The delivery industry is booming, and drivers are in demand. As a delivery driver, you’re an independent contractor. You get to set your schedule and work for any company you want if you meet their qualifications.
As you get used to the role, you’ll learn how to tweak your practices to increase your income. The better prepared you are for handling deliveries timely and effectively, the more money you’ll make.
Since you’ll be in your car for much of your workday, that’s where your preparation should begin. Load up on these four essentials for every delivery driver to make your driving time easier and your workload more efficient.
1. A Reliable GPS System
No matter how long you’ve lived in an area, your job is going to take you to places you didn’t know existed. You’ll need a GPS system that gets regular updates to find your way around the back roads and those off-the-beaten-path hidden driveways.
One of the top causes of Amazon, FedEx, and other delivery driver accidents is not knowing the area. Unfamiliar roads mean last-minute turns and confusion, which often leads to collisions. Your GPS system helps avoid this, but only if you use one that warns you about turns before you get to them.
Most smartphones come with GPS software programmed in them for you. You don’t have to stick with this option, though. Check around with other drivers to see what they use.
If you can find software with route optimization, it saves time and fuel. You plug all your destinations in when you head out with multiple orders, and the software tells you the best route to deliver it all.
2. A Phone Mount
Your GPS map is only as accessible as your phone. If it’s in your lap, you have to look down and away from the road. If you slam on your brakes, you’re fishing for the phone instead of paying attention to your driving.
Solve those problems and more with a phone mount. The right mount keeps your phone near eye-level, so you can see upcoming turns in your peripheral vision. Most mounts come in magnetic forms or cup holder varieties, so you can choose whichever one is more comfortable for you.
Magnetic mounts let you remove your phone quickly when you need to use it. The magnetic backings attach to the back of the phone or case and connect to the mount when the phone isn’t in use.
A cup holder mount stays out of the way of the dash and windshield. It’s not as easy to see without looking away from the road, but it keeps your phone in place.
Both mounts leave the charging port at the bottom of the phone open, so you can keep your phone plugged in. (Don’t forget to include a strong charger as part of your essential delivery driving kit. We assume you already have at least one, though.)
3. A Dash Cam
You’ve seen all the viral videos of someone catching the cute animals crossing the street or an accident in progress.
They’re not driving around with their cell phones in perpetual video recording mode, hoping to catch something cool. They just have dash cams.
As a delivery driver, you never know what could happen in the line of duty. Car accidents, dog bites, customer arguments, and other mishaps occur. A dashcam could provide the evidence you need to prove that an accident wasn’t your fault.
You don’t need to invest in top-of-the-line equipment. A decent camera that doesn’t take up much room is under $100 on Amazon. Hopefully, you never need to use it, but if you do, it could be worth every penny.
4. A Safety and First-Aid Kit
Every driver should have a kit in their car for emergencies. As a delivery person who spends most of the day on the road, you need one more than the average person.
Start with a basic first-aid kit with Red Cross suggestions. You can buy them premade at the store or create your own. Store Bought kits typically come with the essentials to treat minor cuts, scrapes, burns, and injuries.
In addition to the first-aid kit, other safety items you should have include:
- A flashlight with spare batteries
- A flare gun
- Pepper spray or other defense weapons
- An umbrella and raincoat
Don’t forget to check your basic emergency car repair items. Do you have a spare tire in working condition? A jack and the tools to change the tire? Jumper cables in case your car won’t start?
These safety and emergency supplies will get you through most unexpected circumstances. A roadside service membership through AAA or another reputable company is the last detail to add to your list.
In every job, safety is first. As a delivery driver, your role is vital, and you’re on the road avoiding accidents every day. These four supplies are essential delivery driver tools to make your work easier and keep you and those around you safe.