Cleaning the inside of a semi-truck
Over-the-road drivers frequently spend weeks away from home, and most of that time is spent inside the vehicle. Along with driving long hours to deliver a shipment, their time is typically spent eating, sleeping and relaxing in the truck’s cab. Living in a confined space can make tidying up a difficult task, but it’s important to take the time and effort to keep the inside of a vehicle clean and organized. Maintain your truck’s interior by learning how to care for it properly.
Why should I keep my truck cab clean?
Taking the time to pick up trash, arrange belongings and wipe down surfaces can benefit your overall mood, health and driving performance. A well-kept cab can:
- Preserve the quality of the interior
- Prevent germs and bacteria from growing and spreading
- Make your truck appear more professional (which can help during a DOT inspection)
- Prevent distractions while driving
7 truck interior cleaning tips
Follow these seven tips to get your equipment in order:
- Get rid of unnecessary items
Look at your belongings — cooking utensils, canned or packaged food, reading materials, electronics and clothing. Are there items you never use or wear? If so, remove them and either leave them at home or throw them away at a rest area. Having less stuff in your cabin makes it easier to keep your space spotless.
- Organize your belongings
Figuring out where to put everything in a small space requires a little creativity. Start by grouping similar items, and consider purchasing plastic boxes or travel organizers to use for storage. Once you’ve placed items in a container, give everything a specific location (maximize your space by storing things in the cabinets, compartments, seat backs and underneath the bed). You also can create more space by using utility hooks to hang up bags, hats, laundry bags and trash bags. Organization for truckers isn’t just about keeping your cab tidy; it’s also about safety. Putting away items can prevent them from rolling or flying around while driving.
- Take out the trash
It’s easy for trash to pile up when you’re always on the road. To help keep it under control, designate a convenient spot for a trash bag. Be sure to place fast food bags, snacks, plastic bags, drinks and other garbage in it. By throwing everything in one bag, you won’t have to collect trash from multiple compartments and surfaces. Whenever you stop, empty the bag to prevent odors from forming.
Dust particles can cause health problems such as eye irritation, coughing, sneezing and even asthma attacks — especially in compact spaces like a truck cab. An easy way to get rid of dust is to wipe down interior surfaces. Consistently use a microfiber cloth to dust off cabinets, drawers, shelves, electronics, appliances, the dashboard and other hard surfaces. When dusting the dash, be gentle so you don’t damage any knobs or dials, and remember to avoid oil-based products with a shiny finish that can cause a glare from the sun.
- Vacuum regularly
Vacuuming on a regular basis means less dust, trash and food crumbs are left on the floor. Start by removing floor mats and rugs, and shaking those off outside. Vacuum the floor and seats, and use a long attachment hose or crevice tool to get hard-to-reach areas. Don’t forget to vacuum the floor mats and rugs before placing them back in the vehicle.
- Clean the glass
Washing the windows, especially the windshield, is crucial. Poor visibility because of dirty glass poses a potential danger to you and other drivers. When cleaning glass, use a non-streaking agent and spray the product on a microfiber cloth instead of directly on the window. Wipe the window in a horizontal motion and use a toothbrush to remove wax and grime off the edges. If your truck has tinted windows, stay away from ammonia-based products — they can cause the tint to fade and peel off.
- Schedule a professional detailing service
Depending on how much time you spend in the cab and how often you’re on the road, you may want to have the interior professionally detailed. You can do this as often as you want or just a couple of times a year. And while it will cost some money, a deep clean (in conjunction with regular upkeep) can keep the interior fresh and in good condition.
What truck cleaning tips do you have?
If you’ve been a long-haul driver for many years, you’ve probably developed your own cleaning habits and organizational methods. Help our readers by sharing them in the comments below.