For both rideshare (Uber and Lyft) and delivery (DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats), driving is pretty straightforward. You get into your vehicle, turn on your app, and away you go. Everything can go smoothly as long as you have a reliable cell phone, some decent tunes, and, if you need it, a nice thermal bag for delivery, which is usually provided by your company.
But once you reach the point where you’re spending more time in your car, you begin to see the need for tools and gadgets that can help you do your job better. In this post, we’ll share with you some of those essential (and nice to have) accessories that will make your driving life more comfortable, efficient, and profitable. Here’s what you’ll read about:
- How can tools and gadgets make your driving life easier?
- 10 cool tools and gadgets for rideshare (Uber and Lyft and delivery (DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats) drivers
- Being practical about buying more stuff
How can tools and gadgets make your driving life easier?
This question requires you to tap into how you feel while you’re out there driving. For rideshare drivers, how comfortable are you? Can your car be ready in a minute to go out in all kinds of road conditions? What do you do when you can’t see well due to the sun’s glare or car lights? Does your body hurt when you’ve been out on a long shift?
DoorDash, Uber Eeats, Postmates, and other delivery drivers might have other issues to address. How can you keep your containers, particularly those filled with liquids, right side up? If you carry groceries around, how can you keep orders separate, or organize the bags so they don’t tip over in transit? What about getting in and out of the car in nasty weather? Do you have the right gear to keep you, and your precious cargo, safe from the elements?
These are some of the problems we hope you’ll be able to solve with the great tools and gadgets we’ve pulled together for you. The first few are especially for delivery drivers, and the rest will serve rideshare as well as delivery drivers. Because so many of you are ferrying packages as well as passengers, we’re pretty sure you’ll like all of them.
10 cool tools and gadgets for rideshare (Uber and Lyft and delivery (DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats) drivers
1. A delivery bag that really works
Most delivery companies provide a delivery bag, but does it really work for all situations? In most cases, no. For one thing, the bags are tiny. They barely hold a normal-sized order, and they don’t do so well at keeping food at the right temperatures, either. So how can you really keep food warm in a container that has enough room for the meals you carry in it? With all the technology we have in 2021, there has to be a solution.
Enter the USB bag. Yep, you can plug a bag like this one into your USB port, and let it not merely insulate, but also keep the food warm. This can be especially useful on long rides, and on any trip when the inside of your car is cold. That’s the case in winter weather, for sure, but also in extreme heat when you have the AC turned up to refrigeration levels.
There are other bags that don’t plug in, but give you plenty of room to work with; here’s a selection you can look over. Some are kind of pricey but remember: Anything you buy to help make your job easier is an investment in your business, which means it’s tax-deductible.
2. Carriers to keep your beverages upright
It’s difficult to keep those tall paper cups filled with soda (or cocktails) from falling over, especially if your trips involve hills and valleys, or the starts and stops that come with urban driving. There are two kinds of potential problems with carrying beverages: One, they make a mess when spilled in your car. Have you ever tried to clean up iced tea or coffee from a light tan car carpet? It’s not pretty. And two, you might have to keep the liquids cold or hot when the food is of the opposite temperature.
To prevent these beverage-related struggles, be the professional you are and get the right equipment.
You might have seen some food bags that include space for drinks in the link above. But what about those deliveries that involve trips to the barista bar? Why carry a gigantic bag that could fit food to feed four, when you can simply balance the beverages with simple and cool carriers like these?
3. Keeping your stuff with you—hands-free
There are some garments, like jackets and utility vests, that have lots of pockets, but few are designed quite like the Scott eVEST. Here you’ve got a pocket for everything, with zippers and waterproof features to protect your phone and other electronics. There’s even an extending keychain attached to one pocket so you never have to wonder where you stuck your keys again.
Whether you’re doing deliveries or driving rideshare, it’s super-convenient to avoid carrying a bag—or even sitting on your keys, glasses, or wallet for hours, should you shove them in the pockets of your pants. And no driver really wants to carry a bag of any kind in the car. It takes up room, and could possibly be pilfered by the wrong kind of passenger. This one garment lets you keep your stuff close to the vest, so to speak, and it’s just cool. Another advantage: It’s lightweight enough to wear in warm weather, and can be layered with other coverings when it’s cold outside.
We admit that Scott brand eVESTs aren’t cheap, and if they’re too expensive for your budget you can get less-expensive versions. Look for vests that are lightweight with lots of pockets, like these.
4. Rough weather gear
A thin little vest is great, but when it’s pouring rain or spitting sleet or snow—and you have to get in and out of your vehicle 20 times a shift—you need to stay covered. On top of that, you have enough to carry; so an umbrella isn’t your best choice. It could be time to head to the outdoor store or another reasonable purveyor to grab up wearable gear you can use to protect yourself.
Just how much protection you need depends on the gig. If you’re doing delivery only, you may want to go all out and consider full suits like these. After all, you’ll be walking back and forth from your car, a lot.
It’s probably wise to choose a jacket that has some reflective elements. When it’s cloudy and rainy, you need to be visible to motorists who might otherwise miss seeing you.
Although rideshare drivers aren’t in and out of the car as often delivery drivers, you’ll still want protection for those times when you are outside. A compact umbrella will probably be fine since you won’t want your gear to take up too much space. But if you want some more coverage, consider getting a packable jacket (or pouch jacket) that rolls up to about the same size as a tiny umbrella. It might even fit in the pocket of your utility vest.
