Hi guys, I begin my driving career on Oct 8th at Arrow most likely. Was wondering if there are some things I should purchase before going out on the road that would make my life easier; such as items that make tarping or chaining loads easier. Also, clothing, shoes, and things like that. I really appreciate the help. I want to go into this armed with the equipment I need to secure loads safely and professionally, yet be able to save a little time. Thanks for your help.
List of Items to Make a Flatbed Drivers Life Easier:
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Depends on what the issue you as far as equipment. Steel toe boots are a MUST. Some steel plants will refuse to load you without them, long sleeve shirts or pants. Get some leather work gloves. Just regular leather work gloves. But like I said before, it just depends on what equipment they issue you. Get a list from them and I'm sure between myself and the other skateboarders here we can get you headed in the right direction.
Hard Hat and Saftey Glasses are nice to have some places make you wear them if you dont have them you have to wear their nasty ones they give out.
Clothes I have tarping clothes that I wear when working on the truck( you will get very dirty with winter coming) Long sleeves and jeans, good gloves, get a few pairs they will get wet, boots steel toes not needed, and winter clothes you never know where you'll be.
Long Winch Bar with a end thats made for the Chain Binders, most companys will give you one but I got a better one at a truckstop.
Strap Roller saves you tons of time rolling them up.
Stuff to get from the company, scrap tarp or sharp stuff, extra bungees, some rope if you can find it, corner protecters for straps and chains.
I never was told to have steel toe boots, I guess some places make you wear them. I dont like them, but if those are the rules. What ever you buy get something good it will pay off good boots last so much longer.
USG... makes me shudder. I refused to haul any gypsum. I'm glad I had the steel toe boots. The first time I went to AK in Indy there were 3 guys sitting out in the lot trying to figure out how they were gonna get a pair to go load.
Sharp knife or box cutter
PLENTY of rubber bungie straps of different length. I kept 200+ on the truck
Corner protectors, both metal and plastic
4x4 timbers with angle cuts for coils
Rubber mats for coils, (an AK and Bethell requirement as well)
I prefer wratchet binders.. you can use scissor binders, but to me they are just plain dangerous and not as easy to tighten down the road.
Plenty of gloves
GET A 4 inch WRATCHET STRAP!!!!! 2 or 3 if you can afford it!!! It will save your ### and lots of time & headaches when you realize.. they just didn't put enough binders on these skateboards.... especially on the rear of the trailer where the binders won't slide far enough, or if you need one directly over a tire. This will be your best investment!!!
Get a foldable step ladder, I prefered aluminum because its lighter.
The longer your binder bar.. the better.. they will probably give you one
If you are offered coil bags take them!!! To me it was much easier to slide one over a coil than to drag the whole tarps over. Depends on how many coils you get at a time though.
Strap roller as mentioned before.. mega time saver!!!
If you have the space... get a few 4x4 timbers and screw hanging hooks into them. On windy days you can unroll your tarps, hook them in the sides and toss it over. It will help keep the sides down. DO NOT DO THIS ON A HIGH WIND DAY!!! The 4x4 will turn into a missle that usually is aimed at your head.
Surely they will supply you with chains
If I can remember anything else I'll let you know.
As much time as I've spent on the road, all I've ever pulled is reefer and dry box. I'm inbetween jobs right now and I just got hired by a flatbed outfit. I've never hauled flatbed before and don't know much about it, any info and advice from flatbed drivers that have been doing it for a while would be greatly appreciated.
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