The fact is our FreightWorks company family is filled with pets of all kinds who are faithful companions to our drivers. We welcome and celebrate each and every one of them!
That’s one of the reasons why outside our Rutherfordton NC terminal driver’s lounge you’ll see clean, inviting cages standing ready for any pets needing a rest stop. And, just inside the front door a canister stays filled with dog treats for the taking.
From the road our diverse team of drivers sometimes send pictures like Gwen Glascock who with her terrier “Max” takes us on a tour across the United States with snapshots from here and there and sometimes in front of recognizable landmarks.
Whether on the floor of a truck rumbling across America, curled up on a bunk or perched on the right front seat peering out the window these canines, felines and sometimes exotic pets (imagine 6 ferrets!) are positive encouragement for drivers who 24/7 manage matters for their ever changing days often filled with unexpected challenges and frequent changes.
But more than just the “furry fellowship” health benefits for pet owners abound! Drivers who walk their dogs regularly are more apt to lose weight when compared with those without pets. The Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago found that walking a dog benefits both the pet and the owner by helping the owner shed unwanted weight.
Having a pet, in essence, works similarly to having an exercise buddy. Another study, completed by Mars Petcare, a dog food manufacturer, revealed that pet owners walked 30 minutes more daily than those without animals. Truck drivers frequently neglect their own health (morbidity rates show this) when it relates to weight. Having pets along will often be the prompting agent to get them moving.
As a traveling companion however safety is always vital and a core FreightWorks commitment so we encourage our drivers to:
• Keep Pets From Roaming Freely: Dogs should either be strapped in with a harness style safety belt or in a crate. Cats should be in crates. This may prevent pets from falling should a driver have to stop suddenly. You also need to be aware of the risks of a wandering animal and driver distraction. Come to understand the rhythm and tendencies of your animals and remember YOU are responsible for the safety of everyone in that cab.
• When Possible, Back is Best: Airbags can harm a pet, even if they are in a crate. When feasible, drivers should have their pets outside the blown airbag trajectory. This might mean it would be best to put them on the floor or in the back of the cab. Individual pet personalities and needs will dictate your daily steps.
• Pets Should Stay Inside: Dogs love drooping their heads out the window during a trip, but that’s dangerous, especially on highways where speeds are increased. Debris can fly and cause harm. Don’t take the chance!
• Make Sure Animals Are Easily Identified: Pets really need to have collars, ID tags, and microchips when applicable. Don’t assume just calling out their name is enough and remember they will be exposed to unfamiliar settings which combined with curiosity can create a wanderlust!
• Keep Pets Nearby: Drivers who stop and let their pets get outside the truck should always make sure the pet is collared and leashed if possible. This will prevent them from running away or falling victim to an increasing number of kidnapped animals. Sad as it seems this now happens!
• Don’t Leave Them: Pets must never be left in hot trucks without running air conditioning. That reckless oversight can be deadly. It’s important to keep them warm enough too which is why pet sweaters need to be stored in your truck just like chains are for icy weather!
As we approach a new year we as a company are reinforcing our commitments to the positive place pets play in our fleets and even plan during an upcoming “Life By The Mile” podcast to feature drivers and their companions from the animal kingdom.
Do you have a story you want to share? Let us know! We are always looking for positive, encouraging and life giving stories from the road. The barks and meows are sweet reminders of how much God’s creation can be an encouragement to all of us.