1. Dry Shampoo. There’s a reason I listed dry shampoo first. It’s a MUST! The longer I use and love it, the more I continue to realize how little people actually know about it! Just this morning I was doing my morning routine in a Love’s restroom. Another lady was doing the same thing a few sinks over. I sprayed dry shampoo into my hair, rubbed it in and brushed it out. When I was done this lady asked me what it was that I had put in my hair and I was thrilled to explain it to her! She asked to see the bottle and said she’d have to get some of that! And you should too, if you aren’t using it already. You probably know that shampooing your hair every single day isn’t that healthy, so what to do when your hair is getting dirty/greasy or just needs a little more volume? DRY SHAMPOO. It’s a life saver for me on the road and at home. With using dry shampoo, I can totally get away with washing my hair every third or even fourth day, and that’s saying a lot since my hair is extremely thin and fine and oil-prone.
2. All the paper. I make sure to always have a roll of TP handy. Also a roll of kitchen paper towels for easy clean up when I make sandwiches in the sleeper. I also keep a pack of napkins around for all those meals we eat on the truck. And also a container of WetWipes for freshening up between showers. Those are especially convenient in summer, as I hate going to bed with sticky-feeling skin.
3. Water. When we’re at home between trips, we stop by Walmart to get a few cases of bottled water. These are lugged onto our truck to keep us hydrated throughout our trip. This way we don’t need to buy a few single bottles of water every time we stop, or drag those heavy cases all the way across the truckstop. It also saves tons of dollars.
4. Food/Snacks. We always bring meals from home – always. You never know when a shipper will decide to take hours to load your load, and you’re starving. And not only that, sometimes it doesn’t come out well with our schedule to stop at a restaurant, or the area we’re traveling in doesn’t have what we like, and so for safety’s sake we always have our own food along. And snacks. Snacks are important. I have this thing where I sometimes get completely weak and shaky all of a sudden and the only thing to get over that is to wolf down some carbs and junk or chug a coke. We also recently started keeping supplies on hand to make ham/cheese and PBJ sandwiches.
5. Cleaning supplies. You can imagine how quickly a truck will get dirty when you’re living in it. Same as one has to sweep the floors and clean up the house every day, the same way I have to keep the truck clean. I use a small Swiffer duster to dust the dashboard regularly. I like multipurpose car interior wipes for when I want to get all the little details grime free. And a small brush and dustpan for the floor. (Those sandwiches aren’t helping when it comes to keeping things neat.) We had a small portable car vacuum cleaner which I loved but it didn’t last very long before conking out so now I don’t know exactly what to look for, but a vacuum is high on my must have list for the truck.
6. Verizon Jetpack. I’m so addicted to my phone I wouldn’t know what to do without this nifty little thing, haha. It’s this little gadget that gives us wifi on our phones wherever we are, even in Canada. (Although in Canada it doesn’t always work.) And it’s not always satisfactorily fast as what we’re used to from at home, but it’s unlimited, so we love it! This also enables me to keep my data roaming off on my phone which helps keep our phone bills significantly lower!
7. Mental Preparation
One thing I need to do at the beginning of every trip is to mentally prepare myself for problems. With this job we never know what to expect for the next day! Trouble seems to be ready for us anywhere, from a ruptured tire to a broken fan belt or a late load! So we never know when we’ll have to bring the truck to the shop, or wait two days for a load. And it helps if I tell myself that whatever happens, happens. It’s okay if we can’t make it home in time for the party. It’s okay if it takes longer than we thought. It’s still frustrating sometimes, but just keeping in mind that these things are normal helps.
And in reality, the amount of problems we’ve had in almost two years of trucking is not bad at all. Yes, we’ve had to wait for this or that sometimes, but all in all we’ve been so lucky so far.
*Featured photos are not my own.