While your company will supply you with a truck (and maybe a logbook), most of the “tools of the trade” are your responsibility. You do not need to run out and get everything on this list to be a truck driver. However, you should have the basics and then think about some of the extras.
*CB radio – You can get by for a while without one, but the CB radio is used for more than looking for “bears”. Some shippers and receivers will use the CB to give you a door assignment. They may also use it to tell you “your done, come inside and get your paperwork” Also, other drivers may alert you to taillights that are not working, a flat tire, or a side-box door that is open. There are other reasons but I think you get the idea.
*Flashlight – Try fixing a loose airline at night without one. *Toolbox with basic tools – You do not want to wait in line at a shop to replace a headlight or to tighten your mirror up.
*Work Gloves – Diesel, oil, grease and dirty trailer doors to name a few reasons.
*A lock for your trailer doors. *A loud alarm clock. Screaming Meanies work great and can be bought at most truck stops.
*Jeans and Work Boots – Some warehouse will not allow you inside without these (not a lot, but there are some). There are also places that will require safety glasses and a hard-hat. They usually provide these, but you may want to get your own.
*Street Atlas – Get a Motor Carriers Atlas. A regular atlas will not have Weigh stations, restricted routes and low bridge information.
*Extra Clothes – You will get wet, you will get cold, and you will sweat like a pig when the air conditioner breaks. Bring a few more items than you think you will need. In the winter months have, extra warm clothes and blankets in case your truck breaks down.
*Food and Water – You will find yourself at a warehouse longer than expected on plenty of occasions.
*Personal Hygiene Items – You knew that one.
*Plug in Cooler or Fridge – Eating at a truck stop 2 or 3 times a day can get expensive. There are also times when you cannot get to a place to eat when you are hungry. You can save a lot and eat better, if you bring some of your own food with you.
*Oven – Most truck stops sell these little lunch-box type ovens for around $25-$30.
*TV – Get the type that plugs into accessory power and make sure it is the newer type that will work after they switch broadcast (air) T.V over to the new format. (Laptops are slowly replacing the T.V out here on the road)
*Satellite Radio – After you have had it for a while, you will never want to give it up.