Now that I am thinking of going over the road again, I am thinking of what I need to get ready to undertake another step in this career. Getting started in this career is very rewarding. Hopefully I can offer you a little advice on things not to forget to make it even more rewarding and less stressful. So.... Your out of school and reporting to your company. What do you need? You need everything that you will need when you hit your own truck. If you don't need all these things with your trainer, have them ready anyways and find out if the company has a place to store the excess until you get your own truck.
Any other good ideas drivers?
- Change of clothes for at least two weeks or more. Expect to be out for an extended period of time to get you experience and miles as quick as possible. Don't expect to sit long enough to do laundry (at a non-peak time) very often. Maybe once while your out. Something to put your clothes in is helpful which is easy to carry some distance. Don't forget the detergent to go with it. It gets pretty pricey if you don't bring your own.
- Toilet Kit of course. Try to do all your shopping for stuff like this at Walmart and not the first expensive truckstop you hit.
- Spending cash! Don't expect that your trainer will be feeding you. Early trainee pay tends to be pretty small investments from your company until they know what your made of.
- Applications for all major truckstop reward programs. Start collecting rewards at the fuel stops frequented by your company as soon as possible. It can save your 100s of dollars a year on meals and showers.
- Direct Deposit account with a checking visa card. Getting paid by check or an ATM card that you have a limit on with-drawls just does not work in this market. Make sure you have access to your money the minute you get paid.
- 3 Sets of gloves- 1 for dirty work, 1 for pulling grip, and 1 for warmth!
- Latest "trucking" road atlas- do I have to explain?
- No run pens- more then a few! They always get lost.
- A sturdy log book holder with a calculator- That you can write against like a desk as much as possible. Also lots of places to put important numbers and other important paperwork.
- Log books- If they don't provide them, along with the book of laws and hazmat info.
- Generic seals- In case you need them. Just when you don't have them, you need one.
- A Pad Lock- for the trailer. Don't forget it when you switch loads!
- A Mallet or Heavy Hammer- to jar some pens loose in the trailer sometimes.
- Entertainment- Books, CDs, Maybe a TV and videos, hobby related stuff, maybe computer. Just something to keep you busy and relax on the off hours.
- CB radio and antennas if required- A lot of shippers and receivers use it for communication. Some like to pass the time chatting. Traffic reports. It just plain helps. It does not have to be expensive.
- Bedding- And more then a sleeping bag. Rest is important. This is your new home away from home, not a camping trip. Bring sheets, a pillow, and a blanket.
OTR Noobies packing guide
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white out in your log book is a no-no, you have to do the little railroad tracks over whatever line you messed up and then intial next to it.
Satellite radio helps me stay awake late at night
Truck stop directoy helps out sometimes when your looking for a parking spot and the truck stops you know of are full
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