Drivers don’t need to carry around much cash these days because bank cards make purchasing easy. Credit and debit cards are conveniently accepted at retail stores for even the smallest purchases like a pack of gum, and you can even get cash back with your purchase. Unlike a grocery store or convenience store, however, most truck stops don’t allow you to buy a small item and get cash back.
Beware of excessive ATM fees
Fleet owners who aren’t knowledgeable and careful about ways a driver can access cash can end up paying excessive ATM machine fees for every transaction. According to a 2020 Bankrate survey, the average charge to withdraw cash is $4.64 per transaction for the convenience of accessing cash in even the most remote locations. So how do fleet drivers avoid these fees when only cold, hard cash will do?
Have your fleet drivers use in-network ATMs
Drivers on the road need a hassle-free way to get cash without a fee for every card transaction. The easiest way is to use in-network ATMs: the machines that belong to the financial institution where you have your account. They will usually offer cash withdrawals free of charge and most banks and credit unions have an ATM locator network online.
Large banks and financial institutions have relationships with truck stops and other stores to broaden their no-fee ATM network. Providing your fleet drivers with a list of in-network ATM locations can help them plan ahead when they foresee needing cash on the road, saving both time and money.
Fleet cards and checks with added benefits
Other easy and secure ways for drivers to access cash, with added benefits, are fleet cards or fuel cards, and checks. Fleets managers have these cost-saving options for their OTR drivers:
Truck stop cash outs: If a driver needs a cash advance for any reason, WEX OTR fleet cards or fuel cards can be pre-loaded with funds so drivers can get cash at participating truck stops without a fee. Drivers don’t have to purchase anything – just simply pick up the cash and move on down the road.
Checks and MoneyCodes: Ideal for brokers, Checks and MoneyCodes provide immediate payment or access to cash when using the EFS or Fleet One EDGE card isn’t an option. Like a personal or company check, these checks are accepted almost universally.
- Advance funds to drivers immediately
- Instantly pay lumpers, repair shops, roadside services, and more
- Access cashing information in real time
- Issue instantly via web, mobile app, or phone
- Integrate with your back-office or interface directly with dispatch software
ATM machines: If the above options are not available, drivers can use the WEX OTR fuel card at PLUS Network ATM machines or Interlink debit sites for a fee with every transaction. As an added benefit, these cash options are on record to improve your driver accountability, giving fleet owners the power to track every purchase.
Truck stops offer cash, fuel, and more
There are thousands of truck stops across the United States. This network has become a necessity to provide professional semi-truck and other drivers with reliable and convenient places to refuel wherever they travel. At today’s truck stops, you can refuel, pick up convenience store amenities, and even find expanded offerings like shower rooms, laundry services, and vehicle repair shops.
After hundreds of hours on the road and thousands of miles, drivers find these convenient one-stop truck stops a necessity for rest and recovery. Many drivers prefer to carry out their transactions in cash. Providing your fleet with options to access money easily and conveniently can make a huge difference in driver efficiency and morale.
Cashing different types of checks
Since most banks have limited hours of operation, the ability to withdraw funds or cash a check at a truck stop is critical for many drivers who look for services 24/7. A limitation is that many of these convenient stores and stations on the highway will not cash money orders, tax refunds, insurance checks, third-party foreign travelers, or gift checks.
Walmart and other large supermarket chains, on the other hand, will often cash many of these types of checks and money orders up to $5,000, charging fees from $4 – $8, depending on the amount. Of the 4,700 Walmart locations across the US, many offer 24-hour check cashing at the service desk.
Flexible fueling card offers cash and more
Today, new technology has made it possible for people to use their smartphones to pay for goods, and it appears to be the wave of the future, but we’re not a completely cashless society yet. For now, fleet owners depend on a flexible fuel card to give their drivers access to cash and much more on the road.
The Fleet One EDGE fuel card helps growing fleets with 1-50 trucks save thousands per year in fuel discounts alone, no fuel transaction fees at over 4,000 in-network sites, and offers big discounts on tires, maintenance, wireless plans, and more. Easy to use spending controls help prevent misuse and fraud giving fleets the valuable data and reporting they need automatically.
The EFS fleet card helps mid-to-large fleets better manage and control fuel purchases with real-time integration of fuel card data and greater insights into purchasing and volume performance. Consolidating transactions on to a single platform, gives fleets one place to manage purchases, driver pay, settlement, cash advances, and more.
