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It's a Team's Life

How many Transponders is too much?

By Linda Caffee
Posted May 5th 2019 8:32AM

We have always had a minimum of two transponders on the windshield, EZ-Pass, and PrePass and have been happy with both.  Years have passed, and now there are many more toll roads, and all have different transponders.  EZ-Pass covers a lot of them but to many toll roads were missing and we were having to stop and get a toll ticket.

I started researching transponders.  There are a few to choose from that are nationwide, or we could look at doing the state transponders.  We do not go to the northeast so most of our tolls or in the lower half of the United States and the northwest.  I decided to add the Texas Toll and Florida Toll transponder as they did not have monthly fees. There was a little confusion with the Texas Toll as I was under the impression that it covered Oklahoma, so we went through the transponder lane only.  When we got home, we had a bill from Oklahoma, and it had a penalty included.  When I called them and asked about it was when I learned that Texas Pass does not work in Oklahoma, the lady was very nice about it and took off the penalty, and I paid the toll.  Well, that was very frustrating as we use the toll roads in Oklahoma often.

When attending the Women in Trucking Accelerate Conference, I stopped by the PrePass booth as our transponder was acting funky.  I was told to send it back to get it replaced, and then we went on to talk about Elite Pass, and I was intrigued.  It worked in all of the states we run in, and we would only have one transponder to cover tolls and to bypass scales.  Granted the Elite Pass Transponder is UGLY to the extreme I have gotten over it and appreciate the LED lights to tell us what to do when we approach a scale.  After many discussions, the decision was made to enroll in Elite Pass, and one of the side benefits is that we filled out a form and no longer get a red light to stop at the Ag Stations in Florida! 

Once enrolled we keep a minimum balance on the transponder for tolls and each month the balance is replenished back up to the minimum balance.  Since we do so little in fees, our minimum balance is low. 

The PrePass website though is fantastic as I can see a lot of reports for the last month.  There are reports about what scales we got a green light at, what scales gave us a red light and why, and also what scales we got a green light and still pulled into.  There are two states where if we are hauling Hazmat even with a green light we must enter the scale.  Those are Arkansas and Arizona. Then there are reports on what tolls roads we ran on and the price of each toll. 

We have been using this for a few months, and I am pleased to say Oklahoma is one of the states we do not have to stop at the toll booth anymore.  The transponder works well, and I think we made a good decision for us to make this change.

Bob & Linda Caffee

TeamCaffee

Saint Louis MO

Expediters since January 2005

linda.caffee8@gmail.com

 

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