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For emergencies, it’s better to be overly prepared than to be caught unprepared. This rings especially true for truck drivers. Drivers find themselves in all kinds of weather and road conditions, at all times of the day, and quite often in remote areas. It’s not practical to have everything you might ever need with you. But to make a truck driver’s life a little bit easier, here’s a list of 19 items to keep in your truck. Better to be safe than sorry!

Personal Items

1. Water & Food: This should go without saying, but any driver should have water and non-perishable foods available in their trucks. Even if you don’t have any cooling or cooking tools, keep at least a few days’ worth of water and food in the truck with you.

2. Medications: Have enough of each required prescription for the length of your trip. Probably even a few extras of each medication just in case. Best idea is to have them sorted out by day in a daily pill organizer, so that it’s convenient for you to know what to take and when.

3. First Aid Kit: Have a well-stocked first aid kit to treat minor injuries over the course of any trip. Band-Aids, pain relief medication, antibiotic ointment, and some basic bug bite creams are must haves for anyone spending time on the road.

4. Earplugs: Earplugs are a great idea for anyone working in a loud environment. Or anyone that might need to catch a good night’s sleep away from home.

5. Hygiene Items: A well-stocked shower caddy is a must have for anyone needing to grab a shower at a truck stop. Keep everything you need to stay clean, plus a pair of good flip-flops are necessary items to keep in your truck. For days when a shower stop just can’t happen, keep a package of personal wipes handy to stay fresh.

6. Good Blanket: For sleeping, and also in case of a breakdown in a colder area, a good blanket is a required item for any trucker. Find a good blanket that’s warm, and easy to roll-up and store during the day.

7. Winter Boots & Jacket: Being prepared for snowy weather is important for anyone travelling through areas where snow is a possibility. You might be the first one into the truck stops before the plows get there, or in case you get stuck and must walk somewhere in the snow. Good boots and a warm winter jacket are great to keep in your truck.

Safety and Basic Maintenance Tools

8. Toolbox: A small toolbox with all of the basics should be a staple for any truck driver. Be sure to check on the contents from time-to-time to make sure everything is in there, and in good working order. Consider keeping a folding shovel in with your other tools too!

9. Flashlight: A good basic safety item to keep in your truck. Whether you need it to look around once you’re in your cab for the night, or if you have to walk around in an unfamiliar area after dark, a flashlight with fresh batteries should be available at all times.

10. Headlamp: One step better than a flashlight, is a headlamp. When you want to have your hands free when walking around outside at night, or performing a basic repair, a headlamp with fresh batteries should be in your truck.

11. Work Gloves: Protect your hands when working on a repair, or moving around cargo. Keep a pair of gloves handy for working on or off of the truck.

12. Flares: In case of a breakdown, or if you stop to help someone who needs it, setting flares is a good idea to help other drivers be aware of trouble ahead.

13. Fire Extinguisher: At the first sign of a fire, be sure you can easily get to full fire extinguisher. Be sure to have them well maintained to ensure that they will work when you need them.

14. Printed List of Phone Numbers: Just in case your mobile phone malfunctions, have a list of important phone numbers printed somewhere. You can keep them on a small card in your wallet or somewhere easy to get to in your truck.

Entertainment and Electronics

Porapak Apichodilok

15. Tablet: A smart phone loaded with basic trucker apps goes without saying. A tablet is a real video upgrade for your non-driving time in the truck. A subscription to a streaming movie channel will help make the hours go by faster before you’re asleep for the night.

16. Mounts: Having mounts for your portable electronics can help you better navigate during the day, and have a more relaxing experience watching a movie at night. Have one mount for each device or an adjustable one that can work with everything.

17. Chargers & Batteries: All of your tools and electronics should be well-charged or have a fresh set of batteries. Keep your chargers handy, and spare batteries available for any long-haul trip.

18. Hobbies: Are you an amateur photographer? Or a budding musician? Bring along the things you need to keep up with your hobbies or passions while you’re out on the road.

