Getting your truck repaired can be a slightly difficult task if you are stuck on a lonely stretch of highway, miles away from the nearest repair shop, gas station or any sign of civilization.
In such situations, you should ideally know how to make some simple repairs on your own. The objective is to get your truck running just long enough until it reaches the nearest repair shop or gas station.
Having your own toolbox can help you perform basic roadside truck repair when needed. The following are a few suggestions on what you need to have in your toolbox.
1. Hand tools set
There are brands that offer a comprehensive collection of screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, sockets and more in a case. Even if you don’t perform major repairs during your trip, long drives on bumpy roads can gradually loosen some of the parts inside your truck. Having this ready will allow you to tighten up those nuts and bolts or do some minor repairs.
If a complete hand tool set is too expensive, you can pick and choose the tools that you really need. One essential item is a screwdriver. You can buy the kits that include screwdrivers of different sizes; you should have at least one of each type. The flathead kind can double as a mini pry bar.
When it comes to crescent wrenches, get at least a small one and a bigger one. An alternative is to get an adjustable crescent wrench. With an adjustable wrench, you can use the same one to tighten nuts and bolts of different sizes.
Get a pair of adjustable pliers or plier wrenches and vice grips as well. These tools can double as a clamp, wire cutter or wrench.
2. A socket set
Buy a socket set that corresponds to the make of your truck or vehicle. For instance, newer American vehicles, Japanese and European vehicles use metric sockets. Old American cars use standard sockets, while a handful of American vehicles from the 1980s may use both. If you own a vehicle from this time period, you may need to consider having both sets on board.
3. A pocket knife
Depending on what’s included in your pocketknife, you can do a multitude of minor repairs on your truck or vehicle with it. You can carry a spare one in your jeans pocket in case an emergency occurs while you are away from your truck.
4. Tire repair kit
A tire repair kit is an essential whether you drive your truck on or off the highway. Your tires could pick up nails, broken glass, tacks or other sharp objects. These items could puncture your tire and slowly let the air out.
A good tire repair kit will include several plugs. Remember to replace the plugs that you use during the trip.
5. Jump starter
If your battery dies during your drive, a jump starter becomes a useful tool. With your own jump starter, you won’t need to flag down another vehicle or wait for a tow truck to get your truck’s battery started again.
There are battery packs that can also work as a cigarette lighter and charger. Always ensure that your jump starter is always fully charged. Leaving it untouched for a year or more can slowly drain the battery.
A flashlight or work light will be a handy tool to have should you get the need to illuminate dark areas or do repairs during the evening. There are models that come with LED lights, magnets, and hooks. You can stick or hang the light source, leaving your hands free to do repairs.
The following tools are only a few suggestions. You can change the tools depending on your needs and budget. For instance, a recovery kit with a snatch strap comes in handy if you are doing a lot of off-road driving but may not be necessary when driving on highways. These tools will allow you to do some basic repairs until road rescue arrives or you can find a repairman to fix your truck.