It's a Team's Life
10 Essential Tools all Truckers Need
There are many things that will make your life easier over the road. From gadgets to organizers, there’s nothing efficiency and organization can’t fix. We’ve compiled a short list of 10 essential tools every driver needs to make working as a truck driver, that much easier.
1. Truck GPS - GPS navigation is a joke for the veteran drivers out here but the fact is, it’s made life easier for the majority of us. As a rookie, you won’t come out here knowing every highway, or let alone every city our interstates run through. Keep in mind, your eyes should always trump your GPS because the system isn’t perfect. If your device is advising you to get off on an exit that you shows you otherwise, use your common sense, and get off on the next truck approved exit. GPS has also made navigation around the country easier as it can help you avoid costly truck tolls and automatically reroutes when you’ve taken a wrong turn.
2. Cellphone and Headset Mount - The quickest way to get into an accident or get a ticket, is by fidgeting with your devices. You phone should always be mounted in view to be made easily accessible in case of an emergency. Also, keeping your headset mounted and accessible from the drivers seat is just as important, as you will need them for hands free talking.
3. 12 Volt Refrigerator - Truck stop food is not only bad for your health, but it’s bad for your pockets. Meals at truck stops average over $10 USD per meal along with a weeks worth of calories, carbs, and sugars. Fresh fruit will be twice the price compared to your local supermarket. Keeping a fridge on board with you to stock healthy groceries will not only please your gut, but your savings account will thank you too.
4. Binder/Paperwork Organizer - Every piece of commercial equipment has licensing and permits behind it. You will have a binder full of permits for one truck; from state highway use, authority, insurance, registrations, hazmat, and fuel permits. Keeping them organized and accessible in a binder will make your job easier during inspections and help you stay ahead of permit expirations.
5. Smartphone and Reliable Service - Traveling across this great nation will show you that there are more wide open spaces than there are cities. Having the latest technology connected to the best service providers, will keep you ahead of the game with stronger connections and less dead zones.
6. Trucking Apps - There are countless apps that are growing from driver feedback within the industry. Truck stop apps allow you to reserve a shower, pay for fuel, and list detailed location information among other things. Weigh station apps can show you how many weigh stations are in your route and if they’re open. There are even customer review apps, where you can rate warehouse facilities by things like customer friendliness, unload wait times, and bathroom accessibility. They've all helped make everyday occurrences less of a hassle or a surprise.
7. Dashcam - There is no easier way to fight a ticket or show proof of liability, than through dash cam footage. Investing in a quality dashcam with an SD card for as much storage as the device can support is the best way to go. We suggest you mount one as soon as you start your driving career and hope you never learn how priceless it really is.
8. CB Radio - The CB radio has been deemed useless, but only by those who don’t use it. The reality is, our roads are filled with old school truckers that, in fact, do still utilize it to this day. We've found that it’s a quick way to get a heads up on a smokey and you will almost always be ahead of the traffic with accident alerts and the reroute updates to go with it.
9. Sunglasses (*Polarized) - Speaking of priceless, your vision is on the top of that list. Whether you drive day or night, that directional sunrise or sunset in your face will leave you blinded. Investing into a quality pair of polarized sunglasses is important to maintain healthy vision and a clear line of sight.
10. Confidence and Support - Trucking ain’t easy and the lifestyle will test you in many ways. It’s always important to have a solid support system behind you to keep you striving for success and overall happiness. Over the road trucking is a lonely gig since you'll spend a lot of time away from home and loved ones. Having friends and family to find and invest the time for long talks over the phone, can make the worlds of a difference.
Run Hard - Dream Big,