Living the trucker life is tough in itself, having a few of these items in the truck will definitely make your life on the road better. Keep in mind, some of these items might seem odd to most people but as a former driver myself these are quintessential for life on the road. Here’s looking at your portable toilet! These are in no particular order so let’s get this show on the road.
#1 – A Better Mattress
Sleep, it’s something we so often take for granted. Living out on the open road and sleeping in a truck is a feat in itself. Having a quality mattress in your truck is going to leave you feeling well rested and ready for the day. It’s so very important to get a good nights sleep so you’re alert and aware while you drive. Unfortunately stock mattresses just aren’t that comfortable but there are many alternatives available.
#2 – Shower Flip Flops
Sometimes, the showers in route are pretty decent. More often than not though, it’s a little rough walking into the shower and doing a double-take at the grit and grime. Then you’re left wondering how you’re going to shower without having to touch anything on the floor. Having even the cheapest pair of flip flops to keep your feet off of the grunge is more than worth the money.
#3 – Slow Cooker
One of the things I missed most when I was out driving a truck was a home cooked meal. Being the newbie I was I made a lot of stops at the ole’ Iron Skillet but quickly realized just how much that was taking out of my paycheck. Luckily the inverter in my truck was big enough to run a full size crock pot so I quickly started hording things to make. One of my favorite things in the winter was home made hamburger soup. For the sake of having a somewhat home cooked meal a Slow Cooker is a must when driving a truck!
#4 – Trucker Friendly GPS/Road Atlas
This is one of those things that is a life saver and can hurt you at the same time. I absolutely love a trucking friendly GPS when I’m in heavy traffic and need to know where I’m going without having to bring out the atlas. At the same time, before you start a trip it’s good to pull out a Trucker Road Atlas and plan your route accordingly. You can cross reference the two if you have a few extra seconds before starting the day. Doing this will prevent you from trying to haul off a bridge that isn’t yours!
#5 – First Aid Kit
This one speaks for itself, you never know when you might need a first aid kit when you’re out on the road. Major and minor accidents happen every day on the hour whether it be a small cut or a major fender bender. It’s a good idea to carry a first aid kit just in case, and they’re not that expensive either.
#6 – Fridge/Cooler
This is another one that is a definite must have. If you stop for a 30 minute break and want a quick sandwich, it’s nice to just pop open the first and get what you need, slap your favorite sandwich together and stretch your legs a bit. It’s a little tough finding the right size mini-fridge for truckers though. Make sure you measure the height and width so you know how much room you’re working with before buying a mini-refrigerator.
#7 – A Microwave
Truck drivers need to eat, that’s just a given. Having a small microwave in your truck will help you eat better meals since you’re always on the go. Most trucks have a small shelf that you can put one on and should have a strap to put over top to keep it secure. If not, I would highly suggest getting one or securing it in place in case of a hard stop. You don’t necessarily want a microwave sitting up front with you.
#8 – Shower Bag/Essentials
I generally used a backpack because it fit nicely in the area I stored it in but your possibilities are endless here. Personal hygiene while driving a semi truck can be difficult at times, you don’t always get to take a shower when you want (this was a hard truth I had to face early on). When the time comes though, it’s nice to just grab a clean change of cloths and throw them in your shower bag and away you go.
#9 – Portable Toilet
This may seem funny for those who have never driven a commercial vehicle or are just now entering the industry. However, a toilet is serious business when you’re barrelling down the road at 65mph on a turnpike in the middle of nowhere land. Luckily there are several options available now days and they’re not too expensive to pick up either. The only downfall of these is they take up much needed space. If you’re a solo driver space is a little more forgiving than those that drive teams.
#10 – Dash-Mount for your Phone
As a professional driver you never want to have your hands and eyes distracted from what you’re doing. Many would say completely turn your phone off while you drive. I liked to use mine for music and would setup a playlist before I started my day. Having a dash mount for your phone is almost essential if you’re going to have it on during your clock.
#11 – Personal Sized Coffee Pot
This one could go either way, if you need your cup of joe in the morning and one isn’t readily available. Having a small 1-2 cup coffee pot sure is nice to have. They clean up easy and don’t take up much space in your truck.
#12 – Hand Held Vacuum
A clean truck is a good truck for sure. As a truck driver you’re constantly in and out of your truck whether it’s starting your day with a pre-trip, walking to the shipping office to get paperwork or in one case, delivering a load of cabinets to a newly built apartment complex in the middle of a mud pit! Keeping your truck clean can be tough at times so having a hand held vacuum can make things a lot easier.
#13 – Change Jar/Can
A place to dump all of your spare change instead of your cup holder is a must when driving a truck. I always liked to keep one just to make sure I always had some money to do a load of laundry. You can make these out of just about anything but I liked using a mason jar for mine.
Driving a truck professionally is a hard job to say the least. Having these items on your truck can improve your quality of life greatly, coming from experience! Do you see any items that aren’t listed here that you think should be added? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think is essential to have on your truck!