Ask Wayne: What Are Must-Have Items For Truck Drivers?

Wayne Cragg was a driver for USA Truck during 2012-2013.  Below are his thoughts and experiences driving for the company during that time.  The views and opinions expressed below are his and not representative of those of Driver Solutions.  

In April of 2015, Driver Solutions and USA Truck mutually agreed to dissolve their partnership.  Driver Solutions remains committed to helping new drivers find the best truck driving job and CDL training opportunities available.  Learn more about our company-sponsored CDL training program here.

Question
Jenn Marie from Driver Solutions Facebook page asks:  What is the one must have item for the road?

Answer

Hi Jenn & thank you for your question!

With this question, I will answer it how I feel about it. I'm sure it's different for every trucker, but now that I have been out on the road for about 4 months I know what I wouldn't want to live without.  I would not want to live without my Road Atlas and my Trucker GPS. These 2 pieces of equipment work together and will get you everywhere you need to go. I would recommend before even getting into your first truck you are assigned, you purchase a truck GPS and the Truck Atlas. I know the GPS is expensive, but it will pay off within days. I will say, if you rely on any GPS to get you everywhere, anywhere you want to go...you'll be in trouble. Trust me, I learned the hard way (no incidents, just learned the hard way) that your GPS will want to take you the shortest route possible. Sometimes taking the shortest route even means trying to take you through a small city center when a bypass is a little further away, but by far the safest and best way to get to your final destination.

TIP: I call all my destinations now. Every single one of them without fail. This helps me better understand where I am going and sometimes the workers at the place you are delivering can really help guide you in safely.

A very close second, is a good set of tools. You don't need a lot, but you will need them. Things happen on the road and you will need tools to fix small problems. You should try to purchase some or maybe borrow some before you head out for the first time. I have used my tools for a variety of reasons quite a few times already. Oh, don't ever forget to have extra oil, extra coolant and windshield solvent. The extra coolant paid off big time for me in Minnesota on New Years Eve this past 2012. I had a leak that sprung up while I was driving. When the coolant gets low enough, it will shut your engine down. So I was "stuck" on I-90 in sub zero weather (it got down to -17 degrees that night) on the side of the road. I had 2 gallons of extra coolant. I put the 2 gallons in and I was able to make it to the local TA truck shop. I was soooo happy I carried the extra stuff.

I hope this helps!

Take care and be safe,

Wayne

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