As a truck driver, you have a lot of audio options for the road. One form of audio to consider is a podcast. Podcasts are released with numerous topics, but one that relates directly to your career is a truck driver podcast. The form of entertainment is not just a way to pass the time but comes with many advantages.
Being prepared on the road is essential for a trucker. The right tools and products will prevent delays and ensure the trip goes smoothly. As you prepare your truck for long travels, one way to shop for items is through infomercials. Also referred to as “As Seen On TV” products, infomercial items include a wide range of gear, gadgets, and novelty items. Continue reading “A Trucker’s Guide to Infomercial Products & Their Uses”
As a trucker, you never know where you’ll end up needing a tool or assistance. Truck stops have limited resources and life on the road is made a lot easier when you have the tools you need. Along with big standard tools, plenty of pocket tools and quick options will make your life more manageable on the road.
A collection of pocket tools will not only provide you with repair options, but many of the tools will help with everyday tasks as you travel from stop to stop on the open road. Check out this guide to learn about some of your tool options and their uses on the road.
One of the quickest and most efficient tools to bring with you on the road is a multi-tool. The fold-up tools include a lot of compact options. Tools vary by design, but some of the more common options include scissors, knives, screwdrivers, and pliers. A multi-tool provides quick repairs options but also has everyday uses.
For example, if you purchase fresh fruit for the road, a multi-tool is ideal for peeling and slicing the fruit. After driving for a few months, you will have a good idea of what tools you use on a regular basis. From there, you can upgrade your multi-tool to include the exact tools you need for the road.
Credit Card-Sized Multi-Tools
An alternate version of the multi-tool is a credit card-sized multi-tool. A flat multi-tool includes different edges and flip-out options. Some of the edges may include sharp edges or jagged edges like a small saw blade. The tools are typically made of durable metal to provide strength. These tools also include cut-out shapes in common bolt sizes to help loosen and tighten various bolts.
The tool is easy to keep in a wallet and pull out in a pinch.
Air pressure is an essential part of operating a big truck. If your tires have low pressure, you run the risk of a tire popping or lowering your gas mileage and driving efficiency. One of the quickest ways to check the tire pressure on your truck is with a tire gauge. Pocket versions allow you to quickly check the air pressure without the need for a big rig or professional help.
Some of the more advanced pocket gauges include a digital screen. The digital reading takes the guesswork out of a tire gauge and will give you accurate results. Some of the screens feature backlit LCD screens that allow you to see pressure when you check in dark conditions.
When you need to make adjustments or remove bolts, you may run into frustrations when you do not have the proper size. A hex key tool includes a collection of the most sizes for hex bolts. When you use the properly sized tool, you can make adjustments easily and can avoid stripping bolts.
Each tool on a hex key can flip outwards to access the hex bolts one at a time. As you shop for hex keys, look for ones with at least ten different sizes. Some sets will include both metric and standard sizes for the hex key.
Advancements in LED lights have created small pocket lights that provide powerful beams and illumination. The lights come in handy when you need to inspect and check your truck at night. Choose from handheld lights or keychain lights you can quickly access.
A small LED headlamp provides a hands-free option when you have to crawl under the truck or need to use multiple tools. LED lights are also useful during the day. Many areas of the truck block out natural sunlight and create areas that are hard to see.
Along with the LED lights, consider an extra stash of backup batteries to help power the lights. You can also shop for LED lights with rechargeable batteries so you can charge the lights while you travel on the road.
Pocket tools are easy to lose. The last thing you want is to have a convenient tool get jammed in your seat or just go missing. When you purchase pocket tools, consider an easy way to organize all the tools in one place. If you want an enclosed space, shop for small plastic tackle boxes usually reserved for fishing.
A tackle box typically opens up to reveal multiple layers for easy storage. The clips to hold a tackle box shut will prevent the tools from falling out while you drive. If you purchase a truck with a sleeper cabin, then consider a make-up organizer. The open sections of the organizer are easy to place tools in. Keep the organizer inside a cabinet and grab a tool when needed.
For all of your truck needs, contact us at Arrow Truck Sales. We can help you find day trucks and sleeper cabs and give you tips on tools and accessories. The more prepared you are for the open road, the more easily you’ll be able to handle any situation.
