Can truckers have passengers?
Being a truck driver is one of the most essential jobs in the world, but also one of the loneliest. Long hours and even longer journeys mean you have to sit in your cab trying to pass the time on your own. There’s only so much to listen to the radio or find unconventional ways to cook while you’re on the road. So many truckers have wondered if a truck driver can have passengers. The answer to this question is a little more complicated than you might think.
Laws and regulations applicable to truckers with passengers vary by state and company
Truckers Insider has a good breakdown of relevant facts. According to the United States Department of Transportation, you must have written permission from your employer to bring someone with you on the job. There’s technically no law against it, but you do need permission before you have someone in your cab.
As you may already know, different companies have different feelings about this. You might have one employer who approves your application while the next one rejects it. Any passenger must also complete forms with identifying information, pass a background check, and provide relevant dates for the concert and the length of their ride with the driver. To find out in advance what you will need to do for this clearance slip, check a company‘s trucking regulations or ask your boss.
Also, while a company may allow people to travel with their drivers, they are likely to be stricter with new drivers. This is pretty understandable, considering you haven’t proven yourself to the company and they don’t want you to slack off or endanger people on the road. It can take a while to get the green light, even from a company that lets people ride with you.
Picking up people in the middle of a concert is not recommended, if not downright illegal
We’ve all seen movies where a truck driver picks up a hitchhiker to help him on his adventure. Believe it or not, many people have done this in the past. These days, however, most truckers are smart enough not to risk this situation, even without the legal and corporate issues it can cause.
As mentioned, the DOT requires written approval for passengers to travel with a trucker. This would logically cover anyone who intends to ride with you, even those boarding in the middle of a job. In many cases, you won’t be able to get that approval on the fly, even if you know the person you meet along the way. If that person is a stranger, it’s even less likely for the many safety issues of bringing a stranger with you in a car.
I hope you don’t need to be told that having a “what they don’t know won’t hurt them” attitude on this issue is a bad idea. In addition to getting fired if discovered, letting a stranger ride with you is risky. This is especially true if no one knows they’ve joined you on the ride. For everyone’s safety, don’t.
Pets are a separate issue for people
While things aren’t ideal for people wishing to travel with you, pets are another story. According to Digital Dispatch, no DOT regulations about carrying pets with you in your taxi. Many companies also allow you to have a pet, but be aware that they may have their own regulations on how many pets and what type of pet you can have.
In general, pets are a better option for companionship at work than people. As long as you can care for your pet properly and get the proper company approval, having an animal friend can make long jobs a little shorter.
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