These gear items provide you, your devices and your truck with power

Power is a key ingredient in trucking. It has to be. An 80,000-pound loaded rig is not going to move itself. Trucking power is not limited to the 400 to 700 horsepower generated by a truck’s engine. Pro truck drivers need more modest power to keep their essential devices charged and ready for use anytime they are on the road. The person behind the wheel needs to be fueled by proper nutrition and healthy snacks to stay alert and functioning for their 14-hour workday.

Here are some gear items to keep even the hardest working trucker, their truck, and their gear properly powered.


More often than not, you can easily recharge your smartphone or your handheld gaming device by plugging it into your truck’s USB port. Sometimes you need more than the USB port. That’s when it makes sense to have a portable power station in your truck. There are essentially large, rechargeable batteries you can use to recharge your devices or even power a conventional kitchen appliance like a microwave or coffeemaker.

Most portable power stations have multiple USB ports, a three-prong AC outlet, and a spot for a 12-volt plug. They supply many hours of power before needing to be recharged.

The Jackery Explorer 500 is a great portable power station. It generally rates high on “best of” lists and can provide hours of power. It weighs 13 pounds and delivers500 watts of power with three AC outlets, and multiple USB ports. Available online. If you need more juice, but have a lower budget, consider the Anker 521 portable power station. It provides 300 watts, has two AC sockets, two USB-C ports, a USB-A port, and a car socket. Available online.


Screenshot 2024 07 03 At 11 32 40 AmYour truck needs sufficient power to haul your load no matter what sort of road conditions you encounter. You need to have enough juice in reserve to ensure all of your digital devices stay operative 24/7, especially in emergencies.

But, you also need to have the power to do the job. That can be challenging when you’re driving over the road, and convenient meals often take precedence over healthy ones.

That’s why it makes sense to have power-packed snacks within easy reach during your driving day. Look for protein bars that contain natural sweeteners like honey or dates, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds. Avoid ones with artificial ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil.

One good choice is Over Easy’s breakfast bar. It contains gluten-free oats, roasted peanuts, honey, dry-roasted peanut butter, dried eggs, and natural vanilla. It contains 11 grams of protein. If your taste leans more toward savory than sweet, check out Epic bars, which are made from grass- fed beef. They are available in a variety of flavors including beef and jalapeno, and one that is made from bison, uncured bacon, and cranberries.


Your truck’s engine needs to deliver the power you need when you need it. Climbing a grade. Merging onto the interstate. Passing another truck. When you ask for it, the power needs to be there.

Part of having power on demand is having clean and properly functioning fuel injectors. For them to perform, they need to be clean.

Howes Diesel Defender and its state-of-the-art IDX4 Detergent both cleans and prevents all deposits, including internal diesel injector deposits from forming on your injectors. Additionally, this alcohol-free injector cleaner safely removes water, leaving only pure fuel to burn. It also delivers 2.5 times the lubricity of other additives. Diesel Defender guarantees a minimum 5% increase in your fuel economy and is at most truck stops and travel centers in 32 and 64-ounce sizes.


Screenshot 2024 07 03 At 11 33 04 AmCummins is an iconic name in the trucking industry, known for its powertrains, transmissions, turbochargers, and fuel systems. The 105-year-old Indiana manufacturer also offers power inverters to tap your truck’s power to safely run your devices and appliances.

The Cummins line of inverters includes models that provide 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 or 5,000 watts of modified sine wave power. All convert your truck’s 12-volt power into 110 volts to power a mini-fridge, microwave, TV, and kitchen appliances.

The 5,000 watt model has four AC outlets, two USB ports, and comes with an installation kit. All of the Cummins inverters can be controlled by Bluetooth® and an app on your smartphone. Available in travel centers, big box stores, home improvement stores, or the Cummins Amazon storefront.


A number of devices you may keep in your truck’s cab are battery-powered, so it makes sense to have a good supply of batteries to keep them powered up.

The Eneloop Pro battery charger from Panasonic and the high-capacity rechargeable AA and AAA batteries that come with it will give you an endless supply of juice. When plugged into a power inverter, the CC55 battery charger will charge a fully discharged Eneloop Pro AA battery in about four hours; or two batteries in two hours. Available online.


Screenshot 2024 07 03 At 11 33 30 AmFounding Father and this nation’s third President Thomas Jefferson was an advocate for the creation of institutions of higher education and was fond of saying, “Knowledge is power.” Today’s professional truck drivers should embrace, especially when it comes to the regulations governing their work as well as how to do their jobs safely.

J.J. Keller & Associates has a veritable library of handbooks many drivers could benefit from reading and keeping in their trucks. A sampling of books that would fit well in any truck’s library includes:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Handbook, better known as the Green Book, provides drivers with word-for-word explanations of the federal laws they need to live by and navigate daily. An 8 1⁄2" x 11" spiral- bound copy is available online. The smaller pocket- sized version of the Green Book is available online.
  • Alcohol & Drug Testing: What Drivers Need to Know spells out what drivers can and cannot do when it comes to consuming alcohol or drugs and spells out the consequences should a driver receive a violation. Available online.
  • Cargo Securement Handbook for Drivers provides not just the regulations regarding cargo securement, but also practical, hands-on best practices. Available online.
  • HOS Handbook: The Complete Guide for CMV Drivers explains the ins and outs of this sometimes- confusing topic. This book contains information that could very well keep a driver from inadvertently violating their duty hours and getting a ticket. Available online. 


A smartphone is now indispensable.

That’s why it needs to always have a sufficient charge and a way to recharge it when it starts to run down. So, you need a power supply with you most, if not all of the time, one that can’t be too big and bulky.

The Cummins Power Bank comes in two different sizes, 5000 mAh, and 10,000 mAh. The Power Bank fits easily in a pocket so it is always there when needed.

Its capacity far exceeds its size. The Cummins power bank features two ports to accommodate multiple devices. It is lightweight and ready to charge your phone whenever you need it. Available online or at a travel center near you.


Screenshot 2024 07 03 At 11 33 58 AmIf your truck breaks down on a dark and lonely stretch of the highway, the last thing you want is to be without sufficient light to see under the hood and/or be seen by oncoming traffic. That means having a powerful light source you can count on.

RoadPro offers an AC/DC rechargeable spotlight that will light up the night for you. Delivering 360 Lumen, this light is what you need in case of any roadside emergency. It has high and low settings, a swivel locking grip handle, and a multi-position stand. It is available online or at a travel center near you.


Yes, trucking can be a frustrating profession. You’re often at the mercy of others who are more interested in what they must do rather than making your life any easier.

Shippers, receivers, dispatchers, distracted four-wheelers, fuel island fools, and lazy lumpers can make your driving day painfully irritating. Most likely though, your protestations fall on deaf ears.

Relentless Optimism, a book by Darrin Donnelly, helps you explore developing a positive mindset. It offers practical strategies designed to help you overcome challenges and deal with the setbacks that come with a demanding job.

Available online. It’s also available for Kindle e-readers and as an audiobook.