Call us: 1-866-692-7247
Pacific Truck Colors, Inc • Employee-Owned • Phone: 503-692-7247

Trailer Shelving 101: How to Do it Right

Trailer Shelving 101: How to Do it Right
September 24, 2020 TheHoth
trailer shelving

Trailer Shelving 101: How to Do it Right

An enclosed cargo or utility trailer is a great way to expand your storage capabilities and keep your valuable tools handy and secure. With some careful planning and organization, adding shelving to your trailer can drastically improve your productivity, safety, and efficiency to help you grow your business.

With custom shelving and storage solutions, a cargo trailer can be transformed into an enclosed and mobile workstation that travels with you and protects you and your cargo from the elements. That way, you can get work done more conveniently and comfortably on-site.

Keep reading to explore your trailer shelving options and find the perfect setup for your industry and business!

An Introduction to Trailer Shelving

To begin with, a trailer is usually pretty bare — you can think of it as a blank canvas. Adding custom storage solutions such as shelving and other accessories to the trailer will go a long way in making your mobile or workstation as orderly, safe, and accessible as possible.

There are many trailer shelving options to choose from. Some key things to consider are the shelving materials (usually either metal or wood), whether the shelving is open or enclosed, the shelving configuration, and the shelving accessories. You should also think about the primary purpose of your cargo trailer. Are you mainly concerned with storage? Do you plan to work in the trailer? What industry-specific needs do you have?

Benefits of Cargo or Utility Trailer Shelving

In general, enclosed cargo or utility trailers offer many advantages. First and foremost, they add space and expand your storage capabilities. Also, they protect your tools and equipment from the elements. They also improve security and keep your expensive inventory safe. Finally, they offer great flexibility and opportunities for customization.

Shelving is a simple addition to an enclosed cargo trailer that provides incredible benefits, including the following:

  • Better organization which leads to improved efficiency and productivity. And higher productivity will help maximize your business and profits!
  • Having a place for everything will make your workspace cleaner and give you more open room to work with.
  • Keeping your tools and equipment stored safely and securely will minimize hazards while you work and keep your employees safe on the job and on the road.
  • Having everything in its place will make it easier to keep track of your inventory and maintain more accurate records.
  • Research indicates that visual clutter can cause mental “clutter” and stress. On the other hand, a clean and organized workspace can help improve employee morale and mental health.
  • An orderly and professional workspace helps make a good impression on your clients and improves their trust in your business. Every person who passes by is a potential customer, so it’s important to put your best foot forward.

As you can see, well-designed, custom trailer shelving has the potential to drastically transform the day-to-day operations of your business.

Open Vs. Enclosed Trailer Shelving

Both open and enclosed trailer shelving can be great options depending on your needs, preferences, and budget. More often than not, businesses will opt for a combination of both open and enclosed shelving to store different tools and equipment in their cargo trailer.

Open shelving is more economical, more easily accessible, and more lightweight than enclosed shelving. For the tools and materials you use over and over again, open shelving might be the best storage solution.

Enclosed shelving, on the other hand, offers better protection for your tools and equipment and is considered more secure. Closed shelving also provides a more clean and organized look and can help reduce visual clutter. There are also more options when it comes to enclosed shelving. For example, if you want a place to securely store your more expensive or hazardous tools, you may need enclosed shelving with a locked cabinet. On the downside, enclosed shelving is heavier than open shelving, so keep this in mind if you’re worried about hauling too much weight.

Cargo Trailer Shelving: Wood or Metal? 

While some people choose wood trailer shelving, we tend to recommend metal and steel shelving for several key reasons. First, while wood is usually a more economical option, metal shelving is much more durable and longer-lasting than wood. The result will be a better return on your investment in the long-term. Also, metal shelving is often more lightweight than wood. Additionally, if you transport any liquid products, metal shelving is more spill-resistant and easy to clean. Last but not least, metal van shelving is considered more likely to remain intact, protect your tools, and keep you safe in the event of a collision.

When it comes to metal shelving, there are three primary options to choose from: steel, aluminum, or composites. Steel is popular because it is more cost-effective upfront and highly durable. If you are carrying lots of heavy-duty equipment, steel may be the best choice. Also, if you are driving on bumpy or poorly maintained roads, steel shelving will be more likely to hold up and keep your tools secure. Aluminum shelving is gaining popularity because it is more lightweight than steel, which can potentially improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. This is especially important if you have a large shelving system or storage module with lots of drawers. In this case, steel shelving would just weigh you down. Composites shelving is often chosen for its noise-reduction capabilities.

One of our favorite storage solutions is adjustable metal shelving, which provides great flexibility and can meet a diverse range of storage needs.

V Nose Trailer Shelving

V-nose trailers are a popular choice because they provide more space compared to a flat trailer. This extra space can be easily transformed into a workstation and/or modular storage area by adding some v-shaped cabinets. A combination of base cabinets, countertops, and wall cabinets or open shelving works great in these types of trailers. Finally, adding a few accessories like over-counter LED lighting or drawer liners will take your v-nose trailer setup to the next level.

More Trailer Shelving Ideas

Below are some great shelving accessories to put the finishing touches on your trailer shelving:

  • Shelf dividers and doors.
  • Drawers or shelf bins for smaller tools.
  • Cases for maximum organization.
  • Hooks to add on to the sides of your shelving.
  • Bottle restraints to keep bottles securely in place while on the road.
  • And much more!

In addition to shelving, other accessories that can help improve your organization and efficiency include:

  • Interior LED lighting to improve visibility and safety while on the job.
  • Ladder or cargo racks to free up space in your van interior and store equipment securely on top of your van.
  • Utility hooks for storing a wide variety of items.
  • Paper holders to keep all your paperwork in order and easily accessible.
  • Toolboxes for securely storing tools and equipment.
  • Reel holders for cable and wire storage.
  • Drill bit holders, hard hat holders, tank holders, and so much more!

The options for trailer shelving customization are endless. Custom shelving systems for your trailer provide an organization system tailored exactly to your specific industry and needs. You get to create your own idea about what you want and then leave it up to the professionals to put together, to save you time and hassle.

For even more shelving ideas and inspiration, check out our van shelving guide.

Your Trailer Shelving Professionals

Though shelving may seem like a simple and straightforward addition to your trailer, it’s certainly more complex than it seems. Taking time to plan carefully and investing in top-quality shelving will result in many benefits for your business and pay off in the long run. What’s more, partnering with trailer shelving professionals will help ensure your trailer shelving meets all your needs and exceeds your expectations. With a custom shelving system, you’ll be working more efficiently and productively in no time!

At Pacific Truck Colors, we offer contractor-grade shelving, drawers, cabinets, partitions, ladder racks, aluminum tool boxes, and many more accessories for cargo trailers, service trucks, cargo vans, walk-in vans, and other commercial vehicles. We carry only top-quality shelving and equipment at competitive prices. Our truck and van customization services in Portland will help you to keep your vehicles organized and eventually increase your workflow efficiencies and reduce inventory damage.

If you’re ready to take your cargo trailer setup to the next level, contact our experienced team at Pacific Truck Colors and request your trailer shelving quote today. We look forward to working with you!