Document Quality Best Practices

  • Updated

TruckSmarter seeks to mitigate any issues a broker might raise with paperwork before paying an invoice. Following TruckSmarter’s document quality guidelines is crucial to ensure you are paid as quickly as possible and avoid potential chargeback issues further down the road. 

Why is paperwork quality so important?

Signatures on documents

Scanning documents

Using carrier notes

💡 When uploading documents, please ensure that you follow our quality guidelines:

• all pages of the documents are included

• the document text is clearly legible

• the document can still be read when you zoom in

• no background objects in the photo

• the document is smoothed out on a flat surface

• all four corners of the document are visible

• avoid uploading an image that is too dark or too bright

• avoid screenshots! - please upload the original file or image


Why is paperwork quality so important? 

Broker’s can be very picky about the quality of documents they accept. When you deliver a load for a broker, they must send paperwork to their customer, the shipper, in order to receive payment. The broker relies on the carrier to ensure all paperwork is signed properly and submitted to them. Broker’s often implement strict requirements and guidelines for paperwork quality to avoid problems with billing the shippers. If an invoice sent by TruckSmarter fails to meet those requirements, the broker can refuse to pay for the load.

Example of broker rejecting paperwork due to document quality


If a broker refuses to pay TruckSmarter for a load because they are missing paperwork or it does not meet their quality standards, you can be charged back for the load if the issue is not resolved in a timely manner. Your non-recourse protection protects from broker’s credit risk and their inability to pay due to financial issues and bankruptcy; not failure to pay because they did not receive the correct paperwork.

Often, TruckSmarter is not made aware of issues with the paperwork until we are following up with the broker to understand payment delays. Having your payment initially delayed due to questions about the paperwork or issues with its quality is frustrating! However, it is much more frustrating to have to dig up paperwork from a load that was delivered weeks ago if the broker later rejects payment due to document issues.

Examples of brokers rejecting paperwork due to document quality




Signatures on Documents

Most standard Bill of Lading (BOL) documents include places for the shipper, receiver, and carrier to sign. We understand it’s not always in you or your driver’s control where the shipper or receiver signs a document, but try to get them to sign on the proper lines. If the receiver signs somewhere else on the document, circle their signature and write POD next to it. This helps avoid brokers rejecting paperwork because it is unclear where or if the receiver has signed for the delivery. 



If the receiver does not sign or stamp the BOL at delivery by mistake, please call your broker ASAP and ask them for instructions. If there is a specific reason why paperwork is not signed at the delivery, add an explanation in the Notes section when you are reviewing the details of your invoice before submitting it to TruckSmarter. For drop loads without any paperwork, make sure to take pictures of your trailer at the delivery spot and submit them to the broker and TruckSmarter as your POD.

Scanning Documents

Scanning your proof of delivery paperwork is an easy way to avoid document quality issues. A good scan helps you automatically capture just the document page and creates a clear bright image. As TruckSmarter begins to incorporate automated document review, submitting clear scans that can be easily read by the computer may lead to even faster payouts. Some brokers even require scans of documents and automatically reject standard pictures. 

Why scan? 

  • Clear bright images of paperwork
  • Some brokers require it
  • Faster payouts with automated document review
  • Easily avoid cut off pages and background images

Example of broker requiring scanned documents 


How to scan? 

There are plenty of apps you can use to scan paperwork including popular ones like CamScanner.

If you use TruckSmarter on an Android phone, CamScanner can be easily accessed from the document upload page. Once you scan your paperwork simply click the “More” option and save the scan directly to your phone's photo album. Then in the TruckSmarter app you can directly upload the scan by selecting “Upload from photo gallery”. You can also save the scan as a file to your phone and upload it directly by selecting “Upload from your folder”.

For iPhone users there is a scanner embedded directly in TruckSmarter. Simply select “Take a photo” when you are submitting paperwork in the app and hover your phone directly over the document until it is highlighted in blue. For even higher quality scans, you can also choose to use CamScanner.

Use Carrier Notes to Explain Common Documents Questions

Before you click Submit on an invoice in the TruckSmarter app you will see an optional Notes section. This section allows you to communicate with the team reviewing and approving paperwork for payment. It’s great to use this section to get ahead of questions the team might likely ask about your paperwork. Also, add any direct contact information for the broker you worked with on the load so we can quickly contact the right person to verify questions about paperwork.

Questions you may be asked about paperwork:

  • Addresses on the delivery paperwork don’t match the rate confirmation
  • Load does not have receiver stamp or signature
  • Delivery paperwork says “page 1 of 2” or more, but you were not given any more pages
  • Dates on rate confirmation don’t match delivery paperwork
  • Paperwork is blurry due to issues with printer at shipper not your scan/image
  • Delivery paperwork is handwritten or a scale ticket; not a standard Bill of Lading


Note: We may still confirm with the broker we have all the correct paperwork for billing even with a note. Please be patient with us in these situations as it’s easier to identify potential issues brokers might raise with invoice documents before the load is paid.

Examples of broker rejecting paperwork due to missing pages