Sometimes It Takes a Good Road Buddy to Get the Job Done Properly
There is no question that long-haul trucking can be a lonesome profession. Solitary work is good for some, but for others, the isolation can take its toll. To deal with the long hours alone, many drivers choose to bring their pets to work, noting that the companionship they provide dramatically improves their working conditions.
Any pet lover can go on and on about how great it is to live and work with their furry, feathered, or scaly friends. But evidence of the benefits pets provide their human companions goes well beyond the anecdotal. Scientific studies have shown that for many people, living and working with pets lower their risks of heart disease and stroke, decrease their stress and loneliness, and provide needed structure and increased opportunities for exercise.
Drivers who drive with their pets might add a few additional benefits that are unique to their profession. Unlike human companions, animals are consistently sympathetic listeners, could care less about what music is playing, don’t complain about the temperature settings in the cab, and never ask how much longer it will be until they arrive at their destinations!
On a more serious note, the presence of pets – particularly dogs – can provide protection and make drivers feel safer. This is especially relevant for the increasing number of women drivers.
Of course, pets have their own needs, such as regular exercise, feeding, and bathroom breaks. Rather than being a burden, these requirements can actually keep drivers healthier, by prompting them to stop more frequently than they would on their own, walk around, and get the mental and physical breaks they need to finish their jobs safely.
Thankfully, there seems to be more support from pet adoption agencies to facilitate pet ownership by truckers. In a recent article in the New York Times, the Director of Shelter Outreach and Engagement at the Humane Society said, “I can think of no better life for a dog who likes to ride in a vehicle than to be with their owner 24/7.” She also acknowledged that certain adoption requirements, like requiring a fenced-in yard, could eliminate a lot of good homes.
Trucking companies have different rules regarding pets on the job, so for those wanting to travel with their pets, they should review these policies carefully. Some of the CDL sites, such as alltrucking.com, list the most pet-friendly trucking companies, as well as helpful information about ensuring pet safety while on the road. As our nation faces a critical shortage of truck drivers, transportation companies should accommodate pets as a way to ensure a happier, longer-term workforce.