For truck drivers, the truck cab is home. Considering they spend a lot of time in it, both on-duty and off-duty, the statement couldn’t be more accurate.
Therefore, treating the cab as something other than home, is well, denying oneself comfort.
Even though owner-operators have the advantage of making the cab “truly” home, it doesn’t mean company drivers should drive in misery.
Here are X truck driver accessories every trucker should have.
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We know that some of you might like bowling, but better leave those bowling balls at home. The same goes for any miscellaneous trinket that weighs a lot. You do not want to crank up more weight on an already nearly overweight vehicle. Every pound matters. Here are some light-weight things that can go a long way for you:
For a trucker, sunglasses are more a necessity than an accessory. Getting a pair that feels comfortable, is polarized (), perhaps even with prescription lenses, will go a long way for you. Right sunglasses will help you feel less fatigue, reduce eyestrain and headaches.
- Left-Arm Protective Sleeve
Not many truckers pay attention to UV exposure during driving until it is too late. Getting a protective sleeve for your left arm will help reduce this exposure. Say goodbye to the trucker tan, as well as premature skin aging.
- Multiple Pairs of Work Gloves
Always keep a few spare pairs of work gloves around your cab. They are useful in a multitude of situations, like repairs, loading, and unloading. Just don’t go for cheap or driving gloves, as the former will tear quite fast, and the latter is too tight for hands-on work.
Papers & Tools
Now, the truck does come with a toolbox and an ELD. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get some handy sheets & tools that may save you plenty of time (and trouble!)
- Fifth Wheel Pin Puller
This nifty tool can literally save your life. With this tool, you get both safety and convenience. It is a simple tool that does a simple job. Just make sure you get a longer one, as trailers come in different shapes and sizes.
- DOT Logbook Pages
You might say, “but the truck has an ELD, why would I need a paper logbook?” The answer is simple – you do not want to have your ELD break and be without a logbook. Now, some carriers do provide these logbooks with the truck, but you should carry your own just in case.
- A Map of the State You Haul In
If you drive long distances at any point in your career, you know what we’re talking about. GPS is, to put it mildly, flawed, and it can point you to a route that goes through mountains, under lakes, and through hills. However, a good old map with a pre-planned route will never be wrong, as long as the driver is not wrong during the pre-trip planning.
- Telescoping Mirror with a LED Light
A simple telescoping mirror that has a rotating joint can go a long way for any driver. It will help reach tight places inside the drive train, engine, and suspension. A very handy device to have, especially during nighttime and bad weather.
- A Fresh First Aid Kit
We would go as far as to recommend replacing the first aid kit every year. Yes, the trucking company (if you are a company driver) has one put in the cab – but you can bet your house that using a dirty cloth will be more sanitary than using the bandages from that kit.
With a reputation for having a poor diet, truckers are in quite a predicament. On top of the usual hazards that come from driving an 80,000-pound monster, the irregular meals and fast food binge eating is a hazard to itself. Here are some accessories that will provide you with a healthier way of life on the road.
- A Resistance Band
A resistance band is perhaps the best quality-of-life thing you can have in your cab. As you might well be aware, truckers are not running marathons anytime soon. Obesity is a sad reality, and physical inactivity is the trucker lifestyle. Enter the resistance band – the all-in-one workout device a trucker will ever need. Seriously, get one. Your body will thank you later in life.
- A Slow Cooker
A meal prepared by yourself is prepared by taste (and is way healthier than fast food we might add!) Just put some meat and vegetables in the cooker before you start your trip, and by the time you are to take a break, your lunch will be ready.
- A Mini-Fridge
A mini-fridge will help preserve food longer, reduce your bottom line costs, and prolong the slow cooker food you’ve prepared for a couple of days! The best part is you can keep drinks cool, even in scorching heat days.
- An Electric Blanket
Well, a 12-volt heater will do the job if you aren’t traveling up north or in Colorado. If you are, an electric blanket is the safer bet, since not even the best heater in the world can keep out the extreme cold.
- A Showering Kit
Being alone for so long on the road often results in less than ideal image. However, never forget about personal hygiene. It is not only good for your self-confidence but for the image of the company you’re driving for as well (and your company for that matter if you are an owner-operator).
Being alone on the road and while mandatory rest can break even the toughest. However, with the right entertainment accessories, you can spend this otherwise bland time doing something fun and engaging. Here are just a few:
- A Satelite TV Antenna
Well, you’ll need a TV too. However, having something to watch during rest times can help manage the loneliness of long hauls.
- A Gaming Console/Laptop
Both do the same thing – just a matter of preference. Whether you want to play by yourself or with your friends and family online – get a gaming console or a laptop and be ready for hours of fun.
- A Mobile Internet Hotspot
Paying for that extra internet traffic is a good call for long days on the road. Relying on a truck stop’s less-than-ideal wi-fi will only be a frustration, not entertainment.
- A 12 Volt USB Charger
You probably already have one, but if you don’t – how do you charge your phone? They are cheap and do the job they’re designed to do.
Besides getting the right set of tools, a trucker can employ an additional set of safety accessories that can prevent an accident from happening and prolong the lifespan of the vehicle and its parts.
- Cell Phone Mount
First, a disclaimer: do not use your phone while driving. However, if you are using it for GPS, you have to have it in front of you. It is simple to get a windshield mount, mount your phone in it, and have it in your line of sight.
- Dashboard Cam
A dashboard cam is useful for a lot of things. For example, you can record your routes. You can also record accidents in real-time, which will prove vital should you be in one.
- Gauges for Tires, Temperatures, Battery, etc.
Being aware of the truck’s operation conditions from inside the cab can and will save precious time. Getting a set of gauges can help you track fuel expenditure, coolant temperatures, tire pressure and temperature, battery voltage and charge, and much more.