We’d like to congratulate two of our drivers, Michael and Anthony, on receiving their DoD clearance! After nearly a year of working and waiting for this, they were recently approved and immediately started reaping the benefits—their average rate per mile increased by $0.20! DoD stands for Department of Defense and allows the drivers to run high-security loads and other top-secret freight that they can’t even tell us about.
Michael shared a little about the lengthy process of getting approved. “The process to obtain our government clearance was long. I had to fill out an application that was over one hundred pages and asked about what I did in the past 15 years. Then I had to wait almost an entire year before we found out we had gotten our clearance. So if you ever want to get DoD, make sure you have lots of patience, because it’s a long process.”
Our carrier, Panther, holds the contract with the Department of Defense, and since many DoD loads are expedited freight, Panther requires established teams to apply together. Both drivers must have the clearance to even be considered for DoD loads.
“A boring life is best.” That was the advice Michael received when he started looking into obtaining his clearance. A spotless record is critical. Part of the process involves a very extensive background check that spans the driver’s entire life; no matter how long ago something might have occurred, it will still be taken into consideration.
Michael wanted to get his clearance because it gives him more career options, higher pay, more miles, and even more flexibility on loads. The DoD loads Michael and Anthony have run so far have averaged higher miles and higher pay compared to the typical expedited freight our fleet hauls.
The actual loads are top secret, and Michael and Anthony take that responsibility very seriously. They were able to tell us that they are now able to haul explosives if needed. They also shared that the recent government shutdown hit close to home because they had to stop running during that period.
We asked Michael if he had any advice for drivers who want to go for their DoD clearance. He warned, “You have to be careful because there are a lot of rules. At the beginning, it’s ok to make mistakes since you’re learning, but after that they have no problem to take you away from DoD. You can’t afford to make mistakes or break their rules since you’re carrying very important things.”
We’re excited to have this high-quality team as part of our fleet and can’t wait to see just how far they can go!