It's a Team's Life
Sitting in an undisclosed place
Military DoD Safe Haven – Temporary storage provided to Department of Energy classified shipment transporters at Department of Defense facilities in order to assure safety and security of nuclear material and/or nonnuclear classified material. Also includes parking for commercial vehicles containing Class A or Class B explosives.
Military Safe Parking – Usually a dirt lot near a military guard shack or a commercial facility where we are able to sit while waiting to unload. Safe Parking means we are able to park there but one of us has to always be on duty, either in the front seat or within 25 feet of the truck at all times until we are unloaded.
Ever the past ten or so years we have spent time some time sitting in these temporary storage areas. One thing almost all of them have in common is a chain link fence with a padlocked gate and if lucky a clean port-a-potty. We have heard rumors there is one safe haven that is like a campground next to a lake but so far that is like a valid Sasquatch siting.
The longest we have sat in one of these facilities is about 48 hours due to a holiday falling during the time of sitting. The lots are usually not paved except for one that is in Nevada that is one very black pavement that is really REALLY hot in the summer. Sometimes we have a little company in the form of coyotes, mice, and birds and so far, no snakes but I still watch for them. Every once in a while we will see the military police come by to check the lock on the gate during their daily rounds.
One safe haven turned out to frustrating as I was planning on doing a lot of cooking and cleaning. As I cooked I was creating trash by way of empty cans and trimmings from the vegetables I was cleaning. The dumpster was located just outside the locked gate just tantalizing out of our reach to throw our trash away. By the time we were let out of locked encampment, I had several plastic bags full of trash.
At a safe haven in the north during winter after we were parked it snowed and then it snowed some more. We had a great time watching movies, reading and just enjoying watching the beautiful snowfall and knowing we did not have to drive in it. On Monday morning when they came to get us they brought a snow plow to did us out.
Another time in a safe haven at a base where our daughter was stationed we had our Easter meal on the lift gate of the truck. She was able to bring some food to add to what we already had and we cooked a very nice meal and used our lift gate as a picnic table. At that time we carried a corn hole game set and we played that for a while and then we played cards. It was really a great day!
Once in California, we were going to a location where we were not able to stay with our truck and had to get a hotel room. Luckily for us at this place, we could actually walk to a hotel that we had reserved and even better we could walk to the ocean. The best part of all of this was the weekend was actually our wedding anniversary! We walked a lot of miles that weekend and it was one anniversary we probably will never forget.
Really the only bad part of being locked away out in the boondocks is not having a bathroom and a shower. When we know we will be spending a day or so locked up I usually plan to cook us a nice meal and if the weather is nice we spend a lot of time outside of the truck enjoying the solitude. Texas, our puppy loves safe havens as she can play with her ball and Frisbee for hours on end.
As you can imagine we prefer safe havens where we can both sleep at night and go to the sleeper birth on our logs and not burn up our hours. Either way, though the safe havens are usually a great break from the noise of truck stops. When we are in safe parking I get to see some awesome sunrises as I sit and wait, wait, wait until time to get the freight off of our truck. Safe havens can either be somewhat like hell or we can choose to make them exactly what they are a safe haven where we get a chance to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.