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What Tools, Equipment, and Other Items Should I Keep In My Truck?

You are in luck! We’ve created an extensive list of items (with Amazon links) that you need/should have in your truck!

Safety Equipment & Personal Protective Equipment

Regulations implemented by agencies such as OSHA and the DOT/FMCSA are intended to keep drivers and roadways safe. While OSHA does not regulate truckers, specifically independent owner-operators, it does regulate the workplaces where truckers deliver goods.

Fire Extinguisher

All trucks that operate in the U.S. on major roadways must have a portable fire extinguisher in the truck. DOT requires a 10-B:C extinguisher for trucks hauling hazardous materials, while most other trucks must carry a fire extinguisher that is a 5-B:C rating or more.

Emergency Warning Devices

Per FMCSA, all trucks that need to stop for emergencies, accidents, or breakdowns are required to display warning devices. Drivers must ensure that the vehicle's hazard warning system, including hazard lights, is functional and activated during unexpected emergency stops.

Three liquid-burning road flares or six fuses are required. These items must be capable of burning for at least 60 minutes.

Drivers must carry at least three bidirectional emergency reflective triangles. The DOT provides placement guidelines for one-way or divided highways, two-way or undivided highways, and obstructed view curves and hills.

Spare Fuses

The FMCSA requires any trucks or power units for which fuses are needed to operate any required parts and accessories must have at least one spare fuse for each type of fuse needed for those parts and accessories.

Wheel Chocks

Wheel chocks keep the truck and trailer from moving when stopped for loading and unloading. According to OSHA, brakes of highway trucks shall be set and wheel blocks (chocks) shall be in place to prevent the movement of trucks, trailers, or railroad cars while loading or unloading. Wheel chocks should be placed against the rear tires in the direction of the grade. Put chocks on both sides of the tires when parked on level surfaces. Fixed jacks may be necessary to support a semitrailer during loading or unloading when the trailer is not coupled to a tractor. The flooring of trucks, trailers, and railroad cars needs to be checked for breaks and weaknesses before they are loaded and driven on.

Red Flags, Flashlight, & Jumper Cables

Red flags are necessary to have for all commercial motor vehicles that are hauling projected or overhanging freight. Flashlights obviously provide visibility in areas without good light or during nighttime. Jumper cables are useful to juice up a battery that may be low on life.

High Visibility Clothing/Safety Vests

A leading cause of workforce injuries or deaths is truck drivers entering loading areas without being noticed. Highly visible clothing allows everyone to be aware of drivers or employees, thus avoiding potential injuries.


Protective gloves are your best bet to keep your hands safe while loading/unloading freight, hitching trailers, or avoiding hazardous materials. Keep an additional set of gloves for fueling, checking oil, and other maintenance as well as a separate pair of gloves for securing loads and other work.


Hard Hats should be used anytime a driver leaves the cab of their vehicle, especially so when assisting with loading/unloading freight. Certain consignee locations such as mills, factories, plants, or lumber yards will have their own requirements for hard hat use that truck drivers must follow while on-site.

Protective Eyewear

Safety glasses can only be considered protective eyewear if the frames and lenses meet requirements established by OSHA and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). So, for eyewear to be considered protective, it must be stamped with “ANSI z87.1” to indicate that the pair is certified to provide a standard of protection. Learn more about the ANSI Z87.1.

Steel-toed Boots

The preferred footwear for truck drivers is steel-toe boots with a non-slip sole. Most shippers and receivers or consignees require steel-toed footwear on site. Trucks can be turned away if they arrive without having and wearing proper safety gear. If you ever find yourself (hopefully not your foot) in a pinch and without the right gear or equipment, use your phone or GPS to locate the nearest Walmart or industrial supply store that carries the things you need.

GPS/Navigation System

Knowledge of the infrastructure is important for drivers, as they must know information like which roads are truck accessible or the clearance height for bridges on a stretch of highway. Navigation Systems save drivers time while on the road by finding the shortest route between origin and destination. Navigation systems alert drivers to road delays or traffic ahead of time so they can adjust accordingly. Traditional maps and road atlases are useful when there are technical difficulties or when driving through rural areas with limited network access.

First aid kit

While it’s not a requirement of the FMCSA, it is a common-sense best practice to carry a first aid kit. It is mandated by some states, so check to make sure.

Another practical item to carry is a Choking Rescue Device or Portable Airway Suction Rescue Device to assist anyone who is choking.

Honorable Mentions (Other Safety Equipment, PPE, and helpful items)

· Extra change of clothes as well as a raincoat and coveralls

· Bottled water, food, and snacks

· Paper towels (a couple of rolls)

· Toilet paper, wipes, and other toiletries needed for the long haul

· Headset or Headphones (Apple or Android)

· Phone charger (Apple or Android)

· Hardwood lumber with beveled edges and/or coil racks

There are two major choices when it comes to starting your professional driving career – starting your own trucking business or working as a company driver. There are multiple ways to start your trucking business with different levels of investment, risk, pay, and support. It should be clear by now that it takes a definitive plan.

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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC - Copyright 2023 - does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.


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