View Full Version : How have you organised your tool storage?

13-09-2013, 02:14 PM
How do you organise your car/van/ute/truck?

I have a flat bed ute @ present with generic tool boxes either side & am designing some custom fit out to improve the storage.
I'd be very interested to see how others have solved the storage challenges in their vehicles.
In my experience, almost no firms pay any attention to proper organisation of he service vehicles for best efficiency.

I started on commercial fridge with a Peugeot Partner van in the days before they could be had with sliding side doors. Employer refused to rack it out. I borrowed a bunch of stackable vegetable crates from a certain supermarket & used them to store parts & large / non-everyday tools. I had 3-4 high by 2-3 deep of the things. With gas bottles etc. in the back as well, I could easily lose 3/4hr. to get a fan motor!
Next employer I had a Peugeot Expert van. Massive step up! Again, no racking - not even a safety barrier for the driver! I recycled a sheet of 1/2" plywood for a rudimentary barrier, then some time later I was able to recycle a crate into a tool box that took up the area between the sliding doors. It was deep enough that all my toolboxes, vac pump, etc. could fit in one layer with room for a sliding tray on top, all covered with a sheet of ply for a handy work bench. Even fitted a vice to it :) that worked quite well as I seldom had to move stuff around to get to what I needed.

2 employers over here supplied style side utes (the tub type if you're unfamiliar with them) with canopies. 1st had no side access. Back to the bloody Partner van again! :mad:
Second had side access and a very slippery tub liner with NO tie down points!!
Neither had any form of racking or storage.
Another employer issued a Toyota Hiace van, with safety barrier, generic racks & an O/A box. Even had a ladder rack on top.
The generic racks were ok, but I reckon you lose a lot of storage with racks when compared to drawers.

Overall, & ignoring family carrying issues, I have come to the conclusion that a Transporter / Expert / Transit / Hiace size van is the best compromise of service vehicle, particularly when you're working for a general contractor rather than an OEM (I've worked for both).

So, this listing shows the same design of tool box as fitted to my ute.
http://m.ebay.com.au/itm/150977253135?cmd=VIDESC (no relationship to the seller, I'm just borrowing their ad.)
One each side (stuffing up the left hand view when pulling out, but never mind - I was a White Van Man! ;) )
The issues are poor small parts storage via bins on the shelf, high lip which means you're lifting vac pumps, heavy tool boxes & the like up to solar plexus height to remove / store, tool boxes stacked on top of others (back to the Partner again!) & the shelf gets in the way if you need to lift out something at the back of the box. It cannot be removed as it is a structural component in the design.
My plan is to build & fit a series of shallow shelves & drawers along the back of the bottom - slightly less than half the box width (will be about 240mm deep overall) & empty my collection of tool boxes, blow moulded boxes etc. into them. I'll probably have a bin the whole width of the box at one end for storing bit boxes on their side.
Something like this rough sketch:
Anything like the vac pump, drill etc. that can't fit in the drawer/shelves will sit in front, ideally on a sliding tray to maximise access to the drawers.

install monkey
13-09-2013, 03:07 PM
most artistic!haha
you have to allow for weight as all ur drawers on 1 side will help when ur drifting - unless u balance it out with gas bottles on the other- i used unistrut and 18 inch cable tray on me old transit- great until u hit a speed bump and everything jumps off- i was in a crafter (sprinter style) used an old milk trolley for sprays,mastic,expanding foam,belt spray,leak spray,wet wipes and 5ltr coil cleaners- then core bits,extension bars on the bottom- got a van vault for power tools- red tin box for reclaim rig,oil pump, circ saw, storage crates for condensate pumps, electrics- isolators,spurs,junction boxes, 1 for unistrut brackets,purlin clips, and the rest of the stuff just launched in- but at this present time- our gaff has gone tits up and carillion are musclin in-so im emptyin van into me shed and spare bedroom