LAST UPDATED: November 7, 2019
Best Truck Equipment: Upgrade Your Accessories
Give your truck an upgrade—and enhance your comfort—with these top truck accessories
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON November 7, 2019
Thousands of semi-trucks are sold in the United States every year. And while they transport goods over long distances, they only come with the essential equipment. If you’re a truck driver, you need accessories that help make your job easier. The good news is there are a host of accessories on the market. Here are three great accessories you can get to enhance your working style.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Truck Equipment
- Comfort. Even if you don’t spend all day, every day in your cab, it’s important to be comfortable. If you’re going to splurge on truck equipment, it might as well be with the goal of making you warmer, happier, and more comfortable.
- Convenience. Gadgets and accessories of all kinds are designed with one thing in mind: They make your life easier. Whether it’s a portable stove or an app for logging your mileage and fuel consumption, good truck equipment has to be convenient.
- Efficiency. If there’s equipment out there that helps you get more done in less time and with less effort, that’s a pretty good benefit, too. Navigation systems and power charging stations, we’re looking at you.
- Improved health. If your truck equipment includes anything for cooking or storing food, you’re at a much better advantage than those drivers who have to rely on fast food and roadside cafes. Not to mention the growing list of portable fitness items you could potentially add to your regular cab cargo.
Types of Truck Equipment
Truck equipment that gives you the power to cook, reheat, or keep food at the right temperature is wildly popular with drivers who spend a lot of time on the road. Portable stoves, coolers, and even coffee makers are available in all shapes and sizes—and budgets—and plug into your auxiliary power outlet. They might take a bit longer than conventional, more powerful cooking facilities, but the health and money-saving benefits are obvious.
Probably the first pieces on the list for anybody looking to do more than local mileage, navigation-based accessories are a must-have. GPS navigation systems now do a whole lot more than just detailed mapping and audible instructions on how to get to your next destination. With trip logging, emergency tracking, and driver-assist features, there’s something for every type of driver.
If you regularly spend the night in your cab on long-distance trips, you’ll definitely want truck equipment with the potential to keep you entertained. Whether it’s a Wi-Fi hotspot, a digital satellite antenna, or a portable DVD player, you need something to help you relax and stop you from going stir crazy during those evenings when you can’t be at home.
Health and Safety
Health and safety equipment for your truck may be easily overlooked because it’s likely you’ll rarely use it, but gear that keeps you and others safe in an emergency or unexpected situation is invaluable. Think about investing in a toolkit, high-visibility jacket, and a flashlight, at the very least. A first aid kit is a must, too, but anything else will depend on your personal truck-related circumstances.
This type of truck equipment includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters for connecting to your gadgets in the cab and CB radios and GPS trackers for connecting to your office and fellow truckers. You can also buy antenna extensions and satellite dishes for your truck so you can be sure you’ll always be connected.
Garmin Ltd. is a multinational company specializing in GPS technology and the innovative ways this can be utilized in the automotive, outdoor, and fitness industries. Established in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao in Lenexa, Kansas, the company is made up of 65 offices worldwide and was incorporated in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in 2010. Their GPS navigation and driver dashboard systems like this one are a favorite among truckers.
A British company providing accessories and equipment that help you get the most out of your trucks, RVs, and boats, RoadPro is based in London, England. The company started out just selling CB radios in 1981 and quickly built a reputation for service and quality. They supply a wide range of truck equipment and accessories, such as this CB Extension Speaker and Window Mounted Telescoping Antenna.
Truck Equipment Pricing
- Budget-Friendly (under $20): Must-have truck equipment isn’t always fancy. At the low end is where you’ll find the basic accessories: multi-point chargers, productivity apps, phone holders, seat organizers, and Bluetooth headsets.
- Middle of the Road (up to $100): Useful appliances like electric fans, antennae, cooking equipment, and small coolers will generally be priced in this range.
- Premium Range (over $100): As with anything, the more you pay, the more features and better specifications you end up with. This is where you’ll find super-efficient portable fridges and cookers, GPS systems with all the bells and whistles, entertainment systems, ultra-safe lockboxes, etc.
As this guide suggests, there is a massive range of potential appliances, gadgets, and accessories available to equip your truck. It’s easy to go crazy and buy everything that catches your eye, but remember that it all has to fit in the truck, too. The size of the equipment you buy is fundamentally important, particularly when it comes to appliances that aren’t going to be moved around too much, like coolers, fans, or screens.
