Aside from the bare (and required) necessities, it can be helpful and sometimes even crucial to have certain tools with you to help with unforeseen occurrences on the road. You never know when a certain tool might be needed to keep you moving along on your route. While you should always have the DOT-required tools on hand, such as reflective triangles and a fully charged fire extinguisher, we’d like to offer a few suggestions for items you may not have thought of that aren’t required, but still handy.
A Few Common Tools
With a good multipurpose tool you can MacGyver just about anything in a pinch. From minor repairs to tightening a loose screw, the tasks a multipurpose tool can help with seem endless. You can even use one to open a can of food!
Ratchet straps, bungee cords, and a good pair of gloves to protect your hands are also good to keep on board. A telescoping magnetic pick-up tool will also be useful in retrieving that nut you dropped in a tight space.
Essentials From the Toolshed
Clean towels or rags, paper towels, and window cleaner can be kept in your cab to help keep you trucking along. Keeping your windshield, mirrors, and even headlights clean can help get you to your destination safely. An extendable windshield scraper with a brush is not only important for ice in the winter, but can also help remove bugs from the windshield in the summer.
Pack Your Non-Traditional “Tools”
Not all tools are made of metal or belong in a workshop. Anything that helps you through your day can be considered a tool!
Don’t forget certain items for yourself, such as a good pair of sunglasses, and a spare pair, too. It’s a bit vexing when you have driven away from the rest stop and realize you’ve left your sunglasses next to the sink. Having an extra pair close at hand won’t bring back the lost shades, but will keep you from squinting for the rest of your route.
Sunscreen is another basic item to keep in your truck. That large windshield and driver’s side window expose your skin to a lot of rays. Don’t let your friends catch you with a one-sided tan, or worse, a sunburn. Apply a good SPF lotion to your arms and stay evenly toned.
Even a roll of toilet paper can come in handy at the most inopportune times. If you discover a lack of tissue in the restroom, it’ll be nice to know you can go back to your truck to grab a few sheets from your spare roll.
Medicine is an important tool we all take for granted sometimes. Keep a bottle of acetaminophen or ibuprofen on hand for those workdays when that nagging headache won’t go away—just make sure they’re kept in a cool, dry spot and do not remain in a hot cab for long periods of time. In addition, a well-stocked first aid kit is always good to have just in case.
A thermal blanket, a fan, extra drinking water, and some shelf-stable food may not be at the forefront of your mind when thinking about tools to keep in your truck, but having these items on hand can be helpful in an emergency, and if you want to feel extra comfortable on your route.
What tools do you keep in your truck? Which ones do you find most useful? Comment below or share on our Facebook Page to help others be prepared.
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