19. Duct Tape: We’ll mention this one last, as it’s the all-purpose, universal item that comes in handy for just about anything! Keep this in your tool kit along with plenty of blinker fluid and you’ll be ready for any needed repairs that come your way.

Let us know the one unique thing that you always keep with you in your truck. Or something that’s saved you in a pickle at some point. Our readers are always looking for a new idea to make their lives just a little bit easier. Drop a note in the comments below, or on our Facebook page here. We’d be happy to share your great ideas!

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truckinginfo.com

Volvo released a concept truck getting people talking. The incredible $40 million machine seems rather pricey for a semi-truck. The fancy new model sure is getting a lot of attention, even if it won’t hit the road anytime soon. The truck is still “cost-prohibitive,” truckinginfo.com wrote of the vehicle, but the knowledge gleaned from this grand experiment will apply to future Volvo programs.

The goal of the Volvo SuperTruck project is to build vehicle prototypes that push the boundaries of both fuel and freight efficiency.

Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America, called the Volvo SuperTruck project a “knowledge accelerator.”

“We wanted to see what we could take from the project and get into our customers’ hands even before the project finished,” he said. “We found some significant improvement that we could add to the existing VNL lineup.”

truckinginfo.com

Enhancements featured in the 2017 engine lineup, which Volvo says increase fuel economy by 6.5%, include:

  • a new piston design that improves combustion and reduces soot production,
  • common rail fuel injection, and
  • turbo compounding for the Volvo D13 engine to capture wasted energy from the exhaust stream and convert it to mechanical energy

And of course it’s hard to ignore the overall aerodynamic look of the truck.

The smooth sweeping shape produced a 40% reduction in aero drag, not missing a corner. Since this is a concept truck and not a practical model, even the cab entry steps were covered up and the mirrors replaced with cameras.

Some of the technologies on the SuperTruck aren’t likely to become used daily in CDL trucking jobs for a long time to come. But it sure is fun to dream.

For CDL truck drivers, the joy is in the journey. Follow us on social media here and join the conversation.

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coolest-gadgets.com

Any driver knows, it doesn’t take long to lose your concentration or even doze off at the wheel. So, those with CDL trucking jobs would be wise to have some sort of alert in place. The website Coolest-Gadgets.com highlighted a Anti-Sleep Alarm. It’s one that can be a valuable tool for those with CDL driver jobs.

This Anti-Sleep Alarm is a two-finger ring that will let you know you’re starting to nod off before you actually do. If it works as intended, it will let you know up to 5 minutes before you start to slip into slumber. It charges via micro USB cable, and while it says it has a long battery life, that doesn’t mean it’s going to live through a 10-hour drive of constant use. The method of alarm it uses is vibration, and it should buzz for about 2-3 seconds when it goes off so that it’s sure you don’t “miss” feeling it.

Costing $189, the alarm is made of an allergen-proof material and requires no special setup. It’s available for purchase on amazon.com.

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Men’s Health magazine wrote a great article on gadgets you should keep in your car. Well, we have news. Everything featured in the article is also perfect gear for CDL truck drivers to have on their trucks. The next time you’re in a roadside jam, CDL drivers, turn to one of these great tools to power you back on your way. As Men’s Health says, “keep this gear with you, and you’ll be prepared to tackle any problem that arises when you’re behind the wheel.”

Leatherman Rebar

This slick, 17-tool gadget will help you MacGyver your way out of any jam. Stick it in your glove compartment and bust out the needlenose pliers or serrated knife when you need to put your fix-it skills to use, fast.

Antigravity Battery

You never know when you’ll need to jumpstart your car—or someone else’s. This pocket-sized battery comes with jumper cables as well as several outlets for charging your laptop, cell phone, camera, or tablet while you’re on the go.

Autoxscape 3-in-1 Emergency Tool

Tool #1 is just a flashlight, but tools #2 and #3 will save your life. If you’re in an accident and need to escape your car fast, they will safely cut your seatbelt and smash your window.

