Cross-country haulers are some of America’s modern-day heroes. They command one of the most formidable vehicles, the 18-wheeler semi-truck, which is one of the few trucks that can reach top speeds on interstate highways.
The semi-truck (shorthand for semi-trailer truck, due to the trailers attached to them where the cargo is placed) is responsible for hauling everything from everyday items we get at groceries to the oil and fuel that powers our own cars. They are widely used due to the sheer amount of weight they can hold, with one truck being able to haul a maximum of 80,000 pounds. Hence, they are used throughout the country, and frequently make long trips across multiple states.
With so much time in the company of such a vehicle, drivers then have to be prepared for any circumstance. It is their responsibility to make sure the cargo arrives in one piece and on schedule, so it is best that they always have a set of tools at their disposal to deal with emergencies.
Here are some of the main reasons truck drivers should always keep a stocked tool box with them on their semi-truck.
1. You will be on the road alone.
Making long haul journeys across state lines means vast expanses of the road without a single soul in sight. Hence, it is always best to bring along emergency tools to make sure that you can get yourself out of minor truck breakdowns and that you are not left stranded in the middle of anywhere. It is recommended to bring along a hand tool kit that has all the essentials, including screwdrivers, pliers, and a utility knife.
When making a journey during the winter, it is also advisable to bring along booster cables in case the battery fails. Extendable snow brushes and scrapers are also good to clear a path in case of particularly heavy snowfall during the night.
2. You might be calling your truck your home.
Many semi-trucks have a guaranteed place to sleep for the driver inside. Sleeper cabs allow you the pleasure of beds, refrigerators, and even flat-screen televisions when on the road. These are provisions in case of extended journeys that can last for days and even weeks.
Because you will be spending such an extended amount of time in the truck, you had best bring along maintenance tools that allow you to work on the truck to ensure that it does not break down in the middle of a long journey. Such tools include engine oil and coolant, flashlights, and tire air gauges.
3. You never know when accidents will happen.
Semi-trucks are not immune to road accidents or crashes. Should they happen to you, it is best to be prepared with a first-aid kit, which should contain all emergency essentials like bandages, dressings, and medications. It is also best to carry a fire extinguisher or flame retardant on board, as this may end up saving your life if things get bad.
In milder cases, your truck may still sustain some damage. In these instances, duct tape or silicone tape (specifically for hoses) are great for keeping things together until you can actually have these damaged parts fixed.
Like any other journey, it is best to be prepared before you get on a semi-truck to haul cargo across the country. This way, there is no sticky situation you cannot get yourself out of.