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Friday, May 3, 2013

Essentials for your Over-The-Road Trucking Kit

mto.gov.on.ca
This is a guest post thanks to and written by Kelly Opferman. She has a link provided to her site with a handy auto/truck finance calculator and helpful information on purchasing a vehicle.

Essentials for Your On-the-Road Kit
Life on the road can be tough. You have long hours where there's nobody but you and the road -- and the road's not very good for conversation. If you have a CB radio, you may be able to find someone to chat with awhile to pass the time, but that's only after you sort through all the trolls. Besides filling a need for good entertainment, you've also got to supply yourself with essentials like snacks, water, and items to help you out in case of an emergency.
Though every trucker will have different ideas about what's "essential" on the road, here are a few things that you may find will make your life a lot easier and help the hours pass a lot faster when you are on the road:
Food and Snacks
Eating out for every meal can be very expensive -- and very unhealthy. You can avoid gaining that notorious 50 pounds and save yourself a lot of money by packing food to take with you on the road. Opt for items that don't take up a lot of space and are easy to reheat or make with limited equipment. Some examples include oatmeal, cereal, sandwich stuff, rice, beans and pre-packaged foods. If you don't want to cook your meals, at least take enough snacks with you for the trip. You never know when hunger or cravings will strike when you don't have the time to stop or aren't near a store or restaurant.
Even if you don't want to deal with making your own food, it is important that you bring an emergency supply with you that can last at least 72 hours. You never know when you might get waylaid by a storm, mechanical issues or an accident in the middle of nowhere, and you don't want to find yourself stuck with no supplies.
Small Cooking Stove
There are many portable cooking stoves that will fit in small spaces, perfect for campers and for truckers. By bringing a small cooking stove with you, you open up the possibilities for what you can make on the road, allowing you to create healthier meals.
Again, even if you don't want to cook your own meals, this is still a useful piece of equipment in an emergency, both for food preparation and for heating. You can also bring an empty coffee can or other large can, which you can use to create a fire in an emergency.
Truck Stop Guide
When you're in a populated area, there's a truck stop every couple of miles. However, when you're out in the middle of nowhere, you never know when you might see another one, potentially leaving you stranded without gas or food. A good truck stop guide can help you plan your stops so that you are never left without the supplies you need.
You can also use it to plan your stops at the best places. It's always the worst when you settle for food at the first  place you see after a long drive, only to find an oasis of better options a few exits down the road.
A Quality Tablet
A good tablet will provide you with almost everything you need for communication, entertainment and navigation. A good tablet can be used like a GPS system with a dash mount. A good tablet can provide you with your own wi-fi hotspot so you don't have to be at the whim of public wi-fi. You can use it to watch movies, to listen to music and to read books. Depending on the apps you install, you can also use it to keep track of your driving logs, find cheap gas, monitor your truck maintenance, plan your trip, and so much more.
There are hundreds of uses for your tablet on the road. Invest in a good one, and you won't be sorry.
Emergency Kit
When you're on the road for long hours, anything can happen. You can break down, you can get in an accident, or you can become ill. You must be prepared for these events in case you are not near assistance when they happen. Pack a good emergency kit that includes basics like flare guns, jumper cables, a tire iron, flashlights, batteries, and more. Also be sure to include a basic first-aid kit in there, including gauze, ointment, a blanket, and other supplies.

When you spend so much time on the road, it becomes your home. Make sure that you're safe and comfortable by planning for the essentials. These are just a few things that will make the trip easier for you, but you may find that other things are more "essential" to you.
What items do you consider "essential" when you are on the road?
The Author:
Kelly Opferman is a seasoned writer who at this time focuses on her auto finance calculator site. Her educational background includes finance, teaching, and economics.

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