Below are best practices Openforce has seen utilized by transportation clients when it comes to the independence of independent contractors in the transportation industry. This is not legal advice and should not be used as such. Consult with your attorney regarding how best to manage your IC program needs in your operating areas.

Utilizing independent contractors (ICs) in the transportation industry provides transportation companies the benefits of safer capacity and excellent service. The best ICs relish the independence, challenge, and potential that comes with running their own small business. Attracting and retaining the best ICs means delivering high revenue potential, flexibility, choices, and opportunities. If anyone ever challenges the independent nature of ICs and tries to call them employees, that same high revenue potential, flexibility, choice, and opportunity can be transportation companies’ proof of the ICs’ independence and defend the IC program. 

But strong transportation companies do not rely solely on contracts to prove the independence in their IC program. They prove the high revenue potential, the flexibility, the choices, and the opportunities ICs enjoy with data and documentation.  

They have data and documentation at their fingertips that prove: 

  • The ICs turned down shipments 
  • The ICs set their own schedules 
  • The ICs made their own fuel, maintenance, and repair decisions (and those decisions made a big difference in their profitability) 
  • The ICs controlled their vehicle and their driver 
  • The ICs made marketing and finance decisions 
  • And more 

These best-in-class transportation companies know a well-written contract is nice, but that it only goes so far. They know clear contracts will help their case, but it will not win their case on its own. On the other hand, they know a bad contract will lose their case all on its own. Protecting ICs’ rights to choose independence and winning the independence argument will take proving the ICs had rights to manage and control their business, but more importantly it will take proving they exercised those rights and made key business decisions that led to their own profitability (or losses).  

These transportation companies review their paperwork, their systems, and their data regularly. They ask whether those things reinforce the independence in their IC program, or if they read like employee forms and reports? They regularly coach their employees on how to respect the ICs’ business freedoms. They make sure their day-to-day interactions and decision-making respect the ICs’ business freedom, and that they do not nullify the freedoms as stated in their IC contracts. They make sure they can produce paperwork, data, and testimony that all reinforce the ICs’ business freedoms. 

Openforce’s technology platforms, channel partners, and services provide transportation companies more proof the ICs have high revenue potential, business flexibility, choices, and opportunities. 

  • IC Manage and Openforce’s Doc Vault provide consistent, clean audit trails of the contract choices ICs make with transportation companies 
  • IC Retain gets ICs access to vehicles, business tools, discounts, insurance products, health insurance products that help ICs lower costs, manage risks, and improve their bottom line 
  • IC Recruit gets ICs access to multiple transportation clients to maximize revenue opportunities 

Pick and choose the platforms and services that make sense for your business and your ICs. Contact Openforce today to help your ICs increase their revenue potential and make their businesses stronger – all with the ability to help you prove it. 


About Openforce

Openforce is the leader in technology-driven services that reduce operating costs and mitigate risk for companies using independent contractors. Our cloud-based applications help companies and contractors alike achieve more sustainable, profitable growth by removing financial, operational, and compliance barriers to getting business done.