As a flatbed truck driver, you aren’t expected to be a mechanic; however, having some tools on hand in an emergency situation can save you from a lot of headaches. There are many easy repairs that you can make to save critical time you would otherwise spend waiting for emergency maintenance.
Whether you’re a brand-new driver or an experienced professional, knowing what tools to have can make the difference. We’ve put together our top 10 must-have truck driving tools to keep in your vehicle.
1. Small Toolbox
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best solutions. Making sure that a small toolbox full of a variety of tools is always reachable in your truck can save you from many issues! Small tool boxes cost around $28.00 on average, depending on what tools you consider essential to your job and how much storage space you have in your truck.
2. Duct Tape
Duct tape has strength, flexibility, and excellent adhesion to a variety of surfaces. Duct tape can be found at any local hardware or grocery store. It can usually run around $3.00 for standard duct tape and $6.99 and up for more premium duct tapes, like Gorilla. It can be useful for small, temporary patches on tarps, until you can stop and repair it properly with a tarp repair kit.
Not only will gloves provide warmth to a truck driver’s hands when securing loads outside in winter weather, but is also a critical PPE item at many customer locations. There are many options for what kind of gloves to purchase, such as canvas gloves, leather gloves, or winter gloves, depending on the location and what your job entails.
Leather gloves can run about $12.00 and are helpful when refueling, checking the oil or the truck belts. Canvas gloves cost a little less.
Having a wide selection of tools at the ready can make a truck driver’s life a lot easier. However, if you’re not keen on carrying around an entire toolbox, you might want to consider having individual tools in your glovebox instead. Pliers can be a great multi-purpose tool to keep around the truck. High-quality pliers will run about $18.88 and can be found online or at your local hardware store.
Whether checking the truck tires or doing a pre- or post-trip inspection of the truck, a flashlight is always a necessity. It’s best to have both a large and small flashlight, whether you need to check a small space, run out of power, or need to investigate your truck at night. We like LED flashlights, many of which you can recharge with a simple USB cable right in your truck. Small flashlights can cost around $7.00, and a large rechargeable flashlight will run you about $25.
6. Zip Ties
Zip ties will allow you to bundle things together, such as wires or other items. You can buy zip ties in a variety of colors to create simple organization systems. Like duct tape, zip ties are a versatile solution for a variety of problems you may encounter.
7. Tire Pressure Gauge
Ensuring that a truck’s tires are kept at the correct air pressure can save a lot of money on fuel, but, more importantly, they are critical for truck driving safety. Tire pressure gauges tend to be inexpensive and are widely available at your local big box stores for $6 to $8.
8. Bungee Cords
As a flatbed truck driver you can find 100 uses for bungee cords such as securing things in your cab, securing the toolbox doors, hanging clothing to dry, and many others. A 5 pack will set you back around $20 or more depending on the length and its strength rating.
9. First Aid Kit
A well stocked first aid kit is a necessity. If you get cut or hurt on the road, you want to make sure you have proper bandages and antibiotic ointments to avoid a serious infection. You can put a basic first aid kit together yourself in a gallon ziplock bag at your local big box store for just a few dollars or purchase a pre-stocked kit for about $20.
Hammers can be used in colder climates to release frozen brakes or knock ice off of padlocks, along with a lot of other general uses for truck maintenance. You should not require anything fancy – you can purchase a hammer for $4.99 at your local hardware store.
Being prepared for any situation on the road is what helps keep you safe and efficient. Finding a local flatbed truck driving job can be rewarding, but knowing what to bring and what situations may occur during a typical trip can save a lot of time and help you avoid stress.
PGT trucking is a leader in the flatbed transportation industry and is committed to a career rooted in safety, efficiency, and delivery for our customers. So check us out today to learn more about how you can drive with a company that genuinely cares for you and your safety!