As a trucker, your job can involve steering for as much as 10 hours at a time to get to your destination. And over time, your sweaty palms will make the steering wheel casing start to wear off — which will affect your grip.
To prevent the potentially deadly consequences of letting your palms slip and slide on the steering wheel, experienced operators often wear special truck driving gloves. But driving gloves are not just for steering; you can use them to load and unload cargo as well as carry out repairs.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best gloves for truckers in common trucking scenarios.
- What type of gloves do truck drivers need?
- Advantages of truck driving gloves
- Disadvantages of truck driving gloves
- How to choose truck driving gloves?
- Best gloves for truck drivers overall
- Best winter gloves for truck drivers
- Best leather truck drivers gloves
- Best canvas gloves for truckers
- Best fingerless driving gloves
- Additional glove tips to keep in mind
What type of gloves do truck drivers need?
Your choice of truck driving gloves should depend on weather, purpose, design, and flexibility. Here are the truck driving gloves you need for various driving scenarios.
When hauling cargo during winter, you need warm driving gloves to protect your palms from the cold. These winter gloves also come in handy for activities outside the truck cabin, like lifting, repairs, loading, and unloading.
When shopping for new winter gloves, always look for those with insulating fabric and soft lining. This combo will keep your hands warm and dry throughout your journey.
Winter gloves are available on Amazon and other online stores.
Canvas work gloves
If you want to handle heavy machinery, canvas work gloves will help you do the heavy lifting. But before buying any canvas work glove, always make sure it has a durable, tear-resistant material like faux-leather.
You can get durable canvas work gloves online.
Leather work gloves
Leather gloves always look cool whenever you wear them. But besides having a fashionable fit, they also make excellent work gloves for truckers.
The leather fabric insulates the palm from the cold; it is also stain-resistant, making it easy to wash. For heavy lifting in the cold, you’ll also need leather truck drivers gloves from eBay or Amazon.
Although most gloves protect the entire hand, fingerless driving gloves cover every part of the hand, apart from the fingers.
Why is this necessary?
Gloves limit your flexibility; thick gloves stiffen the joints in your metacarpals. For this reason, drivers prefer wearing fingerless gloves because it frees their fingers, thereby enabling more flexibility.
So when searching for fingerless driving gloves on Amazon, always pay close attention to those with elastic fabric and adjustable wrist straps.
You always feel the stiffness of thick gloves in the joints on the knuckles and fingers. That’s why drivers opt for more flexibility by buying knuckle-less gloves.
If you want to buy a knuckle-less glove, always focus on the design and fabric to ensure they fit your hand perfectly. Otherwise, you will end up with gloves that slip and slide on your hands.
Advantages of truck driving gloves
Here are the advantages of buying the best gloves for truck drivers.
Warms up your hands
Truck drivers wear gloves to warm up their hands. It is simple: gloves provide additional insulation for the hand, especially in cold conditions. With leather gloves — and other insulating fabric — your hand will stay warm throughout your trip.
Handling a steering wheel involves a lot of effort and friction. When the palms become sweaty, you lose traction in your hands, which means you have to compensate by adding more effort to maintain your grip. As a result, you end up getting tired faster than usual.
But when you wear a slide-resistant glove, the fabric increases the grip between your palm and the steering wheel. This reduces the amount of energy you need to steer.
Gives you more control
In reference to the earlier “friction vs. effort” comment, wearing a glove gives you more control when working with your hands.
- You can lift heavier objects.
- Your steering handling is more accurate.
- You can handle tools with flexibility.
Protects you from bacteria and dirt
On average, the human hand contains over 1500 bacteria on each square inch of skin. Now think about this: as a truck driver, your hands come in contact with different dirty tools, machine parts, and cargo. So imagine the number of bacteria and potentially harmful substances you expose yourself to during each trip — especially if you are a hazmat driver.
But when you have the best heated gloves for driving, you limit your direct contact with dirty, slimy surfaces — which decreases your chances of coming in contact with harmful bacteria.
Keeps the steering wheel new
Friction rears its head once again. Rubbing your hands against the steering wheel leads to wear and tear on the surface. And if your palms get sweaty quickly, it increases the rate at which the surface of your steering wheel wears off.
Disadvantages of truck driving gloves
Wearing gloves helps truckers perform their duties efficiently, but it comes with a few drawbacks. Here are the most common disadvantages of gloves for truckers.
The extra buffer you get from gloves comes at a cost: you lose that natural sensation you feel when touching the steering wheel and other surfaces. This might sound like nothing, but it affects your ability to use touch controls — which might also trickle down with respect to your reaction speed when making split-second decisions.
