Being a truck driver isn’t just about hauling cargo, the open road, and your CD collection – it’s also about having the right supplies to keep everything running smoothly.
However, with so many essential tools and gadgets on the market, it can take time to figure out what is necessary for any given situation.
But don’t panic! We’ve made a list of 20 truck driver essentials that you must have.
This isn’t just about packing an extra few shirts or bringing enough snacks — this is about safety, entertainment, and ultimate comfort on the open road.
So, buckle up – here are our top “truck driver must-haves” when you hit the asphalt.
Table of Contents
1. Permit and Credentials
You must always have your trucking permits and credentials with you.
These truck driver essentials are vital when truckers haul cargo across state lines and must prove that they’ve completed the required safety training and screenings.
If pulled over or stopped at a roadside inspection, you may find yourself in a bind without these essentials.
Here is a quick list of documentation you need:
- Vehicle registration
- CDL license
- Proof of insurance
- Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
- State permits
- Long-form physical
- Special certifications (such as transporting hazardous materials, triple trailers, or liquid tankers)
2. Route Planner App
Being a truck driver, you must plot out and stick to efficient routes, as time wasted often translates into lost revenue. And that’s why you must include a commercial navigation and truck GPS app like Route4Trucks in your list of truck driver essentials.
Such an app can help truckers like you easily navigate unfamiliar areas. From avoiding hazardous roads to navigating through heavy traffic zones, a truck GPS app can optimize truckers’ trips like never before.
Not only does a map route planner streamline truckers’ journeys and make them more profitable, but it also improves safety by providing optimal routes that are heavy on truck-friendly roads and free of dangerous terrain.
While navigation apps provide great coverage when used correctly in areas they’re familiar with, route planner apps explicitly built for long-haul truckers offer invaluable insights into various practical needs, such as identification of clearance heights and dimensions restrictions.
The most critical part – a multi-stop route planner helps reduce travel times and stay on schedule to ensure you never miss a deadline.
Long story short, you can save and make more money with a delivery route planner app. So, you must keep it on your list of trucking essentials.
3. Tire Pressure Gauge
One truck driver essential that you should pay attention to is a reliable tire pressure gauge. You may not realize it, but having a tire pressure gauge is necessary for safety and efficiency on the road.
Staying informed on the pressure of truck tires allows you to control the vehicles fully and maintain the well-being of the loads.
Low tire pressure can be dangerous since the truck will become harder to handle in various road conditions, while overinflated tires make drivers prone to blowouts and other accidents.
Tire pressure monitoring is also vital in conserving fuel over long distances.
Driving with properly inflated truck tires can increase performance and reduce wear and tear on the rims. For truck drivers, having a reliable tire pressure gauge is an indispensable part of truck driver essentials.
4. Reflective Triangles
You often have to park trucks on the side of highways and roads. At night, without proper safety precautions, you run the risk of not being seen and causing accidents.
A reflective triangle is one of the most critical truck driver essential items in warning other vehicles of potential hazards such as truck breakdowns, nighttime visibility for stopped trucks, or detours around truck-related blockages.
Placing a reflective triangle at least 100 feet behind the truck will help alert other drivers to take caution when approaching the car. It also improves highway safety standards and can lead to fewer accidents.
They come in various sizes and designs and are lightweight and easy to use. Having reflective triangles nearby, when needed, can create a safer environment for you and other drivers on the road.
You must stay safe and prepared on the road, which is why a dashcam is a must-have for truck drivers.
Dashcams provide truckers like you with an extra layer of safety by serving as a witness if a crash or incident occurs.
It enables you to document any events you experience while driving, so you can later review or use it as evidence in case of disputes over liability.
Further, it provides you with live footage of vehicle blind spots, meaning you can have peace of mind and be better informed when making decisions on the road.
A flashlight is one of the essential things truckers need. Not only can it illuminate your truck during nighttime deliveries, but it can also help in an emergency.
