More than 40% of truck drivers report taking their pets on the road. A beloved pet can certainly enhance the over-the-road experience, so when choosing a vehicle, a truck driver should keep the pet's safety and happiness in mind. Here are some questions to ask when buying a semi truck for the purpose of trucking with a pet.
Buying or Leasing?
One big decision that many truck drivers must make is whether to lease or buy a truck. There are benefits and drawbacks to both leases and outright purchases, and the decision also impacts the ease of bringing a pet along for the ride.
A truck lease is either "straight conventional" or "lease purchase." Both involve monthly payments but usually provide maintenance services when necessary. Unfortunately, leases also prohibit truck modifications, which can be problematic when traveling with a pet.
A sale, on the other hand, will not include a contract that limits modification or cab use. A trucking company can, however, restrict a driver from traveling with a pet even if the company has no claim on the vehicle. Thus, unless a driver is an independent contractor, the company policy should be reviewed before committing to a purchase.
New or Used?
If purchasing a semi truck proves to be the best option, the next step is deciding whether to purchase new or used. New vehicles have warranties and all of the bells and whistles associated with recent vehicle technologies, but used trucks can also provide economical, dependable, comfortable rides.
When purchasing a semi truck with a pet in mind, the creature comforts become considerably more important. Truck drivers are notoriously tough--they have erratic schedules, spend a lot of time away from family and friends, must comply with very strict regulations, and deal with hours of solitude. As a result, a busted cab heater or air conditioner will not likely cause a seasoned trucker to flinch. When accompanied by a furry friend, however, these things become necessary. Thus, when purchasing a semi truck, a driver who intends to ride with a pet must shop for two because those once-unimportant "luxury" items are non-negotiable.
Trucking companies are becoming increasingly supportive of on-the-road companions, and semi truck sales associates like those from Arrow Truck Sales are usually more than happy to find a truck that has upgrades suitable for pets.
For example, upholstery can make or break the experience for both the driver and the pet. Pets that shed a lot can turn a cloth seat into a lint brush by the end of the day, and breeds that drool a lot will turn leather into a slippery, sticky mess.
Another valuable add-on is a decal that identifies the animal's breed and its name. In the event of an accident, this will alert rescue crews to the fact that the driver was traveling with a pet.