I remember a day not so long ago and not in a galaxy far, far away either. We had to pay for just about everything while on the road and then fill out a reimbursement form to get the money back.
It would take two or three weeks before we recovered our personal outlay and sometimes it was a very hefty amount indeed. If we were stuck in the Northeast for too long we would spend a fortune on tolls and send forms into what was then Contract Freighters, Inc. and pray that a reimbursement would come along before we had to reach into our now light pockets for more. At one point as a direct result of going to New York I was out three hundred dollars, at least until the paperwork was processed and my pocket was refilled.
I actually tried to stay off the Toll Roads during this time, preferring to keep the money in my pocket; even though I knew it would be returned to me.
Over time things changed and eventually we subscribed to EZ-Pass, which made things oh so much better. Now we could blow by the Cash Box in exactly the same way as we did in Oklahoma with the Pikepass System. Never since have I considered staying off the Toll Roads because there is no longer the inconvenience of reaching into my pocket and filing paperwork. Now I don't even have to think about it, I drive under the sensor and a computer sends the bill to XPO Logistics Truckload. I, that is we, am/are out of the loop. How sweet it is.
Equally we are now able to avoid the busy metropolis of Austin and run down the new bypass which is Highway 130. There are Toll Booths all along the route and I have heard that the reason they are not manned is because it is actually cheaper for someone to send out a whole bunch of bills using information on photographs taken of vehicles as they fly under the Toll Sensors.
Before that road was opened I had made up my mind to avoid it out of principle. Truck Companies pay a great deal of money in Road Taxes and here we are being essentially Taxed twice when we pay for tolls. Besides, Austin traffic isn't that bad ... or is it. Given the amount of construction ongoing on Interstate 35 which adds to the hassle that is Austin and the temptation to take State Route 130 is overwhelming; so principles be damned - I take the Toll Road.
What XPO Logistics Truckload is noticing is that we are now getting in the habit of using that particular road when there is really no reason to do so. We have Drivers taking the Toll at 3am when most people in Austin are fast asleep and only dreaming of getting up later to mess with Truckers. They are not on the road. There is no real reason to take the bypass at that time of day but we are still doing it and wasting the company's money in doing so.
Right now nobody has said anything one way or the other. There hasn't been a message about not using SR-130 around Austin but it is a pretty good guess that we are not far from it. It's a good road to run at those times of day when Austin is backed up or when we see signs the Interstate is closed for construction but electing to take that road, "Just Because", surely isn't right.
Saving a few bucks here and there adds up quickly, especially when multiplied by the number of trucks we have, in the end it's the difference between a pay raise and none.
Don't waste money.
Just a Thought.