You may need to investigate strange noises coming from the truck, find something that has fallen, or even check outside for any obstacles.
A flashlight ensures you are prepared for whatever might arise on your route and will help quickly and efficiently address any potential issues.
Additionally, a truck driver who keeps a flashlight on hand can respond quickly to other vehicles that are in danger or require assistance.
7. High-Visibility Jackets
High-visibility jackets are another one of those things every truck driver needs.
The bright colors of such clothing increase the visibility of truck drivers and make them more noticeable to other drivers and pedestrians, especially during times of darkness. This helps stay safe from vehicles on the road by having a heightened awareness.
The bright orange hue of these jackets is also ideal for truck drivers who frequently drive in poor visibility conditions such as rain, fog, or darkness.
Overall, you must wear high-visibility jackets when driving to ensure your safety and that of everyone else on the road.
8. Waterproof Boots
A good pair of waterproof boots is one of the essential truck driver accessories you should never forget.
Waterproof boots have many benefits. Protection from weather conditions can be a great benefit, and sometimes truckers find themselves treading through mud and muck to check under their truck.
Waterproof boots offer superior grip on wet roads, helping you stay better balanced and in control of your truck as you make deliveries. They have extra insulation that helps you stay comfortable in cold weather.
Waterproof boots help protect your feet from heavy objects or sharp objects you may encounter while performing regular duties, such as checking oil levels and tire pressure or troubleshooting any issues with your truck’s brakes or exhaust.
Having a good pair of waterproof boots means even if your truck breaks down during inclement weather, you can safely maneuver around any challenging terrain and then get back on track in no time.
9. Work Gloves
Work gloves protect you from hazardous items such as tools, jagged edges, fuel or oil hazards, and any heavy objects that require stability and grip when lifting and maneuvering.
They are also helpful in protecting your hands from inclement weather conditions, such as snow or heavy rain. Additionally, you can use the work gloves to improve dexterity when doing detailed tasks such as adjusting loads for balance or dealing with cargo that may shift during your journey.
10. Utility Knife
Utility knives are must-haves for truck drivers. You can use them for several tasks, from removing stubborn roadside debris to cutting open parcels or metal pallets.
This helpful tool increases driver safety, as it can quickly and easily cut through obstacles you may encounter while on your journey.
11. Cleaning Supplies
You often work in environments where dirt, dust, and debris accumulate quickly. Therefore, you must carry essential truck driver supplies such as cleaning products to quickly clean up your truck and surroundings, eliminating safety hazards and creating better working conditions.
Having cleaning supplies on hand can also help you keep your truck looking presentable and inspections running smoothly.
This can range from interior truck cleaning supplies, such as all-purpose cleaners and sponges, to exterior truck washing and waxing products, like car wash soaps, detailing brushes, and microfiber cloths.
You should also stock up on truck accessories such as air fresheners or bug repellants which can improve overall comfort and air quality inside the vehicle.
12. Phone Charger
A cell phone charger is essential to ensure you always stay connected with family and employers and complete daily duties efficiently.
A charger can minimize downtime due to having no battery power by allowing you to charge phones while resting at truck stops. It also allows you to contact the dispatcher if you need additional directions.
With the help of a charger, your phone will always be charged. This helps you access navigation or route planner apps without a glitch to ensure you stay on the right roads and avoid getting lost, increasing the chances of arriving at a different location on time.
13. Bluetooth Headset
You should carry Bluetooth headsets as part of trucker essentials due to their many benefits.
Bluetooth headsets are incredibly convenient and easy to use. They also provide a hands-free way to make phone calls while on the road, eliminating distractions and allowing you to focus on driving.
Furthermore, you can use such devices for navigation purposes – creating a safe environment for you and others on the road.
Plus, you can use them to listen to music or podcasts to break up those tedious hours spent driving alone.
14. Laptop or Tablet
Laptops or tablets are truck driver essentials because you can use them for various purposes.
You can chat with friends and family, check emails, access load boards for following jobs, and watch movies and TV shows without an internet connection.
