It’s curious a specialty tool like this would be called the Trucker’s Friend. For certain it is a tool a trucker would want to have in their tool box, but its usefulness goes way beyond that limited functional area. I would say this tool is by all regards a prepper’s friend as well.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SurvivalCache.com
Trucker’s Friend, A Serious Prepper Tool
The Trucker’s Friend is available from Innovation Factory. To be honest, the package the tool is attached to actually lists fields in which the tool would be useful including trucking, rescue work, job sites, which I take to mean construction, etc., general outdoors and prepping. I would add to that list ranching, farming, plumbing, demolition, logging, and such. It is a heavy duty tool meant for heavy duty work.
For a rather compact hand tool its features are many. It is useful for hacking, prying, pulling and pounding. The design features built into the tool include a hammer, nail puller, tire chain hook, wire twist for removing safety seals, ice/debris remover, axe, and pry bar. Given all those features one can easily see its application for preppers during any kind of a SHTF event, natural or otherwise. Imagine in the aftermath of a storm like a tornado the Trucker’s Friend could be used to pry your way out of the downfall from inside, or as a rescuer work your way into a fallen structure. It’s also very useful for the clearing and clean up afterwards. This tool is as good for destruction as it would be for construction.
This is the tool for worst case scenarios like a catastrophic social collapse, dirty bomb, attack, extended power grid failure, EBT card’s go down, or other event that precipitates the necessary move to Bug-Out. Have this tool in the vehicle as part of the escape package.
Other characteristics of the Trucker’s Friend include a super user friendly handle. It is a rubberized covering with finger grooves molded into the handle cover. The manufacturer calls it a “shock absorbing Powergrip.” Indeed it is. You can get a really solid hold on this tool and as I noted when using it in a swinging or chopping action, the grip does not slip. Some of the tools on the market today have slick plastic grips to which I have to add double-sided sticky tape in order to get a firm grip. You don’t need that with this tool.
Also important to long term use and reliability is not only the cast alloy tool-steel blade, but the shank which has been heat treated for added strength. The fiberglass handle then is inserted up into the shank. The handle is non-conducting, which is a nice feature for many working applications.
The finish on the metal is a rust resistant matte black finish. It does scratch and mar, but is not damaged in the classic sense. It holds up well outdoors. Rust can be easily taken off with some steel wool. There is a leather cover available from the manufacturer, too, which I would recommend purchasing along with the tool not only for safety sake, but also to offer a measure of tool protection from the elements.
Barring the absence of hunting season where I could really put this tool through some practical paces, and as I intend to do this fall, I did manage to work out several exercises to test the tool’s practical use. First, I dragged a wooden pallet out of the garage. I proceeded to nail a big nail with the Trucker’s Friend. Cool. The hammer head is not particularly large, but it is rectangular in shape and has a slight radius on it. I tried short swings and the weight of the tool sent the spike thrusting into the hard oak wood. With the full use of the tang and handle, this baby can really pound a nail. Just use care and remain mindful when using a hammering action that the axe blade is coming toward you during the swing.
The next trick was to extract the nail. The nail puller does work, but the nail head groove could be a little deeper or something. The big nail head I was using managed to slip out of the Trucker’s Friend’s extractor claw several times. There is another pry bar on the head end of the tool with an insert groove and a hole at its terminal end. I used that too, and with the nail shank and head fitted into that hole, the extraction power is positive.
Though I did not have any wood to chop or a tree to cut down (the wife frowns on that in the yard), I did have several over-sized roots to sever from a water willow growing its way toward the house foundation. The Trucker’s Friend made short order of that chopping task. I have not yet sharpened the factory edge, as I wanted to see how it would chop fresh from the package. It “done” good as they say here in the Deep South. The handle on the Trucker’s Friend is super.
How else can the Trucker’s Friend be used? Imagine its multiple uses around a Bug-Out base camp either a fixed location on rural property or even out in the wilderness somewhere. Add to the task list, clearing a camp area for tent set up, hammering tent stakes, chopping small limb firewood and kindling wood, clearing trekking lanes or shooting lanes, nailing together a lean-to, lashing wire around post ends for structures, prying up rocks for the fire ring, harvesting edible plants, heavy bone and joint cutting on harvested game, and many other things. I suspect, as well, the Trucker’s Friend could be used to bust a zombie’s brain or any other unwanted guest in camp for that matter.
The Innovation Factory’s Trucker’s Friend is made in the U.S.A and is backed by a “hassle free” lifetime replacement guarantee. If this Trucker’s Friend does not make it through the usual rigors of a SHTF, then you are in much worse deep doo-doo than you might suspect. Keep the Trucker’s Friend close and buy more than one.
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All Photos by Dr. John J. Woods
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