Life on the road isn’t easy, but knowing the right trucking essentials to bring with you can help make your home-away-from-home much more comfortable! There are many necessities for both your cab and trailer that you may not initially think about packing for your drive. While all drivers have their own preferences when it comes to specific items and brands, this article will list some good basic truck driver needs that every hauler should have!
Certain items will seem essential in emergency situations, while others you wouldn’t have considered until you don’t have them in a time of need. For new or pro haulers, we’ve compiled a list of must-have accessories for truckers – from the advice and opinions of truckers!
When you’re on the road for hours at a time, it’s very important that you’re comfortable! We all know how uncomfortable having to sit in tight pants or an itchy shirt is for a few minutes – now imagine hours! Putting proper clothing on truck driver packing list can go a long way:
- Trucking Clothes: What qualifies as ‘trucking clothes’ could be any attire that you can sit in comfort while driving. Clothing like button-up shirts, t-shirts, flannels, shorts, or jogging pants count!
- Off-Duty Clothes: For when you’re off-road and ready to rest, these are comfy, season-appropriate clothes.
- Shoes: While you will obviously be wearing a pair of shoes, having extra pairs of running shoes, shoes you can wear for showers, and cozy off-duty shoes!
- Jackets: No matter what season we’re in, it’s always a good idea to keep a jacket in your cab for those unpredictable cold breezes and high altitude drives.
- Safety: You can’t determine every destination you’ll end up at, so it’s a good idea to have some trucking essentials for safety apparel! Some examples would be:
- Work Boots, especially steel toed boots. Keeping your feet safe when walking around a warehouse or construction site should be a priority!
- Anti-Scratch Sunglasses, for those early morning sunrises, bright afternoons, and colorful sunsets. Having sunglasses within arms reach will keep you and your fellow motorists safe from the risks that come with being blinded. Additionally, investing in anti-scratch glasses means they’ll have a longer lifespan, thus lasting longer on the road!
- Raincoat or Rain Poncho, for when you need to load or unload your cargo in weather conditions from a light drizzle to downpours!
- Hard Hat, for haulers that frequently transport materials to construction sites where items and materials are being lifted over your head.
- Safety Glasses, for eye protection during truck maintenance!
- Work Gloves, while they’re useful for keeping your hands safe during repairs, they also make loading and unloading of your cargo safer and easier!
Clothing isn’t the only thing you need to consider when it comes to your truck driver essentials, though!
- Cell Phone Charger: These days, almost everyone needs to have a cell phone on hand to keep in touch with family, work, and for emergencies. But while you’re checking that your phone is safe in your pocket, don’t walk out the door without packing it’s charger too! When you can be on the road for days at a time, your phone battery may not last that long. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- GPS System: Especially helpful when driving across the country or into unfamiliar places; GPS systems find the best routes, restaurants, hotels, and stores!
- Atlas or Maps: In case you find yourself without a GPS system and a dead phone, having an updated Atlas or Map handy can help you find your way when other means of navigation fail!
As we said before, life on the road isn’t easy nor very hygienic. Keeping yourself clean is key to keeping yourself healthy, as well as showing consideration for your fellow truckers! Here are the most important hygienic truck driver accessories:
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste – Mouthwash is a plus!
- Deodorant or Cologne
- Medication/Daily Pills
- Shower Kit – Normally includes body wash or soap and shampoo and/or conditioner
- Grooming Tools – Normally includes hairbrush/combs, razors, and trimming scissors.
While keeping your body clean is important, it’s just as important to keep your cabin cleanly too! Some cleaning supplies you should consider packing with your accessories for truckers include:
- Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
- Paper Towels
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Dashboard Cleaner
- Air Freshener
- Laundry Detergent
While auto-haulers aren’t expected to be mechanics too, it’s never a bad idea to put tools in your truck driver packing list for easy repairs. Doing so can save you time and money, as you can get back on the road faster rather than waiting for emergency maintenance or assistance to arrive.
- Trailer Toolbox – As you’re gathering all your truck driver essential tools, keep in mind you will need a safe place to organize and store them! A toolbox with slots and spaces will allow for easy organization and quick access. Our Mytee Products’ trailer toolboxes are made of aluminum, which is ideal for flatbed toolboxes because of how sturdy it is! It can withstand weather and being knocked around, while being very lightweight!
- Combination Wrenches – A combination wrench set is a great recommendation for all truckers. It’s impossible to predict every problem you may encounter while on the road. Combination wrenches come with opened and boxed ends, making them the perfect solution for any future problems no matter the size or shape!
- Dog/Done Bone Wrench – The dog bone wrench is a multifunctional wrench – it’s ideal for when you need to fix something at an odd or awkward angle since it comes equipped with a magnet!
- Air Brake Hoses/Coils – Keeping a stock of hoses ready and available can make all the difference when making repairs on the road! A common issue most truckers will run into while over-the-road trucking is hose failure, so keeping a hose in your toolbox will allow you to make repairs then and there rather than waiting for a tow or assistance. At Mytee Products, we offer Air Brake Hoses as well as accessory options:
- Pogo Sticks: Pogo sticks are spring-mounded tools that help facilitate your trailer’s connection to an air brake hose.
- Tender Kits: Not often considered when one is packing their accessories for truck drivers, tender kits can also be used to make that trailer-to-air hose connection. The difference between a tender kit and pogo stick is that tender kits have thicker clamp hangers and protective sleeves, providing a smooth installation.
- Wire Cutter and Electrical Tape – It’s always a good idea to purchase a good set of wire cutters! If you find a bald spot on a wire, wire cutters and electrical tape will help you safely get to a shop to properly fix the damage!
