Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.

By RoadPro Family of Brands

Everyone who drives for a living has had the experience of needing a certain something on the road and not having it. Whether ‘it’ is a dry pair of shoes, a fuse, a pair of pliers or a cooler, having the right gear can make the difference between a safe, comfortable trip and a difficult, unpleasant one.

To learn what gear is most important to have on the road, we asked veteran truckers what they would advise a new driver to pack. There were so many replies that we grouped them by category: 

Tools and spare parts

A flashlight, good for checking under the hood or in the corners of a dark trailer, was mentioned more than anything else; and was followed by a tool kit for emergency repairs and replacements. Drivers specifically mentioned hammers, tire thumpers, tire gauges and tire plug kits, side cutters, multi-tools, 5th wheel pullers, jumper cables, vise grips and air hoses for glad-hand connectors. WD40, duct tape and electrical tape also are must-haves. For winter driving, make sure to have additives that liquify gelled fuel and thaw out frozen fuel filters.

Tools and spare parts often go hand-in-hand. Drivers recommended carry extra fuel filters, fuses, light bulbs, replacement headlights, marker lights and even an alternator. 

Clothing

The requirements here depend on the time of year and where you’re driving. If it’s winter up North, pack as if you might be stranded in the cold because that’s a possibility. That means a winter coat, warm clothing and even thermal underwear. A sleeping bag can keep you warm as well.

Regardless of the weather, work boots (insulated or not) are always a good idea. Bring an extra pair of footwear in case one gets wet. Packing a pair of tennis shoes makes it easier to get in a workout.

One or two pair of good work gloves (one rubberized) is another necessity, drivers said. And a reflective safety vest can save your life in a dark terminal or by the side of the road. 

Electronics/appliances

For over-the-road drivers, the cab is home and outfitting it for maximum comfort and efficiency is important.

Our respondents singled out the CB radio and a high-quality Bluetooth headset as must-haves. A power inverter to power appliances and electronics is another recommendation.

More truckers are preparing and packing food in order to eat healthier and save money, so it’s not surprising that appliances were on everyone’s list: mini-fridges, 12-volt ovens, crockpots, microwaves and coffee makers.

Miscellaneous

Sometimes, the little things make a difference.

Though virtually every truck and cell phone is equipped with a GPS, several drivers still recommended packing an old-fashioned road atlas for those times when electronics fail.

Things bounce around in trucks, so it’s a good idea to pack some bungee cords and zip-ties. Glass cleaner and paper towels keep your windows clean and hand-cleaner, soap and disposable towelettes can do the same for you.

A first-aid kit is a good idea, as is additional food and water.

But the most important thing to bring on the road, according to many drivers, is common sense or, as one trucker put it, “Don’t forget to pack the brain between your ears.”

Whether all the items listed here can even fit into a sleeper cab is questionable and there probably isn’t a driver on the road who carries all these items, but it’s a good start from which drivers can make their own list according to their own needs and circumstances.

Current News

How Ontario’s General Trucking Sector can Address Driver Fatigue Among Professional Drivers

Driver fatigue identified as a top health and safety risk for trucking operations in Ontario

Top 10 root causes of driver fatigue among professional truck drivers in Ontario

In February 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) in partnership with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) organized a group of industry experts that met for two days to determine the root causes of driver fatigue in Ontario’s trucking sector. As part of their work, they also developed critical controls and specific activities that could be put in place to address driver fatigue in Ontario’s general trucking industry.

The list of the top 10 causes of driver fatigue, as identified by workers, supervisors, and employers in Ontario’s trucking sector is displayed in the infographic on pages 34-35 of Private Motor Carrier. More detailed information on the top causes of driver fatigue among professional truck drivers, is discussed in the accompanying technical paper available at www.ihsa.ca/driverfatigue.

Identifying solutions and controls

After identifying the top 10 causal factors of driver fatigue, the group of subject matter experts, led by Dr. Sujoy Dey of the MLTSD, identified possible solutions and controls for the top ranked risks. During the discussions, similar themes and proposed controls kept emerging that informed five key recommendations:

  • classify truck driving as a skilled trade (Red Seal),
  • review and address critical training gaps in mandatory entry-level training (MELT),
  • mandatory graduated licensing for all truck drivers,
  • greater enforcement of carriers who are non-compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Highway Traffic Act, and
  • promote mental health and wellness among professional truck drivers.

These recommendations provide a foundation for the reduction in driver fatigue by focussing on systemic causal factors and not just the symptoms of driver fatigue. The trucking industry should focus immediately on addressing these five key recommendations.

“The group of industry experts shared their experience, made suggestions, and proposed potential controls to address the primary causal factors and identified systemic weaknesses in the industry,” says Michelle Roberts, IHSA Director, Stakeholder & Client Engagement. “IHSA is proud of our work as an advocate for improving professional truck driver training, non-compliant carrier enforcement, and the importance of driver mental health and wellness. This work is a strong first step toward meaningful changes for safer and healthier workplaces for professional truck drivers.”

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