Well, since being out on the road now for over 3 weeks, I am finding myself needing a few things (most of them small things) that I wished I would have picked up prior to going out solo. Most of the things I have been able to pick up at truck stops, but only "after the fact" of needing it. Here is a list of what I believe every new driver should have with them when they head out for the first time and why.
1. A good 0-10 degree sleeping bag.
As a new solo driver, you are most assuredly not going to find yourself in a nice new truck. With that being said, would you rather have a light weight sleeping bag if you have a major breakdown in the winter? Or a nice solid 0-10 degree sleeping bag to keep you warm in case your truck doesn't want to start or you break down and you are waiting for repairs?
A handy compact tool kit along with a hammer. In the cold, you would be surprised what a light tap of a hammer will do to loosen certain things up. I'm not condoning slamming the hammer into anything, just enough to get the job done.
3. Two flashlights.
Had my one flashlight go dead. :-( Time to buy another one! I downloaded the cool flashlight app to my smartphone, and quickly realized not such a cool idea to use it underneath the trailer checking the 5th wheel and locking jaw and almost dropping my phone. NOT cool. So 2 flashlights for me.
4. More than one key to the truck!
Preferably for me, 3 of them. Which I have now.
5. Gladhand seals.
Pick them up at any maintenance departments. Heading to Laredo?? You will need them.
Really works wonders on loosening things up in the winter cold.
7. Window cleaner with paper towels.
Don't get caught without window cleaner and paper towels! As a newbie, one of the most stressful things is backing up. You need really clean mirrors to do this.
8. Trash bags.
Amazing the trash you can accumulate when running solo. It's a small thing, but very handy to have a box of trash bags in the truck.
9. Foot powder deodorant.
It's unreal how stinky your shoes get while driving.
10. Nerds (the candy)!!
Now this one is just for me, but Nerds are awesome and always keep me awake when driving early in the morning.
Take Care and be safe,