Things to Know When Truck Driving With a Pet

Many drivers consider themselves lucky to work for a company that offered a pet policy. Bringing pets along in the cab can be an excellent way to combat isolation on the road, as well as giving drivers the opportunity to get out of the truck every now and then to stretch their legs. Many drivers report feeling a greater sense of mental health while trucking with their cat or dog, and find that the job is more meaningful when trucking with an animal.

While it certainly is a perk for drivers to have the ability to bring along their four-legged friends, one must consider the potential safety concerns that accompany a pet passenger. Even the most obedient and well-mannered animals may find some difficulty in traveling for long distances. With that in mind, it’s crucial that drivers take into consideration some key factors when deciding on taking their animals along for the ride.

Feel Confident And Experienced Before Bringing A Pet Along

Many trucking sources recommend that drivers who are considering taking a pet along ought to have some verifiable level of driving experience. Those with experience under their belts are less likely to be distracted by animals in the cab and generally find that should any problems arise while transporting an animal, they have some practical knowledge to fall back upon. Drivers with little experience are discouraged from riding with their pets as to stay focused and to avoid any potential hazards.

Provide a Safe and Comfortable Restraint

Most dogs, if not all dogs, love the feeling of poking their head out the window and taking in the fresh air of the highway. Allowing pets to roam inside may also prove problematic, as they may accidentally hit some cab features or hinder the driver from performing as attentively as possible. Drivers are encouraged to secure their pets in a comfortable yet secure harness or restraint system so that they stay put in a location while simultaneously feeling comfortable in their seat.

Keep Supplies On Hand For Both Passengers

Should an accident or layover prevent a driver from reaching their anticipated destination, it’s important they have emergency food and water on board. However, your pet will also require food and water in the case of an emergency. Drivers should be sure to stock up on extra emergency rations in the event of a stop. When traveling with two passengers – even if one is an animal – it’s always better to overstock than to be understocked.

Bringing a pet along on the road is a terrific opportunity for drivers to have a meaningful and fulfilling experience in trucking. By ensuring a pet’s safety, drivers can then better ensure the safety of everyone sharing the road.


Guest Author Bio: Jake is a professional journalist living in Los Angeles who has his hands in many different arenas of writing. In addition to working as a copywriter and holding a position as a member of the marketing team for, Jake also frequently submits articles to entertainment publications and enjoys participating in podcasts on nearly any subject.

Sleep Apnea and Commercial Drivers: A Deadly Combination

We’re trying to spread the word about the dangers associated with untreated sleep apnea and commercial drivers so we’re featuring the guest article below from our friends at Zehl & Associates Law Firm:

There’s no question that driver fatigue poses a serious threat to safety on our nation’s roadways. But just how bad is the threat? Well, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of fatigue-related crashes reported to the police each year stands at a staggering 100,000, many of which involve professional drivers in heavy commercial vehicles. That means an average of 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary damages each year as a result of fatigue-related accidents.

That’s bad.

And the worst part is, they are all 100% avoidable.

So what is being done to prevent fatigued commercial drivers—specially licensed, professional operators of 18 wheelers, buses and other large commercial vehicles—from getting behind the wheel while they’re tired or fatigued? Well, as it turns out, not enough.

Please read the rest of this article from Zehl & Associates Law Firm…

Trucking is a New Adventure Every Day

At Progressive Truck Driving School, we train drivers for the road ahead. Once our graduates are on the road we often hear feedback about their experiences.

Something we hear often is about the new sights, sounds, and adventures are that our drivers experience once they’re on the road. For drivers that have not traveled a lot in their pre-trucking careers, they’re often excited about the opportunity to see the country, sometimes visiting four or five states in a single day. Truck drivers can leave California in the morning, and find themselves in Wyoming in the same day – that’s an experience that’s very unique to the truck driving industry.

We also hear about how our drivers love the experience of meeting a lot of different people – people that they might not have been able to meet in their prior careers. They meet interesting people in states and cities that they had never visited before. Trucking can give drivers a new perspective on people and on life in general.

Drivers tell us about unexpected, fantastic moment like seeing the sunrise in Utah or seeing Elk graze in Montana – experiences that people pay big money to vacation and see. Drivers who might not have been able to visit the coasts are able to see the Gulf and beautiful beaches.

Truckers get to see and experience things that people in other careers just aren’t able to see and do. For many of our drivers, this is the best part of choosing a career in trucking.

Complete this form to apply to Progressive Truck School!

What is a Schneider driver?

From our friends at Schneider Trucking: Are you considering Schneider for your career after driving school? It can be hard to sift through all the different perspectives, but nobody can explain what it’s like to be a Schneider driver better than an actual Schneider driver. Read below as Schneider Team driver Sharon Nader gives her perspective.

We might drive trucks for a living, but drivers have several jobs that come with the territory and need many skills to accomplish the job. Here are just a few:

Safety Officer: A driver’s first job is safety. We represent the ability to deliver freight safely and in a timely manner while following the DOT’s rules. You are always a safety representative of Schneider and our industry, even at home. Many people are worried that the new rules will hurt their ability to deliver freight. I disagree. In my opinion, the new rules force everyone to deal with what is possible — be advocates for safety on our highways. Drivers are the most important component of success. It can’t happen without safe drivers! Driver compliance, safe equipment and technology will keep Schneider on the top of the list of preferred carriers.

