32: The percentage of truckers who said in a recent poll that they would choose a carrier based on its ridealong pet policy. The number tracks closely to the 42 percent of haulers who said they did in fact run with a pet of some kind in the truck — computed as part of Truckers News‘ research into its most recent, December cover story.
Among that group is owner-operator Larry Leckrone, of Colville, Wash. His antique but humming 1962 C523 Model Kenworth leased to deck hauler Sammons Trucking is effectively the home of his pet macaw Mugsy, here showing off his sharp beak. If you’re wondering the obvious, Mugsy was potty-trained ever before Leckrone took him out on the road — by Leckrone’s wife, Tina, who today runs a small business in a bird raising and rescue operation. Mugsy was their first macaw, Larry says. “My wife trained him to a trash can, and he’s got one in the sleeper.
“It’s a Peterbilt floormat,” he adds. “‘Mugsy can crap on a Peterbilt every day’ – I like telling that to the Peterbilt guys.”
Leckrone and the bird are featured as part of the Truckers News‘ “Creature Comforts” cover story about haulers’ ridealong pets in the December issue, live now in a digital edition. Read the full story here. And for more photos from my meet-up with Leckrone in Nashville earlier this month, check out the photo gallery below.
Though Mugs’ vocabulary is upwards of a couple hundred words, he was somewhat shy with me. When I walked up to Leckrone’s rig, though, he appeared at the open driver-side window with a “Peek-a-boo” greeting. Macaws: truly amazing animals.