Unless you’re a commercial trucker, you really can’t fully understand all the aspects that impact the performance and enhance the lives of those who make their living on the open road. But what is the life of a commercial truck driver like? It’s more than just sitting behind the steering wheel. The cab of a truck is an office where business is conducted every day the driver is on the road. And, with over 3.5 million truck drivers in America today, that’s a lot of mobile offices rolling down the road.

The question that comes to mind is, how do so many people who drive trucks for a living, stay comfortable day in and day out? Part of the answer is the gear they carry with them. From tools and equipment for staying operational and on course to gadgets and other essential items, there are a variety of things that help make the cab of a commercial truck a home away from home.

Don’t Leave Home Without it

What are the must-have items for truckers? While every person’s personal “must have” list will reflect their personality and lifestyle, there are a few things every trucker needs to help them be safe and successful on the road.

Map atlas open with keys on topFirst and foremost, in a lot of cases, one needs a proper atlas…a motor carrier’s atlas. Now a lot of people will question the need for a printed atlas when GPS is available.The fact is, that unless there is a GPS system specifically tailored to the commercial trucking industry, it can give truck drivers routes that aren’t designed for large commercial vehicles. That’s why having a motor carrier’s atlas is essential. And, while the old paper map may seem antiquated, a proper motor carrier atlas will show you things that standard GPS won’t, like low bridges, roads too narrow for trucks, etc. A veteran trucker whose YouTube channel is called Driven Trucking does a great job of explaining his top four trucker “must haves” in the below video.

Comfort in the Cab

For today’s truck driver, technology goes a long way in making life on the road more comfortable and connected. Wi-Fi makes it possible for truckers to enjoy endless music, conduct trip planning, check order updates, and stay in contact with the home office, or more importantly, the folks at home. And, while the truck stop is still a welcome sight on the horizon, truckers don’t necessarily have to rely on the truck stop for a lot of the things they used to in days past. Cabs can feature all the comforts of home, from a basic bed, refrigerator and TV, to completely, tricked-out luxury sleeper cabs that may be nicer than a lot of people’s actual homes.

Regardless of if the sleeper cab is spartan or filled with splendor, it serves an important purpose in the lives of those on the road. Driver fatigue is an everyday concern, but with the convenience of a sleeper cab, truckers can pull over and get the rest they need to maintain their safety.

But what other tech gadget creature comforts help make life on the road more pleasant? To start with, any trucker looking to save money on food doesn’t have to sacrifice quality or rely on instant noodle anything. Modern induction hot plates make cooking fast and easy. And, why stop for coffee when the OXX Coffeebox can help keep oneself going…on the go.

In-dash GPS systemWhen it comes to entertainment, satellite radio is still a great way to stream one’s favorite music, but when the day’s driving is done, a trucker can now do everything from watch movies to play video games with his or her kids back home. And, while audio books are nothing new, being able to download or stream them makes listening to your favorite author or catching up on the classics a convenient listening experience that can’t be beat on long, lonely runs.

Simple Things and Simple Pleasures

On the road, being comfortable really comes down to being prepared. From having the right tools to having the little things that contribute to your happiness, being prepared starts with having the essentials. Cdljobs.com put together a great list of items every trucker should pack for the road.

Semi truck driver checking tires on truckAt the end of the day, being prepared is really the biggest “must have” every trucker needs. And, while every trucker’s definition of being prepared may vary based on region, lifestyle, and personality, everyone can agree that with the right equipment, the job is more enjoyable, more comfortable, and more rewarding.

Inland Truck Parts & Service is dedicated to providing you with the service and quality parts that help keep you running and enjoying what you love about the open road. When you need folks that understand what you need for your truck and how to help you get it, give us a call or stop by.