Truck drivers spent more hours on the road than almost any other profession. This doesn’t mean that those hours can’t be spent comfortably. Extensive hours in a truck can be transformed into a rewarding, enjoyable experience even after pushing trip after trip. We’ve compiled a selection of all the essentials, emergency & safety equipment, personal hygiene items, cleaning gear, tools, comfort products, electronics, cooking equipment, medicines & supplements, back-up supplies, food & drinks, and a range of convenience goods. Each item on our list of must-haves will help make your next haul that little bit easier, making you a happier & more productive truck driver.
Cooler – A cooler is essential to any extended journey. Even if you have a portable fridge, it’s handy to keep a cooler nearby filled with ice and a few drinks or snacks.
Water Bottle – A large water bottle will help you stay hydrated on the road, and keep you aware of how much water you’re drinking. If you want to keep your water cold or your coffee hot at all times, a double insulated tumbler will keep your drink at temperature for hours and hours.
Sleeping Bag – You’ll be very happy that you packed a sleeping bag if the weather takes a turn for the worse. This is also an essential emergency item so don’t skimp on quality.
Utensils – Pack more than one set of utensils in more than one place so you don’t have to use flimsy plastic silverware on the road.
Multitool – A good multitool is another essential that all truck drivers should have for odds and ends around the truck and on trips.
First Aid Kit – Save yourself the hassle of piecing together a first aid kit and instead buy one online which has everything that you need in one place. All you’ll need to do it customize it with your own meds & supplements
Emergency & Safety Equipment
Safety Vest – A high visibility reflective safety vest should be worn while driving for the times that you need to step out of your truck
Road Flares & Road Signs – Every vehicle, not just every truck, needs to have a set of emergency road signs and flares on hand. There is simply too much risk when broken down without their safety must-haves
Propane Stove – A propane stove is great in case of your inverter failing. They’re actually so handy, that many truckers prefer them over electric cookers like grills & instant pots
Hand Sanitizer – Getting in and out of truck stops means you’re coming across lots of different germs and bacteria. Keep some hand sanitizer around to stay clean and avoid getting sick along your routes.
Wet Wipes – You may as well buy a big pack of wet wipes as you’ll end up using them all the time. Think of how much better it’ll be to steer without grease on the wheel
Shower Kit – Put everything that you need to shower inside of a waterproof shower bag. Pack your deodorant, shaving cream, razor, face wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and any other items into a handy shower kit and you’ll never have to turn your truck inside out to find something simple again
Toilet Paper – Don’t rely on what’s at the stop. The great thing about toilet paper is that it’s never a waste to buy in bulk.
Window Cleaning Wipes – Get a set of window wipes for outside and inside of your windows. A more rugged but disposable wipe for your side windows comes in extremely handy, while good window cleaning wipes or cloths will be used inside over and over again
Dashboard Cleaner – A good dashboard cleaner is not something that you should skip over. As a truck driver, your cabin is your office and home. A dashboard cleaner will keep things looking great and smelling fresh.
Rags & Towels – Having a few shop rags and old towels in the back for spills and general cleaning needs.
Duct Tape – Ever-versatile duct tape is a must have for every trucker
Electrical Tape – Electrical tape is another staple for anyone who is going to be spending extended periods of time on the road. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
Basic Toolkit – Depending on your automotive expertise, a basic toolkit should suffice for most applications
Socket Set – The quality of a socket set should never be compromised. Get yourself something with a full range of sizes so that you’re totally prepared.
Truck Spares – Fuel filters, fuses, headlights, bulbs and even larger parts like an alternator can be kept on hand.
Long drives can bring stiffness and discomfort. Besides routinely stretching and eating healthy, a few products can help prevent and relieve some aches and pains brought on by a long haul.
Lumbar Support Pillow – A good lumbar support pillow filled with memory foam is all that you need to remove most of the strain, tension, and aches from lower back and midsection
Pressure Relieving Pillow – Although slightly more expensive than a lumbar support pillow, a pressure relief pillow guarantees that all truckers have a comfortable seat at all times. Designed specifically for sciatica and back pain, you don’t get a better way to guarantee comfort
Neck Support Pillow – There is no more comfortable form of neck support than a massaging pillow. Set it in place and have it reduce the pressure on your lower back and shoulders while working out all your knots at the same time. You can use it on all areas of the body, not just your neck
Truck Mattress – Buy an airbed and you’ll have the most comfortable truck mattress around
Power Inverter – A reliable power inverter is perhaps the single most important purchase you can make if you plan on running multiple sets of electronics in the car while you’re driving.
