No one wants to show up to a job without the right equipment or have to spend their time searching for a missing tool. If you operate a work van or service truck, you know the importance of organization. Finding the right work truck storage ideas can revolutionize your productivity, helping you find needed equipment quickly.
The following tips are a few work truck organization ideas that can help you get started organizing and then maintain the order you’ve established in your truck.
1. Declutter Your Vehicle
As you begin the organizing process, you’ll need to look through your vehicle and get rid of anything unnecessary. You don’t want to waste space by having equipment, tools or supplies that you never use in the back of your truck. One of the keys to sustainable organization is removing anything you don’t need.
You may have also gotten into a habit of not picking up trash or debris, so you’ll want to clean everything up and throw out as much as you can. Without a clean vehicle, it will be difficult to see all of the space you have available and plan for how you can best use the area for your storage needs. Start your organizing efforts with a clean slate by getting all of the clutter out of your truck.
2. Take Inventory
Before you start placing your equipment in the truck, it’s a good idea to write down an inventory of what you’re planning on putting in it. This inventory list will help you figure out how you need to organize the vehicle and plan out where everything is going to go. Not only will it help you organize the space, but it will also help you see if you’re missing any equipment. Keeping an inventory is an especially important service truck organization tip, as you’ll likely have more tools and equipment in your vehicle than the average person.
3. Consider How Often You Use Tools
During the inventory process, you can also take the time to evaluate how often you use tools or other pieces of equipment. If you use a particular tool a lot, you’ll want to place it in the easiest-to-reach areas, and the reverse will be true for tools you don’t use often.
4. Use Technology
There are a few organization programs on the market designed to create a layout of the truck and then help you plan its organization before you begin to fill it with your equipment. This kind of software can help you have a strategy in place for where you’re going to place everything. It’s especially helpful for those who have a lot of equipment to store in their truck and need to design a more complex storage system.
5. Lay a Foundation
Once you’ve cleaned out your vehicle and taken inventory, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid foundation you can build a storage system on. To make your base as secure as possible, you’ll want to store the heaviest and largest items on the floor of your vehicle. If you have lower compartments, you can place heavier equipment there as well. The smaller and lighter options should be placed closer to the top.
This storage method will help you know where your equipment and tools are, but it can also prevent damage. You don’t want large equipment, like a power generator, for instance, falling and getting damaged or damaging other equipment on its way down. Keeping it on the bottom prevents issues like this from happening, while also maximizing your space.
6. Load From the Bottom to the Top
After you’ve laid a foundation, you’ll want to continue to work your way upward. Like the base, you’ll want to keep the heavier, bulky items at the bottom and lighter, smaller items at the top.
You’ll also want to make sure you have room to get to equipment in the back of your truck without difficulty. For optimal storage, you should begin by stacking your items on the sides of the walls first. Stacking on the sides will help you reach items more quickly, instead of having them all pushed into the back.
7. Stow the Little Things in Individualized Containers
If you use many small fasteners like nails, screws or bolts, you know how frustrating it can be having to dig through a pile of fasteners to find the right one for your needs. To be more organized, store them in a container that keeps pieces separate from one another.
Parachute bags can be an excellent choice for a container, as they are made out of fabric. Their fabric’s flexibility allows them to be stored in multiple places throughout the truck. They can be easily hung on the sides or from the interior roof of a vehicle. The pockets in the bags can help you keep your fasteners or other small pieces separate from one another.
If your truck doesn’t come with consoles or the one that came standard with your vehicle doesn’t match your needs, consider adding a new console. You can get one that can hold your drinks, snacks, small devices and other items you frequently use and need to be within reach. More advanced models can be lockable, which will let you keep your valuables secure while you’re away from the vehicle.
9. Cab Organizer
To take advantage of the back of your seats and other unused space in the front of your car, you can use a cab organizer to store smaller items you often use. Instead of just throwing them in the back seat or leaving them on the floor, you’ll know exactly where an item is the moment you need it. The divided pockets in a cab organizer can keep your items and tools separate from each other as well.
10. Don’t Forget That Your Doors Can Be Containers
When you’re looking for extra storage space and want to stay organized, don’t forget the doors can be a great option for storage. While the normal storage areas in the sides of truck doors can be helpful, there are additions you can make to maximize your storage options. One great option is to add magnetized stripping that will let you hang your metal handtools like tape measures, hammers and pliers off the door wall.
In addition to magnetized stripping, you can attach plastic or fabric organizers that come with pockets. In the pockets, you can use lighter equipment and materials that you consistently use and will be convenient to have close by. If you have a van or truck with a back enclosure, you’ll have even more door space you can take advantage of.
