Whether you are a seasoned truck driver or new to the trucking industry here are a few tips to keep you safe and ensure you have what you need in an unexpected situation.
Truckers essential “bag of tricks”
- Keep a “72 HOUR KIT” in your truck – everything you need for 3 days if you are stranded.
- Carry heavy boots and a snowsuit in a bag from August to May.
- For about $40, you can get a small “fire safe” to secure valuables in the truck. It can be bolted to floor, or used with a chain and padlock so it can’t be taken.
- HIDE A SPARE KEY SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE THE TRUCK!!!!! Use a wire tie to secure it. You WILL eventually get locked out…. everyone has.
- Make sure you have a portable fan and heater. If your truck breaks down and you are going to sleep while you wait for the repair, then you will need something portable to keep you warm or cool, as the need may be.
Make sure you take care of your body and mind! Here are a few tips to help:
Eating Healthy on the Go. For an easy and healthy snack take bagged pre-washed vegetables and fruit. For meals, grilled meats are a healthy alternative to fast food and it is easy to do with a portable grill that is available at most grocery stores.
Exercise. Since so much of your time is spent sitting, it is essential to make sure you take the time to move around. One way to stay active is to invest in running shoes which are an inexpensive option and very easy to store. Another option is weights which can be just as effective, although you want to be careful in your selections. Pedometers can be used in conjunction with a bicycle or running shoes, allowing you to track your progress. Tracking your progress is a fantastic motivator.
Sleep. It is essential to good health and keeping you safe on the road. Since you live in the cab of your truck don’t settle for the cheapest option when it comes to a mattress and pillow. The FMCSA actually dictates what must be included in a sleeper berth at § 393.76 (e) .
Mind. The job can be boring so make sure you do things to keep your mind active.
- Audio books can be purchased or rented giving you a way to listen to your favorite authors or develop new favorite authors. It is a great opportunity to learn about subjects that fascinate you.
- Language tapes are a great way to pass the time. You do not have to have the goal of becoming fluent in another language, but you can learn some phrases. This is especially useful if you deal with a number of individuals who speak a different language. Learn a few things to say in their language. The amount of respect you will earn will be insurmountable.
- Music is the easiest and most readily available option available for all truck drivers. Branch out in your taste of music. Do you listen to country music? Try listening to Bach or Tchaikovsky. Is rap music your taste? Try listening to world music. Your options are numerous.