- Ladders/Steps – Investing in portable ladders or steps for your accessories for truckers can be helpful when you need to access the trailer, cab, or a raised platform on your truck easily. Mytee Products’ steel or aluminum ladders allow you to climb from ground-level or a lower platform to reach a higher platform or section of your truck or trailer. You can reduce the stress on your body if you load cargo by carrying it up a ladder or using steps instead of trying to lift it from off the ground. There are four types of ladders or steps to consider:
- Pull-out Trailer Step Ladder
- Military Grade Aluminum Folding Step Ladder
- Ancra Trailer Access Steps
- Heavy Duty Die Cast Folding Step
- Box Knife – A good box knife will last a long time, and can be helpful in unexpected situations where you need to cut something loose or make a quick size adjustment.
- Hammer – While not the first item truckers would consider to be an essential tool, hammers are great tools for emergencies, like releasing stuck wheels, or for quickly checking for low tire pressure before hitting the road!
- Air Pressure Gauge – While hammers are great for getting an idea of tire pressure, all auto haulers should invest in a proper air pressure gauge. Not only do they confirm a tire that felt flat or sounded different being low, but you don’t want to be on the freeway when a tire blows out. Periodically checking your tires’ air pressure will help you know if any need to be pumped before your next long drive.
- Flashlights – There will be plenty of times you will end up driving well after the sun has set. Having flashlights will be helpful when needing to check your trucker for any damages or inspections in dim light or the dark. We recommend having two flashlights handy, in case the batteries in one die mid-use. You can then resort to your backup!
- Work Lights – Not often considered when truckers are packing for their truck driver essentials, work lights are bright LED lights designed to provide extra light to work with! These work lights are preferred instead of flashlights if you are doing maintenance or loading/unloading cargo and need both of your hands free. You can set up and turn on these LED lights to give you the necessary visual aid needed while keeping both your hands free for work.
- Metal Dowel Rod – A metal dowel rod is an essential tool for any haulers that live or travel through States that experience heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. Metal Dowel Rods easily break through ice and release frozen brakes, if used correctly.
- Safety Glasses – Smart truckers know the importance of protecting their eyes when doing any maintenance or fixing their truck, no matter how small the issue!
When it comes to prepping emergency items for your truck driver needs, the first object that may come to mind will be a first-aid kit. You will find that most company-owned trucks already come equipped with a first aid kit, though they tend to have the bare minimum stored: a few bandaids and neosporin. It will be a good idea to keep a fully-stocked first aid kit handy in the event you find yourself in desperate need of more than a bandaid. Additionally, a first aid kit isn’t the only emergency item you should keep in your truck driver’s essentials.
- Emergency Kit: While it’s easy to say that keeping an emergency kit with your truck driver needs is common sense, not many people know what exactly should be in an emergency kit. A good emergency kit should include items such as:
- LED Flashlight
- Bottled water
- Duct tape
- Jumper cables
- Canned Food
- Extra gloves and socks
- A survival knife and/or pliers
- Safety Vest: A high-visibility safety vest is the best way to ensure you are keeping yourself safe when working or getting out of your truck in low light or during the night. We offer safety vests in fluorescent yellow and silver, yellow and orange, and lime green mesh colors, all of which provide easy visibility when hit with light.
- LED Flashlight: While a good emergency kit will come with one of these, an LED flashlight is a tool often overlooked by truckers. While a trucker should invest in a flashlight regardless, having an extremely durable and powerful flashlight will prove useful during harsh weather conditions, like heavy snow or rain.
- Road Flares and Cones: Every hauler should have a set of road flares and cones handy for those unpredictable situations when your truck breaks down or needs maintenance on the side of a busy highway. These will help your fellow motorists know to shift lanes to give you space and safety to work, as well as signal to any roadside assistance your location when in the dark.
- DOT Approved Warning Triangles: The perfect addition for your truck and safety kit, these DOT-approved warning triangles help alert other motorists that your vehicle is pulled to the side of the road and disabled during a roadside emergency. This allows them to switch lanes or slow down when passing you. The triangles have a weighted base, keeping them stable and sturdy against wind, rain, snow, and any debris.
Food and Snacks:
While it may be the most convenient way to get your meals on the road, it’s not healthy for every meal to be fast food or gas station food. Packing healthier snacks and meals with your trucker driver accessories can not only save you money but help you stay healthy while out on the road! Here are some easy, inexpensive options for snacks and meals:
- Fruit, such as apples and bananas.
- Meat Jerky
- Sunflower Seeds
- Canned Meals/Soups
- Microwavable Meals
- Premade Salads
While traveling the countryside can be a very relaxing and rewarding experience, it can also get lonely and too quiet from time-to-time. Having technology that can provide you entertainment among your accessories for truckers can help remedy that silence!
- Music Player, Laptop, or Tablet: While you will need to hook up hotspots or find locations with free WiFi accessibility to use these items, we luckily live in a very technological world where finding access to the internet is now easy!
- TV, DVD, or Game Console: Watching movies or playing video games is a very fun way to spend your free time or wind down!
- Art, Photography, or Writing: We all have our hobbies that we enjoy outside of work, but there is no better way to enhance your skills and practice than during your free time! Draw, write, or take photos while you’re stopping for a meal or to rest!
- Reading: The most old-fashioned way to spend your free time, there are an abundance of new genres and books available for you to purchase or rent. Don’t have the space to keep physical books? No need to worry! Thousands of books are accessible and can be stored on your tablet, keeping them all in one convenient place!
Life on the road will be as comfortable as you want it to be! Remember, your truck is your home away from home, and you have the ability to make it feel like so with a little planning. And remember, this isn’t a definitive list but a list of recommendations from your fellow haulers! There may be truck driver accessories that we didn’t even think of that you consider must-need trucking essential.