Can Truck Drivers Carry Passengers?
When you start working as a commercial truck driver, you’ll find out pretty quickly that life on the road can be quite lonely. The hours are long and some drivers don’t make it home for more than a week. Many truckers enjoy bringing their pets for a semi-truck ride along to keep them company. However, a lot of people aren’t aware that there are certain semi-truck passenger laws and companies that allow you to bring family or friends along for the ride. Although the rules and laws may seem rather complex, each motor carrier has its own individual policy that’s generally pretty straightforward.
Semi-Truck Passenger Laws
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has laws in place regarding passengers that every company and individual must abide by no matter what. Among the DOT’s semi-truck passenger laws, they explicitly state that written authorization is needed by the trucking company before proceeding with any further procedures. The passenger would also have to disclose a variety of personal information and the specifics of their semi-truck ride along, such as the duration and date. Also, most truckers will need some form of insurance (whether through the company or their own personal policy) that covers their passengers. Even after all of this, the trucking companies with family rider policies will have their own set of restrictions and requirements.
Typically, in order to get a trucking passenger waiver, both the driver and the passenger will need to fill out a variety of waivers and submit a number of documents and identifications, such as a Driver’s License or a Social Security Card. If you do get approved to bring someone on a semi-truck ride along, the carrier will provide you with their complete policy that explains their guidelines, rules, and restrictions on the matter. Make sure you are aware of any changes that your company is planning on making to their policy, as some companies have been known to update them quite regularly.
The most common restrictions that we see involve the passengers. It is not uncommon for semi-truck passenger laws to exclude pregnant women, those with chronic health conditions, or who are not of certain relationship status (i.e. husband or wife.)
Since being away from their child is among the most challenging aspects of being a trucker, one of the most common inquiries is, “Can a child ride in a truck?” Thankfully, many trucking companies allow the driver’s child to tag along if they are above a certain age, say 10-years-old, and are a direct descendant. This can be really exciting for the child, as they can see exactly what it is that their parent does for work and gets to spend some quality time with them. But unfortunately, toddlers, nieces, and nephews are unlikely to be permitted for a semi-truck ride along.
All these trucking passenger waivers and semi-truck passenger laws might seem excessive. But they are there for good reason. Those laws are put in place to protect the passengers, drivers, and the company from any injuries or losses that occur while driving in the truck. All the extra paperwork will be worth it. The life of a trucker can be hectic, but with a family or friend by your side, you’ll be just fine.