Trucking is a fulfilling job, but it’s also long, arduous, and potentially dangerous. As a trucker, you need to carry several types of gear to keep you and your freight safe. You also should stay up-to-date with technology, build rapport with customers, and maintain your physical and mental health. Some necessary trucking gear might seem basic, while other, newer necessities may surprise you. However, make sure you don’t leave home without these essentials.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
This device is a trucker’s best friend. Even on a familiar route, you can get lost or confused, especially at night after several hours on the road. Choose the GPS brand that feels most comfortable to you. Each one has its own advantages. For instance, the Garmin dēzlCam lets you customize your truck routes and comes with a dashboard camera. The Rand McNally IntelliRoute TND 720 LM Truck GPS offers a hard protective shell, a larger screen, marker updates, and several truck route options for each trip.
Every trucker should carry a full toolbox. Minor repairs are needed on and off the road. The better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel. Your toolbox should contain at least one wrench, a pair of sturdy work gloves, a flashlight, and plenty of extra batteries. You may also need screwdrivers, screws, nuts and bolts, and other tools.
Cell Phone or CB Radio
Good communication is essential while on the road. A cell phone or CB radio lets fellow truckers, dispatchers, and others know your location so they can help quickly in an emergency. These devices also let you communicate with customers if there’s a delivery delay or other problem. We recommend using a Bluetooth headset so you can communicate hands-free.
First Aid Kit
Hopefully you will never have a major emergency while trucking. However, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, and bruises are part of the job. You can’t make deliveries if you don’t take care of yourself, so carry a stocked first aid kit in a secure part of your truck. In that kit you should have the basics, such as bandages and iodine, but you also need trucker-specific items. These include reflective clothing, signal flares, and any specific medications you take. Outside the kit itself, make sure you carry emergency materials like tire chains, signal cones, extra water, and a blanket.
Everyone feels healthier and more confident when clean. Take personal hygiene items with you, including soap, hand sanitizer, washcloths, towels, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. You may want to bring a personal can of Lysol or Windex for spills, dirty tabletops, or smudged glass. This reduces germs and keeps you from getting ill on the job. In summer and winter, consider bringing hand lotion and ChapStick to avoid blisters, cracked or dry skin, redness, and chapping.
Every trucker needs a pair of sturdy boots, so make sure you stow one in your vehicle. Outside of those, you’ll need a comfortable pair of walking shoes for days you stop to load or unload, or take a break. Stopovers may require using public showers, so bring a pair of shower shoes or flip-flops, as well.