Truck driving can be an incredibly rewarding, exciting, and lucrative profession. You get to travel, explore new places, and meet fascinating people along the way. IIn this occupation, preparation is everything. By taking the time to make sure you have everything you need for your journey, you can ensure a safe, successful trip each time.
Today, we’re taking a look at the truck driver essentials that you should have as you get started. With these items, it’s easier to stay on schedule, work efficiently, and prepare for any potential problems you may face. Keep these basics on hand, and you’ll be ready to hit the road!
Personal Hygiene Supplies
If you’re a new truck driver, it can be easy to forget about things like a toothbrush and soap. In the hustle of the new job, such supplies are often overlooked.However, it’s important to keep a hygiene kit with you at all times, even if you’re only on a short-haul trip. The job could get extended, the weather could turn bad, or a road emergency could leave you out longer than you anticipated.
When this happens, you’ll need to find a truck stop where you can freshen up. If your kit is well-stocked and easy to access, you can get the job done in no time. The basics to pack include:
- Shower sandals
It’s also a good idea to pack an emergency bathroom container, along with extra toilet paper and disinfectant wipes. Ideally, you’ll never have to use those items, but you never know when you’ll be on a long stretch of road without a bathroom or rest area in sight.
Portable Cooking Appliances
Eating on the road can be a challenge. While checking out new diners and fast-food chains can be exciting at first, the novelty can wear off when you’re on the road for long stretches of time. In these situations, you may want to prepare your own food. Not only does this save time and money, but it can also allow you to eat a little healthier, too.
Today, it’s easy to find smaller-sized replicas of the same appliances you use at home, including skillets, roasters, and even slow cookers!
Try to plan your meals ahead of time and shop only for what you need. When your truck is well-stocked with cooking gear, you can enjoy warm, hearty food on the go.
Water and Non-Perishable Foods
While home-cooked meals are preferable, you’ll also need plenty of filling, non-perishable snacks on the road. Keep some of these items on hand for those moments when hunger strikes:
- Fruit (bananas, oranges, apples)
- Breakfast bars
- String cheese
While you’re filling your snack stash, remember to also carry plenty of water. It’s easy to get dehydrated, especially if you’re downing lots of gas station coffee along the route. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, which makes it dangerous to drive.
Compact Refrigerator or Cooler
Pantry staples like oatmeal, dry cereal, chips, and granola make great snacks. However, they shouldn’t be meal replacements. Before you head out, stock up on produce, dairy items, and any meat that you might want to prepare on the road.
Of course, you’ll need somewhere to store those goods once you get them. A compact refrigerator or small cooler works great. This way, you can keep your food fresh without taking up a ton of space.
Long-haul truck drivers often have to spend nights away from home. While you might not be able to replicate the plushness of your own bed, you can invest in a few accessories to make your night as comfortable as possible.
If you have a sleeper cab, you can enhance the double or single bunk by adding a high-quality mattress topper. You can use sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag to cover up and keep warm. A great pillow can also make a world of difference!
Remember to park overnight in a safe, well-lit area, such as a truck stop, rest area, or operating center. If the light bothers you, close the curtains and truck shades, or add a sunshade cover on your windshield. If it’s noise keeping you awake, pack a few pairs of foam earplugs, but remember to set the alarm loud enough that you’ll hear it the next morning!
Emergency Car Maintenance Kit
The last thing you need during a haul is an unexpected breakdown. An emergency maintenance kit can keep you safe and get you back on the road quickly. Pack one in your truck and make sure it’s well-stocked at all times.
The items in your kit should include:
- Flashlight and batteries
- Jumper cables
- Tire pressure gauge
- Duct tape
- Small toolkit
- Road cones and flares
In addition to a maintenance kit, we also recommend packing a first-aid kit so you can attend to minor injuries on the road.
Join the Team at Beacon Transport
As you begin your truck driving journey, we’re here to equip you with the guidance, tips, and tools you need to succeed. Our team at Beacon Transport specializes in hauling non-hazardous dry freight throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. We know the ins and outs of this industry, so check back here often for more advice you can trust!