When working for Drive Personnel as an HGV Driver in Southampton, Eastleigh and surrounding areas you may occasionally need to spend a night out in the truck. This is rare on class 2 (Cat C) work but is more common on class 1 (Cat CE) work. Whilst you are usually warned in advance if clients have planned a route including a night out the nature of some general haulage and particularly container work (our location near Southampton Docks means we work with a number of freight forwarders and container transport company’s) means that there can sometimes be delays in delivering or unloading the consignment which results in the driver running out of driving hours or working hours and having to spend an unexpected night out in the truck.
As a result we always advise our HGV drivers to take some overnight gear with them on every job just in case this happens. The following information contains a few hints and tips as to what you might like to consider including in your kit bag to make any over night stays in the truck as comfortable as possible. HGV drivers who do regular long distance trips or who do ‘tramping’ (spending multiple consecutive nights out in the truck) will probably have refined their kit bag over time to cover all of their essentials however new drivers or drivers who haven’t experienced a night out may appreciate a bit of guidance.
It is important to make sure that you have made provisions for eating and drinking, especially if you are not near a motorway services or unable to get food. It would be useful to keep a kettle, tea bags/coffee, powdered milk, sugar, bottled water etc. If you are a regular long-distance driver then you may want to purchase a portable stove and pan. Depending on what you like to eat you may want to take some non-perishable goods i.e. canned food (with a tin opener), cuppa soups, cereal etc. It may also be worth taking a small bowl for washing up.
There are some basics that you will probably need and these include tooth brush, tooth paste, soap/shower gel, hand gel, razor, shaving foam, deodorant, wet wipes and toilet roll. Also, if you are going to be using a shower at a service station you may want to take something to put on your feet i.e. flip flops etc.
This is important if you are away for a few days so take a change of clothes so you can feel good and keep healthy. It would also be a good idea to take a hat, scarf and gloves during the winter in case it is cold. Waterproofs are always handy in case of rain or snow.
If you are sleeping in the cab then it is important to be as comfortable as you can be to get a good night’s sleep. Take a sleeping bag or quilt and pillow, you may need some earplugs too to block out any outside noise (particularly if you are pulling or park next to a refrigerated trailer!). To help you relax it may be worth taking a portable DVD player/laptop, so you can watch something whilst resting in bed.
That probably covers the basics but depending on your personal lifestyle and preferences you may think of other things. The most important thing is to be comfortable, be well rested and have something to eat and drink so you can be bright and alert for your driving the next day.