Customer Service Officer: Customer service is everyone’s goal. Schneider wants the shipper and the consignee to be happy with their performance. It’s just good sense and job security to want the customer to book freight repeatedly with Schneider. There is a great need to communicate equipment, routing and shipping issues or problems.

Keep in mind that we are humans, and being polite – even when hot and tired – is also a part of the job. You want your load to be safe, legal and damage-free. It can make or break business for our employer, our customers and even ourselves. Every time a problem is identified and you take the time to correct it or communicate it to the customer and Schneider, you are a customer service representative! Whether you are a good representative or a bad one is a choice you make on a daily basis.

Billing Agent: A driver who completes business by submitting paperwork helps Schneider get paid in a timely manner and ensures that the flow of business – and your pay – is uninterrupted. Accuracy is vital to the completion of a transaction. Knowledge of the business system will only improve your scorecard and get you more miles. It pays to know the system. Drivers are billing agents every time they complete a load and get that Transflo receipt!

Recruitment Officer: Here is an area that I need to improve. Did you ever have someone ask you a question about Schneider while you are cleaning your windshield or in the middle of fueling? It’s one of those “I could have had a V8!” moments! I can’t tell you how many times I have been approached and was never ready to answer the questions that were put to me. Sometimes I want to go find the person after they leave and complete the conversation.

Here are a few things I would tell them: First, I can’t imagine working for another company. Hauling freight is hard work and it can be dangerous. I want to work for Schneider because of its commitment to safety and for helping me be safer.

Secondly, I would say that Schneider’s technology has greatly improved and is continuing to get better to make my job more productive and safer. I think Schneider has the best of the best technology available.

Finally, I would say that Schneider’s equipment, especially trailers, has never been better. We have updated most of our equipment and more is on the way. From what I have seen, Schneider is concerned about driver satisfaction and they don’t just look at pay, they are trying to stay on top of all areas of business.

Find out for yourself why drivers have chosen Schneider for 80 years, explore all your opportunities and apply at

Top 5 Things Drivers Should Look for in a Carrier

1. Integrity

A reputable trucking company has a set of core values it lives by and a track record to prove it. Anyone can claim to value safety, but what do the statistics say? Every company boasts respect for drivers, but what do the men and women behind the wheel really say? All carriers strive for excellence, but do they have decades of proven success to stand on? There are some fly-by-night operations in this industry, but you won’t regret working for a company with a reputation of integrity.

 2. Fair Compensation

Every driver deserves to be rewarded appropriately for the hard work they do, but it isn’t all about money either. Some companies will fill your wallet but treat you terribly. Others promise hefty pay per mile but don’t have the freight to make it worth it. Still others follow through with a great paycheck but don’t offer benefits. When you pick a carrier, look into the entire compensation package, along with opportunities for bonuses and career advancement.

 3. Career Options

The trucking industry has a notoriously high turnover rate, but finding the “green grass” right away will be just as helpful for you as it will for the company you choose. The best carriers will treat you right and pay you fairly, but they’ll also provide opportunities for advancement and movement within the company that meet your work-life balance needs. Some carriers put you through their school and funnel you in the direction that helps their bottom line or fits their limited freight base. Wouldn’t you rather be able to pick your driving school, and then find a company where you can continue to pick the best driving option for your life situation?

 4. Home Time

Let’s be honest: truck driving is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Being away from home is simply a reality as a truck driver, but a carrier worth choosing understands how to maximize that home time. Whether it’s special programs to get over-the-road drivers home for longer periods, or regional routes more conducive to drivers supporting families, or even part-time options, the best truck driving companies will encourage a healthy work-life balance.

 5. Equipment

The trucks you drive and the technology you use aren’t just accessories on the job. They impact your quality of life and even your livelihood. If you work for a company that promises great mileage-based pay, frequent home time and steady freight, but your tractor keeps breaking down before you can rack up miles, get home or haul your next load, what’s the point? What if the poor condition of equipment negatively impacts your CSA score? Look for a company that continually invests in new equipment and has a track record of technological innovation that makes a driver safer, more comfortable and more productive.

If you’re looking for a company with all of the above, and 80 years of proof, check out Schneider.

Congress Rolls Back Federal Trucking Rule

A regulation which trucking companies claimed was far too restrictive for drivers is now being eased.

According to federal rules, the restriction would have required a drivers’ 34-hour restart to include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and would limit the use of a 34-hour restart to once per week.

The two provisions of the 2013 changes to hours-of-service regulations for truck operators will be suspended at least until Sept. 30, 2015, and FMCSA will be required to further study the rules and their impact before the rules can take effect again.

Both the House and the Senate passed a new provision to suspend the Hours of Service rule. U.S. Representative Richard Hanna, who led the suspension effort, believed the mandated 34-hour restart rule would negatively impact trucking businesses in the Southern Tier.

