Working as a truck driver has its rewards, but it’s certainly no easy task – mentally and physically. Truckers have the difficult burden of managing stress from tight deadlines and hectic deliveries, while feeling isolated away from home for long periods at a time. This career path can come with an unparalleled sense of pride, but for some, it can also be accompanied by feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
For truckers looking for companionship on long hauls, bringing a pet along may be the best option. For many truck drivers, traveling down the open road is made more enjoyable when accompanied by a furry friend. A survey conducted by MigWay (an asset-based expedited trucking company) found that 60% of semi truckers own pets and 40% have taken them on the job with them – proving just how essential these animals can be for drivers’ mental health while away from home.
Contract Freighters, Inc. (CFI), a Joplin-based transportation company, is providing their drivers with the opportunity to bring along furry friends on the road! It’s part of CFI Corporate Communication Manager Katlin Owens’s mission to make sure that truckers have everything they need in order for them to feel at home as much as possible while doing their job. Their pet rider policy ultimately provides an environment where people and pets alike can both drive safely – together or apart!
Endrea Davisson and Chad Harmon are just two of CFI’s long haul drivers who hit the road accompanied by a furry companion – Davisson has Sanza, her 2-year-old Pitbull mix, while Harmon travels with Buster, his 3-year-old Dachshund pal, always at his side! Both understand how beneficial it is to have an animal friend along on such extended drives; providing companionship through all those lonely miles as well as some much needed stress relief between deliveries.
There are numerous benefits associated with bringing your dog or cat with you on the road as a trucker, and below are just a few.
While furry friends can’t take a shift behind the wheel, they can bring feelings of comfort and familiarity for drivers who are often away from home. This type of work can come with a sense of loneliness not found in many other careers and bringing your dog or cat with you on the road can provide a great source of companionship through your travels. As Davisson puts it, “Letting your pet tag along with you in the truck creates a sense of comfort and feels like a little piece of home is always with you.”
Pets are our four-legged superheroes, with their amazing sense of danger often warning us long before humans can. With a furry friend around we don’t just get companionship – but peace of mind too. “Bringing a pet with you on the road not only decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation but drastically increases your safety when you’re alone at night or in an unknown location,” said Davisson.
Having your loyal companion along for the ride in your truck could even save your life and your load, and especially during sleeping hours. “If I’m out of the truck or anything, his barking was a way to let people know, ‘Hey, this is my truck, so stay away.’ Buster is great when it comes to keeping the truck and the load we’re hauling, safe,” said Harmon.
Studies have revealed that spending time with a pet offers significant health benefits, from lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels to increased survival rates for heart attack patients. Furthermore, those over the age of 65 who own pets tend to make 30% fewer visits than their animal-less counterparts. Plus, having your furry friend in the cab will encourage you to take breaks and get out and walk around more, keeping you active while on the road. “Stopping to stretch and get some much-needed exercise really helps me get back to driving again. I feel a lot better afterward, and I know Buster does too,” said Harmon.
Social interaction is a vital part of life and having a pet may be just what you need to stay connected and focus your mind on something positive. While they can’t necessarily speak in a conversation, they’re great listeners. “It keeps your mind off of a very stressful job, and knowing that somebody’s there next to you, especially a dog with their unconditional love, makes all the difference in the world. Dogs are just something else — in a good way,” said Davisson.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that having a pet can be good for your mental health, with positive impacts on reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and aggression. Bringing an animal companion may just be the ticket to improved wellbeing. A pet can help you stay calm in stressful situations, and help you relax at the end of the day. You may even enjoy the benefits of giving pets or cuddles, which have been proven to increase happy chemicals such as serotonin in both humans and animals alike. “Typically, we’ll run 600 miles in a day, but we stop every 100 miles or so and make sure he gets a nice walk in. It helps me, also — to get my mind straight,” said Harmon.
For drivers that are interested in having a pet in the cab, both Davisson and Harmon say you should choose a pet that you can take care of while on the road and that you should ensure that the conditions will be favorable to them. If you can do those things before hitting the road with your animal companion, you should enjoy many happy miles with your furry friend.
“I think it really helps the driver out having a pet on board. It certainly does for me. I would never drive without my dog,” stated Harmon.
Source: KSNF Joplin