IF you’ve ever spent valuable time searching through the back of a Citroen Berlingo for a two-gang back box or rifling among stacks of plastic pipes for a right-angle connector in a Renault Traffic this may well be the article for you.
If you’ve ever stabbed yourself on a gripper-rod reaching for a carpet stretcher in the back of a Mercedes Sprinter, or discovered your safety goggles broken under a pile of timber in a Ford Transit then you might just be thinking about organising your tools and materials in a more systematic way and looking for some van racking storage space-saving tips.
It may be that you have rigged up some storage solutions already, perhaps by installing a modular toolbox into the back of a Volkswagen Transporter to keep your mechanic’s tools and parts in order, or by rigging up hooks to store gardening or power tools on the inside walls of your Vauxhall Vivaro, but perhaps now you are looking to streamline your operation even more effectively and looking for a fully professional storage solution for your fully professional business.
After all, not only does a purpose-built racking and storage system make your life easier, it sends a clear signal to customers that you are serious about your business, and that instills confidence. Another important issue may well be security, and we will take a look at some ways of helping to keep your tools safe when in the vehicle.
How can internal van racking save time and money?
Whether it’s cabinets, van boxes, or racking accessories, the increase in usable space that can be achieved with purpose-built van storage will mean you can carry more and still keep everything in order.
Keeping components, tools, and materials properly sorted, with a place for everything and everything in its place means that you can spend less time searching for the right tool for the job and more time actually doing the job.
Regardless of your particular trade or profession you will almost certainly have tools which you want to have to hand when you need them. In some cases they may be delicate or easily damaged, which means you don’t want them loose in the back of the van mixed up with materials or site waste. In addition, you will want to know that your tools are secure, both on-site, and when parked up.
While the ultimate security for keeping your tools safe overnight is to remove them from the vehicle that may not always be practical. A secure van box will add a level of deterrent and protection for your tools, should the van itself be broken into. When on site, van boxes will keep your tools safe from being ‘borrowed’ by other contractors while they are not in use.
Racking and storage
Racking and storage can be provided for your specific van make and model in a wide range of configurations and customised with a range of racking accessories to your particular trade requirements. Whether you need to store an assortment of pipes for plumbing, or timber sizes for carpentry there is a setup that is just right for you.
Similarly, you may well have an assortment of spare parts, and or fixings which need to be kept in order. Having the right storage drawers in appropriate sizes built to fit your specific requirements and your make and model of van, whether it’s spare parts in a Peugeot, or bolts and washers in a Mercedes, the range of storage drawers can be tailored to your particular van’s make and model.
However, perhaps the greatest cost saving of all which can be achieved by using internal van storage systems is the ability to use a smaller van to do the same job. By making best use of the space available it may be possible to go from a long wheelbase to a short, or even switch to a smaller van format and still get the job done with potential fuel savings alone running into thousands per year.
How to maximize space in all work vans
So let’s look at some van racking storage space-saving tips.
If we’re starting from an empty van, then it’s just a matter of deciding which components to install. With a huge range of aluminium or beech ply racking and storage in a choice of configurations including deep tray or angled shelves, drawers and more, and with a selection of accessories including hooks rubber matting, and holders for specific items such as spray bottles, sealing guns, hoses, etc. you may need to make a list of the equipment and materials that you regularly expect to carry.
Don’t forget cabinets or van boxes for your most precious tools or delicate kit. Of course, if you are starting with a van that is already filled with your equipment in a disorganised heap then the first job is to clear everything out and take an inventory of what you actually use. This may well take some time but will save you vastly more time in the future. Whether you install cabinets or van boxes or bays of racking, and which van racking accessories you need, will depend very much on the nature of your trade.
If you use a very wide range of small components, then you will probably be looking for a large number of small drawers. Alternatively you may simply need one or more strong and secure van boxes for power tools while the rest of the van space will be used for transporting materials such as timber. It may help to plan and draw a sketch of how you want to lay things out.
At this stage you may have to make the biggest decision of all, and that is whether a new storage system means you can work with a smaller van. If so, you will have made the biggest potential saving of all! One important consideration is making sure the items you use most frequently are the most easily to hand. Once you have everything installed it’s just a case of putting everything back in the new storage and discovering the delights of being able to go to the back of the van and get whatever bit you need without the tedious rummaging.