Jaco Premium Digital Tire Inflator

Imagine just passing the last exit on the highway for 15 miles or being in the middle of nowhere when your low tire pressure light comes on. Total bummer—unless you stash this gadget in your trunk.

Pull over, whip it out, and fill up your tire. No gas station (or quarters) required.

A Snow Shovel

Keeping a snow shovel in your trunk is a no-brainer for anyone in the northern half of the country, but if you choose the wrong one, your back will be barking at you for days. Suncast’s SC39050 shovel has a nice ergonomic design and a steel strip that prevents wear.

Auto Expressions Glove Box Organizer

We know you’re a model driver—a perfect citizen of the road who’d never exceed our state highways’ perfectly reasonable speed limits.

But if you do get pulled over, you don’t want to be fumbling through your messy glove compartment to find your necessary paperwork. This keeps everything neatly in one place, so you won’t look like a schmuck.

3-Port USB Car Charger Adapter from FosPower

If you’re on a long trip, you’ll need to stay charged up—and so will your travel companions. This adapter lets you charge three phones or tablets at the same time.

Never grab fast food on a long road trip again. Pack your own meals and store them at the perfect temperature with this genius thermo-electric system.

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overdriveonline.comTruck parking is a little easier now with the launch of a new mobile app called Park My Truck. The new app connects people with CDL trucking jobs to free parking spots across the United States.

Overdrive magazine covered the new app in a news story, saying:

With the app, public and private truck parking providers, including truck stops, rest areas and more, update the number of available parking spaces at any time to help drivers determine if open spaces exist at a given location. The app resulted from an initiative between the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), the NATSO Foundation, the American Trucking Associations and the American Transportation Research Institute.

The app includes the total number of parking spaces at more than 5,000 truck stops.

NATSO says independent and chain truck stops participate in reporting their available spaces. These represent more than 150,000 truck parking spaces.

When a driver opens the app, he/she searches for parking spaces. The search remains within a certain distance of their current location, up to 250 miles, Overdrive writes.

Drivers also search by state or along an interstate.

“We have ways to let drivers know where the spaces currently exist, which is why this app serves so valuable,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. Directing drivers to safe parking spaces will give them the opportunity to get the rest they need and the off-duty time they are required to have.”

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trucking gear

CDL Life magazine wrote a fun article about the kind of tech professional truck drivers dream of. With technological creations advancing more each day, there’s no telling what cool gadgets truck drivers will have access to next.

Until then, CDL Life asked truck drivers to imagine new technologies and equipment that would make their CDL trucking jobs easier.

Here’s what truck drivers told the magazine in response.

RoadPro Pro Driver Council member Tom Kyrk said he would like to see a ramp to help dogs get in and out of truck cabs easily and a fitness tracker designed especially for drivers (regular ones are thrown off by the vibration of the truck).

Fred Weatherspoon doesn’t like to carry weights in his cab because they can become missiles in the event of a crash. He wants an in-cab exercise system that’s safe, easy to use and doesn’t take up too much space.

All the cords hanging under her dash have Maggie Stone wishing for some sort of universal harness into which she could plug her phone, GPS, dash cam and other electronics. The Iowa livestock hauler also would like to see a storage device for under her bunk, “kind of like a gun rack,” that would hold her cattle prod and paddle and 5th wheel puller.

Florida-based Allen Wilcher and partner Sierra Sugar said they would like to see a truck leveling system like the kind found in RVs — and room in the cab for an herb garden.

There’s no way to know if any of these devices will be invented, but given the history of the trucking industry, it would be surprising if none of them were.

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A new app for people with CDL trucking jobsHaulHound officially launched a new app that connects shippers to owner operators. They released it at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas. The launch took place Aug. 26, when HaulHound released an app- and web-based platform that allows owner-operators to upload their truck and routing information and shippers to search for carriers that fit their load parameters. Overdrive wrote of the launch:

The service is free to both parties, as the system is advertiser supported.

Traditional loadboards feature shippers and brokers posting loads and truckers searching for them. However, HaulHound effectively flips the script. Owner-operators and carriers post details about their truck, their capacity, and desired lanes. Then, shippers and brokers search for capacity.

