This year’s holiday season is on track to be the busiest for delivery drivers and couriers all across the country. With people staying at home, online orders will be through the roof. More than ever, everyone will be relying on seasonal delivery drivers to get meals, presents, and other essentials to you or your loved ones’ homes.
If you’re new to delivery service you’ll need some gear to ensure that you’re able to deliver quickly, efficiently, and as safely as possible. Here’s a list of items to make flawless, comfortable, quick deliveries possible for you!
What Gear Does A Delivery Driver Need?
You need gear to keep your electronics working, software to optimize your route, safety equipment, and a way to stay comfortable. In short, you’ll need anything to make your job easy and your day run smoothly.
Phone Charger & Extra Battery
Just about everything is virtual these days, so you will be relying on your phone to communicate throughout the day. Actively using your phone will drain its battery, even if you have the newest model. It’s smart to carry multiple charging cords you can plug right into your vehicle in order to keep your phone’s battery charged while driving.
If there’s no possibility to charge your phone through the car directly, carry a spare external battery pack or a charging case, such as a Mophie, with you. We recommend Mophie because they are charging cases that aren’t bulky and they have excellent battery life levels. It’s more mobile and it can be more convenient since your phone won’t need to be tethered to a cord. This way, you won’t be caught with a dead phone by the end of your shift, nor will your phone die in the middle of the day and leave you and your deliveries stranded.
Having your phone mounted on your dashboard can make your drive more efficient. Instead of having to continually look down and then back up at the road, you can mount your phone at eye-level. That way, you can properly keep your eyes on the road while at the same time being able to consult navigation and answer texts or calls. It’ll save you eye strain, neck strain, and is overall safer for drivers who need to use their phones while driving.
Reliable Navigation App
In order to make deliveries in a timely and efficient manner, you should follow a navigation app that will guide you in the right direction. The right app 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 address sheet, or manifest, and will create a map to navigate you through your day. All you have to do is take a photo of your list of addresses with your smartphone and Straightaway will draw up a 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.
Proper Clothes & Accessories
Given the state of the pandemic, you’ll want to keep you and the community you’re delivering to as safe as possible. Delivery drivers and couriers are at some of the highest risks of transmission! Look into wearing simple latex gloves that will ensure that you won’t be touching any potentially infected materials. And although any cloth mask is an acceptable face covering, look into the KN95 grade of mask as those guarantee the highest level of protection.
Depending on what part of the country you’ll be delivering to, you should be able to anticipate any kind of inclement weather. You don't want to be caught in a snowstorm in Minnesota or a landslide in Sarasota. When making deliveries, you should have on-hand a waterproof jacket, a warm winter jacket, an umbrella, a warm pair of gloves, and a change of shoes just in case the ones you’re wearing get soaked.
Additionally, you should look into getting polarized sunglasses that adequately filter out harsh sunlight and blinding road glare. Eye strain is harmful yet preventable. After a long day of deliveries, you want to make sure your eyes aren’t fatigued by the end of the day.
In the wintertime, the sun sets early, and therefore daylight is dwindling. To ensure that you can see street signs, house numbers, and walkways, keep a flashlight on hand so that you can make those end-of-day deliveries accurately.
In the event of an accident, a dash cam on board will be an objective witness. Having a camera recording the road acts as insurance for you and the vehicle that you’re operating. You could talk to your boss about buying them for their vehicles so you don't have to pay out of pocket.
Lower Back Support
Whether you have long delivery days, specialize in delivering heavy cargo, or if you have a sensitive back in general, investing in a lower back pillow could make all the difference. It can help keep soreness at bay, and it’ll help you stay awake by having you sit with better posture. Not only is this an investment in your day job, but it’s an investment in your health.
A Final Piece of Advice!
If you need to purchase any of these items, save receipts and take note of all money spent as they could be tax-deductible if you’re driving as an independent contractor. If you’re not an independent contractor, ask your managers to see if the company can cover the costs of some of the recommended equipment. All of these items are worthwhile investments if you’re working this holiday as a seasonal delivery driver. Not only are you making your job more efficient, you’ll make yourself more comfortable and safe. You’ll make deliveries quicker, easier, and you’ll help make this holiday season happen.