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Truck Company Introduces Pet Perks to Retain Drivers

Truck Company Introduces Pet Perks to Retain Drivers

A new policy has been introduced by USA Trucks. It was first put in place in November, 2015. The Van Buren based company launched a “Pet Pass Program”, uniting with the ranks of other freight companies that are now allowing truck drivers to take their pets on long journeys with them, to counter-act the loneliness of long routes.

Gail Bruna, a USA truck driver who lives in Daphne, Alabama, with her dog Lucky, is ecstatic over the new development. Thanks to the new proposition, she can now carry her furry companion with her on the nationwide haul freight.

Billy Cartright, Vice President of the safety and recruiting departments of USA Trucks explained that the policy of allowing pets is a part of the morale boosting program for the drivers. The driver friendly plan is predicted to retain experienced drivers in a competitive industry. However, to receive a pet pass, a driver will have to fulfill certain requirements, for example, they will need to deposit a non-refundable $500 fee.

Cartright stated that the program has been a success so far and is growing in popularity. He further said, “Our drivers are out on the road, some are out months at a time. And if not, most weeks at a time. So we wanted to give them the opportunity to have some of those comforts of home and have a pet on board with them. It’s something that’s been important. The drivers have been asking for this, and it was something we decided we wanted to provide for them.”

This popularity is not shocking though. According to the Harris Poll, 62% of Americans have at least one pet in their household and over 67% of those pet owners were born around 2000 and about 71% are from Generation X. 95% of all pet owners claimed that the furry companions were part of their families.

Sandra Barker, director of Virginia Commonwealth’s Center for Human-Animal Interaction, stated that this prerogative, to allow traveling with pets, is a wonderful approach, as long as the animal is safe and all their needs are fulfilled. Barker has studied the relationship between pets and their owners for a long time and claims that interacting with pets has several physical and mental benefits. Drivers, who spend long hours on the road suffer from anxiety, insomnia, stress and loneliness. Pets can help reduce these symptoms by giving company to their owners on long haul freight drives.

Barker commented on this subject by saying, “Employees appreciate the companies that allow them to recognize the importance of their pet’s presence. So with increased job satisfaction, you could potentially assume that down the road there’s more commitment to that company. Perhaps less burnout. We don’t have those long-term studies, yet, but certainly the potential is there. So you have more satisfied employees. More healthy employees. That translates into dollar savings because burnout is very expensive to the industry.”

USA Trucks has reported that 10 drivers have received their pet passes so far. The company, however, mandates that the animals don’t exceed the weight limit of 50 pounds and their vaccination and shots must be up-to-date before receiving the pass, which is stuck on the door of the truck in the form of a sticker. Cartright is hopeful that this program will help them retain their driving force.

He said in a statement, “This is just another benefit that really puts a straw in our cap that we can offer our drivers and say, ‘Hey, we have a pet policy’ and all the other benefits on top of it. For some drivers, it is a determining factor if they want to come to work for a company.” – See more at: http://truckernews.com/truck-company-introduces-pet-perks-to-retain-drivers-p624-90.htm#sthash.vT9Y0RaX.dpuf

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