Packing and deciding what to take to CDL school can be difficult and confusing. It’s easy to overlook some of the most important items that will make your day-to-day CDL training experience easier.
And that can create problems. If you’re staying local to train, forgetting to bring something can make the first day rough and get you started on the wrong foot. If you’re going away to school, a mistake when packing can have an even bigger impact.
So, here are 5 things you don’t want to forget to bring:
Whether you’re practicing on the training pad, driving on the open road or just getting some fresh air while you enjoy your lunch, you’re going to want to protect your eyes from the sun. Glare can be an issue while driving, and too much sun even when you’re not driving can hurt your eyes or even cause headaches. By bringing a pair of comfortable shades, you’ll be protecting yourself and helping to protect other drivers, too.
Speaking of the sun, it’s a good idea to bring sunscreen. Dealing with sunburn is never fun, but it’s even worse when you’re trying to concentrate and learn.
2. Photos From Home
Photographs of family and friends can be a huge help for student drivers. Not only can photos help keep you from getting homesick if the school is far away, but also they can motivate you to do your very best each day during training, even for local students.
You don’t want to weigh yourself down with 10 pounds of gummy worms, but packing a few favorite snacks could be helpful. After a long day of training, you might find yourself craving a favorite snack, especially if it’s homemade or one you can only find in your hometown. Use these treats to reward yourself for a good day of training or as encouragement at the end of a long day. Just don’t pack more than you might regularly eat at home or during work.
4. Backup Pair of Shoes or Boots
One pair of shoes or boots might seem like enough… until it rains or snows and you’re stuck squish-squish-squishing around the school during training and going all Shoeless Joe Jackson in your free time. Nobody enjoys soggy feet, so bring a backup pair of kicks.
What’s that? Your boots are waterproof? Well that’s helpful, but seams tear, thin spots turn into holes, and puddles and snowbanks can be deeper than you think. Bring an extra pair of footwear and you may save yourself a lot of frustration down the road.
On that note, sandals might be comfortable in your free time, but make sure you bring sturdy, lace-up shoes or boots for training. Most schools don’t allow flip-flops or sandals and some require boots instead of just shoes. It’s best to call and ask if you’re not sure on the exact rules.
5. Laundry Supplies
Remember earlier, when we said that clothes were one of the few things that you obviously need to bring? Well, it’s actually not that simple. Yeah, you need some clothes. It would get real weird, real quick if you didn’t bring any. But how much clothing could depend on whether or not you’ll have access to a washer and dryer. Ask the school if you’ll be able to wash clothes where you’ll be staying. Even if not, you can always Google it to see if there’s a laundromat nearby.
If you’ll be able to wash your clothes, you can probably get by with a week or two worth of clothing (two weeks’ worth will spare you from having to do laundry every single weekend). In that case, just be sure to bring detergent (concentrated detergent will be lighter and take up less space than regular detergent since you won’t need as much of it) and anything else you typically use to wash your clothes. Throw in a mesh laundry bag for your dirty clothes and you’ll be ready to rock ‘n roll.
Plus, here’s a helpful tip: The more dryer sheets you pack, the less deodorant you’ll need. (WE’RE KIDDING!!! PLEASE BRING PLENTY OF DEODORANT!)
Location will also have an impact on what kind of clothes you need to bring. Whatever the climate, though, you should pack at least a few “just-in-case” articles of clothing. Even if the climate is generally warm, for instance, you should pack a sweat-shirt in case there’s an unexpected drop in temperature.
Put It All Together
To make sure you don’t forget any of these things, you should make a list and then check each item off as you get or pack it. Adding category headings will help you to keep your list organized and make it easier to browse. Here’s a sample list with even more things you should remember to take to CDL school:
Things To Take
- Classroom Supplies
- Note pads
- Outside Training
- Poncho or other rain gear
- Water bottles
- Personal Items
- Ear plugs (in case you end up with a roommate who snores!)
For a more specific, full list of items to bring to CDL school, be sure to contact your school directly.
Just make sure you don’t forget the most important item on your list: Sign up with Roadmaster Drivers School!
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises