Animal Handler – Driver position

NSW Central Coast based role, February 2021

This Position has been filled

Thank you for your interest in the role of Animal Handler / Driver.

We have a current vacancy for an individual to begin training towards a part time or full time role as an Interstate Pet Transport Driver and Animal Handler. The following information is provided to give prospective applicants sufficient details to decide whether the job would be suitable for them before we get too far into the application process.

Dogmovers is a small family business based on the Gold Coast with an additional local depot near Morisset on the NSW Central Coast. We transport pets, primarily Dogs & Cats, throughout Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. We operate similarly to a long distance bus service with a number of set weekly runs operated to a regular timetable plus we provide Custom more Specialised services on demand.

We are seeking to employ a Committed and Caring individual with Demonstrable Driving and/or Animal Care experience to join our NSW team. This is a demanding but rewarding role. Based on the Central Coast you would make regular Interstate trips and be away for multiple days at a time. The most likely trips would be between NSW and Victoria or South Australia and occasionally Queensland. You would be operating independently but alongside other team members and with the full support of a wider support team.  Whilst this is a Casual position it is expected to involve regular scheduled trips and to be a permanent role.

  • On the Job Training and support.
  • Small Family Based Business.
  • Growing company within a thriving industry.
  • Bring your Pet (or Partner) to work

Animal CareInterstate Pet Transport Routes

The Pet care duties of the job involve all aspects of animal care. Primarily feeding, keeping the animals cages clean and tidy and walking dogs but you will need to be constantly aware of and responsible for the general condition and wellbeing of the animals in your care.

You will be handling a range of animals, mainly dogs but also cats, poultry and the occasional young livestock etc. and there are some obvious risks associated with animal handling. Whilst for the majority of pets, road transport is a very positive and exciting social experience, some pets are less social and can be nervous or afraid requiring a calm and patient attitude. Additionally you will be required to handle some very large or boisterous dogs at times and many that may not have the best of lead manners. Both physical strength and strength of character are important in these situations. Some serious experience or affinity with dogs and animals in general will obviously be an essential aspect of the successful applicants resume.

Driving

Sunshine Coast Pet TransportWhile no special license is required, we typically use a range of manual and automatic vans or small buses towing a range of small to large animal float style trailers.  It is necessary to have some experience in larger vehicles and towing and you must be able to drive manual vehicles. The typical length of a Van & trailer combination is around 11-12 metres long with a combined weight of  3 – 4.5 tonnes fully loaded. It would be similar to towing a small to medium caravan or a horse float. Some basic mechanical aptitude would obviously also be useful as it is inevitable due to the high mileage we cover that breakdowns, punctures and mishaps do occur from time to time. You will need to be able to handle aspects of those issues and communicate current or new issues to support staff. Plus, of course you must be an experienced and competent driver in the City, on the freeway and in country areas.

Interstate services

The interstate aspect of this role makes it a demanding job involving long days on the road. It would be expected you may be working up to 16 hours per day, which would typically include around 10 hours driving and around 6 hours walking, feeding and caring for the pets in your care plus customer service and related duties. These trips will typically entail 2-4 days on the road and nights away from home. Typically a full time role would be 3.5 days on followed by 3.5 days off or similar.

Our vehicles and trailers have built-in cages of various sizes to cater for everything from tiny puppies to very large dogs. The number of animals transported on any given run can vary greatly as we offer a range of service options. On our more common weekly express services it is usual to be moving 10-20 pets at a time but on other services we cater to smaller groups or individual Pets.

Accommodation is generally catered for within the vehicle so you will be close to the animals for the whole trip.

Tasks & Responsibilities

  • Driving Interstate routes between NSW and QLD, VIC, & S.A.
  • Customer Service & Record management
  • Walking dogs, Pet Care & Feeding
  • Monitoring & Assessing animals Health & Wellbeing
  • Time Management & Daily organisation
  • Liason with other Drivers and Transporters
  • Motor Vehicle and Trailer Performance monitoring

Qualifications and Experience

  • A competant, confident and experienced Driver.
  • Experience working with and Handling animals.
  • Reasonable level of Health and Fitness
  • Ability & Willingness to be away from home for multiple days.
  • Manual Drivers License and towing Experience

Suitability and Aptitude

We do have to be very particular about who we employ for these roles. This can be a demanding position due to the long days and the time away from home on the interstate services and it does not suit many people. The majority of our current staff have been with us for between 6-15 years and whilst it is an appealing sounding job to many people, we are very focused on employing staff we feel will be suited to, and enjoy the role for the medium to long term.

