Spring is here! With it comes warmer temperatures, clearer roads, and the ritual of spring-cleaning. There's something about a newly cleaned, freshly aired-out truck that makes things feel better. 

What I Do

The first thing I like to do is open up all the windows. Fresh air not only helps to freshen up the air in the cab and bunk, but it also helps to drive out moisture. As we breathe out, we release moisture into a closed-up environment. That's why our windows fog up on chilly mornings. Opening the windows and letting fresh air in helps to drive this moisture out.  

The second thing I do is take everything out of all my cabinets. Then, I wipe down the inside of every cabinet and everything in those cabinets. It's amazing the places dust can get into. I just use paper towels, slightly moistened. I also throw out anything I no longer have use for. That stuff can accumulate pretty quickly.  

After all that is done, I take a soft bristled brush and warm soapy water to my floor. I do vacuum and wipe down my floor often, but a nice gentle scrub pulls up a lot of dirt off of the floor. I also do the same thing to my walls and dash. It doesn’t take much water. Be careful to not let water drip down into the dash. Again, I wipe these surfaces down often, but a soft bristled brush does a much better job, especially on textured surfaces. I also pull up the mattresses and wipe down the trays. I flip my mattress monthly and spray it down with Lysol as an added measure.

Why I Do It

I do it quite simply because I live in that truck. It really doesn’t get any deeper than that. I don't want to live in a dirty house, nor do I want to live in a dirty truck. As I said before, I do wipe down and vacuum the inside of my truck often. A little cleaning every day makes it easy to keep it organized and uncluttered. 

I am also a firm believer in not giving our fine Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) officers any reason to pull me into a weigh station for an inspection. We've all seen those trucks going down the road, the dashboard piled high with notepads, Bill of Lading (BOL’s), coffee cups, water bottles, assorted food wrappers, maybe a live animal or two and possibly Jimmy Hoffa. All kinds of stuff just screaming to the scale master, “Pull Me In, I don’t take care of my stuff”. 

Let’s be honest, as unfair as first impressions may be, they do lead people to make judgements about us. A cluttered dash, or the sight of a dirty bunk may lead to unwanted attention and possibly a deeper inspection. I don’t have time for that. I bet you don’t either (as a side note, if your dash is filled with enough stuff to block your defroster vents, you no longer have a functioning defroster, which could be a violation).

Here's a quick list of cleaning supplies I keep in the truck:

  • Windex or similar window cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Cleaning wipes (I use ArmorAll)
  • A small vacuum
  • A few sponges
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A small broom and dustpan
  • Lysol spray
  • Febreze and air fresheners

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Clark W Reed

Clark Reed of Roscoe, Illinois is an OTR company driver and trainer for Nussbaum Transportation based out of Hudson, Illinois. He has been driving since 2005 and has driven van, reefer, and tanker. He currently hauls dry van to all lower 48 states. Clark is passionate about MPGs and how driver habits influence them. The lifetime average of his 2018 Cascadia is 9.75 mpg, with eyes on 10. Clark, along with Henry Albert, was one of the seven drivers in 2017's "Run on Less" by NACFE, a road show, demonstrating what fuel efficiency can be obtained with existing technologies.

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