5. Take care of those feet!
So we’ve got the top part of your body covered, but what about your feet? Hours of driving, not to mention getting in and out of your vehicle for deliveries, can be tough on your feet. A good driving shoe can be a lifesaver when it comes to beating fatigue, and also maintaining a firm yet agile mastery of the foot pedals.
In bad weather you’ll probably be stuck with boots, but if you’re not planning to leave the car much, or the weather’s fine, you can look for shoes that are light and tight. You’ll want a fit that won’t allow your foot to flop in and out of the shoe. Driving with flip-flops to the corner store may be okay—but try driving an eight-hour shift in them, and you’ll wish you had shoes that are more like these.
You’ll also want a sole that won’t slide too much, and that’s why many driving shoes have those bubbles on the soles. A sticky sole makes it almost impossible to slip off the pedal, which is great for your comfort, and even better, your safety.
6. A hands-free flashlight
We know. You already have a flashlight. There’s your phone and the Maglite, maybe on your keychain or in your glove box, isn’t that enough? Well, picture this. It’s pitch dark and sleeting outside. Because you can’t see the road very well, you slam right into a massive pothole.
Did your tire blow out? Did it deflate? You have a tire gauge to figure that out, but you just dropped off your passenger … which means, there’s no one to hold the flashlight while you check out your tire. That’s when you’ll be really glad to have a headlamp that provides high visibility and hands-free ease, like this one.
Having one of these headlamps onboard would provide you with peace of mind, and would be a godsend when you’ve checking out a flat tire on a lonely country road, or trying to carry a delivery through a dark yard with no paved path. Here’s a selection of handy headlamps to choose from.
7. Snow removal in a hurry
On the topic of dealing with nasty weather, what snow removal equipment do you have onboard? Standard scrapers and brushes work fine most of the time, but when it’s icy, or the snow is especially heavy, wouldn’t it be great to have a tool that’s more heavy-duty? Take a look at this cool device.
The SnoShark has awesome snow removing power. The next time you have to clean a major snowfall off your car, you’ll be out on a shift much faster if you’ve got this device working for you. Even better, the whole thing folds up into a sleek little pouch that takes up almost no real estate in your vehicle. If you live in a climate where snow is an issue, it could save you the time, money, and trouble that could come with a road service call, making it well worth the investment.
8. Stop the glare
While everyone loves sunshine and bright lights, when you’re driving, they can become a hazard. Ever suddenly lose your vision for a few seconds when you drive into a spectacular sunset at the wrong angle? And who hasn’t been nearly blinded at night by an oncoming driver’s megawatt halogens?
Seeing, obviously, is essential to safe driving, and when there’s too much light, you need something to tone down the glare. We have two solutions to this problem for you to consider. You can use tactical glasses; if you can’t wear them, visors like these are designed to make high-intensity light a little easier on the eyes.
You’ll want to find solutions that work for both day and night, and that are compatible with any eyecare prescription you might need in order to drive.
9. The cushy tush
Driving has its physical risks, and one of them is pain in the posterior region. No matter how young and nimble you feel when starting your shift, sitting for hours can make you stiff and sore. Also, pains that begin in the butt can quickly progress into the hips and back, creating almost constant misery for those who drive all the time.
For a small investment, a driving comfort cushion can keep you safe from injury, as well as more comfortable. And you could also be cooler. No more sticking to a sweaty seat when you’re sitting on one of these cushions. Here are some that are rated the “best,” so find the shape and size that’s right for you.
You may have thought these were exclusively for the old or injured, but once you drive with one, you’ll see it’s a real game-changer that’s great for all ages.
10. Sorting the junk in your trunk
If you’ve been driving for a while, you’ve undoubtedly realized the need for order in your cargo space. Whether you’re taking passengers to the airport or delivering multiple bags of groceries, space-saving inventions that keep your cargo upright are a must.
What’s the best trunk organizer out there? You can decide for yourself, but this article from Auto Quarterly will get you started on your search for the perfect one.
The two features that seem most important are stability, i.e., the ability to keep it from sliding around; and stowability, particularly for rideshare. When the organizer isn’t needed, you’ll want to fold it up and stash it somewhere to make room for suitcases, strollers, walkers, etc. that your passengers bring with them.
Being practical about buying more stuff
If you’re new to driving, you might be tempted to buy all this gear. While that’s your choice, of course, you probably should try driving for a while before deciding what you actually need. Give it about a month before you make any major investments.
The other temptation, even for veteran drivers, is to pay more than you should for an item just because it’s cool. But before spending top dollar the latest, greatest version of a particular gadget, shop around. You might be able to find a less trendy version that does the same thing, just as well, for a smaller price.
Finally, beware of over-stocking your ride. If you have too many items in there at one time, you’ll run out of room for passengers or packages. For just that reason, we’ve tried to keep “compact” in mind with most of our suggestions.
One more must to keep onboard – Gridwise
You can’t get anything that’s more practical and useful than the Gridwise app. Gridwise is the ultimate assistant for rideshare and delivery drivers, and it’s free. Track your earnings for all your apps and log your mileage automatically, and record your expenses as they occur. Then, let Gridwise produce slick, informative charts like these that tell you how your driving gig is going.
The Perks tab gives you handy links to all the latest news for drivers through our blog and the Gridwise YouTube channel. And join us on Facebook, where you can be part of our amazing driver community and win big in our gas card giveaways. Whaaat? You don’t have Gridwise yet? Well download the app now!