By: C.L. Miller
We all have our little “tricks of the trade” that make trucking life more comfortable. Here are a few I’ve discovered over the years, with some help from other drivers:
A microwave oven is designed to be air tight, so it’s a good place to store food items that can go stale, such as cookies, crackers, and chips.
For those non-shower days, a loofa and soap-free anti-bacterial hand sanitizer (such as Germ-X) make a quick freshener without needing water for rinsing. It’s especially cooling in hot weather. It will also remove dirt and oil between shampoos.
Pure Aloe Vera gel — not to be confused with lotions that “contain aloe vera” — is great for skin care. It leaves no residue and is virtually fragrance-free, so it won’t tickle sensitive noses.
Most camping departments have inexpensive porta-potties that can be stashed out of the way when not needed. All have a sanitary disposal container that can either be emptied in a restroom or sealed and thrown in a dumpster.
A blackout curtain can be strung from hooks to provide a “private area” in the sleeper. Thread rope through the pocket, and tie off at each end with loops for the hooks. When not in use, it folds up very neatly.
They are a bit more expensive, but the single-use packs of laundry detergent — several different brands offer them — eliminate the possibility of spills and messy bottles.
Consider a small air filtration machine for the sleeper. They cost about $15 at Walmart and help remove dust particles while giving off a light breeze.
Those “As Seen on TV” flat-folding electrical sockets will expand your plug capacity. (And don’t you wish you’d invented it?)
If your sleeper has a 12-volt power source, use small marker lights as indoor night-lights.
A spring-tensioned curtain rod and some s-hooks keep hats and lighter items — such as fly swatters — out of the way but within reach.
The two-sided clear plastic containers designed to hold fishing lures make great storage for small items. They latch securely and the contents can be seen even when the box is closed. (I use them to keep my earrings organized.)
If a day of holding the steering wheel gives you aching shoulders and you sleep on your side, wedge a travel pillow under your topside arm. It will take the weight of your arm from your shoulder, helping those muscles relax.