America moving. Truckers are a vital part of that force. As owner-operators, it is important to know the industry lingo as you work with and are in contact with individuals in the transportation industry. We will share with you the most common terminology to help you along the way.

BOL – Bill of Lading

We’re positive most of you are already familiar with this one, but for the ones who are just getting into the trucking business, a bill of lading is a receipt from the shipper to the carrier that describes details of the load, including type, weight, and the delivery destination, as well as the title of ownership for the receiver stated in the document.

DC – Distribution Center

Distribution centers are logistic facilities meant for storing products, usually warehouses.

DOT – Department of Transportation

You’ve probably already heard about DOT, the government agency whose mission is to manage transportation. Each state has its own DOT which can give you useful information and news regarding transportation.

ELD – Electronic Logging Device

Electronic Logging Device or ELD measures the working time of a commercial motor vehicle by synchronizing with its engine. ELDs are a mandatory part of most commercial trucks as of December 2019. ELDs can also be useful in other situations – for example, by being connected to the engine, they can read preventive maintenance and diagnostic data.


These indicate how much space in a trailer is taken by a load. A Full Truckload means that the load takes up the entire space of a trailer, Less Than Truckload means that a load takes only a portion of the trailer space, and Partial Truckload takes up the amount of space that’s less than a full truckload, but more than LTL. Yes, the wording here is a bit confusing, but you can look at it like this – the weight of a PTL is usually between 10000 and 25000 pounds.

FHWA – Federal Highway Administration

The Federal Highway Administration is responsible for highway safety, it minimizes traffic congestion by working with agencies in charge of roads for national defense and mobility.

FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Another very common term in trucking lingo is FMCSA – the agency whose main goal is regulating the US trucking industry. Its main focus points include motor carrier regulations, information regarding carrier safety, complaints, and insurance, and reducing large vehicle-related crashes.


Gross Vehicle Rated Weight is the maximum weight that is considered safe. This weight includes the weight of your truck, passengers, and any added accessories. Gross Axle Weight Rating, on the other hand, is the maximum limit of the load weight specified by the manufacturer that each axle can carry when fully equipped. The maximum weight permitted for the entire vehicle, passengers, load, and trailer is known as the Gross-Combined Weight Rating. Exceeding the maximum safety limit can not only get you a ticket but can also be a potential risk for accidents.

HOS – Hours Of Services

Hours Of Services represents the amount of time you are legally permitted to drive, and the hours required to rest. Drivers hauling property are permitted to drive 60/70 hours within a span of seven/eight days which restarts after resting for 34 hours. Also, you are required to take 30-minute breaks after driving for 8 hours.

HVUT – Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

If your truck’s weight equals or exceeds 55,000 pounds there’s a possibility you will be obligated to pay the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, an annual fee on heavy vehicles.

ICC – Interstate Commerce Commission

Interstate Commerce Commission is an agency that regulates rates and works on eliminating rate discrimination.

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Association

The International Fuel Tax Association is an organization that manages the International Fuel Tax Agreement.

LOH – Length of Haul

The average length of haul is calculated by dividing monthly miles driven by the number of monthly loads.

MC – Motor Carrier

If you are a CDL holder, that makes you a motor carrier! Motor Carriers are in charge of operating commercial motor vehicles which are part of passenger, hazmat, commerce, and property transportation.

MVR – Motor Vehicle Report

Motor Vehicle Report is a driving record that holds information about a driver like their name and license number, driving events like endorsements or license replacements, as well as violations. Usually, an employer can request one, and you can get it by contacting your local DMV.

O/O – Owner Operator

The owner-operator is a truck driver who either owns or leases their own truck.

OTR – Over The Road

Typically, OTR drivers will stay on the road for several weeks at a time, and drive across states, covering larger distances than local or regional drivers do. OTR drivers also usually haul heavier loads.

OS&D – Over, Short, and Damaged

Over, short, and damaged are the unwanted qualities of freight that may occur. Over is short for overages in shipping, which occurs when there are more shipped goods than originally ordered. Short is the opposite of overage, meaning that there are fewer goods shipped than originally ordered. Goods that haven’t been properly secured when loading the truck may end up being damaged.

OSOW – Oversize/Overweight

Oversize/overweight is considered to be any truck that weighs above 80,000 pounds, is longer than 53’, higher than 13½’, and wider than 8½’. Although these numbers may differ from state to state it’s advised to check what are the regulations for the specific state you are driving to.

P&D – Pickup and Delivery

Another pretty self-explanatory term is Pickup and delivery. Those are transportation services of goods from one place to another. As a carrier, it is one of your main tasks.

PO – Purchase Order

A purchase order is a legal document that authorizes a purchase that the buyer presents to the vendor.

POD – Proof of Delivery

Proof of delivery is a document that contains necessary information about the delivery and the recipient that proves the carrier has satisfied the terms of a carriage contract.

PTI – Pre-Trip Inspection

A pre-trip inspection is a truck condition check-up that assures that the vehicle is safe for driving. It usually includes checking tire pressure, brakes, water pump, air compressor, oil, etc. If you aren’t sure how to perform a PTI, you can reach out to your fleet manager or our support for assistance.

RPM – Rate Per Mile

This one is pretty self-explanatory. RPM defines how much a load is paying per mile.

UCR – Unified Carrier Registration

Unified Carrier Registration registers and collects fees from vehicle operators that are part of interstate travel.

WIM – Weigh-in-Motion

Weigh-in motion devices measure the axle and gross vehicle weight of a moving vehicle

These are just some acronyms that we’re sure will assist you in the trucking industry. As an owner-operator, it is necessary to know the terminology, it will help you succeed in this very fast-paced industry. And we hope this article was JIT.

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