How To Keep Your Truck Cab Clean

Spring is right around the corner, and after a long, harsh winter your cab may be a little unkempt.  While regularly cleaning your cab is best, Spring cleaning is the perfect time to give your rig a thorough clean-out, and a little organization can help sustain your efforts.  Follow these simple tips for a cleaner, more organized cab:

CLEAN OUT THE CLUTTER

It’s easy to let clutter pile up in your cab, and it can get quite messy if not attended to on a regular basis.  Consider cleaning up all of your loose receipts, paperwork and other items on a monthly basis.  This way the job is never overwhelming, and will help you maintain a regular cleaning routine.  Also consider getting a small trash bin to keep garbage under wraps and easy to dispose.

DISPOSE OF UNNECESSARY ITEMS

Assess your belongings – are there any that you never use, where or need?  If so, remove them – leave them at home or donate them to someone who can use them.  Having less stuff makes it that much easier to keep your cab spotless.

WIPE DOWN SURFACES:

Dirt and grime easily find themselves at home inside many a cab, so it is important to regularly wipe down any dust that may have settled on the dash and other flat surfaces. Use a disinfectant or cleaning wipes to wipe out the gunk and gives you clean rig that you could literally eat off of.

VACUUM AND CLEAN THE CARPETS

Dirt, salt and who knows what else get traipsed in and out of your rig all the time – vacuuming regularly will help keep this accumulation to a minimum.  But to get really clean, you’ll need to shampoo your carpets for a deep clean that will be easier to maintain.

CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS

Good visibility is crucial to safe driving, so washing your windows, especially the windshield, is essential. When cleaning the glass on your rig, be sure to use a non-streaking agent and a microfiber cloth to buff away dirt and debris.  Tinted windows? Stay away from any ammonia-based products as they can cause your tint to peel and fade.

GET ORGANIZED

Not having a home for loose items floating around your cab can quickly make it feel dirty and disorganized, not to mention making those items hard to find.  So get organized! Keep like items together, and be sure to place them back in their dedicated space once you’re done using them.  Keep trash confined to a bin that you empty at least once a day, and keep important papers tidy and together with a paperwork organizer.

We’re sure there are many long-haul drivers that have driven for many years, and have developed tips and tricks to a cleaner cab along the way.  If that’s you, share advice in the comments below!

Top 10 Essentials for Life on the Road

Semi Truck Driver

Life on the road isn’t easy – it means long hours, time away from home and livin’ life in the confines of your cab. But, it can all be made a little easier with some simple essentials.  Here are the top ten must have’s of any highway hero:

Trucker’s Top 10 Essentials for Life on the Road

1. Sunglasses

A great pair of polarizing sunglasses can be worth their weight in gold. Not only do they prevent the squints, they help you avoid eye strain, fatigue, and headaches.  You’ll go through more than a pair or two per year, so be sure to stock up so you’re never without.

2. First Aid Kit

A quality first aid kit can make all the difference in the world in the case of minor mishaps. Be sure your kit is stocked with non-expired first aid products, fresh bandages, hand sanitizer and gauze so you’ve got everything you need in the event you’re injured on the road.

3. Wet Wipes

Whether you use them to clean your cab or clean yourself, wet wipes are a versatile, super useful tool that every trucker needs to keep in stock.

4. Cleaning Supplies

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and on the road it can mean the difference between comfort and chaos. Having the right supplies to keep your rig sanitary and safe is the key to enjoying your small space.  A handheld vacuum, paper towels, all purpose cleaner, disinfecting wipes and dashboard cleaner are all useful tools in keeping clutter, dust and debris away.

5. Work Gloves

Specifically, leather cowboy gloves, are breathable, comfortable protection for your hands, and protect your skin from wear and tear. Keep a few pairs in your cab so you’re always prepared for random repairs or for loading/unloading.

6. Emergency & Safety Gear

You never know when inclement weather, accidents or other issues may arise, so having the right gear to handle a variety of sticky situations is vital. Emergency weather gear like a rain coat, light reflective clothing, and sturdy weatherproof boots are often-overlooked items that can mean all the difference in your safety.

7. Toolbox

You never know when or where you’ll be when the need for a repair will strike – so having a well stocked toolbox is not only smart, it’s necessary. Be sure to include multipurpose items like zip ties, a pocket knife and batteries in addition to staples like screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers and a hammer for a toolkit that will keep you covered in any repair situation.

8. Heated Blanket

Weather can quickly throw a wrench in your travel plans, so being prepared for impromptu overnight stays in colder parts of the country is a must. A heated blanket is a great way to make sure you stay cozy, even if you’re parked overnight in the coldest, most extreme temperatures.

9. Mini Refrigerator

Keep fresh foods close for healthier eating rolling the open roads. Everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to cold bottles of water are nutritionally essential, and much better options than your usual gas station and fast food fare.

10. Slow Cooker

Let’s face it, home cooked meals always taste better than anything you can find at a convenience store. Slow cookers are a great way to ensure you’ve got homemade meals ready to go at a moment’s notice.  Just pop a roast in the slow cooker in the morning, and by lunchtime you’ve got yourself a great meal.

 

Source 1, Source 2

Top 5 Tips Trainers Give Truck Drivers

Top 5 Tips Truck Driving Trainers Give Drivers

Learning to drive an 18-wheeler isn’t as easy as you might think – it’s much more than simply learning how to stop or make a turn.  Trucking is truly a lifetime skill that many long time drivers have refined over the years.

