Beginning Driver Tool Kit...

Topic 13187 | Page 1

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Ahmalia's Comment
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When I first started driving, I had no idea of what tools I may need to have on the truck. So I thought I'd list tools I use often, and ya'll feel free to jump in and add to my list.

1. A decent flashlight. I have a mag-lite which can also be used in self defense if necessary.

2. Vice grips, for those pesky tandem handles that won't lock in. Much safer than having another driver pulling on the tandem handle while you try to slide, know a driver who broke his arm doing that.

3. A really big hammer. I have a mini-sledge hammer, for banging on those dang tandem pins when they are stuck. Also good for knocking the brakes loose if they freeze up in cold weather.

4. Flat head screwdriver, which the only thing I use it for is when I'm replacing the rubber seals on the glad hands and trailers.

5. Needle nose pliers, which the only thing I use those for is pulling out the aforementioned rubber seals.

6. Bungee cords, for securing trailer doors before backing into a dock.

7. Various sizes of zip ties. I often drop a trailer into a dock door, grab an empty trailer, and go. Sometimes the chains or hooks for securing the doors are damaged, not long enough, or whatever. Just extra security, so when the trailer is moved later, the door doesn't swing open and get ripped off, or damage another truck, trailer, or the dock.

8. Gloves. I don't go crazy here, I just buy the cheap 3 pack of garden gloves found at every truck stop, although I get mine at Walmart.

9. Push broom. Sometimes trailers have to be swept out. I secure mine in the load lock rack.

10. Shovel. I just have a small travel collapsible shovel, it does the job.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Pat M.'s Comment
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In addition to this you might add that you should have about 3 days of food and water with you. Amazing how long you can live on PB&J when you have to. The thing is that when you do break down you might be in the middle of nowhere (Montana) and have to wait hours even during the summer. Not to mention being stranded in a blizzard anywhere in the country. Sometimes it can take a few days if it is bad enough. You need food and water to stay healthy let alone alive.

Last summer in the hottest part of the year, there was a truck broke down as I headed to Billings. Called him on the radio to ask if he needed assistance but he never answered back. It was in a good cell coverage area so I was not too worried about him. Well 5 hours later on my way back, I saw that same truck with the service truck just pulling up behind him. Now that was 5 hours in 90°+ weather without a truck to run the AC. Windows were down on the truck but no wind to speak of. In that kind of heat, not having enough water can be serious. I always keep a gallon of water in my side box, that way it never gets touched until I really need it.

In the winter I carry a Mr. Buddy heater in the truck. It does not take much space but it can really save your bacon if you happen to wreck or breakdown in the winter. Only a couple of hours without heat will make the cab really uncomfortable in some parts of the country.

Rob S.'s Comment
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Duct tape Note pad and pens Reflective vest I carry a lot more food and water. I'm out 3 to 4 weeks at a time. When I start I have about 3 weeks of provisions on board.

Steve_HBG's Comment
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I don't have every item that's been listed so far, but I do have

One claw hammer; and,

One medium-sized crow bar.

Thanks for starting this thread, Ahmalia.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
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9. Push broom. Sometimes trailers have to be swept out. I secure mine in the load lock rack.

That's a bad idea for multiple reasons. First and foremost, that's a good way to ensure you're adding more filth to the inside of your trailer rather than cleaning it out. The back of the cab is exactly where your drives are going to throw every imaginable kind of filth, slime, sludge, mud, grit, etc, especially in winter. All that foul nastiness is going to embed itself in the bristles of your broom, and render it practically useless. Second, even if you put a padlock on your load lock rack, that broom isn't actually "secure." The handle is significantly smaller in diameter than a load lock, and depending on how you have it positioned could either bounce free or break, and now you have the potential for throwing debris off the back of your cab doing 65+ down the highway, right into another vehicle. That's a huge hazard. And there's always the specter of theft. Sure, push brooms are relatively cheap, but why risk having to buy one more often than is absolutely necessary?

Personally, I knock the excess dirt and such out of the bristles after sweeping out a trailer, and keep the broom in the empty upper bunk. It stays secure, clean, dry, and I know when I need to sweep out a trailer that I'm not going to be smearing that orange de-icing goop Oregon uses all over the inside.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve_HBG's Comment
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Fatsquatch said:

Personally, I knock the excess dirt and such out of the bristles after sweeping out a trailer, and keep the broom in the empty upper bunk.

Is it possible to keep the broom handle in the empty bunk and store the bristles in the side compartment? If not, could the bristles be wrapped in plastic and stored somewhere other than inside the truck?

I also carry a tire pressure gauge and a 2.5 pound hammer.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Most tractor cabs have a full-across space under the bunk that has outside doors on each side. Besides my tools, motor oil and coolant, I stick the broom in there. A push broom will fit and will be nice and dry on the raniest of days.

Craig T.'s Comment
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Everything everyone has said + more extra water. emergency food emergency clothes (by emergency I mean that you don't touch it unless you need it) Duct tape Rubbing Alcohol (first aid/melting ice) WD-40 bolt cutters 911 treatment (just in case the diesal gels up) anti gel (just so my diesal doesn't gel up in the first place) jumper cables tire chains multi tool adjustable wrench Ice scraper big enough for a truck electrical tape gorilla glue rags bags of sand sunglasses toll cash rolls of quarters emergency poop kit **** jug

Stump's Comment
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Motor carriers road atlas u never know when u might need it sometimes I run few diff ways to go and sometimes I find a better way to go

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

9. Push broom. Sometimes trailers have to be swept out. I secure mine in the load lock rack.

double-quotes-end.png

That's a bad idea for multiple reasons. First and foremost, that's a good way to ensure you're adding more filth to the inside of your trailer rather than cleaning it out. The back of the cab is exactly where your drives are going to throw every imaginable kind of filth, slime, sludge, mud, grit, etc, especially in winter. All that foul nastiness is going to embed itself in the bristles of your broom, and render it practically useless. Second, even if you put a padlock on your load lock rack, that broom isn't actually "secure." The handle is significantly smaller in diameter than a load lock, and depending on how you have it positioned could either bounce free or break, and now you have the potential for throwing debris off the back of your cab doing 65+ down the highway, right into another vehicle. That's a huge hazard. And there's always the specter of theft. Sure, push brooms are relatively cheap, but why risk having to buy one more often than is absolutely necessary?

Personally, I knock the excess dirt and such out of the bristles after sweeping out a trailer, and keep the broom in the empty upper bunk. It stays secure, clean, dry, and I know when I need to sweep out a trailer that I'm not going to be smearing that orange de-icing goop Oregon uses all over the inside.

I'm going to respectfully disagree. The load lock rack is a great place for a broom. I'm not putting that filthy thing in my cab/office/living room/kitchen/bedroom. It's used for cleaning trailers after all. It only has to be a little bit cleaner than the trailer to do that. And Oregon's road goop has nothing on the stuff they use in Colorado.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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