The RoadPro company recently asked members of its driver advisory council and others to weigh in on pieces of auxiliary equipment they’d always dreamed of that hadn’t yet been offered out there — with a focus on things that would make various downtime activities more fully integrated into the long-haul experience, as it were.
In some ways, I was reminded of the myriad of solutions so many readers have come up with for a variety of things over the years, most recently perhaps several chronicled in this story in part about Chris Barbeau’s light-sensitive pager to detect dock-light status changes and wake you up.
In any case, I thought you’d enjoy the RoadPro piece this weekend, and how about the question: What piece of trucking gear could you use most effectively that, well, just hasn’t been invented yet? Weigh in via the call button below or, desktop users, call 530-408-6423 for our podcast voicemail line.
RoadPro’s “Dream Gear for Truckers” narrative follows:
In 1899, Charles Duell, commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office, is supposed to have said, “Everything that can be invented already has been invented.”
Duell was clearly shortsighted and just as clearly not a truck driver. The history of trucking is one of steady technological advancement, and there’s no reason to think it’s reached an end. Trucks themselves have improved and so has the gear that truckers take on the road with them.
Given that history, it’s only natural that drivers imagine new gear and equipment that would make their jobs easier.
We asked truckers what sort of devices they’d like someone to invent to make their jobs easier and this is what they told us:
RoadPro Pro Driver Council member Tom Kyrk said he would like to see a ramp to help dogs get in and out of truck cabs easily and a fitness tracker designed especially for drivers (regular ones are thrown off by the vibration of the truck).
A grill built into the side of a tractor, like the kind found in recreational vehicles, would make Pro Driver Council member Henry Albert happy. The grill, a leveling bedframe and a GPS “that is not all-or-nothing routing” round out his wish list.
Fred Weatherspoon doesn’t like to carry weights in his cab because they can become missiles in the event of a crash. He wants an in-cab exercise system that’s safe, easy to use and doesn’t take up too much space.
All the cords hanging under her dash have Maggie Stone wishing for some sort of universal harness into which she could plug her phone, GPS, dashcam and other electronics. The Iowa livestock hauler also would like to see a storage device for under her bunk, “kind of like a gun rack”, that would hold her cattle prod and paddle and fifth-wheel puller.
Florida-based Allen Wilcher and partner Sierra Sugar said they would like to see a truck leveling system like the kind found in RVs — and room in the cab for an herb garden.
There’s no way to know if any of these devices will be invented, but given the history of the trucking industry, it would be surprising if none of them were.