Service Dog For School Bus Driver

Topic 33404 | Page 1

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Kevin L.'s Comment
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I have seen similar topics on here about trucking companies I simply could not think of a better place to ask then here. I live in Pennsylvania and currently have a Class A CDL with both the medical examiners certification and a school bus physical for my school bus endorsement. I do have a couple documented disabilities. I have had a self trained service dog for a few years that helps me out quite a bit when I am not driving the bus. There is no certification that is recognized federally for service dogs. the only requirement is they are trained to help mitigate a disability. Under the federal and state laws I cannot find any specific reasons my employer would be able to legally prohibit me from having the dog with me on the school bus. I know me asking for reasonable accommodations to have my dog on the bus with me will be met with resistance from both my employer and the school district. My employer and the school district are two separate entities. I cannot think of any way that my dog would cause undue hardship on the daily operations of my employer. I spend a few hours a day in the bus taking people to and from schools and camps and sometimes on charters or day trips under 300 miles round trip.

I guess what I am really asking is can anyone here think of a possible legal reason I could be denied specifically? The only other people that are on my bus when I am driving are the passengers and being allergic or frightened is not a reason for denial. My particular dog is a mixed breed of a few breeds with bad reputations but I don't think I could even get my dog to bite anyone if i tried or even if she was threatened by a kid honestly. this dog in particular only rarely even barks. I can count the number of times she barked this year on one hand and have fingers left over. With the nationwide shortage of experienced and qualified school bus drivers I do not think I would be fired but I can see this turning into a lawsuit should the school start objecting which they likely will.

Sorry this is so long but I am very passionate about this subject. It is not like I would be taking the dog into the school either as we are not even allowed to use the bathrooms in the school I drive for. Most allergies to dogs are from direct contact and the passengers have no reason to touch my dog as I see that as distracting her from her job to monitor and help me.

thanks in advance


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Harvey C.'s Comment
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You are obviously passionate about the subject but also being vague about how your dog qualifies as a service animal. I suggest you read up other support or therapy animals or see if your animal and your needs qualifies under the section above.

Rob S.'s Comment
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It sounds like you want legal advice. That's not what we do here. It also sounds like you're expecting push back from your employer. Are you sure you want a job where your company is looking for ways to get rid of you?

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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While there is no required certification or registration for service animals, proper service animals and their owners receive extensive training for the tasks they're expected to perform and also tested and trained for temperament. Not every dog will meet those standards and simply thinking yours will be alright leaves the potential for serious litigation if the dog should react towards another individual. I'd suggest searching out trainers to at least have that peace of mind beforehand.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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School bus with kids.... animal with teeth... Kids poking and torturing the dog while you are driving...causing a distraction

Allergic reaction isn't a problem? Tell that to a lawyer when a kid almost dies.

How about a child with extreme anxiety and fear of a dog? My sister was bitten and terrified. That child is forced to attend school. You are not forced to drive a bus. That child would equally be covered under the law.

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