Skip to main content

Truck driver essentials: 101 must-have items on the road

Truck driver essentials laid out on a table: bottled water, a rolled-up orange blanket, canned food, a first aid kit labeled ‘Johnson & Johnson Safe Travels,’ batteries and a flashlight.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

Whether you’ve been a truck driver for years or you’re just starting your career, being well-prepared and having everything you need in your rig is key.

On top of the obvious items, such as your permits, credentials and appropriate attire, there are many other things truck drivers should have with them. Below, we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist of essentials for truck drivers to take on the road, sorted into nine basic categories.

Truck driver essentials checklist

Tools and supplies:

  • Ratcheting screwdriver with an assortment of bits (flathead and Phillips).
  • Claw hammer.
  • Hand-held sledgehammer.
  • Adjustable crescent wrench.
  • Torque wrenches.
  • Pliers (standard and needle-nosed).
  • Wire cutters.
  • Crowbar.
  • Utility knife.
  • Fifth wheel pin puller.
  • Chains for tires (seasonal).
  • Broom.
  • Square-point shovel.
  • Ice scraper/snow brush.
  • Air pressure gauge.
  • Tire tread depth gauge.
  • Tape measure.
  • Zip ties.
  • Roll of electrical tape.
  • Wheel chocks.

Clothing items:

  • Shirts.
  • Jackets.
  • Sweatshirts.
  • Pants.
  • Shoes.
  • Steel toe work boots.
  • Undergarments.
  • Sleepwear.
  • Socks.
  • Polarized sunglasses.
  • Safety glasses.
  • Work gloves.
  • Reflective vest.
  • Extra high-visibility clothing.
  • Coveralls.
  • Plastic knee pads.

Cleaning supplies:

  • One-gallon wet/dry vacuum.
  • Hand broom and dustpan.
  • Microfiber cloth(s).
  • Streak-free glass cleaner.
  • Dish soap.
  • Floor cleaner.
  • Clorox wipes.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Paper towels.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Sponges.
  • Nitrile gloves.
  • Heavy-duty trash bags.
  • Dryer sheets.
  • Laundry bag.
  • Waterproof trash can.


  • Soap.
  • Shampoo.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Floss.
  • Deodorant.
  • Nail clippers.
  • Bath towel.

Electronics and gadgets:

  • Phone charger.
  • Extra 12-volt chargers and cords for backup.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs.
  • Headset or headphones.
  • 12-volt cooler.
  • 12-volt fan.
  • Electric coffee warmer.

Office supplies:

  • Box of pens.
  • Note pads.
  • Pocket folders.
  • Dry-erase markers.
  • Duct tape.
  • Super glue.
  • Clipboard.

Cooking equipment:

  • Microwave.
  • 12-volt portable stove.
  • Slow cooker.
  • Electric skillet.
  • Personal blender.
  • Reusable food containers.

Miscellaneous items:

  • Batteries.
  • Change jar (for laundry money).
  • Storage bins.
  • Exercise equipment – resistance bands, hand weights, exercise mat.
  • Seat cushion.
  • Sunshade cover.
  • Non-slip floor mats.

Emergency kit supplies:

  • Emergency warning triangles.
  • Extra bottles of water.
  • Nonperishable food and energy bars.
  • First aid kit.
  • Winter clothing – wool socks, winter hat, jacket, mittens, snow pants, winter boots, insulated face mask.
  • Hand and feet warmers.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Ice cleats.
  • Warning flag.
  • Atlas.
  • Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Cash.
  • Medication.
  • 3” candles for light; plus, matches.
  • An empty metal coffee can (so burning candle won’t spread melted wax or open flame).

Need some tips for organizing your cab?

Check out these truck tours by Schneider drivers Kayleigh and Wes for some practical suggestions on maintaining a neat and organized cab interior.

About the author
Author Picture

Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

More posts by this author
© Copyright 2024, Schneider. All rights reserved.