For hundreds of truckies around Australia, taking their dogs with them on the road is an everyday occurrence.
But on this year’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday, June 23, trucking partners and whippet lovers, Adam Trewin and Carly Vanderwiel, have taken that special bond up a gear.
The Gippsland truckies have teamed with the NHVR to raise much-needed awareness about the mental health issues impacting truck drivers and why it’s so important for them to take their furry friends – Pippi, Prinny and Spud – on the road with them for their weekly hauls to Brisbane.
Both Trewin and Vanderwiel credit the trio with helping keep their mental health in-check during the long, and often lonely, drives up the east coast.
“I truly believe the dogs help to calm the mind and stop you overthinking and becoming anxious and they even sense when you’re not in a good headspace and give you a nudge,” Trewin says.
Aside from the added companionship the dogs bring, the pair also say the dogs help encourage them to better manage their health and fatigue due to increased rest stops, more exercise while walking the dogs, and the social outlet they naturally foster with other dog owners and pet lovers.
Michelle Taylor, the NHVR’s executive director, corporate affairs, says it’s great to see more drivers like Trewin and Vanderwiel talk about the positive impact dogs can have on a driver’s mental, emotional and social health.
“Sadly, mental health in truck drivers is more common than many people realise,” Taylor says.
“Truck drivers deal with numerous on-the-job stressors including spending long periods of time away from family and friends which can create a sense of isolation.
“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator takes the mental health of truck drivers seriously. “Over the years we have partnered with Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds on several initiatives and programs to ensure the right resources are available to reduce mental health impacts on truck drivers across Australia.”
- Do you have a picture of yourself with your K9 companion on the road you’d like to share with readers? Email a shot to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with names, and what run you do together, and we’ll run the best in the July 7 print issue of Big Rigs.