Packing for a long-term trip can be incredibly difficult! What do you bring, how much do you bring and most importantly for CDL-A drivers: how do you make it all fit in your cab? Carter Express has done some research on the top packing strategies for professional drivers to make sure you have all you need while making the most of your space.


The top rule for professional drivers packing clothes? Make sure they’re comfortable! Spending long amounts of time in the driver’s seat means clothes like t-shirts and comfortable pants are the way to go! Including layers like flannels and jackets is a great way to make sure you can adapt to different temperatures as you drive. To save space, some truck drivers use packing cubes, which compress clothing items to leave more room for other things all while also keeping everything organized. You can use cubes to keep your clothes separate from your shoes, another key item to pack. It’s important to bring a pair of shoes to drive in and a pair of sandals to shower in!


These items, which can be easily packed into a toiletries bag and stowed away, are sometimes the easiest to forget. Here’s a quick checklist of all the personal items you should make sure to bring.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Medications
  • Shower kit (shampoo, soap, razors, shaving cream, etc.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Glasses/contacts
  • Grooming tools
  • Wet wipes (a universal trucker must-have!)


Having healthy food options while on the road is a must! Grabbing a small, 12-volt cooler and packing it full of fun, but nutritious snacks should sit high on your list of packing priorities. Foods like fruits, veggies, granola bars, protein balls, crackers, jerky, and nuts ensure that you’ll feel full on your routes. It’s also important to both your physical and mental health to stay hydrated so make sure you pack plenty of water. Using a reusable water bottle can save you from packing a case of bottled water, maximizing your space.


Even though you’ll want to save as much space as you can, packing items for entertainment is still important! Here are some items you can bring for your long-haul journeys.

  • Phone (with downloaded music/podcasts)
  • Books
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Small game console
  • Chargers

Emergency supply kit

Every seasoned CDL-A driver knows they need to have an emergency kit in their cab. These supplies can stop a situation from developing into something dangerous or unsafe. Your emergency kit should be packed with nonperishable foods, additional water, a first aid kit, a flashlight with batteries, extra blankets, tools, road cones, and any other supplies that may be helpful in the case of an emergency. If you need some place to start, check out these Department of Transportation compliant emergency kits.

 Now that you have the info on how to pack your cab, it’s time to get informed on the industry’s top carrier: Carter Express. Connect with us today to learn more about our driving opportunities open now!