11. Keep Paperwork and Electronics in the Front
So that you have quick access to your paperwork, you’ll want to keep it in the front of the truck. Keeping it stored securely in your backseat and developing a shelving or sorting system can help you find needed paperwork quickly.
Along with giving you fast access, keeping your paperwork up front can reduce the chances it gets dirty. The equipment stored in the back is likely to be dirty after you use it, so you don’t want it in the same place as the paperwork that might go to clients or contain information you need. For your electronics, you’ll also want to keep them up front to make sure they don’t end up getting damaged by your heavy-duty equipment in the back.
12. Add Lighting
If you work early in the morning or at night, you’ll need to have lights in your various compartments. You’ll want to be able to see where you’re putting your tools once you’re done with them, and lighting will make it easier for you to keep everything in place. This is especially important if your work truck has an enclosure on the back. You may need to work inside the enclosure, and it will be even harder to find equipment at night if it is dark inside.
You can install tap-activated lights on the inside of your van or truck doors to be able to see easily at night or on overcast days. If you’re using a van or a truck with an enclosure on the back, hang lighting in the back corners so you can find the tools in the back as well. If you don’t want to install permanent lighting, you can go with a temporary and removable solution, such as a hanging lantern.
13. Utilize Under Seat Storage
Don’t forget about under-seat storage. Many trucks will come with under-seat storage of some kind, and you should use it if you have the option available. If you don’t have a shelving system for your paperwork, for instance, placing it under the seat can act as a central place for it so that it doesn’t get lost. It’s an excellent place to put laptops and other tools you use routinely as well.
There are also smaller storage boxes you can find to place under the seat to make sure your tools or paperwork stays well-organized.
14. Don’t Use Factory Boxes
Though it can seem convenient to use factory-made boxes for your equipment, they can end up putting your equipment at risk and harm your organizational ability. For instance, the case that the tool comes in from the factory will likely be in shapes that are hard to stack with the rest of your materials and may not protect your tools as well.
15. Add Custom Storage Boxes
Besides ditching the factory boxes, one of the best service truck tool storage ideas you can follow is to use custom storage boxes. They are available in a variety of sizes, and they can include adjustable shelves and dividers depending on your needs.
A custom box like this will let you keep all of your tools and equipment in a central location, instead of spread out around the truck in individual cases. Another upside to these boxes is that they are reinforced to protect your tools and equipment.
16. Use Anchor Points
Even if you’ve spent time carefully organizing your vehicle, you still need to make sure your items are secured. Too sharp of a turn or an abrupt stop might throw your equipment around. To stop items from sliding around in the back of your vehicle, you’ll need to check to see where your anchor points are, and then use them. With an anchor point, you can use bungee cords and other ropes to keep your equipment and other materials in place.
17. Overhead Racks
If you are constantly hauling ladders or other bulky materials around, an overhead material rack can be a way to free up space in the back of your vehicle, helping you to be more organized. These racks will mount on top of the vehicle, ranging from nine to 12 feet in length and holding over 1,000 pounds.
With a ladder or some other bulky piece of equipment on top of the truck, it will be easier for you to access your tools. The freed-up space can also make it simpler for you to keep track of where everything should be going — and provide the motivation you need to maintain your organizational strategy.
18. Find Adjustable Shelving
Your needs are likely going to change the longer you have your vehicle. When you are looking for shelving units to include in your truck, you’ll want to look for one that can be adjusted easily. In the future, you don’t want to feel like you’re forced into a less optimal organizational setup because your shelves can’t be moved or adjusted in any way.
19. Add an Underbody Tool Box
If your truck is feeling too cluttered, you can add extra storage space and be more organized with an underbody box. They can clear up space in the truck bed and give you a place to put materials you may not have been able to find a place for.
20. Consider Upfitting Your Truck
If you’re consistently running into storage issues and smaller changes just aren’t doing the trick, you might want to consider upfitting your truck. This can be especially helpful if you’re a work truck organizer or use your vehicle for work. Upfitting can make it so that your truck becomes ultra-specialized to the work you, or others in your company, do.
Want to Add to Your Storage Features to Your Work Vehicle?
If you’re interested in upgrading your vehicle or a fleet of vehicles for your company, Reading Truck Body can help. Whether it’s making small adjustments or upfitting your truck completely, we can help you find the solution that matches your needs.
To begin the process, find your local distributor. Then, get in touch with us, and one of our representatives will walk you through the options and help you find the perfect fit for your vehicle.