The foundation for good trucking skills is largely laid by your trainer – which means having a good trainer is vital to starting off on the right foot. We polled FinditParts fans to see what was the most important thing their trainer taught them, and here’s what they had to say:

Top 5 Tips Trainers Give Truck Drivers

  1. Look for the big picture

    Being aware of your surroundings is so much more than just focusing on what is in front of you. A good driver will be aware of what’s happening up ahead, as well as behind and to the sides.  Always scan your mirrors and be aware of your trailer – it will tell you how you’re driving.  Going off the road or over the lines? It may be time to take a break, as you aren’t driving safely.

  2. Take it slow

    Slow and steady wins the race. That may be an old adage, but it’s true – driving too fast, especially in unsafe conditions can cause you to make mistakes that could prove deadly. Traveling too fast downhill? A jake brake may not save you.  Speeding and come across an animal in the road? You could cause a major pileup by swerving or hitting the animal at a high rate of speed.  So, no matter what, err on the side of caution and stay in the slow lane.

  3. Take care of yourself

    Healthy eating, getting good sleep and regular exercise are essentials to a successful long haul. These three things will help you stay alert, drive better and are an investment in your overall health, which is the key to a long career on the road. Stay away from fast food and convenience stores as your main source of meals, and instead invest in a slow cooker that you can use to create healthy, hearty meals while you drive.

  4. Get out and look

    During backing situations, never be afraid to G.O.A.L. – get out and look! Backing up a truck is one of the most dangerous maneuvers a trucker can do, so it’s very important that you get our and check your surroundings when needed. Smart truckers will recognize, it’s better to get out and look and take your time than it is to act hastily and potentially play bumper cars with your trailer.

  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

    Seasoned truckers always have great knowledge to share, so if you’re just starting out don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help. It’s always best to seek out the advice of others, rather than assume and make a mistake – especially when those mistakes could be deadly.

These tips are just a handful of awesome information shared by our fans – what would you add to the list?

Tips For Driving in the Fog

Winter and Spring are two of the worst times of year for foggy driving conditions.  With the land being very cold, and then moist, warm air moving over it, fog is an unavoidable encounter when you live life on the road.  Because of this, it is important for truckers to adjust their driving according to the weather conditions – here are a few tips for driving in the fog:

SLOW DOWN

Even if you know the roads well, slowing down is important.  You don’t want to be surprised by a sudden stop in traffic, or encounter an unseen object in the road that was obscured by the fog, as it will surely result in an accident if you’re traveling at a high rate of speed.  Slow down and stay safe in foggy weather conditions.

USE LOW BEAMS & FOGLIGHTS

Turning on your headlights and fog lights is crucial to not only your ability to see well, but also your ability to be seen well by other drivers.  Even in the daylight, be sure to turn on your beams during foggy conditions.

USE WIPERS & DEFROSTERS

Maximize your visibility by turning on both your windshield wipers and your defrosters.  Turing on the defrost vent without heat or opening your windows is the quickest way to de-fog your windows; this also evaporates moisture and warms up the cab of your truck.

AVOID CHANGING LANGES

It can be challenging to see well in foggy weather, and that doesn’t just pertain to what’s in front of you.  Avoid accidents by not changing lanes in foggy conditions, and that way you won’t miss anyone who might be coming up from behind or beside you.

These simple tips are common knowledge to some, but perhaps not all.  What other advice would you offer for driving in the fog?

Top Tips For Great Sleep On The Road

Getting enough quality sleep while you’re doing long haul trucking isn’t just an essential for your health, it’s essential for your safety. According to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study, fatigue was the blame for 31 percent of fatal-to-the-driver crashes, making that the single largest factor in these deadly accidents.  To avoid any possible risk of a fatigue related accident, here are the top tips for getting great sleep for truckers:

  1. Find a safe, quiet place to park

    Finding a great parking space is half the battle in getting great sleep, as loud noises or the feeling of being unsafe can be majorly disruptive to getting adequate rest. Try to avoid parking next to reefers or idling trucks, and ideally park on a level surface to prevent uncomfortable sleep positions in your cab.

  2. Foam ear plugs

    Foam ear plugs can be a drivers best friend when it comes to blocking out loud noises. It isn’t always possible to get away from loud trucks, refers or APU’s that can disrupt your slumber, so having ear plugs is the next best thing.

  3. Stick to a routine

    As the saying goes, early to bed, early to rise. Sticking to a sleep schedule helps regulate your body’s ability to get and stay asleep easily. Avoid caffeine during the latter half of the day and don’t eat heavy meals that might cause digestive issues towards the evening hours.Also try and avoid napping during daytime hours if you can, as it can mess with your circadian rhythm.  If a nap is necessary, try and keep it to a maximum of 45 minutes so it doesn’t disturb your normal sleep routine.

  4. Exercise

    Exercise is a great way to discharge energy after a long day of sitting and driving. Studies prove that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g., walking) reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and increased the length of sleep of people with chronic insomnia – so consider taking a quick stroll around the truck stop (or wherever you are parked) to help settle down for the evening.

  5. Get comfortable

Your rest will be as comfortable as your bed, so ensuring that you’ve got a mattress topper, good blanket and plenty of pillows is a must in getting great sleep.  Your bed should feel like home, so you can fully relax and rest.

Now it’s your turn – where’s your favorite place to sleep when you’re on the road? How many hours of sleep do you get at night, and what’s your best advice for getting great rest on the road?