Constantly we are bombarded with reminders about rules. Add to the fact that the trucking world changes, as with so many things.
Most common changes people think about are the job related (regulations, legal requirements and other such obligations).
With so many serious things to consider today we thought it would be fun to look at another issue… style. They say, “Clothes make the person”.
And it is true, no matter what profession you’re in, you still need to look good.
That doesn’t mean wearing a three-piece Armani suit while driving down the road. But is does mean to be clean and presentable.
First impressions are largely visual, meaning people will make an opinion about you based on what they see first.
Often people can be wrong. But many times they are not.
And, there is a big difference between being dirty because you just had to make a few adjustments to your load and being messy because you don’t care.
Some companies may have basic requirements while others really have no set standard. Of course some companies have actual set uniform requirements.
Regardless the ‘official’ dress code, you should always be presentable. You are not only representing yourself but the company you are hauling for.
Now, of course there are other things to consider, job related required clothing. Examples are steel toed boots, or rain and/or cold weather gear. Perhaps eye and hearing protection are necessary.
But outside of that it can be up to you to dress for success.
There is a common stereotype of jeans, trucker caps, and western boots. There is nothing wrong with that. Because clothing needs to be comfortable and practical for what you will be doing. But as times change so does the clothing of choice.
Remember you don’t want to wear tight or restrictive clothing, especially during a long haul. You want to be comfortable and relaxed (not too relaxed mind you). Clothing that will breath and is easy to care for, wash and wear.
And, consider the unexpected; be prepared for any changes in the environment. Weather can change fast so always have a few extra things, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
Speaking of being prepared, pack a few extra items (socks, undergarments, and etc.) just in case you get stuck out longer than planned or can’t make it to a Laundromat.
As we all know the key to a trucker is driving. Usually if you are not driving, you aren’t making the miles.
But the reality is you can’t always drive. Sometimes you must wait to drop-off or pick-up.
Perhaps you’ve maxed out your drive time/miles.
Maybe there are weather delays, dispatching issues. Whatever the reason, no driver can be driving 100 percent of the time.
So, what are you to do? Sit in your truck all night? Of course many, if not, most, do spend a lot of time in the truck. But sometimes you just have to get out and find somewhere to eat and relax.
But, now you wonder what to wear?
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Well, that is easy. Pack work clothes and separate ‘play’ clothes. But like most people who have spent any time on the road, the first question is, “where am I supposed to put all this stuff”?
Again that is easy. In today’s more relaxed world, just pack dual purpose clothes. Jeans, and shirts can be worn both while working and then later that evening while out in the town.
Just like everything else your accessories should be multifunctional. Sunglasses can look good, cool and still be rated for safety. Socks and t-shirts should be moisture wicking.
Water resistant work boots are the best (a lot of people add sole inserts for extra cushion).
You got to have a few good hats. The standard trucker hat (ball cap), is great for keeping the sun, sweat, or rain out of your eyes.
A good rain coat, which can double as a windbreaker, is a must. Some kind of boot that protects the toes and ankle is not demand but preferable, if you ask me.
Leather (reinforced) work gloves, can also serve to both protect and keep your hands warm.
We should not live behind unmentioned, the importance if not even necessary in this day of age; the electronic gadgets as an accessory. All joking aside, life on the endless routes for weeks or even months without this type of accessory can be a total disaster.
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Truck drivers are loners on the road. This way, with all that modern technology, they get a chance to be with a virtual company, enjoying their free time after finishing for the day, using phones, tablets, portable (mobile) TV, relaxer massager, and all those other things existing out there on the market nova days.
Most everyone takes pride in their workplace. Maybe at first you had to share, hot seat from one to another. But as time goes on, (and if you’re careful with your budget) the dream of your own rig can be a reality.
Once you finally have it, make it truly yours. Because just like with the clothes that one driver is wearing, the look of the truck is very important for the first impression.
That also means they might judge the company you work for by the truck you drive, even if it doesn’t belong to the company. So keep it neat, clean, and well maintained.
However, there is nothing against a little personality. Adding some flair to make it stand out and say, “this in mine”!
There are so many places one can go, so do a little price shopping and comparison first. But, there are lots of things available, Stainless steel fenders, chrome hood ornaments, drop visors, aftermarket grills, fender guards, door trim, and so much more. Actually it is too much to be list here.
But don’t forget the one accessory every trucker must have… a state of the art and loud air-horn! This is for the delight of every small child and to be heard three counties away! (Ok, sure there are practical reasons as well…)
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