Safe & Sound in Winter: How to Kit Out Your Lorry
Still looking for an ideal new year’s resolution? Here’s one of our favourites: creating an emergency kit for your truck. I don't need to remind you that the winter months can make haulage jobs pretty tough, especially in January when temperatures generally hit an annual low. Make sure that you're prepared for every eventuality 2018 can throw at you – whether it’s snowstorms, icy roads or engine failures – by putting together your kit. Not sure where to start? Read on for a list of the essentials.
Having a first-aid kit is essential when carrying out haulage jobs. You can buy a pre-made one from Boots or your local supermarket – just ensure that it has plasters, bandages, alcohol wipes, baby wipes and maybe some painkillers, too (but remember to read the label and check that you can still drive after consuming them). You can then simply replace items as they get used.
One of the hazards of haulage jobs is that harsh weather has the potential to increase your chances of having an accident. Just in case anything happens, it’s always best to keep official documents in your truck, enabling you to share your information with others in an emergency. You’ll need:
- A copy of your Commercial Driver’s Licence
- A copy of your National Insurance Number
- A copy of your birth certificate
- The contact information of your employer and immediate family
It’s also worth keeping a picture of yourself with your name, age, home address and medical records handy so that, in the event of a crash, you can be identified and given appropriate treatment.
In case you get blocked by road closures or poor driving conditions, it’s worth having a few emergency tools at hand. A topped-up SIM card and an external battery to charge your phone will be useful if you need to make a call. If you are ever stuck, you’ll have a higher chance of being able to get help.
You should also carry a manually-powered torch and a Swiss Army knife. If you ever get stuck while carrying out haulage jobs and need to wait for breakdown services, you might appreciate having a battery-powered radio to pass the time, too.
If there’s one thing that you don’t want to forget when carrying out haulage jobs, it’s water. I know that this may sound a little excessive, but just to be on the safe side, try and store enough water to last you three days. You’ll need about 10 litres.
You should also keep a supply of tinned foods that don’t need to be cooked. Try and have all food groups on hand, including meats, fish, fruit and vegetables. I’d suggest foods that are easily canned and preserved, such as tuna, spam, pears, apricots, sweet corn, carrots and maybe even chickpeas and beans. It might be useful to keep cereal bars and crackers, too. Don’t forget to pack a tin opener, plate and cup!
Your emergency kit should also include spare clothes to keep you warm and dry. I'd suggest:
- Water-proof hiking boots
- Fleeced trousers and jumpers
- Gloves, hat and scarves
- Wool socks and trousers
- A raincoat
You could also add a few treats to your lorry kit, such as sweets or chocolate, to keep up your spirits if you do break down. As long as you've got the basics listed above, however, you’ll be good to go this winter!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers. Over 4,800 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.