Driver with a suitcase of clothes

Truck Driver Essentials

A Truck Drivers go bag is the professional equivalent to the apocalypse bug out bag. In a good Truck Drivers work bag you will find a carefully selected, masterfully packed combination of should have items, nice to have items, indulgent items and never leave the depot without items, read on for our Truck Drivers essentials recommendations and suggestions. 

With 111 service stations spread across the UK you would think that you will never be too far from any resource you might need. However, being prepared for any eventuality, feeling secure in the knowledge that you have everything you might possibly need and enjoying some of those home comforts is a feeling that can't be beaten. 

If you are a new truck driver and you are still on your way to building up your own personal go bag of Truck Driver essentials, or if you are a long standing Truck Driver who needs to refresh his kit then this is the blog for you. We have carried out the research for you, finding the best of the best, tried and tested truck driver rated items available across the internet so all you have to do is work out which ones you can't possibly leave home without. 

The Essential Bag

You are not always using the same truck or rig every day, so it is essential that your Truck Drivers go bag is portable, reliable, sturdy, robust and above all spacious. 

Choosing the right bag for you often comes down to the size that you feel you might need; this will depend how long you spend out on the road. Are you a long distance driver who will have a few changes of clothes on route with them or are you a short haul driver where spare clothing isn't a major consideration?  

Backpacks are generally measured in litres (e.g. 30L, 45L, 50L, etc.). Be aware that companies can often measure volume differently and bags come in different shapes and configurations so you shouldn’t judge size on litres alone but as a guide, a Truck Drivers go bag would ideally be 30L or above to allow plenty of space for all of your essentials. Anything over 50l is going to give you heaps of space, but it is going to get a little difficult to lug around so unless you are out driving for long periods of time, select a bag somewhere between 30l and 50l. 

The North Face - Base camp XL Duffel bag

A bit pricey but this is a good large volume duffel bag that is designed for wearing and aggressive handling making it perfect for slinging into the passenger seat. Made from heavy duty water-resistant ballistic nylon fabric it is a great choice if your budget can stretch. 

Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack

This highly reviewed and rated backpack is the ideal choice when a weekend bag is too small and a travel pack is too big. With plenty of space, lots of organising pockets and a comfortable strap system this backpack is a midrange priced popular choice.  

Plambag Canvas Duffel Bag

This durable and robust canvas duffel bag comes with plenty of pockets, a large capacity and an expandable design. With a multitude of straps and carrying options this is an easy to grab and go, larger option coming with a tip top lower end price tag too. 

Packing Cubes

Packing effectively is all down to organisation and maintaining easy access to items without ruining your packing every time you need to find a clean pair of socks. Packing cubes really are a game changer. You can pack all of your essentials into individual cubes that will maximise the space available in your go bag. These cubes are well reviewed on Amazon.

Wash Bag

You will need something to keep your wash up items in. Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hygiene wipes, hand sanitiser, tissues. This roll up durable bag is a favourite with both drivers and travellers alike.

Sat Nav

Even though we all have google maps built into our phones and some cabs are posh enough to have them built into the dash, you can't go wrong with a stand-alone Sat Nav. The most recommended by truckers in the TrucknetUK forum and made exclusively for large vehicles is this TomTom 6250 professional. This is not the cheapest option but if your budget can stretch this far then it is worth considering. 

This Garmin dēzl™ 770LMT-D is the other sat nav recommended by truckers in the forum, it is also made for truck navigation and at a similar price point it is a good alternative to the TomTom. There doesn't seem to be much separating the two by way of popularity and features, so it is all going to come down to personal preference in the end.

A-Z Road Atlas

Just in case tech lets you down, having an A-Z tucked away in the cab is a good idea. These are also great for checking out a route ahead of time.

Torch

A torch is an absolute must have item. From being stuck out at night, to looking under a bonnet, signalling for help or even just lighting up your cab at night so you can read comfortably. A rechargeable multiuse torch like this is a good option. 

If you were thinking of something a little smaller to handle but still high quality, then try this one.

Towel

A quick-dry towel is essential to prevent smelly mildew forming. Since a good towel does more than just dry fast, it should also be absorbent, durable, and soft against your skin.

Decathlon make some excellent microfibre ultra-compact towels at extremely reasonable prices. 

Tool Kit

Every trucker, no matter how often or far they drive, needs a well put together tool kit for those “once in a blue moon” situations. 

Our top 10 toolkit items for truck drivers are:

  1. Adjustable wrench
  2. Socket set
  3. Multi-head screwdriver
  4. Allen key set
  5. Box knife
  6. Bungee cords
  7. Zip ties
  8. Tyre air gauge
  9. Electrical tape
  10. WD40

First Aid Kit

Your truck will most likely have one of these in the cab somewhere but your own safety is your own responsibility and so it is good practice to carry your own first aid kit at all times. This is a well-reviewed first aid kit that is affordable and contains a good selection of items.

If you have allergies, are insulin dependent or require lifesaving medications then do not forget to have this information clearly visible inside your truck or on your person so the first responders are aware should the worst happen. A medic-alert bracelet is a popular and easily recognised item. MedicAlert ID jewellery is custom made to the correct size and engraved with your vital medical information.

Once you have all of the truck driver essentials listed above you need to start packing in those smaller but equally important items that you didn't think to need until you needed it. 

Top 10 extra truck driver essentials for the ultimate truck driver go bag

  1. Gloves
  2. Lighter
  3. Matches
  4. Spare high vis
  5. Pen and pencil
  6. Toilet paper / Hygiene wipes
  7. Spare chargers
  8. Blanket
  9. At least one change of clothes (maybe more if you are staying out for long periods)
  10. Water

Last but not least, don't forget to pack some long life nibbling snacks such as peanuts, sesame crackers, dried fruit, chocolate and protein bars just in case you fall foul of a midnight munchies attack. 

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