May tip the driver if service was exemplary (arrived in a reasonable neighborhood of the quoted ETA, contacted me if delayed, horse steps off the trailer looking good, etc)
Long haul is usually PIA so no tip included - rate is set at time of purchase.
If shipper is a friend doing a favor I'd refill their gas tank, buy a meal, etc. along with any pre-arranged charge.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
Last time I used a commercial shipper, it was to move my band of five horses to my new farm. I followed about an hour behind the van and when I arrived at the farm, the horses were all happily munching on generous flakes of alfalfa, tucked into their stalls with full buckets of fresh water. The guys had even removed their shipping wraps and neatly rolled them up for me. Of course I tipped these guys. . . and very generously, too!
"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."
When we've offered the commercial company we used they declined tips, but we always make sure to have coffee, cold sodas, and a snack available when they drop off a horse, and offer to let them fill their water tanks if needed.
A few years ago I had a friend offer to haul my horse to a few events. They woulldn't accept any gas money because they were taking a horse anyway. I sent them a thank you card and a gift card to their local feed store from my horse to theirs.
~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard
When I had my guys shipped cross country the gentleman that came and picked them up was very prompt, courteous and patient with the horses. One of my guys was a little bit of a troublesome loader (not dangerous, just planted his feet) and the shipper, with the utmost patience took his time getting him loaded. No drama, no fuss. He received a large tip that day. I think if you're happy with the service, a little something (not necessarily money) goes a long way.
Heck yes, I tipped the "commercial truck drivers" who hauled my horses. Every time!! They were someone's employees (doin' a job), on the road for a long trip, and in charge of my precious cargo. Each time, I gave them a bit of money - not too much - and suggested they have dinner on me. I also gave them a goodie bag filled with freshly baked cookies and peppermints (to hopefully share with my beasties).
My mother taught me years ago that your loved ones are the ones who benefit when you are especially nice to the people who have the ability to affect their lives. I remember how a few magazines and regular plates of cookies made my grandmother's caretakers at the nursing home much happier. It's easy, and I really do believe that a little kindness goes a long way (Yes, I have been called Pollyanna)