When Bennett Motor Express agent Debra Main called Bennett owner operator Rusty Bamber and his partner and escort driver Heather Lusby asking if they would pick up a boiler in Nebraska and haul it to the White House power plant in Washington, D.C., Heather said, “Of course! I love Trump, so I would do anything that would bring a hot shower and water to the White House.”
The couple thought it would be exciting to gain entry into the heavily restricted White House campus, but that wasn’t the only excitement they experienced during the adventurous trip, shares Heather. First, Debra had to work with government officials to get clearance for Rusty and Heather, who steers the back of his multi-axle trailer. Background checks and reams of paperwork had to be handled weeks before they could pick up the load.
The couple traveled from their home in Houston to Lincoln, NE, to pick up the 109,000-pound boiler from Cleaver Brooks, a world renowned provider of commercial and industrial boiler room products and systems. Because of the massive over-dimensional size of the load – 38 feet long by 16.11 feet wide by 10.9 feet tall – the driving team had to take a route that was about 250 miles out of the way to comply with permits.
After picking up the boiler, they traveled through Kansas to Missouri, then through Tennessee to Virginia, where they had to wait for three days. When it was time to make that final leg of the journey, they were notified shortly after midnight to prepare for the trip. They were inspected by the state troopers, whose job was to escort them to the state line.
Unfortunately, the state of Virginia mis-routed them. The state troopers escorted them on I495 to I395 − a mile and a half of overhead tunnels with lots of construction. When they reached 395, which would be the expressway into D.C., they found themselves unable to continue on due to 13.6-feet-wide jersey walls that were too narrow to accommodate their nearly 17-foot-wide load. As a result, they had to back up a mile and a half and be taken on an alternate route.
When they reached the state line, the Capitol police were waiting to escort them to D.C., but not before a second inspection. Because they were going to the White House, the load had to be inspected a number of times. When they arrived at the border of the White House campus, they had to be inspected a final time by the Campus police.
Out of the driving team, only Rusty and Heather were allowed to enter the campus because they had been cleared ahead of time. “It was very cordoned off,” Heather says. “The secret service were all over the grounds. The Capitol police were everywhere. It was great. We really enjoyed the experience.”
The entire trip from door to door took 12 days. “Bennett made sure we picked up really early to give us a lot of extra time in case we broke down anywhere or met with any problems, which really paid off,” Heather says. “It was a tough journey, but getting to the White House is what made it wonderful. I have the best job in the whole world!”
This load was one of about eight total traveling to the White House, says agent Debra Main, who regularly books loads for Cleaver Brooks for large institutions all over the nation. She says they were “ecstatic” about how this load was handled.
If you’re looking to make the change and drive for Bennett, or if you’d just like more information, visit www.drive4bme.com, or contact one of our recruiters at 888-712-3036!