Many commercial truck drivers understand that they need the right tools to do the job. Here’s a list of 10 essential tools for every commercial trucker, from basic tools such as an engine stand to complex diagnostic equipment. Whether you’re a beginner or have been driving for years, having these items on hand can help you succeed on the open road.
1. A Basic Toolbox
When out on the road, you need to be prepared for any repairs or maintenance that might come up. A basic toolbox with various tools, including a hammer, screwdrivers, adjustable and open-end wrenches, pliers, and socket sets, can be a big help to have around. These items and a few spare parts can help you make basic repairs on the spot without having to call or wait for a mechanic.
2. Tire Pressure Gauge
Maintaining the correct tire pressure can affect fuel efficiency and your tires’ lifespan. Underinflation can lead to tire blowouts, which can be dangerous on the road. An accurate tire pressure gauge can help you check and regulate tire pressure levels. That way, you can keep them in excellent condition and keep your rig running smoothly and safely.
3. Engine Stand
When performing engine maintenance, an engine stand can make the whole process easier. This tool can help you easily access the truck’s underside to perform repairs and inspections. Truckers use it to hold the engine in place while they work, allowing them to move around and access different parts of it. Engine stands come in different sizes and styles, so you can find one that fits your rig’s engine.
4. Heavy-Duty Truck Jack
Flat tires might be one of the most common issues truckers face. While standard jacks can do the job for regular cars, a truck jack is the wisest option for commercial trucks. It’s designed for bigger vehicles and has stability in mind. This is an item you don’t want to miss as part of your emergency kit.
5. Portable Jump Starter
You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery, so consider bringing a portable jump starter along. A good portable jump starter should be lightweight, easy to store, and able to jump-start your engine in seconds. Unlike regular jump cables, a portable jump starter is designed for use without another vehicle’s help. It can help you solve flat battery issues quickly, even in remote locations.
6. Heavy Duty Diagnostic Scanner
Sometimes you need an extra eye to diagnose truck problems. A diagnostic scanner can be a trucker’s best friend. It connects to the onboard diagnostics system port and monitors different parameters, giving you valuable information on the truck’s condition. A good diagnostic scanner should be able to detect engine, brake, and transmission issues, allowing you to make repairs before any serious damage occurs. When getting a diagnostic scanner, check that it’s compatible with your truck’s model.
7. Portable Air Compressor
Underinflated tires can cause problems, and it’s not everywhere you can find a gas station with an air pump. Get yourself a portable air compressor. This tool is perfect for topping up your tires, especially in remote locations. Many air compressors come with extra features, such as a built-in digital gauge and
light. That way, you can check your tire pressure levels quickly and continue your journey.
8. Wheel Chocks
When you need to change a tire, wheel chocks can provide extra stability and safety. They help keep your truck at a standstill, which can help prevent it from moving and causing potentially serious accidents. These blocks come in different sizes, so you can get one that matches your truck’s wheel size.
9. Protective Gear for Repairs and Maintenance
Safety should always come first. Have a glove set and safety goggles handy to protect your hands and eyes while performing repairs. It’s also a good idea to use protective clothing that covers your arms and legs, such as overalls or mechanic suits. These items can provide extra protection for your body when working with hot engine parts or fluids such as oil.
10. Fire Extinguisher
No emergency kit is complete without a fire extinguisher. Fires can start in many ways, from faulty wires to fuel leaks. Keep a fire extinguisher in your truck’s cab and check its expiration date regularly. It can help you put out fires quickly, minimizing potential damage and, most importantly, protecting your life.
These are just some of the essential tools commercial truckers need to keep their rigs in good shape and enjoy safer, less stressful rides. With these items, you can perform regular maintenance, fix minor problems, or be prepared for emergencies. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, having the right supplies can save your day. Check off this list and be prepared for whatever the road brings you.