We've been asked over and over about trucking and pets. Drivers want to know if it's worth the hassle and how to get their company on board.
We talked to experienced truckers and researched company pet rider policies to find answers. Here's what we found:
1. Dogs are amazing copilots.
Four legged partners are one of the top ways truckers stay away from loneliness while on the road. We asked drivers what they think about pets as copilots and this is what they said:
"Dogs are fantastic to have with this job. You always have someone to talk to. They make you go for walks which is good." -Jerry M., OTR trucker
"I have always trucked with a dog or two on board. The pluses way out weigh any minuses. There is much comfort in never being alone and they are excellent at alerting you to situations. They get you out of the truck to walk and if you're having a rough day you know that at least your dogs love you no matter what. And lastly, and I know this from personal experience, if you ever break down in sub zero temps their extra body heat while you're all hunkered down under a down comforter may very well save your lives." -Michael W., OTR trucker
"I love my dog on the truck. It's his truck as far as he is concerned." Barbara G., OTR trucker
2. For OTR pets, there are some must haves for your truck.
Keep pet shot records with you and current in case of any inspections. Your company, DOT, shippers and receivers can all ask for records.
Chew toys are handy for your little buddy.
Bring dog shampoo and baby wipes for a great quick bath. Without these, your truck will smell like a dog house.
Dog food from home and treats. If you change dog food often, it could upset your dog's stomach.
Puppy pads can help keep your truck clean, especially after rain.
Bring a portable cage for transport in case you need to use a taxi or Uber.
3. Assuming your company and customers are okay with pets is a BIG mistake.
We've heard about drivers that get turned away so make sure you know a site's policy before you arrive.
Military bases, electric plants and other places that have with hazardous materials and high security will NOT allow you to bring a pet on site and they WILL search your truck.
Know the requirements when you get there so you don't get stuck!
Some companies require a pet deposit, ranging anywhere from $100-$500 and policies can restrict pet rider weight to as small as 40 lbs.
4. If you're looking for a pet, visit your local Humane Society or animal shelter.
These pets are perfect companions for truckers and these organizations keep their animals up to date on shots.
They will provide proper documentation if you're asked for records. They can also help you determine what kinds of dogs would be best for the trucking lifestyle.
Drivers shared with us that a calm dog or older dog can enjoy the road more and needs less stops for potty breaks and exercise.
5. It's easy to find a company with a pet policy that's right for you.
Drivers have a hard time finding a pet policy that's right for their circumstance. We make it easy!
You can apply to all the companies you qualify for with one application, and choose the job offer with the best pet rider policy for you.
After you apply, companies will contact YOU with information about their open jobs. You can ask questions upfront to find a company that matches what you want.
Apply now and you could get hired today!