CB Radio – All truckers need to carry a good CB radio to stay in contact whilst on the open road. Even if you’re not the type for chatter, a CB is an essential emergency item to keep in your truck.
Microwave – Go for a small microwave with all the bells-and-whistles. One-touch functionality saves time while on the road.
Coffee Maker – No matter what your budget is, a coffee maker is a must-have, unless you can make due with the not so great coffee that’s been sitting in the pot at the stop for hours. Go for something simple like a travel coffee maker.
Crockpot/InstantPot – An instant pot or crockpot is the ideal cooking solution for the open road. Pack in your ingredients set the heat and as soon as you hit your overnight stop, you’ll have home-cooked stew ready and waiting. They’re great for soup as well
Electric Skillet – If you are the type of trucker that likes cooking to relax at your overnight spots, then a reliable electric skillet is an asset that you can’t overlook
Medicines & Supplements
Anti-inflammatories – Long hours on the road can result in some back, neck and joint pain. A light anti-inflammatory will ease up the inflammation in no time, leaving you feeling much better within the hour.
Allergy Pills – Non-drowsy allergy medication comes in handy when you’re traveling long distances and coming in contact with allergens and pollens during your time on the road.
Eyedrops – The extended driving hours typically to trucking can leave your eyes dry and sore. Get yourself good eyedrops supplied by a leading brand so that you know you’ll always have instant relief
Sunglasses – If you haven’t already packed one, a pair of polarizing sunglasses can keep you from straining your eyes too much and also cut down on dangerous glare.
Batteries – Carry a few backup batteries of all the sizes that you use. Additionally, try to carry a backup battery for your cell phone and/or laptop as well
Powerbank – A powerbank makes for a great backup in case your battery doesn’t hold. If you’re going to be spending your time traveling over extended distances, then you may want to keep two powerbanks ready so that you’re never out of contact
USB Charging Cable – A spare USB charging cable or two is always handy to have on hand
Clothing – Don’t pack one case of clothes. Always carry a few items of clothing as a backup. A weatherproof jacket is highly recommended as an extra, as is a good pair of pants or two, some underwear, socks and a few shirts suited to all types of weather conditions.
Toilet Paper – You can never have enough toilet paper.
Books, Podcasts, & Audiobooks – Pack a good selection of books and make sure that you’ve downloaded more audiobooks than you can listen to. It’ll all help for those times when you don’t have data, signal or Wi-Fi access
Nice to Have’s
Mobile Wireless Hotspot – Stick in a SIM with a data plan, and your mobile wireless hotspot will make sure that all your devices are connected when you’re not in range of a public access point.
Canned or prepackaged food – Having a few non-perishables or healthy prepackaged snacks around just in case you need to grab a bite and don’t want to make a full stop.
Windshield Mount for Your Phone – The convenience of a windshield mount for your phone makes it one of the most essential purchases on this list. Make sure that you find a mounting that is compatible with your device
Laptop / Tablet Mount – Laptop mounts are handy but a table
Bluetooth Speaker – Depending on the noise in your cabin, a compact Bluetooth speaker may be near-essential. Pair it to your phone and other devices to have loud volume & clarity
Laptop/Tablet– Bringing your personal laptop or tablet can bring some entertainment during down time on the road.
Handheld Console – A handheld console like the Nintendo Switch is easy to bring with you and can bring along hours of fun. Depending on the driver, this may be a better choice than movies
Satellite Radio – While it may take a considerable investment, a good satellite radio guarantees that you’re always in contact no matter what emergency arises.
Improve the Experience of Truck Driving
There are tons more items that could be included on this list. Warm weather brings the possibility of a car fan or compact air conditioner, while added extras to cook with, on and in are always welcomed. Take the time to consider your last haul and think what you could have had with you to make the trip a little bit easier or more comfortable. These must-haves will cover almost everything that you could need but never feel inhibited to improve your working environment. Trucking is fun, comfortable, and rewarding in every way when you do it right.