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Truck driver packing list: 54 must-have items on the road

A truck storage compartment stocked with various truck driver essentials.

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Sage Truck Driving Schools, one of the truck driving schools Schneider partners with and hires graduates from.

A few weeks ago, we posed a question on our Sage Truck Driving School Facebook Page for our alumni currently out on the road:

What must-have items are on your OTR (Over-the-Road) truck driver packing checklist?

Leaving out the obvious items, like clothing, shoes, blankets, pillows and the like – we opened it up for those out on the road to tell us what they have learned in their years driving after their time at Sage.

We were thrilled to get the kind of response we did. It was interesting to hear the variety of items these men and women considered “must-have” things to keep in their trucks. Now you get to benefit from their answers, compiled into five basic categories:

Your over-the-road truck driver checklist


  • Screwdriver (flat and Phillips)
  • Crow bar
  • Claw hammer
  • Hand-held sledge hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Vice grips
  • Pliers (standard and needle-nosed)
  • Wire cutters
  • Crescent wrench
  • Utility knife
  • Torque wrenches
  • 5th wheel pin puller
  • Chains for tires (situational and seasonal)
  • Push broom
  • Square-point shovel

Electronics and Gadgets:

  • GPS
  • Tablet with cellular connectivity (Netflix, Hulu accounts recommended)
  • Power inverter
  • Phone charger
  • Extra 12-volt chargers and cords for backup
  • CB radio
  • Electric coffee warmer
  • Flashlight
  • Headset or headphones
  • 12-volt cooler
  • DC fan

Cleaning Supplies:

  • One-gallon wet/dry vacuum
  • Hand broom and dust pan
  • Microfiber cloth(s)
  • Cleaning solution (water, vinegar, alcohol mix is recommended)
  • Clorox wipes
  • Dish soap
  • Heavy-duty trash bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry bag
  • Toiletries – including soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, deodorant, nail clippers and bath towel

Office Supplies:

  • Box of pens
  • Note pads
  • Pocket folders
  • Dry-erase marker
  • Duct tape
  • Super glue

Miscellaneous Items:

  • First aid kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Batteries
  • Change jar (for laundry money)
  • Canned food
  • Bottled water
  • Waterproof boots
  • High-visibility jacket
  • Plastic knee pads
  • Work gloves

Ready to take the next step in your driving career?

Get started with Sage and/or Schneider today through Sage’s page in Schneider’s Truck Driving School Directory.

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Sage has 25 locations and is known nationwide as one of the top-rated truck driving schools. Sage is the only national Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training school that offers all training on a "one student per truck" basis.

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