What You Wish You Had

Topic 22931 | Page 1

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Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Happy Saturday everyone!

As some of you know, I am planning on starting CDL school with a trucking company in the near future. By nature I am a planner and have been hitting yard sales, flea markets, etc. looking for things I may want/need on my first solo truck (positive thinking). So far I have found a small crockpot, a flashlight, some books I have always wanted to read but never had time, and a few other things. What are some things you wish you had had on your first truck?

Thank you and have a great, safe day!

CDL:

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

More time lol never seem to have enough of that.

I wouldn't go too crazy buying stuff now, when your out with a trainer the truck fill up very fast and you have limited room for anything more than the basic necessities to get by for a few weeks.

But personally I found the mini fridge I bought to be very useful I would recommend one when you go solo if your company allows them.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Bob. While I’m still with a trainer I will be taking only the bare necessities...clothes, toiletries, iPad, prescriptions.

But once I’m in my own truck I’d like to have what I need to be comfortable without going overboard. I am planning on getting a fridge and some sort of cooker, whether it’s a lunchbox, microwave, or something else. I’m sure that stuff will depend on the size of the inside of the truck.

I figure if I start looking around now I would have a better chance of finding good deals rather than waiting until I need it and have to pay full price.

Any input is appreciated.

Cold War Surplus's Comment
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Your truck may already have a fridge, inverter or APU. Every company has their own policies though. For example, every truck at CRST comes with a fridge, you have to pay for your own inverter and there is no APU option.

NO company trucks come with carpeting, but it's nice if you want to go barefoot in the cab. I pick up two bath mats at Walmart, lay one down the middle of the cab and one parallel to my bunk. Much cozier than vinyl and easier to clean.

Before you buy any appliances get a measuring tape and know exactly how much room you have to work with. I once bought the smallest microwave in the store thinking it would work great in my Cascadia. It barely fit in the cabinet over the fridge and had to be held in place with bungies while the truck was moving. To use it I had to unpack it and place it on my bunk. Smaller appliances made for R.V's and trucks are much more expensive than regular household models. Check out Dometic products for tight spaces.

Many of the truck items will be available at truck stops. I understand you don't want to pay full price for these things but you'll earn ~$100/mo in points just buying the fuel you need to do the job and those points can only be spent at the truck stops. My GPS, CB radio, annual internet subscriptions and some Christmas presents for friends and family were all paid for with points.

For news and entertainment I bring my iPad on the road. An audio cable connected to the truck's radio lets me listen to free podcasts or audio books. I have unlimited data with T-mobile that lets me stream shows on my down time from Amazon Prime, iTunes or my HBO subscription. France24 has a nice 30 minute free news broadcast for world news and you can find Fox News or CNN (depending on your preference) live streaming on Youtube for US news.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Cold War. Very good input.

Yes, I will wait on any appliances like refrigerators or microwaves. If I can’t use anything I already have like the crockpot or anything else I find, I will give it to my daughter for her dorm room.

Really like the idea of rugs and couldn’t imagine carpet being in trucks. That would be a never ending job of cleaning them.

Another thing I already have is a Stanley vacuum thermos mug. I love it and will probably get another one before long.

Thanks again. Be safe!

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m basically asking about stuff like...when you go camping and realize you don’t have a can opener, or matches, stuff that makes things a little easier, or more comfortable, or convenient. Like, would it help to have binder clips, or ziplock baggies of different sizes, etc.

Most people ask the big questions so I thought I would ask about something smaller.

Have a great day!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Kim are you familiar with the term; “bringing the cart before the horse”?

I understand the need for preparation...however many of these items and incidentals are not required at this point and frankly, investing in things to go on your truck is premature and quite possibly a waste of money.

Gloves; 2 pair one for work, one for fueling are important and necessary for road training. A flashlight is also important. Sunglasses are a necessity. Beyond that enough clothes to last between laundering at a truckstop are all that you really need.

Not meant to be a buzzkill, but a sincere reality check...focus on the elements required to prepare for school and make it to the next step.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, I understand that phrase and agree with you. I am definitely focusing on what is needed to get to that point...the High Road study guide and practice tests, getting things squared away here at home, reading everything I can find on trucking (both good and bad reviews), making my own study guides from what I have learned in here (geared to how I learn...writing things down), etc.

I go to yard sales and flea markets anyway so I thought I would ask opinions on what drivers wished they had starting out in their own truck...small things that most people wouldn’t think of. If something should happen and I don’t make it to my own truck, the things I have gotten a deal on can either be used at home, or in my daughter’s dorm room, or by my son who travels out of state almost every week and has to stay in a motel for the entire week. Because of that I don’t feel it’s a waste of money...it will be used regardless. Bob suggested a rug/bath mat. That’s a handy thing to know. If I don’t get in a truck I can use it in front of my sink at home.

Anyway, thank you, G-Town. I enjoy reading your posts and take your advice to heart.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

All companies differ and trucks differ. i absolutely had to invest in a good.mattress. however, my twin xl for my cascadia would not fit in an international. Lightweight trucks have no room for cabinets so drivers take out the passenger seat and put fridge and microwaves there. often at the terminals you can find great deals on drivers moving to other companies or switching trucks. some drivers will even give the stuff away free! i got a free rand mcnally 530 GPS with the box for free from a driver retiring. you just never know.

when i dont have a student, i have plastic rubber made containters on my top bunk....one for food, one for kitty litter, one clean clothes one dirty clothes. i have smaller tupperware with lids for OTC meds and first aid. cough drops, eye drops, bandaids ibuprophen etc. however lightweights dont have a top bunk.

its amazing how.much crap you will squeeze into this truck...and its murder getting out.

i have a Dyson cordless handvac that is AMAZING!!!! it cost $160 but well worth it. and yes, some of the trucks have carpets. its an option lease ops.can get. if they turn the truck in a company driver then gets it. therefore it is quite possible to get carpet.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Kim T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you, Rainy. I will keep those suggestions in mind. Maybe once I’m in my own truck (if I get there) and away from my kids I’ll be able to actually keep the lids that match the bowls/bins. A cordless handvac is a perfect suggestion. I was picturing a PLAY (kid-size) broom. LOL I like your idea much better.

Things like a good mattress will definitely be something I will be looking into once I reach that point and know the measurements.

Have a great day!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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