Truckers are unsung heroes of the 21st century. With increasing reliance on online shopping and overnight deliveries, truckers are busier and more needed than ever. According to experts, there almost 3.5 million truckers in the United States alone, ferrying goods and products across the highways of the country.
Trucking is a very rugged and demanding job that has developed its own lifestyle suited for the long hours on the road. Every experienced trucker knows that they need a handful of things in their vehicles at all times to make life comfortable and ensure their safety.
Below are seven must-haves every truck driver needs in their cabin.
1. Spare Parts
You don’t need to bring an overhaul kit of a DD15, but a trucker should have some basic spare parts appropriate for their vehicle on board. Common spare parts include a spare tire in case of a flat or a burst tire, extra windshield wipers should there be strong inclement weather and an array of nuts and bolts to keep things together.
Your truck will have different needs so make sure you carry spare parts that address common problems in your vehicle.
Your box of spare parts will be useless without the tools necessary to install them. A trucker needs to have a rather large toolbox handy so you can perform quick repairs or patch jobs. This toolbox usually contains a variety of wrenches to tighten bolts, a tire jack in case of flats and jumper cables should the main engine sputter out.
Once again, no two trucks are the same and you need to tailor your toolbox so it can help you with the problems you regularly encounter.
Despite the prevalence of cell towers and ever increasing internet coverage, a lot of parts of the United States have either poor or no internet coverage. This is bad news for truckers who solely rely on apps like Google Maps or Wayze to determine the fastest route or even to navigate their trucks entirely.
If you’re going to travel through areas with scant to no internet, you should bring updated physical maps of the area with you. These can be easily purchased in truck stops and gasoline stations. They’re handy references in case your phone or computer ever fails you.
4. Neck Pillow
Truck drivers spend a long time sitting behind the wheel, sometimes spending entire days in the same position. Remaining in a rigid sitting position can ruin your posture and lead to legitimate health problems such as back aches and neck pain. This is why you should bring a few things that could help you stay comfy while driving, such as a neck pillow. This simple device can help keep your head elevated and ease pressure on your neck, meaning you won’t feel as sore or cramped after a few hours. Not to mention they’re excellent for when you grab a few minutes sleep while parked.
5. Permits and Credentials
Truck drivers have to go through multiple checkpoints when ferrying your cargo, especially if you are crossing multiple state lines. There are weighing stations, state check points and produce check points all over the United States truckers have to approach. It’s vital you always have the relevant permits and credentials with you. These include your license to drive a large vehicle, the cargo manifests, passports if you are trucking across countries and insurance information. This paperwork will help you avoid legal problems and ensure you can get to your destination on time.
6. High-Visibility Clothing
Accidents are always a risk when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, more so if that vehicle is a truck. In a single year, there were 5,005 fatal accidents involving large trucks in the United States. When you get into an accident or your truck malfunctions, you need high-visibility clothing so approaching motorists can see you and begin to slow down. These are usually vests or jackets with neon material. Keep a couple of these vests in the back seat in case you get into an accident.
Illumination is always welcome in a truck, whether you’re pawing at the stuff behind your seat or checking the insides of your engine block for problems. A high-powered, battery-operated flashlight is a must have for when you have vehicle problems at night or checking your truck’s exterior at a pit stop. Keep this in the glove box, so you can always reach for it at a moment’s notice.
The trucker lifestyle is rugged, but it doesn’t have to be impossible or incredibly uncomfortable. The right tools and the right things can help make speeding down highways a pleasant experience.