The holidays are upon us, and there are a few more days left to find the perfect gift for the truck driver on your list. In case you need some help, here are five ideas for practical gifts most truckers can really use. They vary from the simple and inexpensive to the more ambitious, so no matter who you are buying for, at least one is likely to fit your budget.
1. Polarized Sunglasses
Even an inexpensive pair of sunglasses does a lot to save your trucker’s comfort and even vision. Make sure to get polarized lenses, though, as these cut out glare and provide a lot more protection than even very dark sunglasses. Most polarized glasses are labeled as such, but if in doubt, rotate the glasses while looking through them at the sky; if the lenses are polarized, the sky will appear to change color.
2. First Aid Supplies
A medical kit is an important tool for a driver who might spend long hours on remote, lonely roads. Buying a pre-made kit might not be the best option, however, as each person’s medical needs and skill set are different. A better option is to give an appropriate kit box, plus gift cards so the recipient can choose his or her own supplies. You could even buy your trucker a spot in a first aid/CPR class. Consider making it a wilderness first aid class, if he or she is often more than an hour away from an emergency room.
3. Audio Books
It’s a sad fact, but driving long distances is boring. Bored people daydream, and drivers who daydream make mistakes. Give the gift that gets rid of boredom by giving your trucker audio books. These might take the form of CDs or even cassette tapes, but modern E-reader tablets can read books out loud. Some require an additional app and only work with audio copies of the book, while others do not...and reading voices vary.
Motivating a company to invest in GPS software designed for drivers is a great way to boost safety, efficiency and peace of mind. Drivers can stay aware of clearance and weight limits up ahead, things that a map alone would not show. Some software providers offer traffic updates and two-way messaging capabilities between driver and dispatch. The investment makes drivers and companies safer as well. For example, a driver with a GPS does not have to look away from the road to check their next turn or worry about the efficiency of their route, letting them keep eyes square on the road.
5. Mummy-Style Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag isn’t just a way to sleep comfortably without idling the engine all night, it’s also insurance against an engine failure on some remote section of road. With a good bag, a driver need not fear a cold night even if the truck and its electrical system go completely dead. Mummy bags feature a drawstring hood that keeps the sleeper much warmer. A compression sack (usually sold separately) will make the bag small enough to stow easily even in cramped truck cabs.