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Step 14: Shopping list for new drivers


This article is step 14 in our multi-step Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a CDL Driver. To read the entire guide follow the link above to be taken to our step by step slideshow.

You’ve earned your CDL — congratulations! Now you’re ready to hit the road.  You’re going to be spending a lot of time in your truck, so it’s important to have some of the comforts of home, as well as all of the tools of the trade.  We’re here to help!

It’s best to get your gear before heading out — have you seen truck stop prices?  Stock up now, and be prepared for anything the road or Mother Nature throws your way.

We’ve asked veteran drivers what all drivers need to keep in the truck and there’s what they told us no driver should leave home without.

Tool Kit 

You don’t have to be a mechanic, but knowing how to work on your truck can save you a lot of time and money.  Whether it’s replacing a mud flap, or dislodging frozen brakes, you’ll need a set of tools.

We recommend this 4.5-star-rated sturdy kit made by Stanley tools. 

If it’s dark, and you have to replace a mud flap, you’re going to need a good, sturdy flashlight. We recommend this Stanley rechargeable, waterproof flashlight.

You can’t always hold a flashlight and work at the same time, so we also recommend investing in a good headlamp like this one from GRDE.

Eating on the road can get very expensive, very quickly. We recommend cooking in your truck. When you make your own meals, you’re not only saving money, you’re also eating healthier! Here are the items you’ll need to cook in your truck.

Burton is a name synonymous with travel cooking products. The Burton Induction stove is perfect for cooking in the truck!

Nothings better after a long, hard day at work than a warm meal. Prepare your meals in the morning, let them cook all day and enjoy them later! This 12-volt slow cooker is perfect for your busy days.

If your truck does not come equipped with a refrigerator, you’ll need a cooler to keep your food fresh. We recommend these coolers:

If you want to invest in a good refrigerator, you’re going to need a good inverter. Here are our recommendations for inverters:

Even if you don’t plan on cooking on the road, you’ll need to have an emergency stash of food on hand. Consider investing in some emergency food options.

As a truck driver, you must be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. We recommend keeping rain and winter gear on-hand.

After a long day, you’re going to need a hot shower. Take it from us, always wear sandals in the shower! Here are the items you’ll need!

Accidents to happen, always keep a first-aid kit on-hand.

The FMCSA has prohibited truck drivers from using handheld devices while driving. Avoid a hefty fine and invest in a bluetooth headset.

Lastly, and most importantly, you’ll need a navigation guide. Do not trust a car GPS, it could cost you! Whether you’re an old school Atlas driver or a modern driver, we’ve got you covered.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, head on over to our CDLLife store for more New Truck Driver starter kit recommendations.


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