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Organizing Your Tools in a Van Like a Pro

Organizing Your Tools in a Van Like a Pro
April 8, 2022 TheHoth
Organizing Your Tools in a Van

It’s official: The cargo van is fast becoming the vehicle of choice across several industries, ahead of the pickup truck.

Whether you’re changing the direction of your fleet or getting your first cargo van, you’ll need to start organizing. You need a different approach to organizing a work van than you do for organizing a truck.

The importance of organizing your tools in a van allows you to increase the efficiency of your work, keep track of tools, and ensure every worker has what they need for every job. This doesn’t just please workers and customers but also increases profits.

On top of that, customers want to see your vans looking pristine. Your van is always representing your company, whether in a driveway or parked on a city street. Having people pass your vans and see tools, trash, and paperwork everywhere is bad for business.

5 Things You Need for Organizing Your Tools in a Van

1. Interior Shelves

Your line of work will determine the kinds of shelving you need. Lots of services offer pre-designed packages. If you do a variety of custom jobs with materials big and small, get something with adjustable shelves.

For HVAC or Electrical companies, you’ll need space to account for tools and material. Think about whether wood or metal would be ideal for your space. Depending on the climate and types of material, you might find a mixture of the two works best.

2. Cabinets

Depending on the size of your van, you’ll need something that takes into account your van’s layout. Full door cabinets can have shelving installed inside or you can do away with shelving for the maximum capacity.

For businesses that use things like CO2 tanks and big HVAC equipment, you can get cabinets specifically designed to secure your equipment.

3. Drawers for Tools

Saws, drill bits, and custom chiseling tools can take up a lot of room when they’re properly stored. If you want to be sure your tools stay in great condition while traveling, a series of drawers can be the most economical solution.

Tools that are well cared for stay sharp, safer, and more efficient.

Think about whether you want to have custom drawers built or if you just need one receptacle to carry your hammers, screwdrivers, and measuring tools.

4. A Roof Rack

Building materials, ladders, and cargo might require you to carry things on the exterior of your van. The right roof rack will ensure you can get all the PVC or construction material to your worksite.

If you’re self-installing, be sure you run a couple of tests around the block before you get on the highway and end up losing quality materials in the middle of the road.

5. Bulkhead

Add a partition between the driver and the back of the van. This will add to the safety of your van by keeping material and sharp tools from flying to the front of the van.

In case of an accident or sudden stopping at a traffic light, the last thing you want is a hammer flying at your windshield from the inside. Your decision to organize a work van can be an important safety measure.

Also, if you’ve decided on the perfect van interior, the last thing you want is unnecessary damage.

It will also buffer against noise and help with organizing. Putting a small file mount will be a great place to keep your invoices and keys out of the fray of tools and personal belongings.

Power Tool Storage and Organization in a Van

Hooks are a great way to store medium-sized power tools and other hand tools, whether mounted to the side of your van walls or a pegboard. However, be sure to think about some zip ties or bungee cords to keep tools in place while they’re hanging. 

If you have a whole set of power tools to store, you may want to invest in a wall rack specifically designed for storing power tools. For best results, consider using a brand-specific power tool rack, which will perfectly accommodate the power tools and toolboxes of that particular brand. 

tool storage ideas

More Tool Storage Ideas & Tips for Your Van

Here are a few more tips and finishing touches to take your van organization to new heights: 

  • Don’t forget about lighting! Interior LED lighting will help improve visibility and safety while on the job so that you can keep your space tidy and organized.
  • Label everything you can. Labels will help ensure you return items to their designated places, so you can stay organized long term. Instead of a standard label maker, some people go above and beyond by integrating an SKU app with barcodes and scanners to simplify reordering.
  • Add accessories to top it all off. Consider add-ons such as shelf dividers, shelf bins, drawer inserts, reel holders for cable and wire storage, hard hat holders, hooks to add to sides of shelving, and bottle restraint to keep bottles secure. These kinds of finishing touches will take your van organization to the next level. 

Key Considerations for Tool Storage Organization

Below are some of the most important things to consider when planning out your van interior: 

  • Safety: Organization and safety go hand in hand. Well-thought-out van storage can help improve organization, but also minimize workplace hazards and risks while you’re on the road. You must ensure any potentially-dangerous tools are stored securely.
  • Workflow: When planning out your van interior, you should also think about your typical workflow- e.g. what you use in a day, and in what order. Consider what tools and equipment you want to be easily accessible, as well as what should be kept secure. It can also be helpful to group items by task.
  • Materials: When choosing between specific shelving systems or storage racks, you should also consider the different types of materials available and weigh the pros and cons of each. For example, aluminum shelving is more lightweight than steel shelving and can help lighten your load, but it’s also more expensive.
  • Custom vs. Modular: One of the best ways to maximize efficiency and productivity is to go custom with your van interior. That being said, modular, pre-build organizational systems can help you cut down on costs. If you work with a company that specializes in van customization, they can help you strike the perfect balance between the two.
  • DIY vs. Professional: A final consideration is whether you’re confident in handling the design and installation on your own, or whether it would be more efficient to leave it up to the professionals. Going the DIY route can save you money, but only if you know what you’re doing and have the right tools and equipment to get the job done right. 

Organizing Your Tools in a Van with PTC’s Support

When you’re deciding how to organize the interior of your van, think about how you would organize a small shop or shed of those dimensions. The only difference is that you need to make sure your tools and work items can stay secure in the case of a bump or a fender bender.

If you’re scratching your head trying to come up with storage solutions for your cargo van, feel free to contact us with any questions.