There is a mixed answer and policy on whether passengers are allowed or not to carry by the truck drivers. As we all know that a truck driving is a well-paying job. It opens up the doors for many drivers to become entrepreneurs within a short time. And it also allows you to travel the length & breadth of the country – and sometimes, even across the continent. But on the flip side, driving a truck can lead to boredom. Driving over miles and miles of desolate countryside all alone is a tough job. It can hamper the focus and concentration levels of the drivers. In extreme cases, it might also lead to depression.
Understandably, truck drivers would want to take their families along so that they can spend more time with them. They might also want to take friends so that the driving job seems less boring & tedious.
So the question arises – as a truck driver, are you allowed to carry passengers with you?
Can a Truck Driver Carry Passengers?
You can – provided your company allows it. So, talk to the seniors or your reporting manager and get the correct info, before you decide to take someone aboard. Even if the passenger happens to be your spouse / child / other family member, the same rules would be applicable. The life of a truck driver is full of up and down 🙂
Does / Do the Passenger / s Need to Have a Commercial Driving License (CDL)?
Even if your company allows you to carry passengers, there is no precondition that the passenger needs to have a CDL. In fact, your company might specify that the passengers should not have a CDL because it doesn’t want them to take over the wheels.
So, even if your companion (friend/family) has a CDL, it would be wise not to let them take a turn to drive. Also learn whether Truck Drivers Drink Off Duty here in detail.
How Many Passengers Can You Take?
While there are no specified number of passengers that you can invite aboard – should you get the permission – you need to remember one thing. It’s a truck you are driving and not a bus. So, there won’t be ample space for a large crowd. So, too many passengers would cramp up the place and can be quite difficult for the driver to focus.
Any Exceptions to the “No Passenger” Rule?
In case you happen to come across a motorist who has met with an accident or with a stranded vehicle, you can definitely take that person to the nearest town or city. But even in such cases, it would be wise to inform your company about this development & keep your senior in the loop.
So, to be on the safer side, thoroughly understand your company’s policy on carrying passengers, whether there are any restrictions in terms of whom you can take with you and whom you can’t, duration of the passenger’s journey with you, his/her health conditions, etc.
Also, please ensure that your passenger has a valid social security card. In case you are carrying your spouse with you who has a different surname, you would need to produce a copy of your marriage certificate to your company.
If you happen to crossover to Canada during your trip with your passenger, he/she would need to fill the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative form. It is available in the website of the US Customs.