In-Cab Essentials

Date: October 18, 2022

Nancy Rigby, BITCO Home Office Technical Specialist, Risk Control

Are You Prepared for Potential Problems on the Road This Winter?

As the weather begins to cool down, it's time for drivers to start thinking about preparing their truck cab for winter weather. In-cab essentials include items and tools that can prepare drivers for potential problems, keep them comfortable, and minimize stress during each trip. We've compiled a list of in-cab essentials that often get forgotten about to help keep commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers safe on the road.

Trucking Permit and Credentials

If a driver were to get in an accident or be pulled over, they must have the proper paperwork in their cab. Check to ensure your truck has the following permits and credentials.

  • CDL license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Vehicle registration
  • State permits
  • Logs
  • Long-form physical
  • Special certifications such as transporting hazardous materials, liquid tankers, or triple trailers

Personal Hygiene Supplies

Don't forget about personal hygiene supplies while on the road. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, towel, and soap. Drivers should also pack an emergency bathroom container with toilet paper and disinfectant wipes in their cab just in case they get stuck in traffic or alongside the road.

Emergency Supply Kits

Accidents and emergencies can occur anywhere and at any time. Drivers should include the following items in their emergency supply kits.

  • Family and emergency phone numbers, including your auto insurance provider and a towing company, in your phone.
  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench, and jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit and/or a multipurpose utility tool
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles, road cones, and flares to make your vehicle more visible
  • Compass
  • First aid kit with gauze, tape, bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, a blanket, non-latex gloves, scissors, hydrocortisone, thermometer, tweezers, and instant cold compress. Check this kit regularly, and replace items as needed.
  • Nonperishable, high-energy foods, such as unsalted nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy
  • Drinking water
  • Reflective vest in case you need to walk to get help
  • Charger for your cell phone
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Rain poncho

Extra Clothing

In the event a driver gets stuck on the road for several days, pack extra clothes to be prepared for changing conditions.

  • Shower flip flops
  • Gloves for cold weather and protection from injuries
  • Extra shirts, pants, socks, and underwear for scheduling or weather delays.
  • Hard-toes (waterproof) boots – Ensure these booths are insulated for the cold and comfortable for long trips.

Additional Items for Cold Weather

Winter weather can be dangerous, especially when driving. Keep the following items in your cab to be prepared this winter.

  • Snow brush and scraper
  • Shovel
  • Windshield washer fluid for low temps
  • Warm clothing for wet and windy conditions. Include extra face coverage
  • Proper eyewear to protect the glare from snow, ice, and other reflective surfaces
  • Warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports drinks).
  • Avoid caffeine such as coffee, tea, sodas, or hot chocolate, and alcohol
  • Cat litter for traction
  • Blankets
  • Tire chains
  • Tech to monitor the forecast regularly


Bringing along conveniences such as portable cooking appliances like electric skillets, slow cookers, or even portable roasters can come in handy if drivers are on the road for long periods of time. Drivers can also pack an e-Reader or portable movie players for entertainment during layovers or stops. These items can help drivers to feel more comfortable while on the road.

Returning home from work should always be the top priority. Take precautions and prepare your truck this winter with in-cab essentials. For more safety tips to use on the road and on the job, reach out to your BITCO Risk Control Consultant. To find an agent near you, click below. We are here for you!

Find an Agent

For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

Let's Talk

Looking for a long-term partner that works hard for you and your business? Contact a local BITCO agent today.