If you’re a truck driver, you may wonder “how do truck drivers pay tolls?”. How truck drivers pay tolls is ultimately decided by their carrier. However, there are many different options to pay a toll like electronic payment and cash. Keep reading to learn more about “how do truck drivers pay tolls?”.
What Are Truck Tolls?
Truck tolls are fees collected by states to finance roadway maintenance and upkeep infrastructure.
Studies have found that truck toll costs can often be 3 – 6 times higher than passenger vehicle tolls because trucks have more axels. Tolls can be charged by axel. These fees do not go away but are used to improve highways and raise money for new roads. Many owner-operators try to avoid toll booths to save on costs, which can negatively impact their efficiency.
Truck tolls can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the length of the toll road and the type of vehicle. For example, a study by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that toll costs for truckers can often be 3-6 times higher than for passenger vehicles. Additionally, Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls have made national news recently due to their impact on truck drivers who are choosing to hit the brakes on these required fees.
What Are the Different Types of Truck Tolls?
Toll Collection Systems
There are three main types of truck tolls:
- Toll Tag: A device that allows the driver to pass through a toll booth without having to pay in cash or by card. The toll will be automatically deducted from the account linked to the tag.
- Cash/Card: Drivers can pay for their tolls with cash or credit/debit cards at most facilities, though some may not accept certain payment methods.
- Integrated Toll API: This software helps trucking companies calculate tolls (or reimbursement) and manage fleet routes in order to save on travel time or cost.
Electronic Toll Collection
Electronic toll collection (ETC) is a cashless method of toll collection that uses transponders or license plate readers to facilitate payment without having to stop at a toll booth.
It differs from other types of truck tolls in that it eliminates the need for drivers to stop and pay with cash, and instead bills them through the mail after video cameras capture their license plate number if they do not have a transponder. ETC systems can also use overhead gantries with transponder readers which enable high-speed tolling. Additionally, many major toll systems around the world are switching over from traditional toll booths to ETC due to their convenience and efficiency.
Cash Payment of Toll
Cash payment of tolls is when trucking companies pay tolls using cash. There are several types of truck tolls, including:
- Toll tag: Trucking companies can pay tolls using a toll tag, which deducts funds from their account.
- Cash: Trucking companies can also pay cash at the toll booth for a one-time payment or receive a receipt for reimbursement later.
- Card/other accepted payment method: Some facilities may accept card payments or other accepted methods such as Apple Pay or Android Pay for easy reimbursement at a later date.
Transponder Payment of Toll
A transponder is a device that communicates with toll collection systems to automatically deduct the appropriate tolls from a driver’s account. It can be either a transponder or a license plate reader that detects the license plate number of vehicles that do not have transponders.
When a truck with a transponder passes through an open-road toll plaza at normal highway speeds, the electronic scanner reads and registers the transponder as it passes through.
Some common types of toll transponders include:
- EZ Pass: A battery-operated machine that is mounted on the windshield and can be used in 17 states. It is activated by prepaying and allows drivers to pass through a toll booth without stopping.
- NationalPass: Provides access to all toll roads in the US without having to transport more than one transponder, but costs more than EZ Pass.
Before you get on the toll road, purchase a transponder from your preferred toll operator. When you approach a toll station, place the transponder on your windshield and position it so it can read your license plate number accurately. Enter the appropriate payment method (cash, credit card, etc.) into the pay station or use an app such as Tollsmart Toll Calculator for Trucks to make automated payments through your smartphone or tablet device (if supported by the toll operator).
The system will deduct money from your account based on how much you owe for using that particular toll road/station and applicable fees associated with payment methods used (e..g credit card processing fees).
When passing through gated toll plazas, the driver should slow down slightly while approaching, so that they can quickly pass through without having to stop completely.
How Do Truck Drivers Pay Tolls?
How Do Commercial Vehicles Pay Tolls?
Trucking companies pay tolls with toll tags, cash, card, or other accepted payment method depending on the toll facility. To calculate tolls (or reimbursement), integrate Toll API which helps manage fleet routes to save time or cost.
State officials authorize the toll and release funds to repair stretches of highways and interstates affected by potholes or rough stretches of the road caused by excessive use over time. The money paid is supposed to go toward repairing roads in excellent condition so that motorists can travel safely.
How Do Truckers Pay Toll With EZ Pass?
Most trucking companies have an EZ Pass transponder pass for common toll roads. This allows drivers to automatically pay their tolls without having to stop and pay at the toll plaza. If the driver does not have access to an EZ Pass transponder, they can ask their company if they can get one for a particular road or bridge that is commonly used by them. If neither option is available, drivers should keep all receipts from tolls paid out of pocket and submit them when they scan their bills at the end of each week or month (depending on company policy). These receipts will be added to their next paycheck as reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred due.
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