So the other night, we get a phone call to pick up a "High Value Load" from a pharmaceutical company. I don't want to spell out the details of what's involved carrying these loads for obvious reasons, but it's a pain in the butt! When we got to the shipper , they checked over our log books, checked how much fuel was in our truck, made us fill out a questionnaire that was as long as a book, made copies of our drivers licenses and our work ID's, took pictures of the load, our truck, and even my trainer and I. I'm surprised they didn't take a blood sample too! Insane!
To anybody who may ever consider stealing a truck with a high value load, I'd think twice about it. Again, I can't get into all the details, but basically we are being watched constantly and we do certain things to make stealing a truck or breaking into a trailer much more difficult. Further, if we go out of route by just a very short distance, the police are called and they track us down. Anytime we stop, we have to check in and tell them what we're doing or else the police are called and they track us down. It's insane! I still have no idea what we were hauling. They only used codes on the shipping papers and sealed our cargo doors without us being able to look. Luckily, this was a short run, otherwise it would have been an even bigger pain!
The trip went without a problem though. My trainer was about out of hours, so I was in the drivers seat. It's a weird feeling hauling cargo that could be worth millions of dollars. I don't know what the exact value was, but my company is known to haul million+ dollar loads from time to time. My biggest fear was getting lost or taking a wrong turn, but my trainer was with me just about every step of the way.
Everything else is going great. My shifting has improved 110%, I'm really learning how to handle this truck around curves and am getting much more comfortable. My trainer is still awesome too. We get along great. The next thing I really have to start learning is backing into docks and parking spaces. Starting with our next load, I think my trainer will be having me do all the backing. I've only backed into 2 docks so far and it was pretty much straight line backing. Time to mix things up! We're also going to be heading deep into the Rockies on our next load. The last time we went through them we hit the southern edge. On this load we'll be going right smack through them. My trainer wants me to drive through them for the experience which is fine by me! I'll be sure to write all about it.
Until next time, drive safely.
The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.
Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.
Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
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