When I’m out on the road, I try to make hygiene and appearance a top priority. Living on the road is rough, but I like feeling comfortable with myself. I also want to appear professional, because I take my business seriously.
Staying squared away requires time management, though, so a lot of the tricks I use focus on saving time.
Unless you need a full 10 hours of sleep when doing your HOS reset, then this is the best time to get yourself prepared for the day to come. Even if I am not parked at a truck stop with facilities, I can still get through most of the items in my hygiene bag to keep me good to go for most the day.
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Clothes and undergarments
Pack way more then you need, and change often. I use vacuum bags similar to zip-lock bags to pack my socks, folded t-shirts, and boxer. It saves space, and I can pack enough to keep from having to wash clothes out on the road. If you change often, your outer garments will stay cleaner for longer and get more wear before needing to be washed.
If you do need to use a laundromat out on the road, try using a wash and fold service. I find them to be convenient and fast. I usually pay $1 to $2 per pound, which I consider to be money well spent to look and feel good.
Truck stop showers
I mostly use the TA-Petro truck stop, and their app is a must. They aren’t necessarily better than other truck stops, but the app makes it so much more convenient for reserving a shower, rather than searching for a kiosk machine that can sometimes be out of order. You can reserve your shower from the parking lot and know what shower is yours once you walk inside.
The hygiene bag
I like to bring a backup bag that I can leave in my truck for when I run out of items like toothpaste, that way I can save time by not having to stand in a check-out line and buy a replacement while out on the road.
According to my wife, some ladies might disagree with me on this tip, but it works for me: Get soap and shampoo that is consolidated into one bottle.
For those that shave, keep an electric shaver in your truck. I have never found one that gives a closer shave than a razor, but it will knock out a five a clock shadow when needed.
Chad Boblett is the owner and driver at Boblett Brothers Trucking of Lexington, KY. Chad also founded the Rate Per Mile Masters group on Facebook, a communications hub for more than 23,000 members, including owner-operators, truck drivers, and other transportation and logistics pros.