Gifts for Truck Drivers Recommended by a Former Truck Driver
Do You Know a Truck Driver?
A Guide to Gifts Truck Drivers Can Use While On the Road
What do truck drivers want as gifts? I wanted to know. I consulted a close friend who spent many years as a truck driver. He came up with a list of ten great gifts a driver would use and appreciate during his (or her) time on the road. Since that time I've added a few more gift ideas recommended by other truck drivers.
Truck driving can be a difficult and lonely profession, so drivers need everything necessary for a comfortable life, for entertainment, and for enduring a rough and challenging life on the road.
Image: Road Train Driving along Dusty Road, Kynuna, Australia, by Holger Leue - You can buy this as a photographic print at AllPosters.com
It's A Trucker's Life, On the Road, Far From Home
I made this page to honor America's unsung heroes, the truck drivers that spend weeks on the road delivering our mail, the products we want to buy, and industrial purchases.
All that makes America happen, that makes our commerce happen, takes place because there are truck drivers willing to give up huge parts of their lives to keep things moving.
Without them, America wouldn't seem like America anymore.
1. A New CB Radio
Your truck driving friend might appreciate a new CB radio. This is a great way to stay connected with other truck drivers while traveling.
I originally picked out a cheaper CB but my truck driving friend told me this is what truckers want - a large easy-to-read meter (4 scales), great sound, five-digit frequency display, SWR Circuit with no complicated calibration needed, and variable power output control.
This is a robust CB model with more than 140 five-star reviews at Amazon!
Here Are a Few Facts About Truck Driving
In the USA, truck drivers can drive only 11 hours, with a rest period of 10 hours.
Truck drivers are responsible for inspecting their trucks and keeping them in safe condition.
Truck drivers are known as "lorry drivers" in Ireland, and as "truckies" in Australia.
Many large trucking companies in the USA pay drivers according to "short miles" - meaning the distance between two cities as the crow flies, regardless of actual miles driven following the highway system.
2. A MP3 Player
I love my MP3 player. It is my most frequently used electronic gadget.
A MP3 player would help your truck driving friend to go to sleep at night. Truck drivers have some of the worst sleeping conditions imaginable - whether they're trying to sleep at a highway rest stop, or trying to sleep with someone else at the wheel, the process of getting to sleep can be treacherous.
You can put some great sleep-time music on a MP3 player, and the problem is lessened considerably. For help with sleeping I suggest this CD: "Delta Sleep System" by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson.
A Sample of Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's Delta Sleep System CD
3. A Wooden Tire Thumper
Give your trucker a new wooden tire thumper! This is a 2.2 pound wooden tire thumper with a sure-grip ridged handle for checking tires for low air and road damage.
There are more than 45 five-star reviews of this tire thumper on the Amazon site, and some of the reviews are absolutely hilarious. Look for the one that is titled, "Exactly what I was looking for. Thankfully, still unused." And some of the others. More proof that truck drivers have a sense of humor. Some of them, anyhow.
This is the "Ozark Thumper" - Slightly More Expensive, But Also on Amazon
Are You a Truck Driver?
Who goes there?
5. Ionizer - My Friend Claims This Helped Him Stay Awake, Without Coffee
My truck-driving friend says this device helped him stay awake so well he gave up drinking coffee.
It works quietly to purify and ionize the truck's air without use of chemicals or filters.
It plugs into the cigarette lighter.
I have a portable ionizer I wear as a pendant. The negative ions it emits force flu and cold germs to find hard surfaces to adhere to, and so you're less likely to get sick using an ionizer.
More Ideas For Staying Awake: Acupressure Points
6. A Nap Zapper
One of the most vital parts of truck driving, and sometimes the most difficult, is simply to stay awake and aware enough to drive safely.
This Nap Zapper Anti-Sleep alarm is one of several models available on Amazon.
This is another innovative way to stay awake while trucking. One of the people who came to visit this page clued me in to this device.
As in the photo, it fits onto your ear and will sound an alarm if your head nods forward.
The price is low, and the life it could save, invaluable.
Reviews are mixed. Some people love them; others won't wear them. One reviewer said it worked great but since he didn't nod his head when sleeping it didn't work for him.
