Long-distance truck driving can be quite a trying job. Your cabin is your living room and office more frequently than the ones in your actual home are. You’re on the road for 70-80% of your time! If you’re just starting out in this career, how do you know what supplies you need to keep on-hand to ensure your truck is as comfortable as possible.
We’ve talked to several professional long-distance truck drivers to find out just what supplies they consider to be must-need to do this job and do it well. In this article, we’ll provide you with their tips to get you started on the right foot on this new career path.
There’s quite a bit of equipment you should keep on-hand in your cabin; some of this equipment will change dependent on what cargo you’re transporting, but some of it you should always keep around. One thing all the experienced truck drivers we talked to said was that you should keep spare lights and other backup truck accessories on-hand at all times. When you’re on the road for long hours so is your truck, your accessories might fail on you at the least convenient times; you’ll be glad you have a backup. You can find these accessories at stores like O’Reilly Auto Parts, Autozone, and other stores like them.
As you can imagine, if you’re going to need spare accessories, you’re going to need the right tools to replace them. You should have a variety of tools on-hand at all times to fit a variety of situations that might crop up. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has put together handy guidelines to help you determine what tools you should keep with you.
Your truck isn’t the only thing at risk of potential damages. When you’re on the road for long periods of time, staying in hotels, eating at restaurants, maneuvering around gas stations, and performing some needed maintenance on your truck, you run the risk of injuring yourself in a variety of ways. You should always keep a well-stocked first-aid kit in your cabin so you’re prepared if something unexpected happens. The Red Cross has a helpful guide for what your first-aid kit should include but somethings are band-aids, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol wipes.
Another universal tip from our seasoned truck drivers is to invest in a route optimizer. The time and hassle this little device save far outweigh the initial investment. It not only helps you find the shortest route, but it also considers the specific dimensions of your truck; you won’t have to worry about accidentally taking a route on which you can’t fit. It can also help you save fuel and money since it’ll find you the most efficient route. They’ll even help you avoid traffic jams, warn you of upcoming accidents or construction, and help you avoid toll roads. The route optimizer will be your best friend on the road.
Preparations for All Climates
When you’re driving across the country, you want to make sure you’re prepared for whatever climate you might meet. Keep some spare clothes for a wide range of climates to save you from being unprepared. We’d also recommend keeping a blanket or two available as well as a couple of towels; there are more situations than you might realize where these items could prove invaluable.
Never be without your cellular phone. Your mobile device could be a lifesaver! If you’re broken down, lost, taking a little more time than expected, need food/lodging, miss home, whathaveyou, you’re going to need that phone.
If you’re a trucker preparing for a long stint on the road, you need to make sure your cab is fully stocked up with all the essentials you’ll need. Thanks to the help of our long-distance truck driving friends, we’ve been able to provide you with a list to help you get started. This list is in no way comprehensive; several needed items will change based on the cargo your transporting. In addition to that, each truck driver is different; there are a variety of items you’ll want on-hand that others may not and vice-versa. We recommend trying new things frequently and sticking with what works best for you.