Being a truck driver is an excellent career. The pay and benefits are great and over-the-road drivers enjoy a lot of other perks like the peace and serenity of the open road instead of being confined to a physical office space.
But the long hours and time away from home can be stressful and lonely, so a lot of drivers bring a K-9 companion along for the ride. Research has found that employees who bring their dogs to work have lower stress levels than those who do not have a dog by their side, and this is equally true when that four-legged friend is riding shotgun.
That’s why Leonard’s Express recently built dog parks at two of our terminals: one in Farmington, New York and another in Taylorsville, North Carolina. The parks provide a dedicated space for drivers and office staff to get outside with their dogs and stretch their legs, which is especially important for drivers and their companions after several hours behind the wheel.
To add to the excitement of opening the dog parks, Leonard’s Express employees were invited to submit potential names for the parks and then vote for a winner from the list of submissions. The name “Bark Park” won by an overwhelming margin.
The Bark Parks have everything a dog (and their owner) could ask for: a large, fenced-in, grassy area with trees for shade, park benches, tables, and facilities for proper clean-up. In the coming months, Leonard’s plans to install a bin with community dog toys and a waterspout for the pups.
So far, the dog park has been a huge success as more and more employees are bringing their pets to the office because of the new amenities. I love walking around the office and seeing all our new “employees!” Dogs are an awesome way to brighten anyone’s day.
On a recent episode of our Leading the Way at Leonard’s podcast, Leonard’s Express CFO Kyle Johnson shared why he loves the Bark Park and how it benefits employees. “My window is right by the dog park so I get really excited when I see the drivers coming over to use it,” he said. “Being a dog lover myself, I’ve gone out and met some of the drivers’ companions. It’s amazing to see an idea from our driver advisory board come to fruition and be used.”
Leonard’s Express allows all employees to bring a dog or cat to work. We plan to build Bark Parks at our other three terminals. The parks are a fantastic addition to our facilities and we can’t wait to see all the new furry faces at each of our locations!