2020’s season of giving is forecasted to become the most intense delivery season for couriers and delivery drivers across the entire nation. With everyone mostly staying home, online order placement will be the highest it’s ever been. Now, more than ever before, people will be counting on essential drivers to ensure that food, gifts, and other important necessities to your place or your loved ones’ residences.
This article is for those that’ll be a new addition to delivery service. You’ll need some essentials to ensure that you’re able to deliver quickly, safely, and efficiently as you can. This is a non-exhaustive list of gear to make reliable, easy, and timely deliveries possible for all your future deliveries.
What Do I Need To Start Driving As A Courier?
For any delivery job, you need equipment to keep all electronics fully charged, an app to streamline your delivery route, some safety gear, and equipment to stay reasonably comfortable throughout the day. In essence, you’ll need any equipment that makes your job easier and your work day less stressful. This list is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover most bases.
1. Reliable & Efficient Navigation
Deliveries need to happen in a timely and efficient manner. You should download a navigation app that will guide you in the best direction. The right software can save you time and will navigate you onto the most efficient path.
Although there are many options like Google Maps or Waze, Straightaway is an app that caters directly to delivery drivers. Straightaway is a route optimization app that scans your manifest, and will draw up a map to quickly navigate you through your day. Just snap a photo of your list of addresses with any smartphone and Straightaway will create the best route that includes all your deliveries in the shortest amount of time. When you free up your time, you’re able to make more deliveries and ensure that you’re never running late.
2. Extra Phone Battery
Because everything is transmitted virtually nowadays, you’ll be relying primarily on your smartphone to keep contact with both customers and your employer. Utilizing your phone frequently will drain the battery quickly. This is true even for those who have the most recent smartphone model, you shouldn’t rely on just one charge. It’s best to carry charging cables you can easily plug into your car so that you can keep your battery constantly charging while you’re going about your day.
If there isn’t a possibility to charge your phone through the vehicle directly, look into carrying an external battery source or charging case, like this one from Mophie, with you. We like Mophie because they make charging cases that aren’t too bulky and they have the highest battery storage possible. Charging cases are more mobile and it’s more convenient since your smartphone won’t be hooked up to its charging cord. When you have a spare battery, you won’t ever be stuck with a drained, useless smartphone at the end of a shift. Plus, your smartphone will never die in the middle of a shift and leave you and all your cargo stranded with no backup plan.
3. Smartphone Mount
Mounting your smartphone up onto your car’s dashboard can make the day easier. Instead of having to constantly look up, down, and around, mount your phone at a consistent and safe place, which is eye-level. We recommend the Schosche Magic Mount.
With a phone mount, you can safely monitor your surroundings while also consulting navigation and answering important work calls or texts. You’ll avoid the neck strain, eye strain, and it is safer for everyone. Even those who are required to use their smartphones while navigating the road.
4. Accessories and Clothing
With the unstable state of the COVID-19 pandemic, please keep yourself and the neighborhoods you’re servicing as safe as you can. Couriers and delivery drivers are essential, yet, also have a higher risk of exposure to infection! Simple latex gloves will protect your hands so that you won’t be contacting any infected surfaces.
Although any kind of cloth mask will help reduce the spread of transmission, it’s worth looking at the KN95 mask model as those kinds of masks guarantee the strongest grade of protection from particulate matter. KN95 masks are available through online resellers such Amazon, but be wary of shady sites who sell counterfeit KN95 masks!
Depending on which area of the country you’ll be servicing, be ready to anticipate a variety of wild weather. Don't get stuck in a wintery snowstorm in Chicago or a dangerous landslide in California.
When you make those important deliveries, we recommend having a Colombia waterproof jacket, this sturdy Carhartt warm jacket, a reliable umbrella from G4Free, a rugged pair of gloves from HosiLany, and a sturdy change of shoes such as these Timberlands. You’ll want a spare pair of shoes if your first ones get soaked.
In addition to the weather appropriate apparel, consider investing in polarized sunglasses from Merry’s that filter out damaging UV rays and blinding, dangerous glare bouncing from the road and other vehicles. Eye strain is painful yet completely preventable. You want to make sure that your eyes aren’t overworked at the completion of a long day of deliveries.
5. Dashboard Cameras
In the unfortunate event of a road accident occurring while you’re on the clock, a dash cam like this one from Apeman, will serve as an objective witness to the accident. Having a dash cam recording the event also serves as a form of insurance for both you and the delivery vehicle. Speak with your supervisors about ordering them for their own vehicles so that you won’t be required to pay personally.
The sun sets early during the holidays, so daylight is scarce. To be sure that you can properly see street names, residence numbers, and sidewalks, keep a trusty Maglite flashlight with you so that you can make end-of-day deliveries accurately and safely.
7. Lower Back Support
If you have long delivery days, specialize in moving heavy loads, or if you have a particularly sensitive back overall, getting yourself a lower back pillow from LoveHome could dramatically improve your day. It’ll keep stiffness at bay, stabilize your back, and it’ll keep you alert by having you seated with great posture. A back pillow is both investing in your work day and also investing your overall health.
Closing Words of Advice!
Any of these items can be worthwhile investments if you’ll be working this holiday season as delivery driver or courier. Not only will you be making your work day more efficient, you’ll be making yourself more safe and comfortable. You’ll make deliveries easier, quicker, and you’ll help make this holiday season happen for many people.
If you decide to purchase any items on your own, you should save all receipts and take note of all the money you spent. These charges could be tax-deductible if you’ll be driving as an independent contractor. If you’re not driving as an independent contractor, it’s worth it to have a discussion with your managers to see if the company will offer to foot the bill for the equipment that we recommend.