We will consider everyone on their merits however in general we are looking for someone with the following qualities:

  • Living in the NSW Central Coast area. Our main base of operations is in QLD with a back up base near Morisset on the Central Coast which this role will be based at. As an interstate driver you will typically only have to get to and from work once a week or fortnight typically so you won’t have to be super close. However I would suggest that a 2 hour drive is about the most you would want to be commuting and the closer you are the more flexibility we would have in the type and regularity of work we could provide you. You will need your own reliable transport to and from work.
  • Mature, at least in mind if not in body. We have obvious issues relating to driving experience and motor vehicle insurances dictating that we usually employ drivers over 25 years. But we have also found that a more mature person usually takes a calmer, more balanced attitude towards the animals and the job in general and is more settled in their family and social life. Provided you are fit and healthy enough for the role age is not a barrier, many of our drivers are in the 40-60 year age bracket .
  • Reasonable level of health & fitness. The long length of the days, long periods driving, dietary constraints from continuous Interstate Travel, Sleeping in the van with animals and walking large boisterous dogs. These are just some of the things that will at times tax your physical limitations on the job, especially in your first few weeks. You don’t need to be exceptionally strong or robust but you need to be very realistic about your abilities and consider any limitations you do have.
  • A suitably flexible home or Family life. The role is generally not suited to a person with young children or who is not used to being away from their partner regularly. You may be away several nights at a time and this can cause stress on some relationships. In some cases even pets at home can be a problem. In most cases we are Ok with a Pet, Partner or family member travelling with you, however there are current limitations in that regard due to Covid.
  • Looking for a long term Role. It will take around 3-6 months to settle into this position fully so it is not suitable as a temporary job. We have drivers and other staff that have been with us for up to 15 years and we take pride in having a low turnover in staff. We will place much emphasis on this aspect in the way we view applications.
  • A competant, confident and experienced Driver. You will need to be able to drive in all conditions, country and city, day and night, towing a trailer. You may ultimately be covering over 100,000 kms per year. Some basic mechanical aptitude is important and confidence behind the wheel is essential and you must be able to drive a manual vehicle.
  • A confident GPS user / Navigator. Mostly we stick to well defined routes that we use regularly. We have regular pick up points in most towns. But we also need to collect pets from peoples homes at times and he area we cover is immense. You will need to be able to find your way around easily both in the country and in major cities.
  • Service Orientated. We have worked hard to build our business through the provision of a superior service and a professional attitude. We cannot please everyone all of the time, but we do try and this needs to be reflected by our staff in their attitude towards our clients and the handling of their pets.
  • Experience working with and Handling animals. Due to the demanding nature of the job, wanting to work with animals, is not enough on its own and in itself does not make you an ideal applicant. We need someone that is clearly confident with and will care well for the animals in our care but has a strong enough personality to take charge of a large stubborn dog or deal with an emergency situation if required. Some significant experience breeding, showing, caring for or training animals or a farming background would be an obvious advantage in this respect.

Remuneration

This is expected to be a Permanent, Casual position. We do have some flexibility for the right person. It can be a part or full time role. We pay our interstate drivers a fixed rate, including some tax free allowances, for each trip. As a casual position there is no Holiday or Sick leave but normal Superannuation is paid.

This role may initially be quite varied as it develops so it is not possible to give an exact starting income for the job. However as an indication other staff operating in similar roles, working 3 to 4 days per fortnight on Interstate routes would expect to have before tax incomes between $25-30,000 p.a. and those working working 3 to 4 days per week would expect to have before tax incomes between $50-60,000 p.a plus superannuation.

You would be expected to provide your own food and personal items but all vehicle, equipment and business related costs are paid by Dogmovers.

Well hopefully that will give you a better insight into what the job entails and the type of person we are looking for, obviously it is a bit of an unusual role and you may now feel it is not suitable given your situation or the type of future role you are seeking, we thank you for taking the time to consider it.

Please submit your application via our ad on SEEK in the first instance with a copy of your Resume or details regarding your background and experience 

Link to Seek Ad:  https://www.seek.com.au/job/51438039?type=standard#searchRequestToken=96e9e8cd-3261-4dbc-bf0c-029c2b1ae5d8

Thanks, Dave

If, due to the location or timing, this role will not suit you, but you are interested in hearing about future roles that may become available within our business, please register your interest by sending your contact details and a brief of your life experience to info@dogmovers.com.au