If you’re just starting out in the trucking industry there are a few useful tools that you will want to make sure have have on the road with you. While some companies may provide some of these tools, it is most often up to the driver to ensure that these tools are easily at hand.
The Most Important Tool for Truckers is a Good Road Atlas
Investing in a good Road Atlas is probably the most important tool you’ll need to get the job done, even if you have GPS. Relying solely on GPS systems has been know to get more than a few drivers into trouble, and even some on the National News.
The Rand McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas is designed specifically for truck drivers. It provides truck drivers with other useful information such as low clearances, scale locations, DOT regulations etc. Plus, many drivers find it easier to use when trip planning.
Put Together a Tool Box
Putting together a tool kit for the truck can save you time and money when you need to make minor repairs on the road. Let’s face it, minor maintenance issues don’t always happen at the yard, or while your parked at a truck stop. It will happen when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Instead of being stranded on the side of the road waiting for an on call mechanic from the nearest shop to come out and rescue you for something minor, keep these tools in the truck with you. Your company’s maintenance department should be available to help you out if you have any questions about the repair.
- Screw drivers,
- Socket wrench with a variety of sockets,
- Small selection of wrenches,
- Vice grips and
- A good flashlight
- Electrical tape
A Few More Useful Things to Have with You
Have a variety of fuses and a fuse tester in the truck. Even if you don’t get re-reimbursed for the fuses, they’re cheap and can get you out of a jam.
See if your maintenance department will supply you with glad hands, air hoses, lights ect. so you can make these quick repairs yourself instead of having to call someone out.
Several pairs of work gloves – they get dirty and left behind at fuel pumps often, so having a few pair is always a good idea.
Bungee cords and shoe laces are handy to keep in the truck for when you need to tie something up or secure something down temporarily. The ability to do this can allow driver’s to make it to the nearest repair shop where the equipment can be fixed. Using these items is not a long term solution to a problem.
A GPS or a GPS App for your mobile device. While drivers shouldn’t rely solely on GPS they do come in handy in cities and towns. Drivers need to pay attention though because ultimately you are responsible for where you take your truck. Don’t follow the GPS route if you think that it takes you down a non truck route or will put you in a tight situation. When in doubt, call your shipper/receiver for directions and use the GPS to help guide you through the directions given. GPS CoPilot App for IOS devices is a great App. for this purpose.
Putting together these tools is fairly inexpensive and will save you time and money in the long run. Plus you’ll be prepared if you ever run into minor problems in the middle of nowhere.
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