As a truck driving professional, you can opt to make the road into your home rather than just the place you work. You can buy custom semis that have everything you need for full time living, including storage space, small kitchens, and bathrooms, but if having a fully contained "condo" in your truck is too expensive or not your cup of tea, there are other options. While looking for trucks for full-time living, keep these six questions in mind:
1. Are you riding with a crew or travelling alone?
While some truckers travel alone, others prefer the company of a friend, a lover, or even a child. If you opt to travel with another adult, you may both work as a truck driving team or one of you can be the professional trucker while the other one acts as a passenger providing emotional support, good company, and a bit of map reading.
Regardless of your plan for yourself and your passenger, if you are traveling with more than one person, you need ample room in your tractor's living area. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you should look for a double bed, a bunk bed, or a single bed and floor space for an extra cot.
2. How much stuff do you need to bring?
As a long distance truck driver, you may get the chance to see and experience a vast number of terrains and climates, but it also necessitates a range of gear, from snowboots, to rain coats, to lightweight tank tops.
In addition to clothing, you may also want supplies such as fishing poles, books, electronics, or other items. To hold all of this stuff, you need storage in your semi. The amount of storage you get is directly related to the vertical height of the tractor – raised roofs, for example, offer more storage than flat tops.
To keep everything organized, look for floor-to-ceiling cabinets, extra storage under the bunk, and a creative use of all available space.
3. What are you going to eat?
While stopping at truck stops as a treat can be fun, it can get expensive if that's your only eating option. While looking at tractors, look for ones that include small kitchens or ones that have enough space for a few kitchen essentials.
A dorm fridge or icebox can keep perishables cool without wasting valuable space, and you can cook a range of dishes in an electric skillet – buy one with raised edges so you can use it as a washing up sink after meals.
4. How are you going to power your new home?
Of course, you will need power for your electric skillet as well as for anything else that relies on electricity. Unfortunately, while a cigarette lighter can typically generate enough power to charge a phone, it doesn't have the power necessary to run all of your electronics as well as your fridges, hot pans, and other items.
Some truck drivers leave their trucks idling and plug this stuff into outlets connected to the main battery, but idling can be risky as it isn't legal everywhere, and you may face tickets or fines. Instead, when shopping for a semi, look for one with an auxiliary battery. Also called a recreation battery or an auxiliary power unit (APU), these batteries provide you with electricity without forcing you to run the motor.
5. How are you going to maintain a comfortable temperature?
In addition to power, remember to think about how you are going to stay warm or cool in your truck. You certainly don't want to be constantly overheating in the summer or freezing in the winter. For that reason, you need a truck with a cooling and heating system not tied exclusively to the main battery.
6. What about the bathroom?
Unfortunately, unless you buy a condo-style semi, yours likely won't come equipped with a bathroom. With a relatively small bit of space, you can custom fit a water tank and a shower to your tractor. Alternatively, you can use an outdoor shower or rely on showers at truck stops.
Bathrooms, of course, are also available at truck stops, but for emergencies, you should definitely look for a cab with enough room to at least store a portable toilet. Often used for camping or hunting, these little toilets feature a seat and a receptacle to catch the waste. You can also use these toilets to hold grey water from cooking or washing, and when they are full, you just need to find a toilet to empty them into.
Now that you know what features to look for in your truck, check out truck sales at sites like http://www.arrowtruck.com/.