The life of a truck driver is full of surprises.
Some are extremely inconvenient and unprecedented. When unfortunate events happen, do you have the essential stuff with you to solve them? Do you even have any idea what are the important things that you need to bring as a truck driver? Gurpreet Gill, a YouTube vlogger and content manager/creator, shares five things he thinks are essential to truck drivers based on his own experience in OTR trucking.
According to Gurpreet, dashcams have helped him save dollars in avoiding lawsuits and insurance claims. With all the scams happening around the world, dashcams come in handy to help you protect yourself. There are plenty of dashcams sold in the market, but Gill says that his favorite is Viofo A119. According to him, this typical dashcam works great during daytime and nighttime. Not only that, the Viofo A119 helps truck drivers pick up faces and license plates from farther away. The image is super sharp and detailed which means you can zoom into the image without blurring whatever you are looking at.
This dashcam also incorporates motion and collision detection, which means that when you’re parked, if something moves near your vehicle, or if your truck is impacted, that area of the footage will be flagged as relevant and saved on your SD card for later viewing. Furthermore, this dashcam will automatically save the 15 seconds prior to the collision movement and the 15 seconds following the impact movement, ensuring that you have the complete film of some fool crashing into your truck while attempting to cut you off. Overall, this is an excellent dash cam for truckers, and the price makes it an outstanding bargain. Just a reminder that if this is your first dashcam, you’ll also need to purchase an SD card, so make sure you get one with at least 128 GB.
The second essential item you’ll need as a truck driver is earplugs, which come in handy when you’re trying to sleep, especially if you’re a team driver. Some people can fall asleep and not be bothered by lighter sounds, but even if that’s the case, as a truck driver you can’t afford to waste 20 to 30 minutes trying to fall asleep. You’ll only get about two to three hours of sleep while waiting for your truck to be loaded or unloaded, so why not use earplugs to help you fall asleep faster? Even if you don’t need them to fall asleep, they’ll only help you sleep better, so why not purchase them?
Another essential item that you need as a truck driver is a GPS. Normally, your company should provide you with a GPS. However, there are a few companies that won’t do that for you. If you’re given a GPS, then great. However, if you’re an owner-operator or a trucker without one, consider buying the Garmin Dezel 580 Lmts truck GPS navigator. The reason why Gurpreet really likes this GPS over others is because it’s specifically meant for truck drivers. You can customize your truck routing based on the size and weight of your truck.
Another great feature of this GPS is it will give you alerts for upcoming bridge heights and weight limits that truck drivers deem useful. The only problem with this GPS is that it only has a 5-inch screen which can be a bit difficult for drivers to see especially if you don’t have good vision. If you’re looking for a GPS with a larger screen, Gurpreet suggests the Rand McNally TND 740 Intelli route truck navigation GPS. What’s cool about this GPS is it has a seven-inch screen, and it offers free lifetime map updates just like the Garmin does. It also has a magnetic mount which works well even on bumpy roads. The downside with this GPS is that sometimes it takes you down some back roads and if you don’t update it, some people have said that it completely stops working which obviously is not good. So, before you buy anything, make sure you read the reviews and decide what’s right for you.
4. Bluetooth Headset
The fourth thing that you need to get as a truck driver, according to Gurpreet, is a Bluetooth headset. Just in case you forgot, it’s against the law to use your phone for any reason while driving in 21 states. And as a truck driver, you might have to go through some of these states. Even if the state that you work in allows you to make phone calls while driving, it obviously is not safe to do so. You not only put your life at risk but others as well every time you’re distracted by a text or a phone call. And as a truck driver, you can expect to receive a lot of phone calls from your company and from brokers. This is exactly why many truck drivers choose to invest in a Bluetooth headset like the Plantronics Voyager 5200. It’s a bit pricey but there are also a bunch of other cheaper options that you can take a look at. The Plantronics headsets, however, have worked great as per Gurpreet’s experience. He says the audio quality is amazing, they are comfortable to wear even for a long time and the battery life is also pretty decent. But if you’re looking for a cheaper option, Gurpreet recommends the Plantronics Explorer 500. This headset seems to offer similar benefits as the Voyager and the reviews on Amazon from verified buyers are also pretty good. At the end of the day though, it doesn’t matter whether you buy a 20 Bluetooth headset or a 120 one. Just make sure you get one. It’s for your own good.
5. Tool Kit
Lastly, an item that you need as a truck driver is a tool kit. You’ll be surprised by how much stuff you can solve with WD-40 and a wrench, as per Gurpreet. The main point is you should be prepared to get your hands a little dirty as a truck driver. A mechanical engineering degree isn’t necessary here. All you must do is just keep some basic tools around to fix small issues that come up because, in the long run, it will save you a lot of time and money. Here are some stuff that Gill Gurpreet suggests that you need in your trucker’s tool kit. Each trucker will have their own preference but here’s a short list to help you get started. If you think that you need more items than these, feel free to add them to your tool kit.
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Light test kit
- Electrical tapes
- Adjustable wrench
- Vice grip
- Tire chains
- Collapsible shovels
- Tire plugs
- Air holes