Professional, Polite, Prepared to Kill

Bandit the Truckin’ Puppy Tips His Paw to Crete/Shaffer

By:  Mark R. Taylor


The dog days of summer have turned into happy times for Bandit the Truckin’ Puppy.


(ATAW/AR)  While trucking companies struggle to find new and inventive ways to reduce their costs of operations in the face of high fuel prices, Crete Carrier and Shaffer Trucking have proven once again they are not only “family friendly”, but “pet friendly”.  As my wife, Renee, previously wrote in a broken-hearted open letter to Tonn Ostergard and Duane Acklie, Crete/Shaffer instituted a pet policy in April 2008 which would have banned ALL pets from their company trucks effective March 2009, breaking their commitment as a “pet friendly” company to drivers who have had their pets on their company trucks for many years.


This policy would have left thousands of existing drivers without their furry friends, their companions on long journeys away from home.  It created an overwhelming stir in the trucking industry as drivers, commenting on trucking boards across the internet, were left trying to decide between their pets and their jobs and potential new hires were going elsewhere.


Today, Tonn Ostergard and the management of Crete/Shaffer listened to their drivers and recognized the bond between trucker and pup.  The revised pet policy received by me this morning from the Wilmer, Texas, terminal, states:


“This pet policy will allow you to continue to carry the existing pet on your tractor.  No new pets may be added after March 31, 2008.”  There is also a provision for more than one pet, upon approval from management.  This is of comfort to our Shaffer Trucking family, as we are caring for my late mother-in-law’s miniature dachshund in addition to having my twelve year old miniature pinscher – my faithful trucking companion since he was six weeks old.


New hires will no longer be allowed pets while existing pets, brought on board when the current drivers were hired, will be grandfathered in.  The understandable pet deposit of $600 is required of drivers who continue to carry their pet.  Additionally, the driver will be required to remain with his or her assigned tractor until it is put out of service for trade or sale purposes. 


Pet owners must remember that while their truck is their home away from home, it is a very expensive piece of equipment owned by your company.  Remember to clean your a/c filters regularly to remove dog/cat hair.  Sweep or vacuum your truck on a regular basis to keep the hair from accumulating in the floorboards, seats and bunk.  Air fresheners are an inexpensive way to keep the air fresh between bathing your pet.  Adhering to a regular schedule of bathing your pet (usually during home time), along with frequent “touch ups” with baby wipes or pet wipes available at your local pet store, is an excellent way to keep pet odors to a minimum.  Cat owners must always remember to keep the litter box clean and odor free.  I can understand the disgust of a mechanic having to climb into a truck for repairs, only to be met with a box that has not seen fresh litter in days.


In most cases, the truck of a responsible pet owner has fewer odors than that of the trucker who refuses to take advantage of the free shower with soap with purchase of 50 gallons of diesel fuel. We’ve all met them and smelled them.


The costs involved in cleaning up after a few irresponsible owners are immense.  A few bad pet owners, by allowing their dog or cat to shred seats, chew interior and stain carpets have made it difficult for companies to continue to allow the majority of responsible pet owners to enjoy the privilege of having the companionship of a loving pet.  In the case of Crete/Shaffer, the irresponsibility of a few made for a very stressful situation for the majority. 


Crete/Shaffer also understands the need for comfort in extreme heat and cold for both drivers and pets.  Idle responsibly.  Crete/Shaffer’s trucks are equipped with Optimized Idle, which can be set for comfort and fuel savings, when used properly.  This is just a reminder – if it is not necessary to idle, shut the truck down.


Our family is committed, like professional trucking families across the nation, to presenting the trucking industry is a positive light.  We are also proud to be associated with a corporation who listens to their drivers and works to accommodate drivers and families, keeping the balance between operations and profitability and driver needs.  We remain committed to ensuring Shaffer’s freight is delivered in a timely, professional manner – such as they continue their commitment to us.  I highly recommend Crete/Shaffer to any professional driver searching for a professional, family friendly, driver friendly, company.


Bandit the Truckin’ Puppy and his trusted sidekick, Oscar, tip their paws to Crete Carrier and Shaffer Trucking for their commitment to their drivers, their families and… their puppies.


August 4, 2008 - Posted by | trucking | , , , ,


  1. […] American Truckers At War: Bandit the Truckin’ Puppy Tips His Paw to Crete/Shaffer […]

    Pingback by Lunch with the blogroll: 08/04/08 « American Sentinel | August 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thank you Crete/Shaffer for allowing the truckers to keep their pets with them. It gives them someone to talk to even if there is no answer, and the companionship and love of a pet is priceless. I commend you on your decision to leave truckers and pets as is for now, and hope in the future that new ways of having pets with the truckers is found. I also agree with you statement about odors and clean up after you pet. I just hope that the truckers pick up the waste that the pets leaves at a truck stop. I’m sure that the car owners and restaurant will love you for it. Thank you for your time.

    Comment by Shirley Morgan | August 6, 2008 | Reply

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