Driving a truck for a living is much different than working a regular 9 – 5 office job. CDL A truck driving jobs can offer more flexibility and dedicated schedules, but sometimes if you’re a long haul truck driver, you can be on the road for days at a time and even sleep in your truck or hotels across the country. So, when you’re away from home, what kinds of things do you need to keep yourself comfortable, safe, entertained and happy? We talked to some of our very own ITS Logistics truck drivers and support team to get an understanding of what kinds of trucker must-haves and necessities they take with them when they’re out on the road.
Safety must-have items for truck drivers
Safety is always important as a professional truck driver (it’s our number one priority at ITS, too!). Drivers have a responsibility to prioritize the safety of themselves and those around them when they’re hauling heavy loads through all kinds of conditions, from congested cities to inclement weather. Here are some of the recommendations some ITS drivers had for must-have safety items while out on the road.
Good parking spots for your 10-hour resets or breaks—“Do your research into the routes you’ll be running and pick out some great open parking areas for when you need to hit reset or take a break”
A Bluetooth headset with important contacts—“A Bluetooth headset with an updated contacts list on my cell phone. It’s safe and easy to just push a button on the headset and say, for instance, ‘call dispatch’.”
Be prepared! Many of our drivers bring an emergency kit with a variety of safety items in case they need them.—“My kit always includes a fire extinguisher, 3 roadside markers, 4-way flashers and extra wiper blades. You never know what you might need.”-“I like to be prepared! I bring cooking items, a cooler, safety items, a flashlight, duct tape, a tarp, and a basic set of tools.”
Cleaning products are important (especially as we continue to deal with COVID-19)—“Extra Lysol spray, Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. With COVID-19 and slip seating, I go through a lot of disinfectants!”
Tire chains are a necessity for drivers who regularly drive in inclement weather and snowstorms. It’s important to always carry them during winter driving in case of surprise snowstorms.—“If you’re driving anywhere that might have snow, be prepared and bring some good quality chains!”
“There’s the obvious safety items like a high visibility safety vest, high-quality work gloves (you’re going to use these a lot), safety glasses and a road flare or two. I like to keep a set of jumper cables to help people who are stranded out on the road when I can. Driving during the winter months, it helps to have a small space heater, cold weather sleeping bag or even an electric blanket if you have an invertor.“
Trucker necessities for comfort on the road
Being comfortable is very important, especially when your office is a truck. We got a variety of suggestions from our ITS drivers on some truck driver essentials to make your truck feel as homey and comfortable as possible.
Good air conditioning and heating are key to a comfortable truck cab (shameless plug: all ITS trucks have awesome heating and AC-and heated and cooled seats)—“Make sure you work for a company that invests in their trucks, and really good heating and AC!”
An inverter—“Make sure the company has good equipment, you’ll need a truck with a power inverter to plug in stuff like your fridge, your laptop, whatever you want on the road. I use mine for my CPAP machine.”—”I bring an inverter so I can have a refrigerator and a microwave-must-haves for me on the road!”
Sirius XM radio is a big favorite among our drivers—“One thing I have to have out on the open road is my Sirius/XM radio!”
Hygiene necessities. Since truck drivers take showers at truck stops on the road, many of our drivers mentioned that they bring their own favorite soaps, shampoos, laundry detergent and other hygiene products in a convenient shower bag.—“I always make sure to leave myself extra time for a hot shower. It’s a great refresh when I’ve been driving for a while.”
Exercising as a truck driver is very important, although it can be difficult to pull off on the road. Be sure to check out our page about exercise for truck drivers for more ideas!—“Heavy weights can be hard to keep in a truck, but workout bands are easy to use and easy to pack-and effective.”
An extra change of clothes and jackets for changing weather and comfort.—“My necessities include Backup gloves, a hoodie, an extra change of clothes, Mare’s, and lots of water.”
Maintenance trucker must-haves
Sometimes trucks need small maintenance fixes when you’re out on the road, so it’s important to be prepared. Here’s what our drivers had to say about maintenance must-haves.
“Tape, zip ties, bungee cords and tools to assist in basic maintenance from cutting seals to replacing or repairing mud flaps.”—“Here’s some stuff in my essential road tool kit: CB radio, light kits, air line repair kit, and a small broom.”—“Extra Coolant, oil, tire chains, and a hammer.”
Food and snack necessities
Eating on the road can be challenging-especially finding healthy meals and snacks on the fast food-lined freeways across America. Here are some tips and tricks for food and snack trucker necessities.
A mini-fridge or cooler is key for bringing your own food and water. Many drivers also bring some cooking items, coolers and microwaves.—“I like to bring an extra cooler or fridge, so I can have my own food and drinks whenever I need. Plus, it allows me to be healthier out on the road and avoid truck stop food. Saves money too!”
Healthy snacks and beverages. Many of our drivers prefer to bring their own snacks. That way they can have their favorites while they’re on the road, save money and be healthier. Here’s a helpful article about healthy snacks for truck drivers.—“Food, water and my favorite road snack, sunflower seeds” – “I bring coffee, gloves, water…and more coffee.”
Commercial truck drivers bring what they need in their everyday lives because when they’re out on the road, your truck is their office and their home. Thank you, ITS drivers, for sharing your must-haves for truck drivers!
Looking for a truck driving job? Drive for ITS Logistics today
At ITS, we are actively seeking Class A CDL drivers to join our team. Our drivers get competitive benefits, a 401k option with company match, national healthcare coverage, generous home time, paid time off, paid holidays-and, most importantly, respect. Our drivers are part of our family, not just another number! If you’re interested, check out our current job openings and apply today.