Today was all about load securement. In fact, that’s all we did all day. It was a good refresher though as well as learning the way TMC requires things to be secured. It wasn’t totally different from what I already knew, but they require certain things to be done that is above and beyond what the DOT requires. Personally, I think that is awesome because the minimum is never good enough in anything you do in life. I usually over secure my loads anyway because I really prefer not dying by having my load come through the truck should I have to slam on the brakes at 62 MPH. Why just 62 MPH? More on that in a minute. I don’t only over secure for my safety though, I do it because anyone next to me on the road has loved ones somewhere and I don’t want to be responsible for killing them because my load fell off the trailer and smashed their car.
Some of you are probably wondering why I said 62 MPH, and quite honestly, it could be any speed really. But TMC trucks are governed at 62 MPH. For those that don’t know what that means, it means that no TMC truck will go over 62 MPH. Well, unless you are going down a hill. In fact, most trucking companies have their trucks restricted to a certain speed. Part of it is for safety reasons, but the main reason why is money. TMC used to run their trucks at 65, but when the fuel prices got so damn high they cut them all back. What they found out is it saved them 1.5 million in fuel costs every month across the fleet.
Before I forget, I need to clarify something from yesterday’s update. The whole GI BILL monetary amount was wrong. Well, partially wrong. I read the pamphlet wrong and Post 9/11 pays one thing and Chapter 33 pays another. Since I am Post 9/11 I will get 80% of what the housing allowance is in Des Moines for an E-5, which is $1131 and some change. The reason I will get 80% of that is because that is what my entitlement is. I talked with the rep here today and she said she already put everything in the system and it was going out in the mail tonight. I assume I will get a letter from the VA in a few weeks telling me exactly how much I will get just like they did for school.
For those that actually read this and care, this will be the last orientation update. We are being released tomorrow at some point. All I know at this point is we were told to check out of our rooms in the morning and be on the 0700 bus with all our shit. Going by what we have seen throughout the week though, I am fairly certain we are going to get issued our fuel cards, log books, and who knows what other paperwork. We will then be told that we are heading to the airport to get a rental car to head home and meet with our trainers. I have yet to hear from my trainer, but they did tell me that most of them wait until Friday to call. So not positive when I will meet up with him, but again, I am fairly certain it will be Sunday sometime. Other than that, that’s about all for now. That 16 hr drive tomorrow sure is going to be a fun one.