First Solo Trip in My First Truck

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by jmarc77, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. jmarc77

    jmarc77 Light Load Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    Hey all. I just wrapped up with my trainer and got back to the terminal near my house, was assigned my first truck yesterday and my first load script. I am off this weekend, but I will be making my first solo trip early Monday morning. I went over my truck and trailer yesterday and made sure there were no major problems, had the shop fix a few issues I found and got the paperwork up to date. The shop cleaned it out and put a new mattress in it for me, and since I am doing flatbed, I was issued all of my securement equipment- tarps, chains, binders, coil racks, mats, edge protectors, etc.

    I want to make sure I have enough supplies and the right supplies before I head out. My truck is barebones and does not have an APU, inverter or refrigerator. I did purchase a Garmin Dezl GPS out of my own pocket. I will also be bringing a flashlight, a pocket knife and a Leatherman, a case of water, a box of breakfast bars, some cans of spam and a loaf of bread, a cooler, soap, toothpaste and brush, baby wipes, disinfecting wipes, boots and shoes, hard hat, sheets for the mattress as well as pillows and a blanket, shower shoes, ibuprofen.

    Is there anything important I'm missing? I plan on going out to the truck tomorrow to load as much as I can into it. I do plan on purchasing a CB eventually but I need some paychecks first.
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  3. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    Get a cooler. A pretty big one. Ice will keep stuff as long as you keep the lid closed. ( Know what you want before you open it, and do so quickly)

    Take your time and triple check everything.

    Smooth is fast.
  4. TooTiredToTalk

    TooTiredToTalk Medium Load Member

    Feb 24, 2022
    Congratulations on making it through your training! Safety vest, bungees, gloves, phone charger, Rand McNally Trucker Atlas will help alongside the GPS. Can't believe your truck doesn't have an inverter at they let you idle your truck at least because in this heat and in the winter, I would do it regardless of their policy on that otherwise find another company (not trying to be this dark cloud over you :))

    Btw: update me if you don't mind on how you like the Garmin GPS if you don't mind ;) I started back in November of last year and I landed with a real good flatbed company, but had to switch temporarily. Flatbed is awesome!! Tough work though....
  5. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    Hi-viz vest and work gloves? A basic tool kit wouldn't hurt either. Maybe get a few spare tail lights, bulbs, gladhand seals etc from the shop?
  6. TooTiredToTalk

    TooTiredToTalk Medium Load Member

    Feb 24, 2022
    I was once told as a piece of advice "Don't ever get the mentality that it should be fine or it's only a couple of miles". That is what will get you in trouble. Always like @Dave_in_AZ stated, always triple check your load and you can never over-secure your load. If you are unsure, throw a few extra straps or chains on the load.
  7. Big Road Skateboard

    Big Road Skateboard Road Train Member

    May 2, 2021
    Yep. I've been doing this about a year now. Got lazy yesterday loading salt west of SLC. Bagged salt that i knew i should've x'd front and back.

    Didn't do it. Spent an hour fixing it yesterday evening. I deserved it.

    Pure laziness and i knew better.
  8. supergreatguy

    supergreatguy Heavy Load Member

    Nov 26, 2020

    - spare phone charger and a 12v charger connector.
    - I’d suggest an Olight that recharges
    - From the shop get some spare oil/coolant/lights
    - Get you a print of your truck keys (Home Depot) and latch it somewhere under your hood. Saved me several times.
    - I’d suggest more food, just fill a 50ish qt tub with dry/can foods and treat it as backup food. Get some liquid iv powder for your water, and some otc meds.
    - basic toolkit
    - get you a super comfy pillow, don’t cheap out
  9. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    A whole bunch of stuff.

    Sometimes I have been faced with waiting several days for the shop or taking a loaner truck
    But taking a loaner truck is not as simple as it sounds.
    What do I take with me?
    That includes all my cooking stuff, tools, personal items and work related things that I may only use a few times a year.
    But they are important things I may need at a moments notice.
    I would basically have to move everything from one truck to the other.

    A CB is NOT one of them.
    Most of us have this cell phone thingy that works much better.

    You will learn what you need as you need it, and hopefully you will have the cash on hand and a place to find it - as you need it.
  10. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    Gettin' down westbound
    Make sure with flatbed u have safety vest, glasses and hard hat
  11. jmarc77

    jmarc77 Light Load Member

    Sep 17, 2021
    Yeah the no inverter or apu thing sucks. We can have inverters installed but it has to be through the company shop and we have to pay for it. We are allowed to idle and with this heat, I'm going to be idling. I'm sure the company would prefer I didn't, but I'd prefer the truck had an APU so they are gonna have to deal with it.

    My trainer had the exact same one I bought. We verified the routes with Google earth and he knew some shortcuts but it was reliable. Not that I follow it blindly, but as a new driver going into a lot of unfamiliar areas, I wouldn't feel very comfortable without it. I have an RM Atlas as a backup as well.

    Our trucks use all LED bulbs so no spares required. I didn't feel the need to mention gloves and vest and they are pretty much standard issue with flatbed lol. Gladhand seals are a good idea. As for basic tools, I have a medium sized socket set, a pair of channel locks, and a hammer. Beyond that, I'm calling breakdown.

    I only mention CB because some of the shippers I went to with my trainer used them to check in and to guide you to the right dock. Probably not required but it was handy.
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