15. Electric Tea or Coffee Maker
Carrying an electric tea or coffee maker is one of the essential things every truck driver needs.
Taking long runs on the road can often make it difficult for you to get good quality coffee, which can cause detriment not only to your overall enjoyment of the journey but also to your performance on the road.
Plus, you may purchase unhealthy alternatives such as energy drinks and sugary snacks without access to hot beverages.
Utilizing an electric tea or coffee maker will reduce your need for an unhealthy alternative and give you much-needed comfort in knowing you can access something nice during your tedious journeys.
Most electric tea or coffee makers are small and portable, so you can carry them easily. Also, you can easily brew a hot drink anywhere you go – no matter how far out of reach it is from a truck stop.
In addition to its convenience, the devices offer you the luxury of making your perfect cup in strength and flavor.
16. Non-Perishable Food Items and Water
Always carry non-perishable food items, as you will often be in locations with limited access to restaurants or grocery stores.
Non-perishable food for truck drivers, such as granola bars, trail mixes, canned soups, and protein bars, are lightweight and don’t require refrigeration. And they help you stay fueled throughout long days and provide a necessary energy boost during nighttime driving.
They also offer peace of mind, reducing stress from worrying about where your next meal might come from. Plus, you don’t need to make frequent stops, making your journey faster and more efficient.
These snacks will help maintain a balanced diet on the go and provide a reliable source of nutrition no matter where you are located.
Also, do not forget to carry plenty of water. Not only does water refresh you while driving, but it also helps reduce fatigue, improve alertness and focus, and keep your body healthy and hydrated.
Moreover, carrying adequate water could save time since you would no longer need to take breaks at gas stations or rest stops.
17. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit in the truck could mean the difference between life and death if an accident happened on the road.
Having a first aid kit on board is especially helpful during long trips away from populated areas where there may not be a hospital or clinic nearby.
In the case of minor injuries or emergencies, you can quickly assess the situation, apply primary care using the items in your first aid kit, and seek medical attention if needed.
Here is the list of items you should include in the first aid kit:
- Gauze pads
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment, and
- Over-the-counter medication such as headache relief and motion sickness tablets.
You should also carry thermal blankets for safety and snacks in case of a delayed journey.
18. Bathroom Supplies
You must have bathroom supplies as part of trucking essentials due to the lengthy drives and truck stops not always having amenities. This can include basic items like hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and toilet paper.
Furthermore, you may need extra toothpaste, razors, and soap since truck stops only provide a limited list of items, and you can only sometimes get back to a store when you need something.
Plus, it helps you maintain a high level of cleanliness throughout your journey.
Cleanliness is vital for your health and safety and contributes to good customer relations as you enter businesses and homes while making deliveries.
Carry an emergency bathroom container, as you may not find any gas station or rest stop in sight during a sudden nature call.
19. Sleeping Bag and Pillow
You need trucker essentials such as sleeping bags and pillows to get adequate rest so you can drive safely and stay alert while on the job. They help you get restful sleep no matter where your travel may take you.
A good sleeping bag can also keep you warm and comfortable on the road on those cold, lonely nights. Finding a suitable pillow is also essential, as it provides neck support when you need a little shut-eye.
20. Shower Flip Flops
Shower flip-flops are must-haves for truck drivers.
While truck stops offer showers, they often aren’t the cleanest places. Having your own shower flip-flops will help keep your feet clean and bacteria-free, as well as dirt and grime from a long day on the road.
They also come in handy when you need to quickly jump out of the truck at truck stops, rest areas, and layover spots.
Final Thoughts about Truck Driver Essentials
The list of trucker essentials provided in this blog post should help you be better prepared for your next trip.
However, these are only a few examples of the must-haves for truck drivers you should only hit the highway with.
Of course, every driver is different and has their own needs and preferences. But if you’re new to trucking or just need a reminder of what you should always have on hand, refer to this list next time you’re packing for your trip.