Some drivers bring guest riders with them when they make overnight trips. However, trucking company rider policies differ. Some companies don't allow any guest riders, some allow one rider under strict guidelines and others have more liberal policies that allow multiple guest riders to travel with a driver on the same trip.
About Guest Riders
Though some drivers may bring distant relatives or friends, most guest riders are members of the driver's immediate family. A married driver may bring his wife on a trip, or a mother might bring her son. However, many trucking companies have policies about the number of passengers allowed on a trip and the minimum age of a guest rider.
Most trucking companies who allow guest riders will only allow the driver to bring one passenger on each trip. A guest rider typically must be the driver's legal spouse, common law partner or a child over age 12. Some trucking companies only allow drivers to bring biological children, while others may allow foster or stepchildren as well. Many companies only allow children to be guest riders during the summer months.
Liberal guest rider policies may allow drivers to bring multiple passengers or young children. Some trucking companies also allow drivers to bring pets under a certain weight limit. However, if the driver has an accident with guest riders in the truck, the trucking company may be liable for their injuries, especially if there were passengers who didn't have access to seat belts. Because of these safety concerns, liberal guest rider policies may be difficult to find.
Insurance companies typically recommend that trucking companies not allow any guest riders. However, some companies believe that drivers will break this rule, so they allow drivers to bring guest riders with them as long as they inform the company in advance. Other companies allow guest riders as a perk for drivers. Most trucking companies who allow guest riders require the driver to prohibit them from driving the truck under any circumstances. Most companies also prohibit guest riders from assisting in loading or unloading the truck.