Going on a Long Haul? Here’s What You Need to Take
Oftentimes, people see the trucking industry as a career of mystery and intrigue. People often feel like they’re given the keys to their rig, a foldable map tucked in their console, and are then set free on the open road to explore the continent in perhaps the most immersive way possible.
Here at Suppose U Drive, we work with local and long-haul truckers every day of the week and, through the generations, our family-owned business has learned a lot from our clients about what it takes to complete a long haul successfully. In addition to a dependable rig and a committed attitude, here’s what we suggest you bring.
1. Personal Items
Before you head out on a long haul, you can start your packing checklist by simply asking yourself: What would you need to bring on a long vacation? You’re going to be on the road and away from home, so that means you need to bring all the basic travel essentials, from comfortable clothing to a comb, toothbrush, and other personal products.
Your truck is going to be your home for the next however many weeks or months, and that means you need to bring all the essentials you currently keep in your home. While corner stores will help you restock on shampoos and toiletries, they tend to cost more than the grocery store, and in some areas, you may find that stores like Walmart are difficult for your rig to access.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Dental floss
- Extra glasses or contacts
- Grooming tools
- Shower kit
- Wet wipes
Pack everything you can now and then, as you run out, find easy places to stop in and replenish your supplies.
Keeping your rig/home clean is also important to keeping a positive attitude and protecting your own wellbeing. This is why you should always bring along a handheld vacuum cleaner, air freshening spray, laundry detergent, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant wipes, and a dashboard conditioner.
You’ll need to bring plenty of comfortable clothing that’s fitting for your trip, including:
- Trucking clothes: Comfortable clothing that you can layer on and take off as needed. Button-ups, t-shirts, jeans, shorts, and sweats are all helpful.
- Off-duty clothes: When you have some downtime, you may be catching up on sleep or spending a bit of time exploring the local area. Bring weather appropriate clothes to do so.
- Underwear: Pack enough to last through the entire trip, and then some extra. If you will be stopping regularly to launder your clothes, don’t overestimate how often you’ll be able to do so. Make sure you have plenty of extra clothes.
- Shoes: Running shoes, shower shoes, and off-duty shoes are all needed, along with pairs of socks!
- Jacket: Always bring a jacket, especially if you’ll be driving through changing altitudes.
3. Safety Considerations
Depending on where you’re going, you may also be required to wear certain safety apparel such as steel-toe boots, a hard hat, safety glasses, and coveralls to protect your clothing. Bring this stuff along as needed. You should also take sunglasses and a raincoat, even if you aren’t expecting to need them.
On the road, you’re also going to want to pack a basic first aid and emergency kit for your personal use that includes band-aids, a spare cell phone battery, some extra cash, and other items that can help you in an emergency situation, say you get robbed or you get trapped in bad weather. An emergency blanket, umbrella, and so on would all be very helpful.
Try to picture all the scenarios that can happen while on the road and be prepared for them. Work gloves, a trucker’s atlas/maps, extra chargers, a GPS, a list of phone numbers–these are all things a seasoned trucker knows to bring along with them each and every time they head out on the road.
4. Snacks & Entertainment
Easy to store snacks and meals are an important part of your trip. Things like peanut butter, bread, crackers, baked goods, apples, bananas, jerky, crackers, and so on will all be easy to pack and it’s a good idea to keep a lot them on you. Premade salads, sandwiches, and canned soups are also a good idea to take with you.
If you can pack a cooler, that may be a good idea as well. Replenish the ice as you get the chance and then you can carry cold beverages and some fresh fruits/snacks with you while on the road. A collapsible cooler is a good idea so you can put it out of your way when not in use, although a sturdy cooler will be better insulated.
When it comes to entertainment, it’s important that you find meaningful ways to spend your free time. Some days, you may want to go out and explore the local area. Other days, you may just want to stay in your rig and spend some time relaxing. Either way, you need to have things to keep your mind active and busy, or else you’ll easily find yourself getting bored and even struggling to stay happy and focused.
A music player, tablet, laptop, and/or eReader can do wonders for helping to occupy your time. Be sure to bring along an extra charging cable for any devices you take with you. Mobile hotspots can help you hook up to WiFi in a safe and secure manner so that you can stay connected to the things that matter most to you.
A TV, DVD, and game console can also be taken with you on the road so that you can kick back and enjoy yourself during your free time. By being able to play games or watch movies in your free time, you can help pass the hours while keeping yourself occupied.
You can also use other hobbies, such as photography, writing, and drawing to express your creative side while keeping yourself occupied, for free, while traveling. Many truckers find a lot of inspiration while on the road and going through all these new, interesting places. Don’t be afraid to bring a sketchbook and give it a shot for yourself!
5. Trucker Comforts
Finally, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the road and you never know how far it’s going to be from one stop to the next. Things like a portable toilet, a sleeping bag, and an extra comfortable pillow can make sure you have the best time possible while on the road.
A compact refrigerator, ice chest, and so on can also make life on the road just a bit more home-like. While some of these things can be picked up later on as you travel, it’s best to go ahead and purchase them now while you’re in the best position to shop for a good price. Buying them on the go will likely entail a larger price tag.
The SupposeUDrive family wishes you safe and exciting travels wherever the road takes you. If you need a rig, rental, or equipment service, give our office a call. We have three locations with friendly staff to serve you, whatever your needs may be. Give us a call today!