The Driver Toolbox - So To Speak

Topic 29893 | Page 1

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:
Optical's Comment
member avatar

This started as a reply in the CB thread but it got to the point where it was better suited as it's own thread.

So the Driver Toolbox is something I've come to call the collection of things you SHOULD have in your truck as a driver. Not just actual tools(in terms of hammer and screw drivers) but more so tools of the trade you could say. So I figured I would make a list of my current Driver Toolbox and see what you guys consider to be in yours. Maybe add to my own or you guys add to yours.

1. Hard copy Rand-McNally Motor Carrier Atlas - This, without a doubt, is a must have in your truck. Even if you don't use it THAT often to trip plan, it has an absolute AMAZING amount of information in it and at your finger tips. Too much to really list here but pick one up. You won't be sorry.

2. CB Radio - A CB radio can help you get up-to-the-minute information from other drivers in your area. Even if you don't actively talk on it, other people do. You an get instant information about traffic ahead of you, questions answered, or even ask for advice on rerouting in case of heavy traffic jams.

3. GPS - This is always up for debate, but I feel these do help. Just remember to not rely COMPLETELY on it. It is not the end-all be-all answer to your trip planning. There are 2 main companies out there to look at and they both have their pros and cons. Rand-McNally with the OverDryve series is pretty nice, it's made by the same company that makes the coveted Motor Carrier Atlas and has a lot of bells and whistles to it. I personally use their OverDryve 8 Pro II. Garmin, being the second one, while not as feature heavy. It does it's job well. From my own observations the trucking community is split between those who love Garmin and those who are Rand-McNally followers. The choice is up to you and I would say do your own research. Just know that it is, again, NOT the end-all be-all to your trip planning needs.

4. Phone apps - There are A LOT of apps out there that are super helpful. Here are just the ones I use and what I use them for. A. Trucker Path - I use it to see truck stops and truck parking in my area and to see how full the location is. Each location is updated with how full it is from other truckers, so if you do pick it up, update the location and help everyone else out. B. AccuWeather - I use it to check for weather advisories in my area and along my route. C. Windy - This is a great weather app. You can see wind direction and speed, accumulated rain and snow fall, thunder storms, weather radar, temperatures, amongst about 30 other different layers. You can customize your quick view to only have listed the layes you want to quickly check. D. Weigh My Truck - More of a convenience app than anything. Allows me to quickly get weighed at scales without having to disturb the people inside too much. E. Truckers Slide Calc - A super awesome app that tells me what hole to slide my tandems to when given weight information from a scale. I enter in the values of my steers, drives, tandems, and what hole my tandems are currently at and it tells me what he to slide to and what the weights will be when slid. Can verify with a re-weigh if need be as well. F. Transflo - Super helpful to transflo paperwork to the company without having to look for a truck stop and a parking spot.

5. Pocket Truck Stop Guide - Really neat little book to help find those little, hole-the-wall, truck stops and diners. Super, SUPER, handy and cool. Love this little thing.

6. Work Gloves - Face it, grease and road grime are a thing.

7. Tandem Slide Stop - Super handy little brass ring. Put it into a hole or 2 in front of the hole you want your tandems to be in and GENTLY slide your tandems until it stops them and your right in the hole you want to be. This thing is awesome. Takes the guess work out of when you slide your tandems.

8. Misc Stuff - Some misc things like pens and a clipboard to do paper work with.

9. Load Tracking Booklet - This is awesome to help keep track of dispatched miles, shipper/receiver addresses for each load and their contact phone numbers, load numbers, pick up numbers, trailer number, date, amongst other information. You can find these for fairly cheap at most truck stops.

10. Battery Powered Leaf Blower - Really only if you pull reefer. SUPER handy to blow out your trailer with and works A LOT better than a broom. Just move big pieces of wood from the pallets with your hands and use the leaf blower to blow out everything else. It's awesome....just remember to charge the battery.

That's about all I can think of I would consider right now. What do you guys have in your Driver Toolbox?

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

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".

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".

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

From experience, Optical, you'll get suggestions for everything from ball-peen hammers (my favorite) to WD-40 to steel wool.

The ball-peen hammer is useful for clearing ice from your steps, to checking tire pressure, to being the third hand for getting you out of a high-hook with the trailer.

Good luck!

KH's Comment
member avatar

Vise grips and duct tape.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

A flashlight, cable ties, rags, cleaners, air hose for filling tires (get it at truck stops). Flat head and philips screwdrivers, electrical tape, wire cutters and strippers, wire connectors, phone charging cords.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
midnight fox's Comment
member avatar
From experience, Optical, you'll get suggestions for everything from ball-peen hammers (my favorite) to WD-40 to steel wool.

What's the steel wool for?

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

From experience, Optical, you'll get suggestions for everything from ball-peen hammers (my favorite) to WD-40 to steel wool.

double-quotes-end.png

What's the steel wool for?

Cleans of rust in conjunction with the WD-40 comes to mind.

Also makes a fire starter when attached to the positive and negative ends of any battery.

midnight fox's Comment
member avatar

So not for super truckers to shower with then.

Oh wait.

TCB's Comment
member avatar

Weigh My Truck app, be careful in Kalifornia. My company told me that digital copies of scale tickets aren't valid in Kali. If you get the atlas, spend the extra money and get the large laminated one. You can use dry erase to mark out routes. I learned that trick from Susan. I still don't know why drivers can't spend $60.00 of reward points to purchase a CB. My CB definitely help me avoid backs ups and road closures this winter. The Windy app sounds like a useful one. I will have to download.

Optical's Comment
member avatar

Weigh My Truck app, be careful in Kalifornia. My company told me that digital copies of scale tickets aren't valid in Kali. If you get the atlas, spend the extra money and get the large laminated one. You can use dry erase to mark out routes. I learned that trick from Susan. I still don't know why drivers can't spend $60.00 of reward points to purchase a CB. My CB definitely help me avoid backs ups and road closures this winter. The Windy app sounds like a useful one. I will have to download.

Yeah, California DOT won't accept the digital scale tickets but when you weigh with the app it tells you the physical ticket is available for an hour inside the building. So you can still go in and get the printed ticket.

DOT:

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Weigh My Truck app, be careful in Kalifornia. My company told me that digital copies of scale tickets aren't valid in Kali. If you get the atlas, spend the extra money and get the large laminated one. You can use dry erase to mark out routes. I learned that trick from Susan. I still don't know why drivers can't spend $60.00 of reward points to purchase a CB. My CB definitely help me avoid backs ups and road closures this winter. The Windy app sounds like a useful one. I will have to download.

double-quotes-end.png

Yeah, California DOT won't accept the digital scale tickets but when you weigh with the app it tells you the physical ticket is available for an hour inside the building. So you can still go in and get the printed ticket.

Dutch Maid still being good to you, man?

I forwarded RJ your Upgrade thread/diary. He's looking into your place of employ.

Thread COULD use updating, LoL!! Optical's Upgrade Thread

This TOOL BOX thread is actually a cool idea. I wish PackRat would add HIS two cents, but then again, it'd probably be like that guy that got 91,500 pennies as his 'final payment' from his place of employ, hahahahaha!

~ Anne ~

DOT:

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.

Page 1 of 3 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

This topic has the following tags:

Advice For New Truck Drivers Becoming A Truck Driver Items To Bring On The Road Life On The Road Truck Driving Lifestyle
Click on any of the buttons above to view topics with that tag, or you can view a list of all forum tags here.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More