When I started driving OTR a few years ago, I didn’t have anything but my Rand McNally large print atlas. Fast forward a few years I have found many items that made my life easier out on the open road.
I have compiled a list of great gifts for truckers that will make their lives much easier! If you know of a trucker you should consider getting these for them!
These Items are a must have for truck drivers! I will explain below why these are great to make our lives easier.
There are wrecks every minute of the day, to keep you out of trouble from ambulance chaser’s you will need to have proof of what happened.
I have had plenty of four wheelers pull out in front of me and stop, they are trying to make that easy money. If you don’t have a dash cam to prove what happened, then you will be at fault.
Anytime a “Big Truck” is involved in an accident it is automatically the truckers fault, even though that isn’t always the case. Protect yourself or your loved one with a dash cam!
Leather work gloves
Anytime you are unloading or doing a drop and hook, you need to have gloves on. I’ve seen it far too often where a driver sliced their hand open on a sharp point on the dolly handle.
Even doing the pre and post trips, if you do it right then you will be getting on the ground and up under the trailer to check everything out.
I made the mistake of not wearing gloves one time and ended up getting broken glass in my hands when I was crawling on the ground trying to find an air leak at night.
Although some states are starting to outlaw the use of headset’s while you drive, it is still better to use a headset then it is to hold the phone to your ear when making phone calls.
I don’t know many drivers that prefer the earpiece, the headsets are more comfortable and easier to put on and take off. The ear piece can be very painful if you use it for a while at a time.
A CB Radio is a must have for truckers! They are great for so many reasons, it is nice to be able to chat with other drivers going down the road. Being out there by yourself can become quite lonely.
Other drivers will notify you of an accident ahead or in some cases let you know of an alternative route. If you get a CB with the weather band’s then you can flip It over and check the weather report.
Motor Carriers Atlas
This is also a must have! I have used it time and time again. Driver’s need to be able to plan their trips out and if they don’t know what roads are restricted then they can get a hefty fine.
Even if you have a GPS you still need one of these! GPS’ are not always accurate and up to date on restrictions.
GPS for Truckers
These make things easier when you are in a major city, with traffic flowing heavy and the small street signs, it can be easy to get lost.
A good truck GPS will let you know well in advance of a turn coming up. A GPS can take you down restricted roads so be Thorough with your trip planning.
Going from state to state, stations will go in and out and you never really get to listen to what you want.
Satellite Radio has taken care of that. No matter where you’re at in the country, you can listen to the stations that you love!
This helps break the monotony of the daily grind.
Small TV with an Antenna
When you are shut down, you need something to pass the time. It is easy to get bored when you are thousands of miles away from your family and friends.
Be aware of what’s going on around you, bad weather, crimes, or environmental disasters. A tv with an antenna will keep you up to date.
I have saved a ton of money by getting a plug-in cooler. We all need to eat and truck stop food gets old and very expensive!
Being able to store healthy food can save you in the long run. You hear about it all the time, driver’s passing away from a heart attack or stroke thousands of miles away from home.
It isn’t just older drivers, more and more young drivers are passing away!
You can either pack food from home or stop at stores along the way and stock up. It’s nice to be able to grab a cold drink when you are parked at a rest area for the night.
The first cooler I picked up was the RoadPro cooler/warmer with the see-through door, it wouldn’t get very cold.
I went with the Coleman 40-quart Powerchill Thermoelectric cooler, it has been running strong for a few years now.
12V Lunchbox stove
Save money by cooking your own food. There are other cooking tool’s you can get but I have found the lunchbox stove to be cheap and easy to use.
You can either get a little pan that will fit in it, or use throw away pans. It’s nice to be able to warm up some chili for Frito Chili Pie when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
If the driver doesn’t have a GPS, they can use their phone as a GPS. Being able to mount the phone to the dash or window will make it easier to see.
These are a must have! No one wants to slip and fall on the ice. Being able to slip these on and off easily saves time and your back!
They do come in different sizes, so keep that in mind whenever you buy.
Anytime you’re going to be out in the cold wind, rain or snow, having a nice pair of coveralls will keep you warm and clean.
I would wear them anytime I had to fix something underneath the truck or trailer, or when I had to unload in the cold.
Having all your shower stuff together and easy to grab and go can save time. There are often lines you have to wait for to take a shower, so the more time you can save the better off you will be.
Don’t forget shower shoe’s. You don’t know how well the shower was cleaned after its last use.
Having a mesh bag to stuff all your dirty clothes in will make it easier to get as much laundry back and forth in less trips.
Having a pouch to hold quarters would be nice too. I found it much easier to just use the laundry pods, it’s easier to just take a few pods in for the laundry than it is to take a jug of detergent.
Checking tire pressure is part of the pre and post trip inspection. Using an air pressure gauge can take time. Being able to just thump the tires can save time, but it isn’t very accurate.
You can also use them for self-defense. It can get crazy out there!
Bag of hand tools
Being able to work on small things can save a lot of time. Road service can take a long time to arrive.
Having the ability to change out light’s, hose’s and splice wire’s will save time and keep you rolling!
Things like pliers/needle nose, wrenches, screwdrivers, a hammer, electrical tape and a utility knife are good basic item’s.
Tablet or Laptop
Although not necessary they are great to pass time with. You can Skype home to your loved ones, play games, or if you’re an O/O it can help you keep track of expenses and receipts!
Most truck stops have WIFI available for a price, in fact some truck stop’s use reception blockers to block cell phone signal in hopes that you buy the internet for the night.
Having a decent power inverter that you can just plug into the 12V outlet will make it easier on the batteries to run certain thing’s.
Things that have a regular 110V wall plug-in will need an adapter to use in the truck.
Stay away from the hardwired inverter’s most companies won’t allow those and the one’s that do only approve of certain kind’s. They also have the shop install it, as it can cause a fire and burn the truck down.
5th Wheel Pin Puller
This will save your shoulder for sure! Instead of bending over just to stretch your arm all the way to grab the pin, pull and release the locking jaw, you can simply just hook the puller on the handle and give it a tug.
These are all things that I have used OTR, they sure do make life easier for driver’s. What are some of the item’s that you use, or have used that didn’t work out?