HaulHound says the system focuses on owner-operators who work the spot market.

In addition to listing their equipment type and specializations, owner-operators list price points. So, any calls they receive from brokers or shippers are legitimately priced, says HaulHound’s Andy Kim.

The company says it plans to release routing tools and automated freight-matching in coming iterations.

Read more about this product on Overdrive.com here.

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truckinginfo.comA new Accident Reporting App guides those with CDL trucking jobs through the accident reporting process and keeps administrators informed in real time.

Truckinginfo.com wrote about the app, touting its usefulness in the trucking industry.

The app leads the driver step by step through the process and documents every vital aspect of the event. It assembles it into a comprehensive accident report. Also, the app features an animated, seven-chapter training video that teaches drivers in advance about proper accident protocol and crash scene conduct.

“The motor carrier has long held the disadvantage when it comes to crash defense,” said Brendan Dawson, founder and CEO of Accident Plan. “That’s due, at least in part, to the driver not having proper tools and training with which to adequately handle a stressful crash scene event.”

Accident Plan was built from scratch

It helps drivers focus on the task at hand and for motor carriers who need to proactively manage their claims. An annual subscription to Accident Plan costs $25 per driver. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.

Read more about the Accident Reporting App here.

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kptv.comAfter directly affected by distracted driving, one Mississippi man created something constructive from the experience. He developed a great tool to curb distracted driving.

It’s called Drive Smart

And though the product still is in its experimental stage, Drive Smart has the potential to make roads a lot safer for those with CDL driver jobs.

Ross Muller designed the prototype after dealing with a serious accident, he told Mississippi website WLOX.com

“The gentleman that hit me was a young driver who I believe was distracted by his phone, so it sparked my interest,” said Muller, who then decided to find a way to curb distracted driving among young drivers.

After two years of tinkering with his prototype, Muller thought of an idea that utilizes something in almost every vehicle.

The cigarette lighter

“It’s just a 12-point inverter. They’re very common when you use cell phone chargers or radio detectors,” Muller said. “It’s pretty much that right there, but it emits a Bluetooth signal.”

Once fully operational, Drive Smart makes it so that once a driver turns on the ignition, their smartphone loses much of its functionality.

“Once the drive smart device powers on, it’ll lock the cell phone. The only two things you can do on the cell phone is make an emergency phone call, or call the home phone,” Muller said.

Local law enforcement officials say Muller’s idea reduces distracted driving

“It’s a step in the right direction anytime you get a device to help with the young people to avoid having wrecks and fatalities. It’s a plus for us,” said Lt. Calvin Hutchins of the Pascagoula Police Department.

Currently, Drive Smart remains in the patent process. Muller plans to exhibit the invention to potential distributors at a conference this month.

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mashable.comThose with CDL driver jobs know that cars traveling close on their heels create potential safety hazards for everyone. And vehicles passing semis on a two-lane road can face challenges. This is due to the car drivers and those with CDL driver jobs can’t see if oncoming traffic is coming or not.

But Samsung recently came up with an innovative solution to this problem, Mashable writes. Naturally, Samsung’s innovative solution lies in a semi truck itself.

The Argentinian arm of the South Korean tech giant is showing off what it calls a Safety Truck, a semi truck with a wireless camera mounted on the front, displaying the road ahead on a screen tacked on to the back of the truck. The move is a part of an effort to reduce head-on collisions caused from passing vehicles.

The front-mounted camera broadcasts its signal to four monitors on the back of the truck to give drivers behind the truck a good view ahead. In addition to making passing safer, Samsung says that this would let drivers see any obstacles in the road ahead, preventing the need for sudden emergency braking.

While the truck used in the testing isn’t on the road anymore, Samsung is working with safety agencies to further enhance the tech, Mashable writes. It adds that the Samsung technology does have some drawbacks.

It seems like it would work well on two-lane roads, but it wouldn’t really have much use on multi-lane highways. The screen could also prove to be a distraction, and image quality issues could be a concern as well.

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