Newbies - Starting as a Company Driver
Cash advances are great when you are out on the road, but they can also come back to surprise you if you don't use them appropriately. It's incredibly important to use cash advances sparingly and to use them for necessary purposes only. One of the easiest things to do when you are on the road is to abuse the cash advance policy of your carrier.
Most carriers will allow you to take cash advances up to a certain limit when you are on the road. Although this can be very helpful, the advance does come out of your paycheck. That's why it's so important not to abuse the cash advance option. You should only use cash advance money for the necessities of life on the road and not for gifts or superfluous items. For some reason though, this point escapes too many drivers.
Believe it or not, when it's payroll time one of the most popular calls from drivers to the payroll department concerns the deductions on their checks. The "surprise" deductions are the cash advances. Then, for those that are married, the check goes home and the spouse is equally "surprised." All of this can be avoided if you use the advances for their purpose--necessary operating expenses. Tolls, scales, meals, truck wash, trailer washout and lumper fees are examples of some necessary operating expenses. Most of these will either be reimbursable or tax deductible.
Cash advances are valuable assets to all over-the-road drivers. These same advances can create unnecessary problems and difficult situations if they aren't used properly. A good rule of thumb is to consider these advances as a loan. Only use the loan for those things that are necessary and use your money for everything else.