Leads to skin irritation
Wearing gloves — especially during summer — makes your hands sweat a lot. And if the fabric is not breathable, it ends up absorbing the sweat. If you re-use the gloves without washing them properly, you will expose yourself to germs that will make your skin itch.
Besides, nylon and polyester fabrics can cause dermatitis — a condition where the skin becomes itchy or turns red when you come in contact with the fabric.
How to choose truck driving gloves?
Before choosing gloves for truck drivers, you must first consider some key factors.
The first consideration when buying gloves for truckers is comfort. Even if the gloves come from Tony Stark, they are useless if you don’t feel comfortable in them. So, always make sure the gloves you buy feel comfy before placing them in the glove compartment.
The material is another key differentiating factor when choosing trucking gloves. As discussed earlier, polymers can lead to dermatitis. So, keep away from such fabrics if possible.
Similarly, you must also factor in the material when buying leather gloves for winter or summer. This will help you choose gloves that can withstand your palms’ sweating without compromising your grip.
Trucker gloves come in different sizes because all hands differ: small, medium, large, and extra-large. You should always buy gloves that fit perfectly; you can opt for elastic fabrics to give your hands more wiggle room.
You should also prioritize gloves with adjustable wrist straps. If the gloves fit, you’ll get a better grip. Otherwise, you will end up struggling with your gloves while juggling the task at hand.
Some gloves are thick enough to protect your hands, but at the same time, this thickness limits the flexibility in your hands. To avoid this problem, always look for gloves that allow free movement in your fingers and wrists. This way, you can increase your range of motion as well as continue protecting your hand.
Materials like nylon and polyester are waterproof. Also, some companies combine faux leather with rubber to produce waterproof trucker gloves.
Besides being water-resistant, the gloves in your glovebox should also be resistant to other fluids like fuel and grease. This will make them easier to wash.
If you are a long-haul driver, you must get gloves that can handle the rigors of repairs, unloading, and engine heat. Most of this durability comes from the fabric used in making the gloves.
In general, pure leather materials are more durable than nylon and polyester fabrics. However, some glove manufacturers combine natural and synthetic fibers to obtain a highly durable material.
The best gloves have an anti-slide surface to improve the driver’s grip. Some of these surfaces contain semi-adhesive materials to help conserve energy needed to grip onto something — like the steering wheel or a heavy box.
Fabrics made of silicone, PVC, nitrile, and synthetic leather have a better grip than natural leather. These days, glove manufacturers reinforce the gripping surface by using abrasion-resistant breathable nitro foam (BNF).
The average cost of gloves for truckers usually floats between $30 to $60. Any product above or below this range, generally speaking, is either too expensive or has inferior quality. So, before buying your trucking gloves, always balance your budget with your needs.
The design of the gloves determines how drivers will use them. Some standard glove designs include the following:
- Lined gloves — they have an inner lining for additional insulation.
- Unlined gloves — they don’t have any lining.
- Fingerless gloves — the fingers are cut off to allow more freedom.
- Fingered gloves — the fingers are shaped like standard gloves.
- Knuckle-cut out gloves — the knuckles are cut out to allow more aeration. They are also called knuckle-less gloves.
Best gloves for truck drivers overall: Ironclad EXO Motor Impact Gloves
In terms of overall functionality, no gloves measure up to the Ironclad EXO Motor Impact Gloves. Regardless of the weather, any trucker can wear these gloves when going on trips.
Taking a look at the intricately designed nylon material on the Ironclad EXO Motor Impact gloves gives you a sense of safety and confidence. They also use vibration absorbers to protect the hand when driving or using power tools.
- It is easy to wash.
- It is durable and reusable.
- It has a sweat management feature.
- It absorbs heat and vibration.
- It is easy to put on.
- It is water-resistant.
- The hook makes it adjustable for a precise fit.
- The fabric is not breathable.
- It gets warm and uncomfortable after prolonged use.
Get it on Amazon.
Best winter gloves for truck drivers: Vgo 1-Pair Heavy-Duty Gloves
Grabbing onto a cold steering wheel or metal component with your bare hands is a painful experience. But with the Vgo 1-Pair Heavy-Duty synthetic leather work gloves for truck drivers, you can drive comfortably during winter.
The Vgo 1-pair has a 45-degree cut at the joints to ensure flexibility when using the gloves. The fingertips also come with a unique sensor that allows you to use touchscreen devices while wearing the gloves.
- The material is breathable.
- It is machine washable.
- It absorbs vibration.
- It has a touchscreen sensor.
- It is not water-resistant.
