Federal regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration do not prohibit truckers from having their family with them while driving.
Can You Have a Kid in a Semi-Truck? You can have a kid in a semi-truck, and it is not illegal to take them. You have to get permission from your trucking company and sign an insurance while traveling with a child. Moreover, you also have to take care of their nutritional needs, entertainment sources, medical care, and insurance. You have to add car seats to ensure their safety on the road.
It is highly challenging for truckers to take kids with them while driving. One of my friends did this because of its strict hours of service. He told me he has only one kid of 5 to 6 years old and missed him during the journey. He took him in his commercial vehicle so he could spend time with his children and fulfill his duty hours.
Is it legal to have a kid in a semi-truck?
As per the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration, having kids in your commercial vehicles is legal, but you must take several safety steps to ensure their safety while driving.
You have to follow your company’s passenger policies while taking your children in your trucks. Some of these companies have specific age limits because of safety concerns.
They only allow children who are 10 years old so you can adjust them to the environment and do not disturb you. Many companies do not allow infants because they need special care, which can distract drivers and increase the risk of accidents.
You have to inform your trucking company when you are taking your children with you. You have to tell them about the exact date of the trip and departure time.
Moreover, you cannot get permission if you are a new driver and the company does not know about your driving experience. You can only take your children if you work in a specific company longer.
In addition, they should be physically healthy and not have chronic conditions that cause emergencies during traveling.
Several companies state that you can only take passengers who are related to you by birth or marriage or have blood relations with drivers.
You have to purchase the passenger insurance from the insurance company, which is a costly procedure. Moreover, some insurance companies do not insure taking kids in commercial vehicles.
Why would you take your children with you in a semi-truck?
Commercial vehicle driving is challenging because of the strict hours of service. You have to compromise your family, loved ones, and social life because of long hauls.
A hectic job keeps you away from your kids and spouse for days to weeks. You can get bored when you do not meet your children for several days.
It is challenging for drivers to maintain a balance between their work and life. However, some companies allow you to take your families and kids of certain ages with you while driving.
Drivers cannot feel lonely because they are away from their homes and spend quality time with their loved ones.
You can get involved in your social and personal life while fulfilling your driving requirements. In addition, some families own the trucking business and take their children with them for training.
I know my old school friend who has established a business of trucking companies. He started his business with one semi-truck, and now he has approximately 5 to 6 trucks that run in different areas to transport freights.
I met him last week, and he told me that he is planning to expand his business and give training to his child so he can own the family business. He took his kid of 12 years old with him while driving so he could learn about the environment and road challenges.
Moreover, female truck drivers in the USA are increasing. It is difficult for females to drive commercial vehicles, but it is not challenging.
Mostly, female drivers prefer to take their kids with them while driving because of the absence of childcare arrangements. It is necessary for female drivers to get information from the company about their rules and policies so you cannot feel difficulty during your job.
Why is it not safe to have a kid in a semi-truck?
Many nursing mothers do not prefer to take their kids in commercial vehicles while driving because it can cause distraction. I met a nursing mom driver who told me that she hired a childcare provider at his home for his 5-year-old kid instead of taking him with her because of safe driving concerns.
Children cannot survive in semi-trucks or commercial vehicles for long hours because their nutritional needs are different from those of adults.
They require short and frequent meals daily because of their lower energy requirements. You cannot concentrate completely on driving because you have to feed them frequently to meet their nutritional needs.
In addition, it can also affect your service hours, and you can get late when you make frequent stops while driving.
Kids require specific entertainment sources during the day to stay active and engaging. They cannot live in the boring environment of the semi-trucks.
Many people prefer to keep their toys with them so they can play with them for entertainment source. However, playing with toys causes distractions during driving and increases collision chances.
My friend told me he installed the TV in the sleeper cabin for his 5-year-old kid. We both went to the sleeper cabin and watched TV while resting during long hauls. Watching video games on TV kept my children happy, and he did not get irritated on the road.
Kids between 3 and 12 years old need specialized care and cannot bear adverse environmental conditions because of their lower resistance.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult for you to take them with you because of medical care. I also experienced the issue when I took my 4-year-old kid while driving.
He got severe allergic reactions and colds because of road dust and varying environmental conditions. I became worried because of the absence of medical care facilities in my surrounding area.
I turned off the AC and gave the blanket to him to get rid of the cold temperature.
Safety measures to follow while driving with a child in a semi-truck
You have to follow several safety measures to ensure the safety of your kids during driving. You cannot allow them to sit in the sleeper cabin because of the absence of safety features.
These compartments do not contain airbags, seat belts, and seating arrangements to ensure safety. In addition, you should not keep them in the cargo area of the trailer because of sudden braking conditions and collision chances that cause severe injuries.
Installing car or child safety seats in your commercial vehicles when taking your kids while driving is better.
Installation of these seats requires additional cost or effort, but these seats provide a safe and secure seating place for your kids. Moreover, it is also better to install a safety restraint system according to the age of your kids.
FMCSA also states that you require the proper restraint system in your commercial vehicles while taking your kids. Child restraint system ensures their safety during sudden braking and driving on bumpy roads.
It provides protection and allows them to sit in a specific position. You need rear-face seating from infants to 3-year-old kids.
Forward car seating and booster seats are required for children of approximately more than 12 years old.