For many truck drivers, one of their most important road companions is caffeine. Caffeine boosts energy to help drivers stay alert on the road and make it through long stretches of driving. When you hit the open road, you shouldn’t just drink anything you can get your hands on. Proper caffeine management will help you stay both healthy and alert as you drive.
Before your next big road trip, read this drink guide to learn about caffeine and ways to boost energy while you’re on the road. Continue reading “A Caffeinated Drink Guide for Truck Drivers”
Every job comes with its own occupational hazards, and truck driving is no different. For instance, truck malfunctions can pose a health and safety risk. And just like a homeowner, a truck driver also has to take security precautions against vandalism, robbery, and similar criminal events.
Here are some of the basics of security concerns and precautions for truck drivers.
Why You Should Take Notice
Truck driving means that you’ll be isolated a lot of the time, and your truck will often be carrying valuable cargo. This can make criminals such as robbers consider you a worthwhile target. If thieves come after your cargo, you could sustain injuries in addition to suffering the financial loss of being robbed.
What Tools Can Help Improve Security
Improving your security on the road starts with awareness. According to the FBI, cargo theft incidents may cost up to a total of 30 billion dollars annually. Awareness of how cargo thieves and robbers operate can help you to keep your eyes open for any fishy scenarios and inform you of what to guard against.
Some tools to help you improve security include monitoring tools, locking tools, planning tools, and emergency tools. For example, GPS tracking is a monitoring tool that can help keep track of your truck at all times. It can be invaluable if your truck is ever stolen. You can also have GPS installed separately on the trailer of your truck in case thieves take just the trailer.
Other tools that can improve overall security include:
- Camera systems that can catch video footage of traffic incidents or robbery, which could help apprehend criminals
- Apps that provide community feedback on truck stops and parking locations, so you can choose the safest places to stop
- Alarm systems for semitrucks that can provide sirens, panic buttons, starter kill switches, and other tools to fight truck theft
Combining several of these tools can provide a lot more options to not only prevent thefts but also help catch thieves if they do target your truck.
Which Precautions and Habits Can Thwart Criminals
Simple security precautions can help you avoid potentially dangerous situations and keep your truck from looking like easy pickings. In addition to using tools to enhance security, you can improve your situational awareness and establish habits that will help protect your truck from criminals.
Some examples of precautions and habits to use include:
- Choosing only truck stops with a good reputation
- Locking up securely every time you step out of the cab (including when you refuel)
- Carrying plenty of insurance on your load
- Parking your truck tail to tail with another truck so thieves can’t open the doors
Tandem driving may also help reduce vulnerabilities. When you have a second driver along, one of you can stay with the load at all times and thus avoid situations where your truck is unattended. In addition, you’ll be less isolated if you tandem drive.
Why Being Prepared for Emergency Situations Is Important
Your vehicle could be an easy target for cargo robbery if you end up stranded in an isolated location. Staying on top of emergency preparedness can help you avoid being stranded alone on the side of the road for long stretches of time.
The better prepared you are with tools and equipment, plus knowledge and technique to help you quickly get back on the road, the less likely you are to present an obvious target. So keep your toolbox well-stocked at all times in case your truck ever needs minor repairs, and make sure you have contact information ready for a reliable truck recovery company.
You should also be prepared for situations where someone else asks for emergency help. Never leave your truck to help someone out, since it could be a trap to lure you away from your cargo. Instead, offer to call 911 or a roadside assistance company. Criminals sometimes pose as stranded drivers in order to scam or even rob other drivers on the road.
What to Do if You Experience a Theft
Security advice often focuses solely on how to avoid being targeted for criminal activity. However, you should also prepare for the (hopefully very small) possibility of actually undergoing a robbery. If someone actually does target you and steal some of your cargo, your first priority should be personal safety: don’t do anything that would put you at risk of bodily harm.
