Doug Ross

The field crew at Dover Home Remodelers, in Cleveland, receives a truck allowance for using personal vehicles to travel to and from jobsites. Of the 13 field crew, eight are eligible to participate in the program, says owner James Orr. “What dictates if they get this option or not is if they are a foreman, running a crew, or if they need to carry tools/ladders to perform their work,” he says.

Back in the 1980s, the crew used company-owned vehicles. “We found out that the company vehicles were not being taken care of and maintained. That was the catalyst for this program,” Orr says. “We thought it would provide incentive to take care of [the vehicles], and it worked.”

The allowance covers use of the vehicle. Dover also provides a separate gas allowance. Participants fill out a mileage log that they turn in every quarter — information that is required for tax purposes. Otherwise, the allowance would be considered taxable income, Orr explains.

If the employee wants to participate but can’t finance a vehicle or if the remodeling firm can negotiate a better deal, Orr will help the employee purchase the vehicle.

Employees who participate in the program must also name Dover Home Remodelers as additional insured on their vehicle insurance policy. Orr added this requirement after an incident where an employee was involved in a car accident after work hours and both the employee and Dover were sued by the other driver. He says that the additional-insured section of the policy protects the company from non-work-hour accidents.