Aerospace trucking brings its own unique set of perks and challenges. IMT thoroughly enjoys working in this industry and appreciates the many opportunities it has to offer. To start, we get to move many varieties of aircraft components, from entire helicopters, jet engines, wings, landing gear, etc. If it flies, we will put it on a truck and move it over the road.
In some industries, keeping the drivers engaged can be difficult. Especially if you are moving relatively simple freight: hay, corn, steel, etc. Every shipment is important regardless of the value of the cargo, but drivers can get complacent and take certain parts of their job for granted if they are not challenged once in a while.
Aerospace trucking offers such a wide variety of cargo, each requiring its own special techniques and procedures to ensure cargo safety. Drivers are under constant strain due to the high profile nature of the cargo. It is not uncommon for an IMT driver to have an audience of 10-20 VIP’s watching their every move and photographing every inch of their trailer while in the process of loading an aircraft. Clients will fly personnel across the country just to watch how their cargo is loaded. This benefits IMT’s operations by keeping the driver’s on their toes an ensuring they never get complacent enough to overlook something critical.
Another aspect of the aerospace industry that can be a challenge is the constant delays. It is just a part of the job that has to be expected. An engine may be scheduled to ship on a Wednesday, fail in the test cell and not actually ship until Saturday. IMT drivers have to expect this and may end up waiting 3-4 days to get loaded. The only way to be successful in this industry is to be flexible.
In addition to loads being delayed, there are also expedited shipments that require a different kind of flexibility. IMT may have to team a truck empty 1000 miles just to be in position to load a helicopter that has to be delivered by a certain date. Although shipments are delayed, in this industry deadlines are to be taken seriously and fulfilling a client’s contract commitments is the number one priority.
For any driver or company looking to break into the aerospace trucking, you need to be aware of the challenges involved. You can’t just be in it for the money otherwise you will lose sight of what it means to provide a higher level of service to a client. To move a helicopter on the ground certainly costs more than moving a load of lumber for example. However, that premium paid is a reflection of the type of service the client is expecting. Up to and including; proper equipment, experienced drivers, flexibility and a willingness to literally go the extra mile to ensure a safe and on-time shipment.