However, if you ever do find yourself in this situation, there are several things you can do that could help bring the criminals to justice later. For example:
- Watch and listen carefully so you can give the police a helpful statement later
- If the criminals have a vehicle, check for a license plate number
- Call 911 first, even before calling your dispatcher, as soon as the criminals leave
While truck driving will always come with some security risks, these steps can help you to bypass or minimize many of them, providing better protection for yourself and your truck. If you’re looking for a protection plan, get in touch with Arrow Truck Sales to discuss the extended warranties, roadside assistance plans, insurance, gap protection, and other plans we offer.
When you’re on a long trucking journey, you must take the time to park, snooze, and get fully rested for extended driving on the road. As you plan your next big trucking trip, consider some tips to sleep better.
Whether you’re looking for a new semi-truck or need to change your habits, these tips can dramatically change your sleep schedule for the better.
1. Seek Out Sleeper Cab Features
A long-haul sleeper semi is built for sleeping on the road and becomes an essential part of cross-country trips. When you’re shopping for a truck, be on the lookout for a few key details. The first is the length of the bed. If you are a tall person, you do not want to cram your body into a small space.
Your legs will ache, you will not get the best rest, and it could negatively impact your whole trip. Find a sleeper cab with emphasis on the width and length of a bed so you can fit comfortably and sleep well.
You should also consider a sleeper cab with a permanent bed. Some cabs have conversion beds where a table transitions into a bed, but when you are ready to go to sleep, you do not want to constantly worry about transitioning the bed space. The base of a permanent bed will also provide more stability and comfort.
If you drive on your own, you may still consider a sleep cab with bunk beds. A flip down top bunk wouldn’t be an ideal option for sleeping but does provide plenty of extra storage. You can keep bags, clothes, and other items on the top bunk while the bottom bed remains open. When you’re ready to sleep, you can go to bed without delays.
2. Purchase a Mattress
The standard mattresses found in sleeper cabs are often pretty basic designs. Thankfully, many companies offer mattresses made for sleeper cabs. A lot of sizes are comparable to RV mattresses, but you should check the specific dimensions inside your truck before making a purchase.
A thicker mattress will provide more support and comfort. When you have something comfortable to sleep on, you will not have aches and pains from a bad night of sleep. You will drive more comfortably and not have to worry about leg cramps or neck pain.
3. Block Out Light
The driving schedule you follow could lead to different sleep times. In some cases, you may have to sleep during the days or in the afternoons before the sun sets. Use shades and light blockers to help keep all the natural light out of a sleeper cab. Even at night, street lights and head lights can create distractions as you try to sleep.
Some semi-trucks may have shades built in that you can shut when you’re ready to rest. Otherwise, you have the option to hang blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are designed to block out natural light and will provide a dark sleeping area. Our bodies react when exposed to natural light. The exposure will directly impact the circadian rhythm and could result in poor sleep.
Along with blocking out the main source of light from your truck cab, consider covering up small windows with curtains as well.
4. Manage Noise Control
Along with light, another impact on your sleep is excessive noise. At a rest stop alone, you will hear the highway traffic, other trucks starting up, and a random horn or two. Use noise control to help you sleep better and avoid the distractions. If you are constantly woken up while you sleep, you could suffer and feel more tired as you drive.
A battery-powered noise machine can help drown out other noise. For example, you can use white noise or a natural sound like rainfall. When you do use a noise machine, just ensure that your alarm is set at a louder volume so you can still wake up at the time you need to.
5. Use Climate Control Systems
On the extreme end of weather, you can have restless sleep if your cab is too hot or too cold. A proper climate management system will ensure you stay comfortable while on the road. For cold weather, you can not only have heat, but you can also pack a few extra blankets along for the trip.
On hot nights, you can rely on an air conditioner to cool the cab down and provide extra comfort. An auxiliary power unit built into the sleeper cab will typically provide you with the air conditioning so you do not need to run the air from the main engine of the truck.
By having both cooling and heating options, you can find the most comfortable settings for your sleep needs.
For more information on our semi-truck sleeper cabs, contact us at Arrow Truck Sales. We can help you find a truck ideal for your sleeping habits and comfort.
You drive a truck to make money. Pay attention to your living expenses while on the road so you’ll bring home more of your pay.
Plan ahead to meet your needs. Stock your cab with the right supplies, and you’ll save money on the basic human necessities listed below.