Although many items are described as portable and aimed at truckers and long-distance driving, not all of them are compatible with life on the road. The main reason for this is the power source. You need something that is happy running on 12V and, ideally, doesn’t need to be plugged in all the time to protect your battery. Anything with a USB or auxiliary power fitting on the end should be fine.
If you’re going to be loading and unloading your equipment into the truck on a regular basis, it’s worth considering how portable that equipment actually is. A huge fridge might be convenient and handy on long trips, but are you in a position to lift it into and out of the truck when you need to?
- Legal implications. Just because an appliance is deemed portable and makes your life easier doesn’t mean they’re legal to use while driving. Make sure you know the law for each state you’re going to be driving in.
- Insurance. If you’re upgrading your truck or just filling it full of expensive new equipment, it’s definitely worth also upgrading your vehicle insurance or taking out a specific policy.
- Weight. Practicality and convenience aside, multiple electrical appliances can add up to a lot of extra weight. Make sure you’re not exceeding your maximum load and take into account any adjustments you might need to make to your driving style if you do end up making the truck much heavier.
- Tax-deductible. If you’re using the truck for work, it’s reasonable to assume that any equipment bought for use while working is an investment in your business. It’s definitely worth checking if it’s tax-deductible.
Best Truck Equipment Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Vyncs GPS Tracker takes the top spot for our overall best pick in truck equipment because the features packed into this one handy device are incredible. It collects driving data and real-time location (even when you’re not going anywhere), monitors vehicle health, and tracks fuel consumption. It offers free 24/7 roadside assistance in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
The system is fully compatible with both Android and iOS systems. It includes a built-in 3G SIM card with a one-year data plan from AT&T that works in more than 200 different countries so you can be online and connected almost anywhere in the world. It connects easily to the vehicle via the OBD-II port and requires virtually no maintenance once it’s plugged in.
The package comes with one year’s service and no monthly fee. However, it’ll cost you $29.99 to activate and $78.93 to renew the package in the second year. You’ll also need to upgrade your package if you want to sync tracking data more frequently than every three minutes, which is likely insufficient if you’re managing a fleet.
If you don’t have a CB radio, are you even driving a truck? This 40-channel Professional Series CB radio from Uniden is ideal for commercial and off-road use thanks to its rugged but compact design that will fit (covertly, if needed) in most vehicles.
The package includes all brackets and mounting hardware for super convenient installation plus a user’s manual and two-year warranty for your peace of mind. The radio itself features a front-mount 4-pin microphone with an extra-long cord, transmit indicator lights, automatic noise limiter, and squelch control, plus a built-in external speaker jack and public address functionality. Channel 9 is dedicated to Instant Emergency transmissions.
However, there are some downsides. It doesn’t include a scanner, and neither the reception nor the sound quality will blow you away. But it has everything that you need and is a solid choice if you’re looking for a budget CB radio.
This portable stove plugs into 12-volt power sources or a cigarette lighter. It heats food up to 300 degrees, has a heat-resistant case, and stays tightly closed to prevent spillage. The stove is 10 by 8 by 6 inches, weighs 2.5 pounds, and comes with a 6-foot power cord.
This stove allows you to take leftovers and reheat them for piping hot meals. It's the perfect size and it heats up food fast. Regular-size aluminum loaf pans work well with it. The device has a fold-flat carrying handle, and the non-stick aluminum surface is easy to clean using a damp cloth.
However, if you have items that need to be fully cooked, this will not work. Also, the center of the food may contain a hot spot, but that can be remedied by stirring the food a couple times when heating it up. There have also been complaints that the plug breaks after a short period of use.
- When buying truck equipment, think about your needs. You can also research the best equipment for truckers to determine which items are the most popular and then get the ones you need the most.
- When choosing a GPS tracker for your truck, these are the most important things to consider: driver-assist features, connectivity, approved roadways, detailed mapping, fleet management, and trip logging.
- It's important to note that all CB radios use four watts of power to transmit, which is required by law. The only difference between CBs is its features, not the amount of power they put out.
Q: What are some must-have truck accessories?
A: Some of the best accessories include a GPS tracker, a radio, a crossfire pressure equalizer, and a universal device charger. If you have the right truck accessories, you’ll be more comfortable and able to handle unexpected situations.
Q: What do truckers need on the road?
A: Whether you’ve just started driving a truck or you are a seasoned veteran, there are some things you should always carry: hygiene essentials, a flashlight, bad weather gear, gloves, and a dash-mounted cell phone holder.
Q: Are trucking apps helpful?
A: Absolutely. Even seasoned truckers can use apps to make their lives easier on the road. Besides GPS tracking apps, there are apps that can help you to cut down on fuel consumption and maintain your logbooks.