What are the “must have” gear items for your truck?

Updated Aug 26, 2016

An ages old proverb warns:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

It’s doubtful your next run will be lost due to a missing horseshoe nail, but this does function as a good reminder that it makes sense to have the right gear with you when on the road.

This is especially true for drivers just starting out in the industry. Veterans of the road have accumulated gear over the year and built the traveling tool box an item at a time.

RoadPro surveyed veteran drivers recently and here’s what they say a rookie driver would do well to have in their truck.

Tools and spare parts

  • A flashlight was mentioned more than anything else.
  • That was followed by a tool kit for emergency repairs and replacements.
  • Drivers specifically mentioned hammers, tire thumpers, tire gauges and tire plug kits, side cutters, multi-tools, fifth wheel pullers, jumper cables, vise grips and air hoses for gladhand connectors.
  • WD40, duct tape and electrical tape are also must-haves.
  • For winter driving, make sure to have additives that liquify gelled fuel and thaw out frozen fuel filters.
  • Drivers recommended carrying extra fuel filters, fuses, light bulbs, replacement headlights, marker lights and even an alternator.


The needs here depend on the time of year and where you’d driving.

  • If it’s winter up North, pack as if you might be stranded in the cold because that’s a possibility. That means a winter coat, warm clothing and even thermal underwear. A sleeping bag can keep you warm.
  • Regardless of the weather, work boots (insulated or not) are always a good idea. Bring an extra pair of footwear in case one gets wet.
  • The same can be said for socks. Few things feel better at the end of a long day that putting on fresh, clean socks.
  • One or two pair of good work gloves (one rubberized) is another necessity, drivers said.
  • A reflective safety vest can save your life in a dark terminal or by the side of the road.


For over-the-road drivers, the cab is home and outfitting it for comfort and efficiency is important.

  • A CB radio and a quality Bluetooth headset are considered by many drivers as must-haves.
  • A power inverter to run appliances and electronics is another recommendation.
  • More truckers are preparing and packing food in order to eat healthier and save money while on the road. It’s not surprising that appliances made the list: Mini-fridges, 12-volt ovens, crockpots, microwaves, rice cookers and coffee makers.


Sometimes, the little things make a big difference.

  • Though virtually every truck and cell phone is equipped with a GPS, some drivers still swear by an old-fashioned road atlas.
  • Things bounce around in trucks so it’s a good idea to pack some bungee cords and zipties.
  • Glass cleaner and paper towels keep your windows clean and hand cleaner, soap and disposable towelettes can do the same for you.
  • A first-aid kit is a good idea as is additional food and water.