Packing 411

Sometimes all you need is a good list to help you prepare. Below are great tips for packing up before school, training, or OTR (including trucking in Alaska).

What New Drivers Need To Know About What To Take On The Road:

  • Lack of storage and living space is probably a driver’s biggest consideration when packing for CDL school, on-the-road training, and solo life on the road.
  • Drivers will generally pack lightly for school and training, and their company should give them a general idea what items to bring with them.
  • Every driver will have his or her own version of a “must-have” list after spending time on the road, but CDL school, OTR , and training essentials are boiled down here.
  • As with most things, you “get what you pay for”. It will be important, when feasible, to spend a little extra money for a better quality product. Functionality, dependability, and life-span are factors to consider.

Items To Pack If You Are Traveling To CDL Training School:

Packing for trucking school is kind of like packing for a vacation. Many times CDL students may be given a checklist by the trucking company or school of what they should bring. You will function better and concentrate better on the schooling if you are comfortable and properly equipped. Always check with the school, first, but here are some helpful ideas:

  • Money and/or credit-debit card – Each company will have different policies on what they provide in terms of meals, etc., so it’s a good idea to check with the company, and come prepared.
  • Food – In some cases, students will be staying in motel rooms during CDL school, some equipped with microwaves or kitchens. If possible, bringing some of your own food and snacks from home will help save students money.
  • Personal documents – Driver’s license, Social Security Card, Birth Certificate.
  • Clothes – Generally about 7 changes of clothes, additional underwear and socks, along with items specific for the weather or conditions.
  • Sweatshirt and/or jacket, depending on where you attend school.
  • Pens, Pencils, spiral notebook. General classroom supplies.
  • Baby wipes (universally accepted as a “must-have” for truckers).
  • Personal care stuff, shower supplies, 2 towels.
  • Calculator.
  • Sleeping bag and pillow.
  • Laundry supplies.
  • Quarters for washer and dryer.
  • Voided check for direct deposit.
  • Hat, sunglasses, work gloves.
  • Work boots, and another change of shoes.
  • CDL book & study materials

Things NOT To Take To Trucking School:

  • Weapons, of any kind.
  • Drugs or alcohol, outside of approved, prescription medications.
  • Personal valuables, unless you’ve brought enough to share with the whole class.

What To Take For Winter Truck Driving:

Driving in the winter, and especially in the snow, presents a different set of challenges for truck drivers. This is especially true for those who aren’t accustomed to cold and snowy winters.

Items For Winter Truck Driving Checklist:

  • Warm clothes of good quality: hats, gloves, scarves, etc.
  • Wool socks or otherwise heavy-duty socks
  • Battery-powerd gloves, vest, socks, etc. Seriously.
  • Tire chains and related gear (chains are actually required in some states)
  • Bag of ice melt or road salt
  • Ice scraper
  • Candle and matches
  • Heavy duty bungee cords
  • Spare cell phone batteries
  • Extra blankets
  • Jumper cables
  • Chemical hand warmers
  • A shovel
  • Small propane blow torch
  • Extra snacks and water
  • Winter jacket
  • Extra fluids: washer, oil, coolant
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Diesel Fuel Anti-gel
  • Cramp-on or pull-over traction gear for your boots.