(h1) Trucking can be rather unpredictable at times. You never know when you may be hit with an unexpected automotive situation in your trip; maybe even a weather-related incident. It is essential for DOT truck drivers to have an equipped semi-truck emergency kit on hand to make it through these situations in a safe manner. Emergency kits are also sometimes referred to as “bug out bags” or survival packs and in a bad situation could be a literal lifesaver. Especially in the unpredictable conditions of the winter months as commercial vehicle drivers are passing through different areas with changing weather, it is important to have a reliable safety kit handy for the many hazards that may cause a roadside emergency. Check out our recommended items below and see just how well prepared you are. You may want to pick up some of the items you’re missing at the next truck stop.
First Aid Kit
For you, a passenger, or another driver, you never know the situation you may find yourself in when a good first aid kit makes the difference. You can find them for fair prices and are a worthy item to keep on board any truck.
In today’s world your phone is your first line of defense when you need help. Make sure you not only have your phone with you but keep it charged and have a vehicle charger available.
Many people keep credit cards for emergencies. This is just that. A source of emergency funds such as a credit card can get you back on the road or maybe even off the road into a warm hotel if you are broke down.
Granola bars or protein bars are a good emergency food to keep on board as they have a fair shelf life and offer nutrients that will go further for your body when you are stuck in a bad situation.
Waterproof matches can come to the rescue in many different ways including making a fire to keep warm. They are small, cheap, and easy to store so there really is no excuse not to have these in your emergency kit.
As with any motor vehicle you do not want to get stranded without a good pair of jumper cables. From a little slip up like leaving the lights on to something more severe, this could make the difference in getting you back running or at least to a safe area.
No matter if you are a local or long-haul trucker, every commercial driver under the FMCSA or department of transportation should have a fire extinguisher onboard their truck. This is especially true if you are hauling hazmat (hazardous materials).
A small kit of basic tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, even duct tape. Any essentials you use on your vehicle on a regular basis should always be kept with you. Remember, if you are stranded you can’t just run back to your garage to grab them. This could be the difference of getting home safe or sitting on the side of the road.
On a cold and icy morning this can make a big difference in getting you safely on the road with clear windows. You may also need a scraper in situations like freezing rain where the wipers are just not doing the trick and you need to pull over and scrape to maintain safe visibility.
A pressure gauge is smart to have in any vehicle but when you are driving with as many tires as a semi truck, this is a cheap tool you should not skip having in your glove box.
Reflective triangles are beneficial for any automotive situation to warn other drivers of your situation but may prove especially valuable for truck drivers who may need to be in the way of oncoming traffic to access damage, re-strap a load, etc.
Not every trucking company sees value in having a CB radio still but in certain situations where you may not have a cell phone signal, this could be your only means to get a hold of someone for help.
Do you have a dependable roadside assistance plan? TAFS can help!