If you work in a field-service business, your work truck is more than just a way to get to the job site. It’s your workshop on wheels. Whether you’re a locksmith, an electrician, an HVAC specialist, a plumber, or any kind of contractor, work truck organization is key. Not only does it get you where you need to be, it hauls everything you could possibly need on the job with you. And since work vans or trucks are not the size of a shop, an organized tool storage system is absolutely necessary.
You know how messy a service truck can get and how much time you can waste rooting around in the mess for a specific tool. Hell, you know damn well how quick it can become a blackhole where your dreams go to die. Want to turn your truck bed or van into an efficient storage space with easy access to tools and equipment? We’ve got you covered. These truck organization ideas will maximize the unused space in your pickup truck, cargo van, or service body.
Benefits of Work Truck Organization
Aside from the sheer aggravation of not being able to find the tool you want, there are a lot of benefits to an organized work truck. Here are just a few:
Safety: Organization puts everything in its place. You’ve seen those trucks zooming down the highway with loose tools rolling around in the bed or equipment so haphazardly held down with bungee-cords that makes people feel the need to change lanes. One good pothole and power tools might come flying at their windshield. You don’t want to be that guy. It is not a good look if cars are scrambling to get out from behind you because a truck with your business name all over the side looks dangerous. You also don’t want to be the one to hurt or endanger anyone’s life because you didn’t organize and fasten your tools. If there’s an accident or even a sudden stop, you’re probably going to be liable for those flying tools and injuries.
Reputation: Whether you’re driving a road hazard or pulling up to a job site, professional appearance is important. A messy vehicle doesn’t inspire confidence. Or good reviews. That can mean less business in the long run, too. Don’t be the job site’s schlump and make sure you’re pulling up in style.
Save Time: Time is money, so who wants to spend money hunting for tools? Knowing exactly where your hand tools and fasteners are located means you can grab what you need and get to work.
Maintain Your Inventory: Drill bits? Check. Hammer? Check. Big-Gulp? Double check. An organized storage solution makes it easy to take stock. It’s easy to see what needs to be replaced or repaired when everything isn’t in a big pile. You won’t waste money on things you already have and can’t find, and you’ll notice if you’re running low on smaller items.
Ergonomics: Another thing you can save with a good system is your back! Climbing in and out of a truck or van all day, and stooping to root through unorganized tools and equipment can be really hard on your back and knees over time. Some solutions will save the wear-and-tear on your body (we ain’t getting any younger, folks). That’s one of the awesome features we built into DECKED.
The How-To of Work Truck Organization
Before we get into products, let’s talk about some basic methods of organization. To get organized, you want to start by auditing your inventory. While you’re determining exactly what you have, clean up and organize your collection.
- Replace damaged or broken tools – This is a good time to give your tools a good inspection and cleaning. Do whatever is needed to get your tools in good working order: sharpen edges, remove rust, clean, dry, and oil. Replace any broken or damaged tools.
- Group tools by type and/or function – Keep tools you use together. Good examples include wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers…bottle openers, you get the point.
- Organize by size, shape, and how often you use them – You’re going to want the tools you use the most handy. As a general rule, organizing top to bottom makes sense. Most garage storage boxes have drawers graduated from shallow at the top for fasteners, drill bits, and other small pieces, then deep drawers at the bottom for power tools.
- Decide what you don’t need – It’s great if you have a job site trailer where you can store everything you need, but most of us don’t have that luxury. You might need to be picky. Contractors who have been in business a while tend to amass a lot of tools. Store any specialized tools in the shop or at home until you need them and carry only what you use every day. You can always grab what you need when you need it—from an organized garage.
Tool Organization Products
By now, your tools are all over the floor. They’re clean, grouped, restocked, and in good repair. Now we just need to talk about storage ideas. Where are you going to put all this stuff?
DECKED Drawer System
DECKED sliding drawer systems come in different sizes to fit a range of trucks and vans. The drawers slide out easily to offer access to every inch of your cargo without bending, stooping, or climbing into the bed. Installation is simple. In most cases, no drilling is required. The unit fits right over your wheel wells and slides out on heavy-duty wheels. You can store all your tools and still have plenty of cargo space room stuff on top. The upper deck can also support up to 2,000 pounds in case you need to transport a Dewalt Hammer Drill or a riding mower or anything else incredibly heavy.
Boxes and Dividers
The drawers provide the structure, but you’re going to want to organize the inside. We offer a full line of boxes and dividers that fit neatly inside DECKED drawers to make organization easy. Choose a combination of accessories, including Crossbox, D-Box, drawer dividers and Drawerganizer bins to fit your specific needs.
Your favorite tools probably take a lot of abuse. To treat them as gently as a newborn bunny, or to just keep them from banging around, consider foam inserts by Kaizen for your important stuff. Foam inserts can keep your tools nice and snug; they won’t be prone to any scratching or potential damage anymore. Plus, they just look real “Secret-James-Bond-Firearms-Briefcase,” and let’s face it, that’s just really damn cool.
No, not those d-bags. For portable convenience, check out our ruggedly handsome D-bag. It’s designed to hold a huge amount of stuff and it’s easy to carry. You can drag and store it into your attic a lot easier than a heavy-duty, metal toolbox.
DECKED Tool Box
Need even more truck storage space? Our newest product is a classic toolbox that fits on top of the drawer system to store even more tools. It’s made with the same quality materials and construction, with an easy-open lid and heavy-duty hinges and locks. Maybe you don’t need a full drawer system or only have a few tools to haul around. DECKED launched their new Tool Box as the perfect solution for secure and weatherproof storage, but changed the game with an access ladder and customizable storage. No more digging in the black box for what you need or breaking your back trying to crawl into the bed. Check out more on the new DECKED Tool Box for your storage needs.
Van Storage Solutions
If you’re driving a high-top van, you’ve got a whole range of van shelving options. You can DIY your own solution with some woodworking skills for a custom van organization solution, or find a shelving system that works for your needs and your space.
Tips to Maximize Space and Efficiency
Want some last minute tips to help you get totally organized? Here are some ways to truly maximize all your space and create the most efficient system for you and your work. They might sound a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people glaze over the basics and end up having to spend more time or money! Feel free to jot some of these ideas down the next time you start your big organization project.
- Think vertically – As a general rule, organizing top to bottom makes sense. Most garage storage boxes have drawers graduated from shallow at the top for fasteners, drill bits, and other small pieces, then deep drawers at the bottom for power tools. The same works in your truck toolbox.
- Label sections and tools – Label makers are handy as all get out, especially when you have several small boxes with different types of tools. Put labels on everything and you won’t have to open boxes to figure out what’s in there.
- Lighting up – Know what’s handy? Being able to see. You can’t always go home at dark. Amazon carries a great assortment of lights to fit anywhere. Light up the back of your van, your truck bed, or the inside of your toolbox.
- Use the top and sides – If you need to carry big stuff, attach van racking to the top and sides of your truck or van. Ladder racks are common, but the same idea could be handy for pipes, pool cleaning equipment, or other items long enough to be awkward. Make your own custom solution with a commercial rack and a little DIY ingenuity.
When you’re ready to talk about serious tool storage, let us know. While this guide is a perfectly good place to start, we can really take your work truck storage to the next level. Let’s get organized, efficient, and make the workday a real good one. We’ve got everything you need to do this. Everything but cup holders. You and your Starbucks are on your own, pal.