The world of trucking is a dynamic and demanding one. Truckers rely not only on their skill and experience but also on an arsenal of tools and accessories that make their lives on the road more comfortable, efficient, and safe.
This guide looks at essential trucker accessories every driver should own. From innovative technology to time-tested comforts, we’ll explore the items that form the backbone of a trucker’s toolkit.
Trucker GPS System
You might be thinking: Why do I need a GPS when I’ve got my phone? Well, we aren’t talking about your everyday GPS. Trucker GPS systems like those from Rand McNally and Garmin have a whole suite of tools truckers use that aren’t available with cell phone apps.
A GPS truck navigator will plan truck routes that avoid hazards such as low bridges, narrow roads, or places that are difficult for large rigs to traverse. They also provide truck drivers access to other valuable resources such as truck stops and weigh stations.
One of the most popular systems currently is the Garmin dēzl™ OTR710. It features a large, easy-to-read 7” screen, custom truck routing, high-resolution satellite imagery, and a directory of truck & trailer services so you can filter by amenities offered.
Having the right truck GPS on your dashboard can mean the difference between a short trip and a long haul.
CBs have been the standard in the trucking industry for many years.
Cell phones are great for calls, finding new places, and news, but nothing beats a CB radio communicating with other drivers and truckers who can give you quick local updates. Truckers use them to send traffic warnings and weather updates and just to have someone to talk to. Since they’re among the most popular communication devices for truckers, you’re sure to find other CBers in most areas.
Radios like the Cobra 29 LTD Professional CB Radio have a long-standing reputation for being quality units. So if you’re a new trucker or just haven’t decided to invest in one yet, a CB radio is a must-have for on-the-road communications.
While the classic CB radio may be the most common accessory on our list, adding a 10-meter radio makes a lot of sense. 10-meter radios allow you to get significantly more range than other common types of mobile radios and they make the most of the high-frequency band, transmitting at a powerful 200 watts. More and more truckers are choosing a 10-meter radio for their truck because they can communicate more clearly over longer distances with this type of ham radio.
Look for a 10-meter mobile radio with a user-friendly interface, easy tuning, and a backlit control panel. They come with handheld push-to-talk microphones which is important for a multitasking driver. Their compatibility with a range of antennas via standard jacks makes them a great choice.
If you’re in search of a high-quality 10-meter radio, look no further than the Stryker SR-955HPC. The newest version is a standout, boasting exceptional audio clarity, increased robustness, and innovative features that set it apart from the rest. With Stryker’s unwavering dedication to quality, the SR-955HPC will continue setting the benchmark for other 10-meter radios.
Stryker Radios offers other models, including the SR-447HPC2, which sports a sleek design to fit perfectly inside your truck. Other popular manufacturers include Anytone, Kenwood, Baofeng, IcomIC, and Yaesu FT.
Cell Phone Charger and Mount
Another crucial item for almost any truck driver is their cell phone — along with a good cell phone charger and phone mount. The last thing you need is for your phone to go dead or fall out of its mount while you are on the interstate.
Heavy-duty mounts that securely hold the phone in place, like this Truckules Truck Phone Holder, and longer, sturdier charging cables can ensure you are always up and ready to go. For the guys that have to use tablets, the same can be said for having a rigid tablet mount as well.
A good hands-free system is a smart investment to improve safety on the road as well as your overall enjoyment as you drive. Bluetooth is the most popular hands-free option today, either through the truck’s radio or preferably through a headset.
A quality headset is comfortable, has good clear speakers so you can hear, and a good microphone so that people hear you and not background noise. Look for features like active noise canceling and multi-point connections. A popular choice is this BlueParrott B350-XT headset that is designed specifically for truck drivers.
Powered External Speaker for Radio
It can be loud in a truck, especially in heavy traffic. You need to be able to hear your radios over all that noise. Because CB radios tend to have low-quality built-in speakers, having an external speaker can help give you the volume you need to hear important information.
There are many on the market, but Midland USA’s 21-406 Deluxe Compact External Speaker is popular because it provides crisp and clear sound and has convenient features like a swivel mount and long cord.
Rear Facing Dash Cam
In the United States, approximately 28% of all truck crashes result in injuries, causing truck insurance costs to rise. Unfortunately, truckers are often taken advantage of by impatient drivers who swerve around them or don’t have clearance when passing. Because of their size, semi trucks can cause significant damage. That is why cameras such as the Nexar One Pro Dual Dash Cam are becoming increasingly common.
Virtually all truckers have a dash cam that records their vehicle and the vehicles around them on the road. It helps truckers and companies lower insurance costs. Additionally, having cameras inside the cab that can see the driver and things like the ELD and steering wheel can provide crucial evidence in some cases.
LED Light Bars
LED light bars are newer for truckers but are worth checking out. They come in many forms, from warning lights to illumination lights in hundreds of sizes and variations.
The larger illumination lights, such as the Matrix Universal Curved LED Light Bar, are great for low visibility situations or when driving around dark or dimly lit docks. LED warning lights have been around longer and are even standard on many trucks. Consider the unique demands of your type of driving to decide whether installing external LED light bars on your truck will help you.
Comfortable Seat Cushion
Comfort is paramount for semi-truck drivers. A seat cushion that provides easy sitting and lumbar support makes a massive difference compared to a plain truck seat.
One of the most popular choices is memory foam, such as this Roadpro Memory Foam Seat Cushion, prized for its ability to reduce muscle fatigue and pain. Another option that is gaining popularity is natural latex rubber. The latex has more resistance to crushing and is often recommended for heavier people over standard memory foam.
For most truck drivers, making their food saves money and time. A mini fridge or cooler designed for semi-trucks provides convenience with a design that works in your truck.. You’ll find that having food prevents unnecessary stops and less-than-ideal meal choices from a truck stop.
Many of the newer fridges have the ability to run on a 12-volt adapter, like this model from Raney’s, which makes using one as a truck driver even easier. Make sure the model you choose fits well in your truck and can withstand cab conditions.
For many of the same reasons it makes sense to have a mini fridge, it can make sense to have a slow cooker too. It expands the range of foods you can cook while on the road because most slow cooker recipes are simple to put together and then cook all day on low. Have dinner waiting after a long day of driving!
Look for a model with a sealable lid to prevent sloshing and spilling. This Crockpot 7-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker is designed with a locking lid to prevent accidental spills. While a slow cooker will not be the first item on most truck driver accessory lists, it won’t be long before you’re sick of truck stop food and looking for alternatives.
One of the more popular trucker accessories is a seat organizer, like this one from Roadpro. It features multiple pockets and hangs easily from the front of the seat.
The organizer has space for all kinds of everyday items like maps, paperwork, notebooks, sunglasses, toiletries, a first aid kit, and work gloves. Having the items within your reach while driving can prevent unnecessary stops and help keep your cab tidy.
Tire chains, or snow chains, are very important accessories for truckers who travel in regions where severe winter weather and icy road conditions are common. Truck driving is dangerous enough without adding traction problems.
Chains like these Highway Service Twist Link Ladder Pattern Semi Truck Tire Chains help provide increased traction on icy roads and prevent wheel spin and slippage. In some areas, commercial vehicles are required by law to use tire chains or other traction devices during certain weather events.
Choosing the Right Trucker Accessories
Whether you are an old-timer or a green trucker, learning what accessories and gadgets help make your job easier and safer is valuable. There are a lot of products on the market directed at truck drivers, so think about whether you’ll actually use the product, what features are most important to you, and the level of quality you need.
Remember that Stryker is the brand truckers trust for 10-mile radios, CB Antennas, and CB microphones. Truckers know our products are built for the demands of life on the road!