The Trucking Company Owes Me $200 (Get over it.)

The Trucking Company Owes Me $200 (Get over it.)

or “How Expense Reports Work”

In a perfect world, all your driving expenses would be put on a card and you wouldn’t need to do anything, except drive that truck and handle equipment. But the reality is, there is cash to handle and paperwork to fill out. Most companies make things as easy as possible for the driver, but some things must be dealt with in the field.

There are a number of things that will (often) be paid by the driver and reimbursed by the trucking company at a later time. Some of these are:

  • Scale tickets (Weighing the truck costs about $12.)
  • Tolls (Most toll booths have electronic toll collection, or ETC, but not all.)
  • Lumper (a laborer who loads/unloads cargo) work

You, the driver, must fill out the expense report on the back of the trip envelope and place receipts inside this envelope. The company will pay you back in your next paycheck. This means that your company will owe you (at any one time) 100 or 200 dollars. This is, unfortunately, how driving is done. I think it is done (at least partially) this way to increase the odds of a driver submitting trip envelopes quickly.

Always carry enough cash to pay these expenses. If you have zero cash and need to spend money, your company can authorize a ComData COMCHEK. Processing a COMCHEK costs the company money, and it will take a lot of your valuable time. Try not to do it very often. It is much better to carry cash.

If the company owes you more than a couple of hundred dollars, it is cause for concern. If they get behind in paying drivers or they aren’t reimbursing for expenses, the company might be in financial trouble. A reputable company would never ask you to be out of pocket for thousands of dollars. If you need to rent a car or buy an airplane ticket (or something that costs more than a hundred dollars), the company will pay this expense directly.

Personal Experience: Once, I didn’t get reimbursed right away. The clerk called and was very apologetic. Due to a clerical error, a dozen of us didn’t get our expense money. She offered to FedEx a physical check to where I was staying. We agreed to have my expense money put on the next check. It worked out fine.

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