If you’ve been an HGV driver for some time, whether it’s Class 1 or Class 2, then collating those ‘must-haves’ for your cab is probably second nature. Seasoned HGV drivers will have a cab of essential items they have gleaned from years of experience, especially given how much time they spend in the truck.
For those that might be new to the industry, a list of additional items can be the last thing on their mind as they focus solely on getting to their destination and back in one piece.
Regardless of your experience, let’s take a look at 10 essential things to keep in your HGV to make those long journeys as simple and as safe as possible.
1. First Aid Kit
Not only are first aid kits incredibly useful, but they are also a legal requirement. If your truck doesn’t already have one, then you need to speak to your employer. At the very least, it needs to include a guidance leaflet, sterile plasters, bandages and moist cleansing wipes (all individually wrapped), safety pin, a large dressing, and disposable gloves. If you do need to use anything, remember to restock it as soon as you can.
2. Hygiene Products
Whilst the first aid kit will come into its own in the case of an accident, keeping yourself clean is also an important part of the job. Getting yourself a little kit to look after your personal hygiene will make a world of difference. Add things like baby wipes, hand sanitiser, nail clippers, comb and toilet paper to keep yourself looking fresh. It’s also a good idea to have a spare set of clothing, just in case.
3. Emergency Supplies
In life, you never know what’s around the corner, and if you’re driving an HGV, that is almost literally true. Having the tools to hand that might help you in the right circumstances can be a matter of life and death. Grab yourself an emergency kit that includes a torch, de-icer, jumper cables, fuses, pliers and a penknife. If you’ve got other gadgets in the cab, then some spare batteries are also a good idea.
4. Road Safety
Whilst we hope you are all staying safe on the roads, there will be times when the piece of machinery you’re driving breaks down. You need to prepare for that time with some equipment to keep you safe as you wait for assistance. Make sure you have some safety cones to give other drivers space to steer around you, and a high-vis jacket for you is also a good idea. If the weather is cold and the cab doesn’t have heating, then a mylar or foil blanket can be worth its weight in gold (which isn’t that much) but will keep you warm.
5. Drive Comfortably
Your cab can feel like your second home, so it only makes sense to ensure it’s as comfortable as possible. To optimise your driving environment, grab yourself a few essentials. These can include sunglasses, a small hand-held vacuum cleaner for crumbs (or worse), and a Thermos for keeping your drinks nice and hot (or cold).
6. Small Toolkit
There will also be some little maintenance jobs that invariably need doing on the truck. Even if you’re not mechanically minded, having some basic tools to hand will help resolve many of the little annoyances that crop up. It’s a good idea to have some screwdrivers, a multi-tool of some sort, box-cutters and a tyre-pressure gauge.
As we mentioned earlier, getting from A to B (and sometimes C, D, and E) safely is a big part of the job of an HGV driver, so it’s a good practice to have some items to make that easier. These can include driving gloves to help you after gripping the wheel for long periods, a notepad and some pencils or pens. Whilst most now rely on their phone or a dedicated sat-nav for directions, if they fail it can help to have a good old-fashioned road atlas to hand, just in case.
8. Loading / Unloading
When you’re not driving or sleeping, you’re probably going to be loading or unloading your truck, so you’ll need the right equipment for that. If you’re not supplied with them, or you leave them somewhere, having some spare goggles, gloves, safety boots and a hard hat will help to keep you safe.
9. Look After Yourself
Whilst your truck is obviously an important part of the set-up, you are equally vital. You need to look after yourself, so carry some kit to achieve this. Think about a cooler or insulated lunch bag to keep your food fresh. Some healthy snacks for when you get the munchies and small, portable cooking appliance, like a slow-cooker or skillet, for when you’re in the cab overnight and want to make yourself a meal.
10. Entertainment Central
Driving an HGV is a job with long hours on the road, but it’s also important to take breaks and be ready for times when you’re just waiting around. Fight off boredom with something to keep your mind focused or to wind-down before bed. Keep a book or magazine handy, play some music you like when the radio isn’t cutting it or some puzzle books you can complete can be a great way of staying alert.
We hope you have enjoyed reading the post and have found it useful. For enquiry or if you would like to find out more on our latest HGV jobs, please get in touch with Global Employment Bureau on 01604 761206, our friendly team are always happy to help.