Going Solo In 2 Weeks And Need Advice On What To Get

Topic 20655 | Page 1

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DahBrazilian's Comment
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Im not sure if there is a list on this site or an article but I'm really nervous and excited about this new career and want to take all the advice I can get. I worked minimum wage my whole life (im 21) and this was an amazing opportunity because I feel like I finally have a grown up job making real money. I will be getting a lightweight but I dont like having too mcuh stuff other than what I need. I will be cooking all my food

So Far on my list I have: -1.7 cubic ft mini fridge -Laptop -microwave -electric grill/skillet -crockpot -bed sheets/pillow -Truck GPS+road atlas -coffee maker -disposable containers/utensils -disinfectant wipes to clean dishes and stuff -vacuum

Is there anything you guys wish you had in the truck when you first started that would have made life better/easier?

PackRat's Comment
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Flashlight X3, reflective vest and safety glasses-because some customers require them on their property. Cold weather clothing. Winter is coming sooner rather than later.

Kat's Comment
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Bungee cords, small note pads, pens, porta potty (love the Luggable Loo), several gallons of drinking water

Kat's Comment
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Oh...CB radio (especially with winter approaching), command hooks, small bolt cutters for the wire seals, zip ties, 2 10" black elastic straps like flat bedders use - good for holding open reefer doors if needed, spray lubricant for your 5th wheel...the stuff that the Prime store has is great


A refrigerated trailer.

Dave Reid's Comment
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In addition to what has been mentioned, you need fueling gloves and some other work gloves. Always wear gloves when doing anything outside. A pocket flashlight in addition to the larger flashlight. If you keep a flashlight in your pocket it will be much easier to check that no cretin has pulled your fifth wheel release...I do this anytime I return to the truck.

Also if you'll get yourself a nice long fifth wheel puller (the truck stops have them) you'll make life much easier.

I carry chocks...sometimes you will need your own...and I carry a thing to hold the brake pedal down. With these two items, you can check for air leaks in the brake system...if you'll do that anytime you change trailers and now and then even if you haven't changed them, you'll save yourself a fire and also from a fine and out of service violation if you get a level I DOT and the inspector finds the leak.


Is there anything you guys wish you had in the truck when you first started that would have made life better/easier?


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Gladhand's Comment
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If you run the west, I recommend getting overalls for the cold weather and waterproof boots for when you have to walk in muddy drop lots. Overalls can be a bit extreme, but if you ever have to chain up you will be glad to have them. Also keep water and a little bit of food on the truck at all times.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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We also have a comprehensive list here:

Items To Bring To CDL School, Training, and OTR


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

G-Town's Comment
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WD40. I use it for one specific purpose; liberally spraying into the opening of my lock after running in the rain or snow.

ChickieMonster's Comment
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Stock up on baby wipes. They are a truckers best friend on those days you just can't get a shower. Get the non scented ones and they can serve double duty for cleaning dishes and utensils. Walmart sells large boxes of them for around $14.

A good sturdy bag to carry your shower things in.

And put together a small tool kit. A simple set of wrenches, flat head screwdriver, wire cutters, and vise grips.

A $15-20 pair of heavy bolt cutters will save you a ton of time if you pull a box style trailer.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Parrothead66's Comment
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I'd skip the coffee pot and just get a good thermos (thermos brand is great). You can get free refills at truck stops...keeps coffee hot for at least 12-16 hrs and takes up less space. In your tool box don't forget electrical tape and thread sealing tape. Rain poncho & small first aid kit.

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