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How to Become a USPS Tractor Trailer Driver-Contractor
The United States Postal Service (USPS) contracts tractor trailer drivers to assist in the transportation of mail. As a contractor, you provide services independently and receive payments as a supplier for the government agency. In order to secure a truck driving contract with the USPS, you must have an established business, follow USPS driving rules, prequalify for contracts and register with the government's e-sourcing program to bid.
Creating Your Business
The USPS contracts with businesses and not individuals. Even if you are the sole driver, you must still establish a business before bidding on USPS driver contracts. Business formation is governed by individual state statutes. Contact the appropriate office within your individual state to identify the required steps. To apply for postal contracts, also ensure that you have the appropriate truck driving credentials from the Department of Transportation. Additionally, ensure your tractor trailer is properly credentialed and insured.
Before applying for a contract, familiarize yourself with USPS rules governing drivers to ensure you can comply with them. Tractor trailer contract drivers transport mail and packages between various postal facilities. There are specific scheduling requirements, so you must manage your duties accordingly, arriving at designated locations on time. As a driver, you may also load and unload cargo, with or without assistance from postal workers. According to the USPS website, the driver is additionally responsible for maintaining the working order of the truck and making small repairs as needed. On a daily basis, you may drive significantly long distances but must adhere to applicable traffic laws and adequately log your driving activities.
Prequalify For Contracts
Once your business is established, you have the option of prequalifying for postal transportation contracts. According to the USPS website, candidates are evaluated on their compliance with postal regulations and procedures, which are listed on the postal website. Your company will also be evaluated on its ability to handle the financial requirements of a contract, as well as its past performance and supplier capabilities. Along with your prequalification application, prepare to submit three months of bank statements, along with your company's Tax ID number and Department of Transportation documents. You must also provide driving records for yourself and any other tractor trailer drivers your company employs.
Bid and Pay
When the postal service needs tractor trailer drivers, a call for proposals is posted to the website, Federal Business Opportunities, as a solicitation for proposals. However, before you can place a bid, you must register with the federal government's e-sourcing program. Once you find a solicitation of interest, contact the listed administrator and request an invitation to bid. The USPS pay rates for contracted tractor trailer drivers vary, depending on where the driving route originates. For example, routes originating within the state of New York pay more than those starting within North Carolina.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.