Monday, August 13, 2018

Escort Service

Over the years we've hauled loads that need what's called an escort truck.    This is not the same as having a pilot car escort.  An escort truck follows the lead truck, turning when it turns, stopping when it stops, always keeping it in view. 

Most of the loads we've hauled that require an escort (or that we've been an escort for) involve some kind of sensitive or expensive freight.  Sometimes there will be two loaded trucks and one escort truck.  The escort truck is always empty, it never carries any cargo. 

One time we did a load that required two trucks AND a car that contained two armed security officers.  I still have no idea what was in the truck.  Although I did a little research to figure it out and tried to pry it out of the armed guards, we were only told it was some sort of pharmaceutical chemicals.  Phooey!

I'm really not a fan of doing loads that require an escort.  It pays very well, and you don't have to drive loaded (so no weight issues, no load checks necessary) but it's still a bit of a pain in the ass.  Escorting is all about compromise - you have to talk to the other drivers and agree on the speed of travel, what kind of stops and breaks you're going to take, whether there are pets involved that need walking.  Mostly, I don't like being at the mercy of another driver or having to make any changes to my routine.  If we do it, I'd much rather be the lead truck instead of the one following. 

We recently did an escorted load where we were the loaded truck and the other was the escort.  Good because we, as the lead truck, made the rules, but bad because we still had to make some compromises.  The other team we drove with were great.  The wife was just the kind of person I like, which is rare in this industry, as I usually don't have anything in common with the other trucker wives.  The only problem it seemed we were going to have was the speed - they wanted to do "the speed limit", which can mean 75 miles per hour in some states.  We don't do 75 miles per hour.  EVER. 

In fact, our regular speed is 58 miles per hour.  If we're in a rush, we might do 60.  And 62 is our top speed.  We don't like going fast.  I don't like it because it's unsafe.  Ed doesn't like it because it tears up the equipment.  There's just no benefit to going that fast.  I knew when I was moseying along around 60 miles per hour, she was behind me pulling her hair out.  I felt a teensy bit bad but not enough to crank it up to 62. 

I also don't like using the CB Radio and hate having to keep it on while doing an escorted load.  But you need to be able to communicate with the other team.  I like to listen to podcasts or books on tape when I drive and I hate the scratchy sound of the CB.  And when people talk it's always so garbled, I can't understand them anyway.  On this last load, we communicated using phones which was much better. 

I'm not saying I'll never do another escorted load, but whenever Ed tells me we got one, I always say, "Ugh.  Really??" 

Probably my favorite part about this particular type of freight hauling is seeing the look on my mother's face when I say, "Guess what?  I got paid four figures this week to be an escort."

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Comforting Souls

2016: Get Lost In The Links
2015: Up In The Bakken 
2014: I See A Molasses Sorghum Cookie In My Future
2013: Save Fifty Cents By Staying Away From The Card Tables - Go To A Concert Instead
2012: Zero Tolerance Zone
2011: Flicker Of Hope…GONE
2010: Knee Deep In Training
2009: She Sells Seashells By The Seashore
2008: Shopping At Walmart Is The Closest Some Of Us Will Ever Get To China
2007: Giving Indians A Bad Name
2006: Six Flags Of Horror Fly Over Texas
2005: Snake River

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