Confessions Of A Former Armored Truck Driver

February 10, 2020 | No Comments » | Topics: Life Experiences

armored truck driver

How big is the risk? Is there a rough estimate on how big the risk is of being robbed?

Messengers being shot in the back of the head while loading cash into ATM is a common thing. Granted, your head needs to be on a swivel. If you allow someone to walk up on you like that…. that’s essentially you signing your own death certificate.

Did you get to carry any handgun you qualified on or did you have to use the shitty company guns?

Garda was issuing revolvers for the longest time. They sold them 1 year before I was hired. We qualified with our own personal firearms.

What would happen if someone steps out in front of the truck pointing an AR15 at the driver?

We were trained for such event. The Threat will be eliminated.

Our rules of engagement are:

•Prove intent: he’s pointing a Ar-15 at my driver •Prove opportunity: he took the time to figure out the general time of when we show up. •Prove means: he’s literally holding an Ar-15 and ready to fire •Prove ability: His finger is on the trigger •Did my driver attempt to tell him to stop?: yes he honked.

Let’s assume worst case. The Ar-15(s) are loaded with black-tip ammunition. The front windshield will hold up the best due to the angle of the glass; my driver would have plenty time to run your A*S over. My driver was under strict directions to NEVER shift the transmission into park, foot on the break; nothing else.

My concern would be the lack of any angle on the driver and passenger side glass. If you land black tip ammunition directly on top of each other…. it’s going to go through, usually within 2-3 rounds. It honestly depends on the age of the glass from my personal testing.

This scenario is why I made safety glasses and body armor mandatory on my truck. Shards of glass will certainty be flying everywhere.

If we were engaged while the messenger and I were in the truck we would always attempt to flee. We are in a moving bank vault after.

If the driver is engaged while the messenger and I are inside a bank or other contracted establishment. The company policy is that the Armored Truck drives away, leaving the crew leader and messenger to defend themselves. Yes you heard right…. the truck drives away! Under this circumstance we were contractually bound to defend the client. Our standard operating procedure would be to evacuate all employees to cover, or concealment, and wait for Law Enforcement. (This area would’ve been established during the clients first day of service, during our risk assessment walk through.)

Finally, if the truck is engaged while we are walking out, we would move to cover and eliminate the threat. I really make all of this sound easy, it’s not. It’s scary as hell, but our faces wouldn’t show it.

A somewhat similar event happened to my truck in 2016. No shots were fired. All three us noticed that a sedan had been following us for 15 minutes. We contacted Local Law Enforcement. By the time we arrived at our next client. The Leo’s swarmed the sedan. The driver fled, he had a pistol. The front passenger had a 12 gauge shotgun.

Say your guy gets out of the truck and walks into a high end restaurant with much less actual security than say a bank or a Walmart. As he is coming out with the deposit bag I just shot him dead and go for the bag. Is your response to protect the bag or protect yourself assuming I will continue into the truck?

Protect myself. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to get home safely.vb

Have you ever been attacked?

We never let anyone get too close to us. We were never physically assaulted. Before I was on a dedicated three man truck, I personally had a close call. The establishment was large and we delivered cash through the back door. When the employee opened the door, he had a very large monkey wrench behind his head ready to swing it. I dropped their cash delivery, quickly took a few steps back, I yelled “ drop the weapon at least 5 times.” I put my hand on my firearm. At this point I didn’t draw.

He quickly recognized the situation he put himself in and stopped. I asked him “ Bro are you serious?!” And he responded with “ nawwww, I’m just playin.” I told him to get his manager right now, or we are leaving.

The manager opens the door and I asked her where the other employee was and she said that he was serving food. I picked up their cash delivery and explained the situation to her. She said she would pass the information on and look at the cameras.

After handing the incident report directly to my supervisor, he honestly didn’t care. I went to my branch manager and he said he would look into it. One week goes by and my branch manager said that they won’t investigate it because the change order was delivered. This influenced my extreme sense of paranoia once I was promoted to a Crew Leader.

Is it true your coworkers are more likely to shoot you than a random robber?

I’ve been told that 9/10 times it Will be an inside job.

Does that get awkward?

Not awkward, it gets scary. If they’re a employee that’s been with the company for less than two years I was always on edge.

What would freak me out is when one of my other two crew members called of sick, we would get a new person. When that new person starts taking wrong turns while you’re in the passenger seat next to him. That’s a “ rest your hand on your gun moment.”

Coworkers on different routes called me paranoid, but I adopted a 3 strike rule. At any point during the day, if a new drive took 3 wrong turns, with clear verbal command. We returned to our branch to fill out an Incident report. It would put us a couple hours behind schedule, but I’m a firm believer in a paper trail.

How common are accidents with armored trucks?

This question absolutely hits a very sensitive nerve with me. I take medication because of these two stories.

During late 2017 my crew and I witnessed Another Armored Truck Company slide through an intersection and t-bone a small truck similar to a Ford Ranger. The elderly woman driving the small truck died at the scene. I took a picture as it happened because I knew Law Enforcement would ask around and find out that another Armored company witnessed it.

My last story is pretty personal. Before I met my wife (happily married and blessed with a 1 month old son). I was in a serious relationship with another Crew Leader. This was kept very quiet because the rules for relationships were very strict. Most people “kinda knew” because both of us would roll into the parking lot at the same time nearly every morning.

Anyways, I believe this to be early fall of 2015. It was business as usual. We rolled into the parking lot, pretended to hate each other in front of the other officers, load our trucks up and go our separate ways. She had a new-hire driving for her. This new-hire had all the pre-existing symptoms of undiagnosed sleep apnea and other crew leaders had reported him falling asleep behind the wheel on extended drives between contracts.