Trucking fleet analytics
WEX trucking fleet analytics and reporting services provide insights at your fingertips to run your fleet more profitably. From the ability to monitor fuel card purchasing to tracking industry trends, you can find opportunities to cut costs, streamline your fleet operations, and uncover savings. Fleet managers will find new ways to forecast and budget expenses, spot any unusual activity or misuse, compare your performance with other fleets, and provide accurate fuel tax reporting.
Accessing cash with fleet factoring
WEX Capital keeps your fleet vehicles moving by accelerating your company cash flow at the lowest industry rates. If your business is experiencing a cash crunch, you can get access to cash within 24 hours. Factoring is not a loan and there are no banks involved. The WEX Capital money you receive is already owed to you from your account receivables.
Using the WEX factoring-funded fuel cards, funds come in from your factored invoice and go directly to your fuel card account. Fleet managers and business owners can factor as many or as few invoices as needed and customer service representatives will make recommendations based on your company needs.
Fuel discounts and expense tracking
Fleet fuel cards are the perfect solution for managers who spend large amounts on fuel every year. Not only are these cards convenient for your drivers, but they also have easy expense tracking and reporting features. You have a network of stations and truck stops where your drivers can refuel and get routine maintenance done.
Most fleet cards are business credit cards for your drivers, offering significant fuel and maintenance discounts. Some cards are strictly for fuel and maintenance, while others allow drivers to buy items like drinks and snacks. Fleet cards are connected to each driver or truck and there are safety features to check identity at the pump.
Alerts, reporting, and GPS tracking
If any transaction seems out of the ordinary, fleet managers can be notified with alerts. If you add in the reporting and tracking features that come with most cards, you can save significant time on bookkeeping, expense planning, and tax preparation. WEX offers many different fleet fuel cards for any size business. In addition to the sophisticated reporting features, managers can access GPS tracking with a mobile app that allows them to see the location of vehicles at any time.
What to look for in a fleet card
At a time when fuel prices continue to rise, shopping around is more critical than ever. Most fleet cards offer fueling and maintenance at a network of truck stops nationwide. The perks can vary widely, so it’s important to shop around for the right card for your business. Things to look at include discounts or rewards on fuel and maintenance, business identity protection, roadside assistance, reporting and GPS features.
Other ways to save money include looking at your truck repair and service costs. These charges can add up quickly and become a drain on fleets of any size. The ability to manage your fleet with regular preventative maintenance will catch any problems early on before a driver is broken down on the road or you’re faced with large repair bills.
Truck records and route optimization with your fleet card
Maintaining a full record on each truck will help fleet managers stay on top of maintenance needs. Having extra vehicles on hand when others are in the shop can save fleets over time and pay for themselves. Another cost-saver is delivery route optimization. Fleet managers can offer specials to customers who are located in the same area to conveniently schedule deliveries on the same day.
Saving both time and money, mapping out the most efficient routes and stops will save thousands over the year. Software apps like Google Maps and Waze, and fleet telematics software, can provide route optimization for delivery drivers and fleet managers. If you buy fleet telematics, you are making a valuable investment in your business and in your drivers, making their job easier every day.
A good fleet program can be your best protection. Not only do you have detailed transactions for every driver, but you can also better plan out driver routes for improved efficiency and scheduled maintenance to reduce vehicle wear and tear. If you add in easy reporting features, you can stay ahead of unexpected issues, your challenges will become more predictable, and your fleet management will become streamlined.
Protecting against fraud with your fleet card
Whether your drivers are new or experienced, fraud is always a challenge for fleet managers. Having the ability to monitor your drivers’ activities in real time can help you control purchasing behavior and receive alerts if there is unusual activity. Many fleet fuel cards will allow managers to turn off card access immediately.
Cash, analytics, and so much more with your fleet card
WEX fleet cards offer options to get cash, along with tremendous overall savings on fuel, maintenance, and other amenities every driver needs while on the road. Making accessibility easy and providing low-cost options not only makes good business sense but also makes good driver sense.
Your drivers are your best asset. Everyone knows that only cash will do in some cases and planning ahead will make the ability to get cash painless and virtually cost-free. Whether you offer a fleet fueling card or fleet checks, or both, providing ways to make your driver’s journey easier while keeping your costs lower, is a win-win for all fleet business owners today.
There has never been a better time to stay ahead of expenses and plan for the future. Someday, experts say we will be a completely cashless society. Until then, finding ways to access cash where drivers refuel with minimal hassle and low to no-cost transactions will keep your fleets moving and deliveries on time.
All fleet cards are not the same, and different types of fuel cards suit the needs of different kinds and sizes of fleets. View WEX’s fleet card comparison chart to see which fleet fuel card is right for you.
To learn more about WEX, a growing and global organization, please visit wexinc.com.