Featured Image Caption: Heavy Truck Trailer on Road
If you have ever considered being a flatbed trucker, chances are you have already had at least one discussion with someone who has worked that job. They will undoubtedly tell you all about how they live on the road and the dangers that come with it. Here are five essentials every flatbed driver should have to complete their mission.
The Truck’s Permit
If you are a flatbed trucker, you must have a valid permit for your vehicle. A flatbed truck with no permit would be nothing but an airborne liability, and it could also result in serious fines and penalties. You will not be able to make it through the day without it. Your company will also want verification that you are carrying their permit in case you ever get pulled over so they can provide the authorities with a copy of the permit and declare any fines or legal penalties they face accordingly. A full license is needed because you will be responsible for accident-free driving and always protecting the cargo on your flatbed truck.
Do not forget to have an emergency kit on your truck for the winter. The kit must be stocked with items such as a blanket, plywood, shovel, flares, and flashlights. An emergency kit is also necessary for those winter nights when a storm rolls in, and you end up having your truck off the road for a few hours and spending the night in it waiting for help. Most flatbed trucks have emergency kits, but they are usually quite basic. Ensure you have an emergency radio that can work during a power outage. You should also include a tarp in your emergency kit. Truck tarps enable you to be prepared to protect your cargo when it rains or when the sun shines since cleaning up the truck is a major chore.
As a flatbed trucker, you will constantly be on the road, so you must keep your truck well-maintained. You do not want to be carrying a load on the road if your truck is not in good working condition. Therefore, it is important to have a maintenance kit with you. The maintenance kit should contain various tools and spare parts that could come in handy when your truck needs repairs or maintenance. To do those upgrades and repairs, you will need the right tools, not just the ones the manufacturer makes for its vehicles. Having a maintenance kit on hand is extremely important because you never know when something might happen on the job, and you might not be able to get back to a garage or truck stop as quickly as you would like.
Personal Hygiene Supplies
Nothing kills productivity and morale more than a dirty truck. That is why it is imperative to always keep personal hygiene supplies in your truck. Furthermore, when you are out on the road for hours, you do not have much time for yourself, so make sure to stock up on these supplies. These essentials will allow you to look and feel clean during your long, cold days of hauling freight up and down the freezing roads out there along the frigid country roadsides. You never know when you will get stuck out in the cold and not be able to get yourself off the road, so it is better to always be prepared as you wait for a tow truck.
GPS Tracking Device
A mobile GPS tracking device is an excellent tool that helps you make sure your loads are delivered safely and on time. You can know exactly where you are at any given moment, which helps you stay on the right path without getting lost. In the winter, it is important to ensure your tracking device is working in case you need help finding the quickest way home. GPS devices are also useful for alerting fellow truckers about major traffic jams and accidents on the road. They are also especially helpful in knowing what roads have or have not been cleared as winter storms fall.
Becoming a flatbed driver may seem daunting, but with the right equipment and tools, it can be extremely rewarding. Flatbeds are a major part of the trucking industry today, and these five essentials will help ensure that you have what you need to do your job effectively.