Hot shot drivers are the unsung heroes of the shipping industry. Odd hours (and sometimes, odd cargo) make for a difficult, yet rewarding lifestyle for the right person. Most hot shot deliveries don't require endless hours of driving. In fact, Canadian law, especially in Ontario, states that drivers cannot drive more than 13 or 14 hours in a day. But pulling any hours on the road can be rough, especially when you don't always have access to a decent bathroom or shower.

So, for those men and women willing to pull that 12-hour shift behind the wheel, but without looking or feeling like it, here are some helpful hygiene hints to try out the next time you're on the road:

When Nature Calls

When you're pushing to get that delivery to its destination on time, it can be difficult to find the right spot for taking care of business, especially when you're driving at night through the vast, Canadian wilderness. Men have it easier; they can pretty much pull over anywhere, walk off a little ways and let loose. Women, on the other hand... eh, not so much.

The best idea is to map out stops along the way, or just go whenever you stop for fuel. For those times when you just can't hold it, however, women should have a grab bag ready with the following items inside:

  • Wipes. Baby wipes, hand wipes, face wipes—it doesn't matter. When you don't have toilet paper, or when the toilet paper you do have looks like it came straight off the tree, wipes might be the better alternative. Plus, they smell and feel a whole lot better than regular toilet paper.
  • Hand sanitizer. A must-have for anybody on the road. Even rest stops don't always have soap, or even sinks, so hand sanitizer works really well in a pinch.
  • Feminine hygiene products. Because you know that's going to start when you least want or expect it to.
  • Plastic bag. When you're out in the middle of nowhere, you need to be able to haul out whatever trash you make out there. Even a little grocery bag will do; the idea is not to leave any man-made products by the roadside or out in the crisp, pristine wilderness.

Hair Ye, Hair Ye

Is your hair feeling a bit grungy? Will it be hours before you can get to a shower? Why not try a waterless shampoo? Here's an easy, cheap way to make your own that can freshen up your hair in no time.

Combine about 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. There's your base. The cornstarch and baking soda both help to absorb excess oil on your scalp, and the baking soda will leave your hair with a cleaner scent. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix to make it smell better. Then, all you have to do is find the perfect container, stick it in your glove box or under the seat, and you've got a ready-made hair freshener within easy reach whenever you need it.

People with darker hair will want to add cocoa to the mix to help it blend in better color-wise. Just make sure it's unsweetened cocoa; otherwise, you'll have a very sticky mess to deal with! Cinnamon works well for those with red hair. Do know that many stores provide dry shampoo to buy if you feel more comfortable buying the product rather than making it.

Eau de—Cough, Cough

It goes without saying that deodorant is a must-have item for pretty much every human being that walks the planet. However, the same can't be said for perfume or cologne. Not only is it distracting, but there are also as many allergies to perfumes and colognes out there as there are products, and sending someone into an asthma attack is not the way to make a great impression.

Your best bet is to ditch the colognes, perfumes or body sprays altogether, unless you use one that has a subtle scent, and apply both deodorant and the spray about half an hour before you step out of the truck to greet your client. That way, it has time to absorb and dissipate a bit, and the client will be more focused on how great a job you did getting their cargo to them, rather than how much you reek of Eau de Whatever-it-is.

Hot shot delivery is a great way to have adventures and make money at the same time. And by spending a few minutes a day making the effort, you can be sure to look and feel your best, even if you have been on the road for twelve hours. For more tips and suggestions, talk to resources such as OCEAN Hauling & Hotshot Ltd.