My opinion: the price is low enough that it is worth trying. Either the trucker will wear it or he won't... but you'll never know if he'll find it useful unless he has one to try out.
Truck Crossing an Intersection Near My Home in Idaho
7. AC/DC Inverter - To Plug in Small Appliances in the Truck
I know this doesn't look very exciting, but imagine being out there in a truck without any way to plug in your appliances!
My truck driver friend told me exactly which size to feature here... he says this 1500 watts continuous power, 3000 watts peak power inverter is exactly what truck drivers need.
It converts DC battery power from the truck, to the 120 V AC household power that is needed for using a myriad of useful items we Americans are accustomed to using every day.
What would a truck driver want to power up? How about:
Electric frying pans.
Computers. (Yay, computers!)
Cell phone re-chargers.
The list could go on, and on, and on. You can see the utility in this handy AC/DC inverter. Your truck driving relative or friend will get a lot of use out of this gift.
Check It Out: "Life of an American Truck Driver" - A Short Documentary by Nathan Wittmann
8. A Miniature Refrigerator That Will Fit Into the Truck
This is the perfect size for a tiny refrigerator to take along on a long truck driving journey.
This 2.5 cubic foot refrigerator has an adjustable thermostat control. There's a slide-out wire shelf, and reversible door - good for hard to reach places for lefties or the right-handed.
There's a tall bottle section in the door and a separate ice-making chamber.
There's also a transparent storage drawer with a glass shelf.
[Note: Requires an AC/DC Inverter. See #7 on this list.]
This Gives the Term "Tractor Trailer" New Meaning
Truck Drivers and Computers
Does your truck driver friend or relative have a computer?
9. A New Laptop Computer
If he doesn't have a laptop, he probably wants one. If his is more than three years old, he probably needs an upgrade.
This is a very low-cost computer (click on the link to see what the current price is.)
It is also the best-selling computer on Amazon as of the day I'm revising this page.
It is also the type of computer I've been using for the last three years, with no problems at all. I love my Dell Inspiron laptop computer!
[Note: Requires an AC/DC Inverter to recharge the battery. See #7 on this list.]
11. Don't Forget to Add a Movie
My truck driving friend has watched this epic Brad Pitt movie about fifty times (at least) so I have to mention it. Definitely good entertainment.
10. TV With Built-In DVD Player
I chose to feature this little television set because it is small yet conveniently contains the DVD player.
Because of this, your trucking friend will not have to juggle two things (TV and DVD player). With a small living space, who needs clutter?
There are over fifty five-star reviews of this television set on Amazon.
[Note: Requires an AC/DC Inverter. See #7 on this list.]
More Gift Ideas for Truck Drivers
This is a list of other things that have been suggested as good trucker gifts, over the years I've had this page online:
Self-Inflating Air Mattress
Care Packages with laundry supplies, shower supplies, or food.
12. Sirius/XM Radio Receiver
This is a dock and play receiver that lets you listen through the existing truck stereo system. You can pause, rewind and replay the satellite radio signal, and this unit also has TuneStart,TuneMix and TuneScan features.
Obviously, the truck would have to be equipped to handle this technology, so if it is an older model truck, this might not work. Check for compatibility issues before buying.
Several truckers have told me they wouldn't want to drive without their Sirius/XM receiver. There's a separate subscription that needs to be purchased from Sirius/XM.
13. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) for Trucks
This tire pressure monitoring system can monitor ten tires at a time. It is pricey, but one truck driver said his system was a "life saver."
It is a convenient and fast way to know whether a tire needs more air. If you have a lot of tires to check, you can imagine the time savings involved. Energy savings as well.
The description on this product says that it has long range signals so it isn't necessary for big-rig drivers to install a booster. I expect that means this tire pressure monitoring system will work well for truck drivers.
Learn How a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Works
14. Massaging Seat Cushion With Heat
Warmth! Heat... and a massage! What's not to love? This massaging seat has ten vibration motors. There's a hand control unit, car adapter, AC adapter, three massage speeds, independent on-off button for the heat, and there are four massage programs to choose from.
The massages are for four separate zones: shoulders and upper backs, lower backs, lumbar, and thighs.
In case you forget to turn it off, no problem. It shuts down on its own after thirty minutes.