Driving a big rig can be a lot of fun, but you never know what you’ll encounter on the road.
Whether you’re doing long hauls or shorter, local runs, there’s always the possibility of something unplanned or unexpected happening, from mechanical problems to road problems to weather problems.
That’s why it’s smart to be prepared for anything since you never know when or where something will happen. While it would be great if all problems could take place in the daytime and in an area where services are conveniently nearby, there’s also the possibility of traffic delays, breakdowns, or weather closures in the middle of nowhere.
Smart truck drivers often pack two types of emergency kits: one for themselves and one for their truck, while others keep one larger kit that contains a little bit of everything. The items in a semi-truck emergency kit can keep someone safe and healthy until conditions change or help arrives. They can help get their truck back on the road or even lend a hand to other drivers who might be in a similar situation and need assistance.
Types of Emergency Kits
Everyone’s emergency kit for truck drivers can be a little different, but common items can include:
- Food and water. Some road closures may last hours in the event of rockslides, major accidents, or pass closures. You may not be able to access services, and aid may not be able to reach you.
- Clothes and blankets. If there’s a significantly long delay, you won’t be able to keep your engine and heater running. You also may get your clothes wet doing repairs and need something warmer to change into.
- First aid items. If you, a passenger, or a fellow driver needs help and can’t get medical attention in a timely manner, you can provide the basics. You don’t need advanced medical training to offer a Band-Aid, burn cream, or aspirin from a first aid kit for truck drivers.
- Medication. Since you’re not sure how long you’ll be delayed, it’s a good idea to have extra if you need to take certain items daily in your truck driver first aid kit.
- Matches and candles for extended periods of darkness
A truck driver emergency kit focusing on the truck’s needs is also useful. It can include:
- Patch kits
- Various small tools
- Tire pressure gauge
- A shovel
- A breaker bar
- Fire extinguisher
- Jumper cables/power source
Where Can You Get a Truck Driver Emergency Kit
Although there are certainly plenty of pre-filled emergency and roadside/mechanical kits available from various auto part stores and convenience stores/truck stops, some people prefer to fill their own. This way, they can have exactly what they want in their truck emergency kit. Doing this may require finding a larger container or multiple containers to fit everything you need, rather than the pre-filled kits that are more condensed. Some drivers even use empty coffee cans for storage, which are easy to move and stack as needed.
One key item to consider is to be sure to quickly replace any items that are used so your kit is always fully stocked and ready for anything. It would be unfortunate if you needed a certain item and realized you used it last year and never put it back.