Representative Hanna also believed the rule would hurt small businesses who relied on the trucking services.

Interested in a career in trucking? Apply to Progressive Truck School!

Daimler’s Future Truck 2025 is Up and Running

In an amazing feat of trucking technology, Daimler has released its Future Truck 2025, a truck that can drive itself while allowing its driver can be much more productive and safer behind the wheel.

The truck is designed to constantly communicate with surrounding vehicles and objects to allow multiple vehicles to travel closely together. The truck is even smart enough to anticipate necessary maintenance and repairs.

The world premiere of the self-driving truck was recently made on a new section of the Autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany. The tractor trailer combination was put through a series of real-world driving situations including interspersed traffic and multiple speed tests and test including getting out of the way of emergency vehicles. The vehicle passed the tests, responding smoothly to the tests without requiring any driver interaction.

The truck features many significant advances in trucking technology, including the artificial intelligence-like Highway Pilot assistance system, which operates very much like an auto-pilot system in airplanes. In addition to this technology, the truck also features an innovative computer and sensor system including advanced onboard data processing and communication tools and advanced driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance, and blind spot monitoring.

Especially interesting for our Progressive Truck School graduates might be the improved driver’s experience including the ability to relax and switch to autonomous mode, accessible through a button on the armrest. The actual driver’s seat moves backwards and pivots up to 45 degrees for an optimal seating position, which allows enough room to stretch out like you’re sitting in a recliner.

The driver will always be in total control of the cab, as any manual steering, braking, or accelerating will override the auto-drive technology to give control back to the driver.

Now is a great time to join the trucking industry as a driver!  Apply here.

Owner-Operator Has a Once-in-a-Lifetime Load: The Capitol Christmas Tree

Elwood Higdem has a very important responsibility this year: transporting this year’s capitol Christmas tree from it’s harvesting point in Minnesota across the country to the nation’s capital: Washington D.C.

According to Higdem, hauling this holiday icon has been “one of the best experiences of my life.”

Higdem won’t be making the journey alone. His wife, Joan, is accompanying him on his trip. Higdem works for Willie Transport, which is the carrier contacted this year to haul the tree.

“I’ve never really been in a situation before where I drive for an hour or two and then stand in front of cameras and be interviewed two or three times and asked a bunch of questions about what it’s like to haul the nation’s Christmas tree,” Higdem said. “I kind of like the attention.”

capital christmas tree truck

Higdem is transporting the 75-foot white spruce in a custom Kenworth T880 wrapped in special Capital Christmas tree graphics.

The tree will be lit Nov. 20 by Speaker of the House John Boehner. 

Weigh My Truck App Now Available for iPhone, iPad

New technology in trucking is often put towards improving equipment and process. Now, a new iPhone app is looking to put new technology into the hands, or should we say iPhones, of drivers.

Cat Scale Co. has announced that its popular Weigh My Truck app is now available on iPhone and iPad. The app allows drivers to weigh their truck, have weights displayed on their smartphone, and pay for the transaction within the app via PayPal, all without ever having to leave their vehicle.

Using the app is simple: drivers create an account that stores their basic information and email preferences, along with a record of past weigh transactions.

The app also includes the ability to email a PDF copy scale ticket or weight information as a text file to up to 5 email addresses that the driver specifies. In the event that a driver still needs a hard copy scale ticket, they can opt to pick up a printed CAT scale ticket at the fuel desk after weighing in with the Weigh My Truck app.

As of this posting, Weight My Truck is now available on the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store.

To learn more about joining the fast-moving trucking industry, contact a Progressive Admissions Adviser: 773.736.5522

5 Great Blogs for Truckers

5. Heavy Duty Trucking

This content-rich, but ad-heavy blog offers a variety of posts regarding new trucking technology, news, equipment, fleet management, safety and compliance, driving, and maintenance. They offer award-winning articles written for executives of fleets from five trucks to thousands. They also offer a variety of content, including videos.


This blog is exactly what it sounds like: a blog written by truckers, for truckers. This trucking life blog is updated with questions and posts about trucking lifestyle, trucking jobs, trucking schools, relationship challenges and other truck driving related information. The nice thing about this blog is there aren’t a ton of ads or distractions, just information about trucking, the industry, and real-life trucking stories.

3. Transport Topics

This “Newspaper of Trucking and Freight Transportation” feature up-to-date news on fuel prices, classifieds, news, and an excellent list of the Top 100 For-Hire Carriers. They also feature webinars and video education, as well as an updated calendar of industry-events.

2. Overdrive Magazine

Overdrive features multiple blogs by industry experts along with a TON of content related to life as a trucker, customer rigs, the trucking industry, equipment and regulations. Checking out their “Editor’s Picks” articles is a good way to start. Their “Gear” section is also great for trucking looking to check out the latest trucking tech and equipment.

1. The Progressive Truck Driving School Blog

Of course we have to rate our blog #1! We feature the latest trucking news, life-as-a-trucker pieces, CDL Info, and just plain fun articles to read! Check out our post on the 5 Classic Movies Featuring Truckers. We also keep you updated with the latest news about hiring spikes, employer benefits, and compensation for truckers.

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