Being a truck driver is more than just a career choice - it’s a lifestyle choice, too. When you’re away from home for long periods of time, your truck becomes more than a means to make an income. It’s your safe haven, your home away from home and it should have everything in it to make your job - and your life - safer and easier. So, what exactly should you have in your truck? You have a lot of things to choose from and it can be anything from personal items from home to the latest gadgets that help you on the job. Although this can vary from trucker to trucker, your friends at NTB have put together a list of five essentials every truck driver needs to have in their rig.
1. Portable cooking appliances
Eating out on the road can get expensive quickly, plus it’s hard to stick to your health goals when all you’re consuming is fast food or snacks from truck stops. Meal planning is essential to eating well on the road. We recommend selecting at least one portable cooking appliance for your truck. Some drivers choose a microwave to reheat food they’ve brought from home while other drivers may bring a hot plate, slow cooker or instant pot to cook on the road. You may also want to consider a small blender or coffee maker. You won’t be able to fit all of these in your truck, so choose the items that you’ll utilize the most.
2. Overnight kit
Whether you’re on the road for a couple days at a time or out for several weeks, a well-packed overnight kit is a must. For personal hygiene, pack items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, soap, and grooming tools. Put everything in a portable container or caddy so you can easily carry it all to take a shower without having to make multiple trips back to your truck. We also recommend adding in some wet wipes for cleaning up in between showers, especially when you’re sweating in the summer heat. In a ackpack or duffle, throw in a change of undergarments, tee shirt and jeans or sweatpants. You’ll be able to pass a couple of days comfortably no matter what.
3. Safety apparel
Even if your loads are no-touch freight, you’ll want things like a pair of good work gloves and waterproof work boots to protect your hands and feet. A high-visibility jacket is also important because you never know when you’ll have to stop at night to check something out and you want to be visible from the road. Other safety apparel include a hat and sunglasses for sun protection, coveralls to protect your clothing and a raincoat. In the wintertime, this list should also include appropriate winter gear.
4. Emergency kit
Your emergency kit should include items like bottled water and non-perishable food items, a flashlight and extra batteries, duct tape, jumper cables, a small tool kit, road flare and cones, chains in the wintertime, and a tire pressure gauge. You want to be prepared for any scenario, night or day.
Make sure your emergency kit also contains a first aid kit with adhesive bandages, compresses, gauze, tape and first aid cream. This is important for your safety, of course, but we know many drivers who have stopped to help someone in need and a first aid kit has come in handy.
5. Things that make the trucking life a little more comfortable
The trucker life can be very lonely, so it’s important to have things in your truck that make life a little easier. This could be entertainment sources, such as a laptop, a book to read or a portable movie player. Don’t forget to bring along a charger for each of your electronic devices. You’ll also want comfortable bedding or an indoor sleeping bag, a portable toilet for emergencies and some type of refrigerator or cooler to keep food and drinks cold.
Having the right items with you in your truck will set you up for better success. Remember that you don’t have much room, so it’s important to pack smart and only bring whatever’s necessary. Our list of essentials every truck driver needs is a great starting point.
At NTB, we believe that regular home time and weekly pay are also essential tools for a successful driving career. We offer both, plus many more great benefits. Give us a call today for more information!