During this transit (90 minutes between contracts) the New-Hire fell asleep behind the wheel and rear-ended a Semi Truck at 65 Mph. The semi was fully loaded, so Gross weight of……65,000-80,000lbs? The impact was so forceful that my Significant Others’ seatbelt buckle snapped. The seatbelt flung to the side and she hit the Bulkhead door at 65mph. (The bulkhead door is a heavy door that separates the front cab to the rear. It locks open while in transit and stays closed while sitting on site. This is due to the side door the messenger uses to climb in out of the Truck.)

My route was running late that day. After we cleared my truck of all liability and parked it. I sent her a text message that went unanswered. Then, a phone call that went straight to voicemail. While sitting in my car, that’s when I saw the tow truck, and it was her Armored truck on the flatbed. In disbelief I waited for the tow truck to drop it in the back corner of the parking lot. That’s when my supervisor walked over to me, handed me some disposable gloves, and we spent 2 hours bleaching the entire rear of the Armored Truck. The insurance company refused to determine if the truck was totaled or not until all the blood was removed. I still have nightmares and I can’t seem to reconnect with her due to the event. Here is the pictures of what I think Reddit will allow.

The Truck was totaled. The driver survived, was fired, and she was airlifted to the closest hospital with multiple skull fractures, broken collar bones, broken ribs, wrist, and left arm. The only reason she didn’t die is because the entire crash was so abrupt, she had zero time to react. She was honorably discharged from the military, became one of our dispatchers, but soon quit and faded from existence. The Last I heard, she moved to a different state.

What are the hours like?

The average route day at my branch was 10 hours

How is the pay?

When I was hired in early 2013 the starting pay was $12.65 per hour, once promoted to Crew Leader it was $14.00. Great pay to protect a few thousand dollars of other people’s money, huh?

How about benefits?

401k sucks. No company matching. Health insurance is an HSA plan. You pay the first $2200 out of pocket. Then they cover 80% • life insurance has an added clause stating that if you perish while performing duties and you weren’t following any company policy. Your family won’t be paid out. An example of this is would be: requesting a company issued bulletproof vest and being fatally shot not wearing it.

Why is the pay so low?

Because no one has the balls to start a union.

What kind of mileage do you get on those trucks?

My typical daily route varied from 65-87 miles per day. My truck was gasoline driven, and at the end of the day we refilled around 13-15 gallons. Around 4-5mpg? I’m certainly glad we weren’t driving them on our personal dimes. Glug, Glug, Glug.

What if you literally are going to crap your pants…can you run into a local starbucks and leave the truck undermanned? Or once you’re in, you’re in?

I operated a 3 man crew. 1 officer had to have direct control at all times. That was my truck rule, once you’re in, you’re in.

However, Our policy was updated shortly before I left to allow “solo” trucks. Trucks with a sh*t ton of cameras inside and out, as well as a mandatory panic button you wore around your neck.

“solo Trucks” being defined as a crew of one officer that drove and left the truck to collect money.

My crew was drafted one day to drop off cash at The Federal Reserve. Another Armored company with maintenance standards lower than us were also there waiting. As I start chatting with their Crew Leader he mentions their “urinal.” It was a 3 inch hole in their floor, that had rusted out. Said Armored company had a 4-5 hour drive from their Vault to the Federal Reserve. So, while in transit. They would urinate into the hole. Adapt and overcome, right?

Why did you quit?

The BIGGEST reason why I left was because of the Workers Compensation claim I filed. They sent 5 copies of paperwork to me and over the first two months, they lost all 5. I would call the company who handles the WC claims and they would say they received it and a week later I’d call back to only hear they lost it.

Fast forward 10 months of back-and-Fourth with this company I made my usual phone call. The told me that I no longer qualify for compensation because I have not given them the correct paperwork to file. I was responsible for the entire bill. Which angrily paid over the following year.

The last straw was when my branch eliminated a couple routes and threw all of their contracts onto other routes. Everyone got at least 15 extra stops with a heck of a lot more miles to drive per day. When I received my list of new contracts I worked them into my route as best as I could. The following month my crew gets pulled into the Branch managers office. He then starts to tell us how we aren’t making a good enough effort to make sure that everyone receives service. With the extra stops on my route, no matter how I obsessively tried to make everything work, banks were closing before we could get to them.

I pulled my branch manager aside and asked if he could place my supervisor, the operations manager, or him on my truck to shadow us. His exact words were “ i specifically didn’t get my permit to carry so that corporate wouldn’t force me to help out the routes.” He also said that he wouldn’t let a supervisor or the operations manager shadow us because he “ needed them to do more important things.”

The following day I turned my termination letter. He never pulled me into his office to talk about it.

Would you recommend this career to others?

You’re absolutely F*cking crazy to even consider this industry as a “career.” It’s honestly a dead end job that quite possibly will kill you. Could you live with that?

However, the experiences I’ve had and the other officers I shared hardship with will stay with me for the rest of my life. We truly are a brotherhood. One of my crew members signed me and my wife’s Marriage Certificate. I honestly would take a bullet in the head for my crew and others I’ve worked with.

What are you doing now?

I’m now in a waaaay better job path. I’m a Union Steelworker. I get to weld and fabricate industrial equipment for factories nationwide. The benifits are stellar, I’m netting x3 more pay that the Armored Truck company, and the shop I work at bends over backwards for both their union and nonunion employees.

They even have a 3 week PAID paternal leave program. It was awesome being able to spend more time with my newborn child than others were able to.

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