During a busy work week, over-the-road truckers may spend more time in their vehicle than any other place. Between pulling a full shift and sleeping overnight, there’s no doubt that cab is your primary living environment. While it may be pure common sense to keep the interior and exterior of your 18-wheeler clean and tidy, it’s a given that truck drivers may not look forward to semi-truck cleaning duties. At CDLjobs.com, we understand how hard the men and women of the road work and hope these tips on how to clean your truck save you time and improve your space.
Interior Semi-Truck Cleaning Tips
It’s not uncommon for truckers to wait until their run is over and pay a professional to detail a semi, inside and out. That does mean you will be working in a less-than-sterile environment for weeks at a time. Let’s be candid, you probably wouldn’t let trash pile up in your living room or let stains on a favorite recliner go untreated. With only modest effort and the following steps, your vehicle can enjoy that new rig smell once again.
1: Clear Out Trash
Take a trash liner or plastic grocery bag and scoop up all those coffee cups, wrappers, and other items that found their way to the floor, behind seats, or into the sleeper space.
2: Vacuum Up Unsavory Bits
Pull out your mats and other portable interior items and go to work vacuuming up the dirt, grime, and crumbs from breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and other snacks. These things can bring about mold, and you may be breathing in those spores while working and sleeping.
3: Clean the Dashboard
Consider using a soft brush to vacuum the dash if it’s loaded with dust. Then, take wipes explicitly made for interior cleaning and wipe it down thoroughly. It may be best to steer away from polishes and products that give off a shiny glow. They tend to cause unnecessary glare.
5: Wash Your Mats
Use a hose, soapy water, and a scrub brush to get any caked up materials off your mats. Once clean, hang them to dry out while you get back to your semi-truck cleaning endeavors.
6: Wash Your Clothes
It’s an open secret that dirty laundry piles up on long hauls. Sometimes, drivers may forget to take it out and run it through the wash at convenient times. Do your laundry!
7: Clean the Curtains
Remove your curtains and put them in the washing machine when doing your laundry. Be sure to follow the manufacturer directions about curtain material and drying methods.
8: Take Out Stains
Fill a clean bucket with warm soapy water and scrub the seats thoroughly. If they are too entrenched with grime, it may be in your best interest to secure a reliable upholstery cleaning product and follow the directions. If you enjoy leather seats, definitely use an approved cleaning brand. Let them dry completely by leaving the doors open. This will also air out the cab as well.
9: Clean the Windows
A simple window cleaner and roll of paper towels to spray and wipe should suffice to clear up the side windows and interior windshield. Consider a pro-style scrubber and hose for the exterior windshield. No one likes the idea of getting up close to that graveyard of dead bugs.
10: Replace the Air Filters
Swapping out the old filters remains the gateway to cleaner, fresher, breathable air in your work and sleep space. Among other things, breathing clean air is one way truckers can prevent sickness. Going forward, follow the manufacturer guidelines about air filter replacement.
These interior tips on how to clean your truck may be far less time-consuming than you anticipate. And, the importance of the cleanliness of your semi’s interior cannot be understated. Professional truck drivers spend countless hours in these spaces delivering goods and materials to America’s communities. A little tidying up often proves beneficial to a driver’s long-term health and well-being.
How to Clean You Truck Exterior
Trucks that have seen thousands of miles of highways and byways are sure to accumulate a great deal of grit, dirt, and splatter. The fact of the matter is that a dirty truck does not reflect the pride and greatness associated with American truckers. When a big rig glimmers rolling down the road, it has a “wow factor.” Your semi deserves to be admired by passersby. Fortunately, exterior semi-truck cleaning is not particularly difficult or time-consuming.
1: Lather Your Truck with Soap
When washing the exterior of your truck, use warm water and a professional solution. Things like dish soap and non-truck products may negatively impact the wax and paint job. Using improper products increases the likelihood of nicks and rust spots. Once your vehicle is lathered up, use a pro-level squeegee to remove the soap suds.
2: Scrub and Soap Wheels
Take a firm sponge or scrub brush and loosen any build-up on your wheels and rims. There are excellent products specifically designed for these difficult to clean areas. Consider investing in one.
3: Rinse Thoroughly
Start by dowsing the exterior with buckets of warm, clean water. This step washes away any particles that may still be clinging to the truck’s exterior. Once you feel comfortable, take a hose and spray away any soap or suds.
4: Wax Immediately
Allow the truck’s surface to dry in the sun if you are not in an intensely hot area. Otherwise, put the truck in a shady spot. Once it is fully dry, wax the exterior. This will protect it against the elements. It also makes your big rig look amazing.
How To Keep Your Truck Clean Going Forward
After putting all of your curtains, mats, and clean laundry back into the truck, it may be worthwhile to take some proactive steps to minimize uncleanliness. These are steps you can take to maintain a fresh-smelling and looking truck.
- Include a small wastebasket with liner in the cab.
- Put down rugs in the sleeper space.
- Make an alert in your cell phone, noting when it’s time to change those air filters.
- Swap out work shoes for driving shoes when entering the vehicle.
- Keep a soft rag handy to wipe down the dashboard periodically.
- Get an air purifier.
- Do your laundry more often.
Avoid DOT Inspections
While having a thoroughly cleaned truck is clearly not a guarantee drivers will completely avoid a future DOT traffic stop, officers may view your tidiness as a good indication that your house is in order. Any time that professional truck drivers can spend to shorten or avoid inspections while on the road is very likely time well spent.
Truck driving is a rugged and crucial job done by professional CDL holders from all walks of life. A clean semi-truck is a healthy and robust place to work and will help you to thrive in the trucking industry.