Cash on the road and who pays for what?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by LoboSolo, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. LoboSolo

    LoboSolo Heavy Load Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    Highway 20
    How much cash should I normally carry on me as an OTR company driver, other than my living expenses? As a company driver, who pays for what out on the road? I don't mean fuel or a ticket, but things like

    -logbook/elog violations? If I've got a reasonable delivery time, plan badly and run over anyway, I'd say me. But don't some companies sometimes set unreasonable delivery times to see if I will refuse or to see if I can get it done even though they didn't do their job with the expected delivery time or customer expectations? Or is this a line in the sand not to cross?

    -DOT inspection fines - the driver, right? It'd be up to me to make sure that the equipment is in shape, and to make sure my weights are OK. Or if the company or shipper loaded badly, is this where you stand your ground and tell them to reload and get the weights right?

    -truck washes - the company or me? How often is normal to wash your OTR company rig? How much does a truck and trailer wash normally cost, and how much time needed to do it?

    -tolls - the company or me? How much do tolls generally cost? Do most companies use something like EZPass or do drivers just pay them with cash?

    -maintenance stuff like oil changes, light bulbs, etc - is it done on the road by me and reimbursed, or done only when you hit a company terminal?

    -lumpers if you need them - the shipper / receiver, or the company, or me?

    -tank washouts? How much do these typically cost?

    -tows for breakdowns? How much do heavy truck tows normally cost, are they a set minimum plus mileage coming and returning?

    -Or a tug for getting pulled out from somewhere if I do something stupid and slide a bit off a shoulder? If no damage to the rig or the load, is it better to just pay it out of my pocket and never mention it to anyone, like I did once or twice as a kid driving Daddy's car?
    truckon Thanks this.
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  3. Bayle

    Bayle Road Train Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    Cottage Grove, MN
    I think your going to be surprised at the answers. I can't answer them all, but tolls depend on the company, and not all states take ez pass OK, FL, KS, TX, don't take it.

    Just a tug as you put it will run at least a couple hundred dollars, those big tow trucks aren't cheap, and a real tow to somewhere will often run into numbers with 3 zeros.
  4. Bakerman

    Bakerman Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    $15,000 should be enough to get you out of any trouble you get
    Rick_C and moosc Thank this.
  5. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Longview, TX
    If your company has EZ Pass (most tolls automatically paid by company), my standard reply is expect to spend $100 to eat. If you're going to run regionally and be by home more often then you can maybe get away with less. Most larger companies will give you a comcheck code along with a PO number for a specified amount to cover lumpers, unusual repairs on the road, etc. I prefer not to use the company's advance system and use my own debit card to get the cash I need. I go to walmart, buy groceries and get $100 cash back for free and there is never any issues concerning pay - less advances. I don't like to have any less than $50 at ANY time. But back in the day before companies handled lumpers with comchecks and before EZpass, I felt I was risking it travelling east of the MS river with less than $300 cash on hand.
  6. Wanderingaimlessly

    Wanderingaimlessly Medium Load Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    Los Angeles, Ca

    Logbook violations will get you a fine
    DOT inspections can fine you
    Truck washes-depends on company trailer washes should be paid or reimbursed.
    Tolls- depends on the company. Many wont pay for the tolls unless there is no alternate route. Even with EZ pass, if you take a toll that isn't approved before taking it, you will be charged most likely.
    maint on company vehicle should always be paid by the company, any lights, oil, ect.
    Tows are paid by the company. Seen some $3000-5000.
    as far as getting pulled out, your call. If your in a ditch for doing something stupid chances are there is going to be damage.
    Richter Thanks this.
  7. julius

    julius Bobtail Member

    Jan 25, 2013
    the western 11 + texas
    Tolls can be up to 25 bucks or so, IME. Nothing else on your list is really on on the spot pocket expense, and you won't hit many tolls as an average company driver but that depends on your route. I have three bucks in my wallet and I mostly use cards for daily expenses like meals or whatever. Its not a bad idea to carry emergency cash, but most days it really doesn't matter. You don't pay for stuff like tire repair as a company driver, you call a number and they send someone out eventually.
  8. Wolfyinc

    Wolfyinc Road Train Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    Salem, or
    I dont carry much cash on me, im not going east much these days so i dont worry too much about tolls and stuff, my company you pay then they reimburse on your next check, the ezpass takes care of just some of them. I got lucky last week though I was in the bay area and while sitting at a CH sugar factory I walked and got cash out to use for food and stuff, ended up hitting the bridge leaving and having to pay $25 for the toll.

    For fines and stuff I dont carry any cash, i just hope to not get fined for anything. Do a good pre trip and you shouldnt have much to worry about, also scale your loads, I scale anything over 35k lbs, cost $10 normally and the company also gives that back. If your taking a route where there is no scale between you and the weigh station then sometimes if you show the route and prove it they will let you slide since its not your fault

    logbooks well most companies use elog systems now, I only went into log violation 2 times in months and I try not to do it and I pull over as quickly as I can when i hit over the time, never been fined for it.

    truck wash probably depends on the company, my company has truck washes at the terminals I can just drive through anytime I want but I dont do it much.

    Lumpers only ones I dealt with so far gives a receipt and then I turn it in with no cost to me, some do comchecks.

    maintenance probably depends on the company, my company reimburses for any lights or anything I must purchase or I can go to the shop for parts at the terminals

    these questions should be addressed to which company your going to work for.
  9. HotH2o

    HotH2o Road Train Member

    Sep 23, 2012
    Bunyan Springs, Colorado
    I'd keep at least $40 tucked away for the sweet company of a lot lizard!
    str8rida Thanks this.
  10. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Carry $300 bucks into Canada
    Carry $200 into Florida

    To suck air pretty much.

    Comchecks for most lumpers
    Personal checks for difficult people.

    Keep all expenses in a notebook
    Check them off when reimbursed by company.
  11. STexan

    STexan Road Train Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Longview, TX
    For $40, your idea of "sweet" and my idea of "sweet" must be 2 completely different things.
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