Life can throw things at us that we could never envision. Want proof? OK, here’s an example: COVID 19! Last year at this time nobody could have told us our lives would be what they have turned into. Yet here we are, making changes and adapting. 

The current situation is still throwing us curveballs. Recently a friend of mine told me about a dealership being shut down for 3 days to disinfect the facility because one of their employees had tested positive. The problem is, many trucks were in various stages of disrepair. These drivers wouldn’t have access to their trucks for at least 3 more days in addition to the time it took to finish the repairs. That is an unexpected hit to the wallet. 

Are you ready if that, or even just a breakdown that takes a couple of days, happened to you?

More Than Loss of Income

If this happened to you, would you be ready? Aside from the loss of income, what about the food you would need to eat while staying in a hotel room until the repairs are made? Hopefully, your company takes care of the hotel room, but what if it happens on a weekend and you have to cover the cost until reimbursement? Do you have enough cash or available credit to take care of it? What about the Uber or cab you may need to pay for? 

These are all expenses that can pop up and if we aren’t prepared, they can really make for a tough couple days. So what do we do to prepare for them?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Keep cash on hand: I started putting my change in a coffee can. It is amazing how fast that change can add up to dollars. Keep it for emergencies.
  • Keep food on the truck that you can throw in a bag and take to the hotel: Remember, not every hotel room has a refrigerator and microwave in it, so keep food that requires neither or keep a portable cooler that you can refill with ice. Most hotels have ice for free. A plug-in cooler is a good option too.
  • If possible, keep a credit card for these kinds of emergencies: One way to do this is to take the cash you saved by saving coins and putting it onto a prepaid credit card. Keep adding money to it. There are fees associated with these cards, so check different ones out until you find the one that fits your needs.

Don’t forget to keep your receipts so you can get reimbursed for any expenses your company will cover. Hopefully, you’ll never need to dip into these funds, but having them available certainly provides peace of mind.

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Clark W Reed

Clark Reed of Roscoe, Illinois is an OTR company driver and trainer for Nussbaum Transportation based out of Hudson, Illinois. He has been driving since 2005 and has driven van, reefer, and tanker. He currently hauls dry van to all lower 48 states. Clark is passionate about MPGs and how driver habits influence them. The lifetime average of his 2018 Cascadia is 9.75 mpg, with eyes on 10. Clark, along with Henry Albert, was one of the seven drivers in 2017's "Run on Less" by NACFE, a road show, demonstrating what fuel efficiency can be obtained with existing technologies.

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