Owning a pet can bring both psychological and physiological health benefits for pet owners. Unfortunately, if you're an OTR driver working for a trucking company without a pet policy, you may have to leave your furry friend behind for weeks at a time. The separation can be tough on both you and your animal pal.
Truckers who bring their pets on the road with them love it. Barry Starr, a longtime trucker, said of his dog, "He is great company; he keeps me laughing a lot. He is also a great source of exercise [as] walking him and playing with him will definitely keep me active. But the number one thing is he's an awesome alarm system."
If you're a pet owner looking for a new truck driving job, why not focus your search on trucking companies that allow you to bring your pets along? Each carrier's pet policy may differ, so you will need to inquire about your company's requirements in advance.
Review the Trucking Company's Pet Policy
Of course, just because they’re pet friendly, that doesn’t mean anything goes. Most companies have certain rules in place to protect their trucks, reduce liability, and generally make sure that the driver is responsible for their pet.
One of the most common restrictions is that pets can only be a dog or cat, and under 30 pounds. Trucking jobs are no place for exotic pets that may require certain climates in order to survive, let alone live comfortably, and there’s no assurance that your pet iguana will be okay if you’re driving to the Dakotas in the winter. The weight requirement is not only because it can be difficult to get an animal into the cab, but also because a restless pet on long truck driving jobs can get excited and accidentally force you to turn the wheel in a way that lighter animals won’t be able to.
Pet friendly trucking companies may also require you to pay a deposit for your animal so long as you plan to take them with you.. This deposit is to cover any damage done to the cab during trucking jobs. In some cases they may also require cats to be declawed or restrict the privilege of having a pet on the road with you for CDL jobs to lease operators only.
Pet Friendly Trucking Companies
CDLjobs.com has plenty of jobs listed with companies that will let you bring your pet along. If the carrier has provided information to us about their pet policy, this information is found on each carrier’s company profile in the “General” section. We understand that in some cases, animals may be the only family a trucker has, so we're happy to help you find pet friendly trucking companies to keep working without having to give up your furry companions. Here are a few examples.
GTS Transportation is a rapidly growing company located in the Chicago area operating in all 48 states. Big enough to work with all the major customers, yet personal enough so that you know you are a respected and valuable part of our team.
J.B. Hunt is one of North America's top logistics companies and is also one of the most pet-friendly. You can bring your dog along if it weighs 60 pounds or fewer, is a non-aggressive breed, and has all its shots documented. You'll have to pay a $300 deposit to get your furry friend in the cab with you.
You can expect other perks when you're working with J.B. Hunt, as well. For example, the company offers competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Plus, 90 percent of J.B. Hunt driving jobs let you have home time every week, so you and your pup won't have to spend too long away from the rest of your family.
Crete Carrier prides itself on being one of the largest privately owned trucking companies and its low driver turnover rate. One of the reasons for its low turnover rate may be the company's pet policy. You're allowed to bring a dog or cat with you if the pet weighs 60 pounds or fewer.
These factors, coupled with being one of the Top Pay Certified carriers for 10 consecutive years, make this pet-friendly trucking company one that you want to visit.
West Side Transport
West Side Transport offers some great opportunities for drivers of all experience levels that include home daily, regional, dedicated and OTR routes. They simply believe in providing drivers a great weekly paycheck, various home time opportunities, all while giving them the respect all driver deserve.
West Side believes having a dog riding with you in your truck will result in a healthier and happier driver! They don't want you to miss out on quality time with your best friend. In fact, West Side Transport allows two dogs per driver!
Covenant wants to onboard the best drivers and part of its strategy to attract great employees is a pet policy that allows you to bring up to two pets that weigh a total of no more than 50 pounds. There is a $500 pet policy fee.
Trucking isn't just a job; it's a lifestyle, and your pets are also part of your lifestyle. When you work with one of the above companies, you can bring your furry friends on the road with you.
Get Things In Order Before You Leave Home
Once you have landed a driving job with a pet friendly trucking company, there are a few additional things to consider before you and your pet begin your journey.
1. Allow your pet to become familiar with the new sights and smells inside the cab to ease the transition. Sit together parked for before taking a short drive. You may want to repeat this routine a few times before you begin trucking with your pet.
2. Visit your veterinarian before embarking on your first trip. It is wise to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are current and that you keep a record with you on the road. Discuss the need for shots or medication that may be required for travel areas outside of your home base. Invest in a flea and tick preventative to keep those nasty things out of your truck!
Health Considerations of Trucking With Your Pet
Some of the areas you encounter over the road may not always be the best for your pet's health. There may be antifreeze or other chemical deposits on truck stop concrete that can burn your pet’s paws. When possible, it is wise to carry your pet to a grassy area to “do its business,” but ALWAYS clean up after yourselves. At rest stops, be on the lookout for dangerous chemical treatments on the lawns. Washing your pet’s paws before resuming your travels is wise.
Providing a Safe Environment
1. Do not allow your pet to ride unrestrained. A loose animal is an unnecessary distraction for a truck driver and puts your pet at risk in the event of an accident. Use a barrier to prevent access to parts of the cab or use a travel crate.
2. Leash your pet outside of the cab. Make sure you have tags for identification and carry a picture of your pet at all times. Having a micro-chipped animal may help you be reunited in the event he or she is lost.
3. Hydrate with your own water, Exercise, Repeat!
4. If your pet sheds, you may need to carry extra heating or cooling filters. Change regularly to keep your rig operating smoothly.
Research has shown that pet owners are generally in better health with lower blood pressure, lower bad cholesterol, and less depression. You may also find CDL jobs are more enjoyable with man’s best friend on board. If you feel lonely or stressed on the road, trucking with your pet may be just the answer for you!