The following items are a trucker’s must-haves, no matter how many miles you have under your belt. Be sure to check tools, kits, and food regularly after packing, and replenish necessities as needed. Here’s what you need to know:
First and foremost, your paperwork and credentials
It is essential to carry this paperwork with you at all times. In case of a police stop or weigh station check-in, you’ll need this information. Included in the documentation should be:
- Your valid CDL
- A copy of your insurance policy
- The registration of the vehicle
- Permits issued by state
- Physical examination in the long form
- Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
- Certificates (such as those for transporting hazardous materials, liquid tankers, or triple trailers)
Shoes to wear in the shower
Showers at truck stops are popular among truckers. As a result, your feet are at risk of a wide variety of diseases, such as athlete’s foot, fungus infections, and bacterial infections. Having shower flip-flops on your feet during the shower protects them from discomfort. Make sure you disinfect your footgear after you take a shower.
It is true that most rest stops have bathrooms. However, you may find yourself driving for hours without a rest stop or a gas station when nature calls. As a result, truck driver essentials should include a container with toilet paper and disinfecting wipes in case of an emergency.
Supplies for personal hygiene
Never leave home without personal hygiene supplies, even if you’re only traveling short distances. If you’re on the road for longer than you expected, you never know when your job might be extended. What should be included in your hygiene kit? Include deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
Gloves, especially good work gloves, are essential even if your transport only takes you through the Sun Belt. Gloves protect your hands from injuries and you never know when they might come in handy.
Long-distance OTR jobs require extra clean clothes. It is essential to keep yourself well-groomed even when you can find truck rest stops with laundry facilities. If you are traveling on a short haul, it is also a good idea to pack extra clothes in case of delays caused by scheduling or weather.
If you have to step out of your truck at night to check your tires or load, you should wear a high-visibility jacket or vest. In this high-visibility gear, fluorescent materials help other drivers see you clearly and prevent accidents.
If something goes wrong while driving at night, you’ll need a flashlight. In the dark, if you need to pull over to check on a flat tire or other issue, a sturdy light will come in very handy. Make sure to pack several batteries in addition to the flashlight.
Tire pressure gauge
Keeping your tires at the correct pressure for road conditions and weather is a key component of keeping flat tires from occurring. A truck’s handling can be affected by under-inflated or over-inflated tires. Check your tire manufacturer’s load/inflation tables to make sure your tires’ pressure is within safe limits.
First aid kit
Your stash should always include a medical first-aid kit, including adhesive bandages, compresses, gauze, tape, and first-aid cream, whether you are a company driver or on your own. Keep this kit up-to-date, and replace items as needed.
One of the truck driver essentials, along with the first-aid kit, is an emergency kit. Besides bottled water, a flashlight and batteries, duct tape, jumper cables, a tarp, wrench, fuses, and pliers, the safety kit should include a tarp, wrench, fuses, and pliers. Tool kits are also useful.
Road cones and flares
A trucker’s emergency kit should also include road cones and flares. They are both important if you run into trouble or come across another trucker who needs your help. During the day or at night, road cones warn other drivers to keep their distance, and flares are very useful in more remote areas.
Portable cooking appliances
The food served at restaurants and junk food snacks with high sugar and sodium content isn’t ideal for your health. A portable cooking appliance, such as an electric skillet, a slow cooker, or even a portable roaster, can be very helpful in this situation. Hot meals and a variety of options are provided by these devices.
Cell phone charger
Whether you’re dealing with the broker, the shipper, or your family, your cell phone is your lifeline. Furthermore, it can provide entertainment in the form of music streaming and games. Your phone’s battery will be drained by all of these activities. A good quality charger in your cab solves this problem.
In theory, truck drivers seem glamorous with their long-distance travels across the country. Loneliness, boredom, and solitary are all possible effects of long-distance hauling. Layovers and stops can be entertained with an e-Reader. E-readers, such as Kindles, Nooks, and similar devices, provide access to magazines, newspapers, and books.
Portable movie player
An alternative to reading is to watch the media of your choice on a portable movie player. The flexibility of watching shows and movies can keep you entertained for hours as you watch what you want.
Extra water and non-perishable foods
Across the country, interstates and highways are lined with restaurants. However, it can be time-consuming and expensive to stop for a bite. Make sure you carry plenty of water—hydration is crucial. In addition, truck drivers need healthy, non-perishable snacks to stay energized.
Hard-to, waterproof boots
In various situations, water-proof boots with reinforced toes can prove useful. It’s possible to have to pull over on a rocky shoulder to redistribute a load or to load or unload cargo on wet terrain, even if you’re not traveling through snow or ice-covered areas. Comfort is also important when choosing these boots. The shoes may be worn for a long period of time.
An effective load board should be on every trucker’s must-have list. You can find jobs on the load board to keep your truck moving and your business profitable. You can find loads that fit your schedule and region, while forming long-lasting relationships with brokers and shippers.