As vehicles grow in size, so do their corresponding roadside emergencies. It doesn’t help matters that most of us ended up in a truck because we’re looking to push the limits a bit. Of course, anything can be prepared for, and preparation is what we’re all about here. Whether your miles are logged on the morning commute or dirt mountain roads, the following items will help ensure that you’re ready for it all.
Basic Tools and Spare Parts
Most of us rely on professional mechanics to keep our trucks operating smoothly day-to-day. That typically works just fine, but every one of us will eventually be forced to get ourselves out of a bind. Be ready when the time comes. Get familiar with your truck’s owner’s manual, and be sure to keep commonly needed tools and parts in your vehicle at all times. At a minimum, we’d start with a set of socket wrenches, pliers, flat and phillips-head screwdrivers, a work-light, gloves, duct tape, and zip ties. It's also not a bad idea to keep extra oil and coolant on hand.
Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Wrench
Your truck probably came equipped with a full-size spare, jack, and lug wrench. Don’t count on it. Be sure. Changing a tire is quick and easy if you’re properly prepared, and doing it yourself will help avoid a long wait on roadside assistance, if assistance is available at all. If you've upgraded your tires, upgrade your spare as mismatched tires may lead to driveline issues.
Until it happens, it’s difficult to imagine getting a 4X4 stuck. Trust us, it’s inevitable. Traction boards can quickly get a pickup out of shallow snow, sand, and mud. If you’re really stuck, and lucky enough to have an accompanying vehicle, be ready with a tow strap and attachment hardware. For the off-road adventurers, a spade is a must, and a Hi-lift jack should be considered on especially technical terrain. If driving on wooded trails, include a long-handled axe or bow saw on your packing list so you’re able to clear any fallen trees.
Tire Deflator and Air Compressor
If and when you wander off-road, you’ll want to drop the psi of your tires. A quality deflator takes the guesswork out of the task. What goes down must come up, so be ready with an air compressor when the rubber meets the road.
Ever get the low fuel indicator and pull up to an out-of-service gas station? If not, give it time. Especially when venturing off-road, be ready for such unfortunate situations with a few gallons in reserve. Choose a quality gas can, store it properly, vent at least once each day, and say goodbye to the empty-tank panic.
If you’re carrying around combustibles, better be prepared with a way to extinguish a surprise fire. Even if you never need it for yourself, you’ll be prepared to play hero to any fellow motorists in need.
One of the joys of owning a DiamondBack is the ability to top-load cargo at the drop of a hat. You’ll need tie-downs to secure that cargo, and it’s best to buy the right ones the first time. DiamondBack Ratchet Tie-Downs are over-engineered just like our covers, and they’re over-sized for even the bulkiest items.
The Ten Essentials
Roadside emergencies have a funny way of making camping gear very useful. Sometimes it’s your headlamp assisting with a tire-change, and sometimes it’s your tent providing lodging for the night. For these reasons, among others, we recommend keeping an extra “get home bag” in the truck at all times. This isn’t an EDC bag, so pack extra footwear and clothing for cold weather, and go heavy on the food and water. And consider the things you need and use each day, like a toothbrush and phone charger. If you’re not sure what items make up the ten essentials, we covered them for you here.