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Practical Birthday Gift Ideas For Truck Drivers

When you're looking for the perfect birthday gift for that CDL truck driver in your family, the options can seem minimal. Sometimes it's hard to determine what's best for a person who spends so much of their time in a confined space like a truck cab. That doesn't mean your options are really as limited as you'd think. If you want a birthday gift that's going to be practical and useful, consider things that will make the driver's life easier.

Cooking Tools

Particularly if your loved one has been surviving on a diet of convenience snacks and truck stop diner food, you may want to look for a gift that can simplify food preparation. Believe it or not, there are many different tools out there that make cooking in a tractor trailer much easier than you'd think.

Travel-sized crock pots have a power adapter that can be plugged in to the accessory power port inside the tractor trailer. This makes it easy to throw a meal in the crock pot in the morning and have something fresh and hot to eat once he or she has hit the driving hour limit for the day.

Electric skillets plug in with a similar type of adapter, making it easy to connect for a quick grilled cheese or to cook a quick, fresh meal. In addition, compact microwaves are available with power adapters that make it possible to connect it to the truck's power system.

These cooking tools are great, but will prove to be of little use if the driver cannot store fresh ingredients to cook with. Look for a travel-sized refrigerator that can be tucked into a small compartment of the tractor trailer's cab. Not only does this make it easy to keep ingredients on hand to cook with, but it may even make it easier to store drinks and healthy snacks, saving the cost and health risks of lots of soda and sugary snacks.

Bluetooth Phone Headset

Since truck drivers spend so much time behind the wheel, hands-free phone tools are always a great investment. Drivers have to keep in touch with dispatch centers, customer contacts and their family, so making it all hands-free can help ensure safety for both your loved one and others on the road. Look for Bluetooth headsets that offer noise cancellation, though, to help minimize the engine noise.

Comfort Considerations

When spending so much time in the cab of a tractor trailer, comfort is a key consideration. Consider giving him or her a heavy blanket for the bunk of the sleeper. As an over-the-road driver, that extra comfort can be significant.

For drivers who run routes that are prone to cold weather, consider an electric blanket that runs on 12-volt power. This will help keep him or her warm at night, but it also provides a great source of comfort for those mandatory breaks.

Recreation and Entertainment

Trucking, especially for over-the-road trips, can be a lonely career. Many drivers are solo, so entertainment is an important part of their down time. Consider investing in a portable DVD player or a tablet with a subscription to a streaming service. If he or she loves to read, think about audio books to listen to while driving and an e-book reader for down time.

Finding that perfect birthday present can be tough no matter who you're shopping for, but when you're shopping for someone with such specific needs as a tractor trailer driver, you need to look at things from their perspective. Practical gifts like these can help you show him or her that you understand their career choice and you gave the gift a lot of thought to find something that would meet their needs.