Whether you drive a truck, van, lorry or car for extended periods, time on the road can take a serious toll. Here at SG Fleet, we think that the best possible setup for your work vehicle can go a long way to reducing the strain and making those long hours behind the wheel easier and more comfortable.
Having the right accessories and gadgets to create a safer environment can go a long way towards that, so we’ve put together a list of what we think are some essential long-distance driving accessories.
Getting from place to place quickly, efficiently and safely is a top priority for people who drive as part of their job. While you might think you can manage with the maps app on your smartphone, we believe there are some significant benefits to using a purpose-built satellite navigation system. These include larger displays and self-reliance, meaning you won’t encounter service or battery life problems.
This is especially true of those driving HGVs or other larger vehicles. Most smartphones are designed with cars in mind which can often spell disaster for lorry drivers. Finding yourself trapped in a narrow lane with no turning point or headed off by a low tunnel or weight-restricted bridge is a major hindrance to anyone at the wheel of a larger vehicle, so a good quality, HGV-oriented Sat Nav is one of the most useful accessories for long-distance lorry drivers.
These items are easily overlooked as essential long-distance driving accessories, but having access to food and drinks whenever and wherever you want them can be a great advantage, especially for HGV drivers. Shifts can often take longer than expected with loading delays and break-downs. Drivers often find themselves stuck at the roadside for hours queuing or waiting for repairs; for situations like these, these accessories are perfect.
Why not think about a truck kettle? Compact and low-voltage, these kettles run off your vehicle's battery and ensure you can prepare a range of hot drinks and instant soups or noodles whenever the mood takes you.
Alternatively, if you think long layovers in environments without the best access to hot meals are likely, you might consider a camping-style gas stove. These give you much more freedom for those nights when you can’t get to the next services. Of course, always ensure you store your gas bottles safely and cook in an area free of fire hazards.
If your journeys aren’t likely long enough to merit the larger appliances, an insulated travel mug and a cool box could be some of the best long-distance driving accessories
A good quality travel mug can keep your drinks hot or cold for hours. While an insulated mug or flask might seem a touch on the expensive side, it can save significant time and money by avoiding pricey, busy service station cafes.
As for cool boxes, you can opt for a plug-in fridge-style appliance that runs off the vehicle’s battery or a model that uses freezer blocks. The former might be a more suitable option for journeys in larger, more spacious vehicles, while the latter is a great car accessory for long road trips.
While, at first glance, a sedentary job such as long-distance driving might seem low-strain, back pain can be an all-too-common problem for those who sit behind the wheel for extended periods. Drivers can potentially alleviate or, at least, reduce the discomfort caused by purchasing a lumbar cushion to lessen the pressure exerted on the lower back.
Various options are available, and the support and comfort they can bring on short and lengthy journeys make them a top pick for our best long-distance driving accessories.
The longer you spend in your vehicle, the less tidy it will be, and studies show that a clean and tidy work environment benefits your mental health. Because of this, we decided to include cleaning products on our list of the best long-distance driving accessories as, while they might seem mundane, they can make all the difference.
Keeping your windows sparkling using glass cleaner keeps your cab light and bright, while a pack of leather-friendly wipes are a great way to keep your interior in pristine condition. There are also great specialised fabric upholstery sprays on the market, which, along with the ubiquitous air-freshener, can keep your driving environment smelling fresh and clean throughout your journey.
As we mentioned above, regarding food and drinks, you never know when you might be caught out while driving a long distance. Most HGVs and an increasing number of other vehicles have designated sleeping areas, and we think with the help of some essential long-distance driving accessories, you can easily make the most of them.
A good quality pillow and a pack-away, coverless duvet are a must for any driver who might end up spending the night in their cab. In the winter, or if your route takes you through colder climates, you might consider thermal pyjamas or even a heated blanket to make your night as comfortable as possible.
It’s not just truckers who can take forty winks in their vehicle, though; a trusty neck pillow and blanket can be useful car accessories for long road trips too
With over 30 years of experience in fleet management, our news page is full of great tips to keep drivers safe, productive and healthy at work.
We also offer excellent driver support whether you use a company car, a salary sacrifice scheme or you’re a personal contract hire driver. Our dedicated team can offer vehicle servicing and repairs, as well as accident management.
To learn more about what we do, click here, or head to our fleet solutions page for more information about our services. Alternatively, if you have a more specific query, feel free to contact us for a more detailed conversation.
- Winter Tips for Fleet Drivers
- Lonely Road: Managing Mental Health as a Long-Distance Driver
- Distracted Driving: Safety Tips for Fleet Drivers
- The Importance of Incident Reporting for Fleets