With 10 days left to finish your shopping, there’s still time to get the perfect gift for the truck driver in your life who is just starting out on the road.
Since your truck driver is new to the industry, you’ll want some of your gifts to cover the basics like safety and hygiene, and others to help with staying comfortable and connected on those long-haul trips.
With that in mind, here are the 9 best gift ideas for new truck drivers:
1. Mobile WiFi Hotspot
Phone calls are great for staying connected, but there’s no substitute for being able to see your family’s faces while you talk. With a mobile wireless-internet hotspot, your truck driver can connect to the internet and video chat with you during those long stretches away from home, which isn’t just helpful for your trucker, but also for you.
Drivers try to avoid having downtime as much as possible. Whether they’re waiting on loading/unloading or for weather/road conditions to clear up, if they’re not driving they’re probably not getting paid for that time.
Still, some downtime is unavoidable. For those times, a Kindle is perfect. Having a tablet-sized digital library of countless books at your fingertips can really help pass the downtime and even make it enjoyable without taking up as much space as a stack of books.
Crockpots are amazing for letting a great meal cook itself while you drive. They save time without sacrificing the taste or healthfulness of the food. Eating truck stop food every day can get old quickly, so getting the truck driver in your life a slow-cooker will earn you major points down the road.
More than just keeping water and soda cold, a mini-fridge or thermo cooler can help keep all the ingredients for the slow-cooker meals fresh. Plus, the mini-fridge will allow your truck driver to store the leftovers so they don’t spoil as quickly as they would if they were just sitting out in the cab.
5. First-Aid Supplies
This is one of those basic things that often gets overlooked. Obviously, you hope it will never be needed for anything serious, but even having bandaids, advil or other quick-fix supplies on-hand for minor ailments can make a big difference out on the road. A basic first-aid kit in the cab may not be as flashy as a WiFi hotspot device, but it’s definitely important.
6. Shower Kit
Out on the road, personal hygiene matters. The way you take care of your personal appearance and cleanliness doesn’t just say a lot about you, it also reflects on your carrier and on the trucking industry as a whole. Taking showers more regularly is easier whenever you have all the necessary toiletries ready to go.
7. SiriusXM Satellite Radio Subscription
What would truck driving be without an awesome soundtrack playing while you cruise off into the sunset?
Boring. It would be really… really… really boring.
Regular radio stations are fine for a normal commute to work. But when your entire job is driving for weeks on end, having access to more stations is crucial. With SiriusXM, your truck driver will be able to tune into stations that play very specific genres of his or her favorite music, or listen to those national talk-radio DJs who aren’t on traditional radio.
Plus, SiriusXM has Road Dog Trucking, a channel specifically for professional truck drivers where they discuss topics related to the industry, give away trucker-related prizes to contest winners and more. (Pro tip: Check out Roadmaster’s favorite Road Dog show, Freewheelin’, and tweet them @truckertweet on Twitter!)
Speaking of driving off into the sunset: Coming up over a hill into the sunshine can be very dangerous, and driving in general on bright days can cause headaches as drivers strain to concentrate on the road. A good pair of shades can help keep your truck driver safe and comfortable on the road.
We recommend getting a gift card to a sunglasses store, though, instead of trying to pick out a pair yourself because it’s difficult to account for taste. It’s best to just let your truck driver try on a bunch of pairs and pick the one that looks and feels the best.
9. Power Inverter
Don’t forget to pick up any necessary plugs or converters for whichever gift or gifts you decide to get. The type of gear you’ll need depends on both the truck itself and the item you’ll want to plug in, but a power inverter usually can cover a lot of different types of appliances if you’re not very tech savvy.
So now you have an idea of what your truck driver might need while out on the road. Just be sure to get the portable versions of these gifts (like the slow-cooker). They often have built-in features that are specifically designed to make them easier to use on the go.
And if your truck driver has already been out on the road for a while now and just wants the gift of more home time, Roadmaster Drivers School is currently hiring qualified CDL training instructors!