Get it on Amazon.
Best leather truck drivers gloves: Youngstown 12-3265-60-L Work Gloves
The Youngstown Gloves are some of the best leather driving gloves. They come in premium goat grain leather that offers double-layer reinforcement for steering and lifting.
The thick leather gloves also protect your hands from harsh weather, hot machine parts, and high voltage.
- It is shock and weather resistant.
- It doesn’t absorb dirt.
- It feels comfy to the touch.
- It doesn’t offer a wide range of movement.
Get it on Amazon.
Best canvas gloves for truckers: Mechanix Wear Gloves
Canvas gloves like Mechanix Wear are the best work gloves for truckers. These gloves solve the flexibility problem by using an elastic faux-leather TrekDry material — which is also breathable.
Mechanix Wear gloves also come with a secure hook and loop closure which comfortably wraps around the wrist. The fabric is also touchscreen-enabled.
- The fabric is breathable.
- It retains flexibility in the fingers.
- The adjustable strap makes it suitable for many wrist types.
- The material becomes slippery when wet.
- Sharp objects can tear the fabric.
Get it on Amazon.
Best fingerless driving gloves: Hikeman Fingerless Gloves
Hikerman makes some of the best fingerless driving gloves. These gloves are made of a faux-leather fabric that contains some rubber. Hikeman fingerless gloves come with protective knuckle braces.
The coarse texture of the material also has anti-skid gridding that increases the glove’s grip — which is crucial when working with wet or greasy machine parts.
- It is skid-resistant.
- It is machine washable.
- The fingerless design makes it breathable.
- It leaves the fingers exposed.
- It is now water-resistant.
Get it on Amazon.
Additional glove tips to keep in mind
We’ve discussed the best gloves for truckers, now let’s share some practical tips to help you use these gloves efficiently.
Wash your gloves regularly
As mentioned earlier, gloves can harbor harmful germs and bacteria. To protect yourself from bacterial infections, always wash your gloves after every trip.
Wash them with warm water and detergent to kill the bacteria and remove stubborn stains. You can also use washing machines to get rid of dirt and grease from the gloves. For materials like leather and faux leather, you need to dry them in the sun to prevent them from acquiring a foul odor.
In general, you can maintain flawless hygiene by changing your gloves every other month.
Don’t use mittens as gloves
Some drivers wear mittens instead of trucking gloves when heading out on a long-haul trip, but this is never a good idea. For starters, mittens are terrible fuel handling gloves because they are made of highly flammable fabrics like wool and cotton. Apart from that, mittens limit the range of motion in your fingers; they also have a slippery surface.
Buy gloves that fit
As established earlier, size does matter when buying truck driver gloves. If the gloves are too small, they will hurt you or even restrict blood flow to your hand. But if the gloves are too large, you won’t be able to use them to steer, because they will feel like soft mittens.
So always wear gloves that fit your hands, fingers, and wrists. They will feel comfy to the touch and guarantee better handling, steering, and gripping.
Always go for breathable options
Leather and nylon are non-breathable, which can cause discomfort when the weather gets hot. Alternatively, synthetic fabrics like the TrekDry material are breathable. In hot conditions, the breathable fabric will keep your palms from getting clammy.
If the price is right and the quality is great, always opt for gloves designed to allow maximum airflow in the hands.
Use different gloves for different things
Some drivers use one pair of gloves for everything. Although nothing is wrong with this practice, the better option is to designate a specific pair of gloves for different activities.
If you want to refill your fuel tank, you can dig out your fuel handling gloves from your glovebox. In the same vein, you can have a different pair of gloves for driving, as well as a separate pair for repairs and loading/unloading. By doing so, you will maintain better trucking gloves hygiene.
Use touchscreen gloves
Most modern trucks now have a display screen from which you can adjust controls. If you don’t have touchscreen gloves, you will have to cycle between putting on your gloves and taking them off whenever you want to use a touchscreen device.
Every trucker needs gloves for driving, loading, unloading, and conducting repairs. Sometimes, you just wear gloves to keep your hands warm. Regardless of the purpose, you need durable gloves that offer flexibility and comfort. Always look for breathable fabrics that fit your hand perfectly. Most importantly, maintain proper glove hygiene at all times. And if you are all set now but find yourself looking for gloves for truckers anytime in the future, you can always refer to this article again before making your pick.
If you want to work with a company that cares about the driver’s overall health and wellbeing, HMD Trucking is the best destination for you. Our personalized approach to trucking makes us the favorite destination for drivers (at least 6 months of CDL A experience required). Join us now to start your trucking adventure.