Getting the most out of your big truck doesn’t have to take a lot of work. However, it’s important to be thoughtful about the choices you make. You also want to make decisions with a sense of purpose, using a feature/benefit style of reasoning. If you buy or do X, you will benefit for Y reason. When it comes to enhancing your experience as a trucker, there are some things you can pick up in a truck parts catalog and steps you can take to make your life a whole lot easier.
Keep the Truck Clean -- Inside and Out
Is cleanliness really that important? Yes. True, the way your truck looks will reflect on you as a professional as well as the business you engage in, but there’s much more at stake. The proper functioning and even the safety of your vehicle can be enhanced by keeping it clean. If you have a diesel engine, one prime example is your diesel particulate filter (DPF). If you clean the DPF well, you can remove about 70% to 90% of the plugged ash inside—and this is true even considering the nearly eight-hour baking process. That particulate, if allowed to build up, can lead to a whole host of problems, including poor fuel efficiency and even fire. Cleaning it will give you peace of mind and a better functioning semi.
Keeping everything under the hood clean can have a similar effect. If excess oil or anything kicked up during the last haul is allowed to stay under the hood, they could start to burn and/or cause unpleasant smells to penetrate into the cab. Also, some things may even get inside there and be large enough to do damage to hoses, belts, or fan blades.
Get the Right Accessories
The term “right accessories” couldn’t be more subjective. Everyone has unique needs and perfectly valid reasons for diving into a truck parts catalog and grabbing the accessories they want. There are some that tend to work really well for many drivers, however.
Truck headlights are a good example of an accessory that can add both a touch of style and extra safety for your vehicle. Headlights for semi trucks can enhance the visibility of the road ahead. Being able to see far ahead of you plays a big role in safety. As you learned when taking the CDL exam, a hundred feet of extra visibility adds significant—and vital—time to react to an adverse situation, be it an accident, object, animal or other potential road hazard. A good rule of thumb is if the headlight you are interested in is going to give you better visibility, then it’s worth the extra money. If it’s just for looks, however, that’s more of a judgment call. But if you’re able to see better, consider it a worthy investment.
Big truck mirrors are another accessory that can add both style and safety to your semi. Matching or complimenting the color scheme or profile of your semi will definitely give your truck visual appeal. But as you go through a truck parts catalog, don’t just focus on looks. Think about ways the mirrors can add extra visibility. Check the specs and compare them to those of your current mirror setup. A good truck parts catalog will also have a team of salespeople behind it. Give them a call or shoot them an email with your questions about the mirror. Read reviews online to get a sense of other truckers’ experiences. The right choice will add aesthetic value but can also make each haul safer.
It’s All About the Seat
You can ask around, and most truckers will agree that perhaps nothing impacts the comfort of your ride more than your seat. Like the other options discussed above, you should consider any seat purchases viable investments. Yes, you want something that is going to feel good as you sit on it for eight—or more—hours. But more than that, you need to have a seat that is going to provide the proper ergonomic support to promote healthy posture.