from Trucking Truth

by TruckerMike

What should I pack? This has to be the number one question amongst newbies. First of all, pack as little as possible. Only the necessities. Once you get through training, you can clutter up your own truck as much as you want. But remember, you are a guestin your trainers truck. The truck is not yours. Further, there isn’t much room in these trucks for one person, let alone two. So whatever you can’t fit in a cabinet (assuming your trainer has an open cabinet for you), you’ll will be sleeping with everything else on your bunk. It’s also much better to pack in a duffel bag or two rather than a suitcase. Duffel bags are much easier to move around. Here is a list of what I recommend you bring. This list is not all inclusive, nor is it going to fit all situations. But it should be a good starting point for you:

– Shirts, jeans, socks, shoes, and underwear (enough to last you 7 to 10 days). Keep in mind, you’ll be wearing your jeans 2 or 3 days in a row, sometimes longer. I find myself going nearly a week with the same pair of jeans, and usually two days with a shirt. I’m here to tell you, that’s just reality out here, so if you think that’s nasty, you might have a problem right off the bat. Nobody said this is a lifestyle you’d be used to!

– Bring a jacket with you no matter what season it is. Up in the mountains it can get pretty cold, even in the summer. The desert can get pretty cold at night too. It also helps to have a jacket with a hood in the rain.

– Sunglasses! A must have. Doesn’t matter what kind, but on your first trip driving westbound in Oklahoma at 7 in the evening, you’ll be glad you have them.

– Work Gloves. The fuel islands at truck stops are always a mess and your hands end up with black spots all over them. Also, cranking the landing gear on the trailers can be messy. I think I got mine for 5 bucks at Walmart. Well worth the investment. If you’re going into flatbedding or tanker trucks, you might want to spend a little extra on yours. They will be used much more often.

– All your toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, comb, etc. All of the truck stops I’ve been to provide you with towels and a small bar of soap in the shower rooms. You can bring your own towel if you want, but it’s probably a waste of space. I also bought myself a pack of baby wipes. It sounds a little dumb, but honestly, during the times you go a couple days without a shower, it’s nice to have those to use on your face, arms, etc. There will be times when you go a couple days without a shower. It sucks, but it’s nearly unavoidable at times. So it’s good to be prepared.