December 8, 2020
10 Best Work Vehicle (Trucks, Vans & Trailers) Organization Ideas
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that your work vehicle is a mess. You may have cobwebbed together a functioning system that has so far, sustained you.
But you know deep down that you can do better. Much better.
Having well-organized work trucks, vans and trailers is the key to improved productivity, efficiency, security, and safety. Showing up to your customers with an orderly work van demonstrates that you are a serious professional.
Michael Meyer, the owner of the Mobile Locksmith company, took a combination of inspiration from others and his own experience to organize his van.
“When I started thinking about outfitting my van, I did a lot of online research. I looked at pictures online. Basically, I talked to other people and figured out in my head based on my experience and what I need and what other people were doing, and I came up with something that works for me.”
For Michael, the “key” to “unlocking” job site efficiencies starting with better vehicle organization.
There are two common themes from some of best work truck and van setups like Michael’s:
- 1. Efficient layouts that maximize the limited space
- 2. A simple yet effective storage system that can safely store tools and increase accessibility
“My setup helps me become better service providers, so I can come quickly in and out and help serve my customers better”
Here are the top 10 work truck, van, and trailer organization ideas that will hopefully spark inspiration for you to improve your own setup.
1. Store frequently used tools near access points
Most frequently used tools should be placed near the doors for easy access. Equipment that you rarely use can be stowed further away.
You can even take it to the next level by installing a clever storage system near the access points.
Check out how this carpenter cleverly organized his work van by creating a DIY rack to store his sealants on the back door windows.
2. Service bodies
Service bodies can drastically increase the capacity to safely store and haul equipment to job sites.
Check out how an electrician utilized a truck service body to neatly organize his truck and prepare for any job.
Small manual tools are organized on the left side of the truck.
Power tools are on the other side of the truck.
Big, bulky equipment is stowed away inside the truck bed.
Service bodies may be one of the best solutions that truly push your vehicle’s capacity to the limit. However, they can be expensive with a complete setup running upwards of several thousand dollars!
3. Truck bed slides
Truck bed slides make loading and unloading your truck a breeze. No more hunching, crawling, and cursing your way to finding the tool you need. Simply pull out the bed slides as you would with a drawer, and you have all of your tools within arm’s reach.
From @supertek65 IG
There are many commercial options for truck bed slides and we won’t go into that here.
If you are handy, you can build a basic bed slide that functions and looks great. Here’s a simple bed slide system made for Ford FX4 Truck.
Turns out, giant drawer slides are costly. So this DIYer cleverly used skateboard bearings and square tubes as slides to reduce the total cost.
Finish it with a paint job to make it look professional and sharp.
4. Modular storage system
Cargo vans and trailers typically are tall enough for you to stand and move about. This unique feature can allow the fitting of a storage system that can include a complex system of shelves, racks, and drawer units to drastically improve work vehicle organization.
Here’s how a mobile locksmith in Riverside, CA uses a modular storage system to organize his work van.
And how about this carpenter’s impressive DIY storage system for his trailer.
Notice how he used a trailer pin to keep the chop saw securely in place while making removing it quick and easy.
5. Keep It Simple
This landscaping trailer (2009 Haulmark Kodiak Landscaper 7×16) demonstrates that keeping it simple can often be the best way to go.
The wooden wall panels allow easy installation of racking and shelving systems.
A landscaping business work vehicle needs to store equipment of varying sizes and shapes like weed whackers, chainsaws, trimmers, mowers. Check out the clever use of the racking and shelving system.
After mounting all the equipment, there’s still room for a large mower or two to roll right up inside this trailer. And when you’re hauling this many pieces of equipment between job sites, it can be easy to accidentally leave something behind. That’s why we created the Toolie. Check it out here.
Pegboards aren’t just for storing tools in the garage. For small tools you use frequently, pegboards can be a boon for your organizational needs.
No more frantically looking for that right-sized wrench or screwdrivers in a bin or a drawer.
And here’s an example of a mobile locksmith using pegboards to organize all his equipment inside his Ford Transit 250. Everything is easily within reach and in perfect order.
7. Loading ramps
If you have to haul heavy equipment (like mowing machines or snow plowers) or goods (for delivery services), ramps can be a game-changer.
For service businesses like delivery and moving services, having a ramp is almost a necessity to improve productivity, safety, and efficiency.
8. Turn the lights on
Unlit or dimly lit vans and trailers can hinder working in the dark. And let’s not even get into safety issues.
When standard factory lights don’t cut it, it’s time to upgrade to LED lights, which are energy efficient while providing high brightness and intensity.
LED strip lights are an inexpensive and flexible way to add ample lights to your work trucks.
9. Underseat Storage
If you want to squeeze out every nook and cranny, under-seat storage is relatively inexpensive that can expand the capacity of your work truck.
There are several commercially available products that look great and are affordable.
Or you can DIY a setup with some pegs and drywall screws like this guy did. Smart!
10. Get creative
Some of the work truck and van organization ideas we’ve explored so far can be expensive or time-consuming to implement. That does not not an excuse to be sloppy or abandon all hope of becoming more organized. Trust us, you don’t have to break the bank to clean up your operations.
Here’s how a tow truck operator utilizes simple tool bags to keep his tools and equipment organized. It’s a basic solution, but it works to great effect.
Passenger seat area can be additional space to store paper works and small tools.
And this land surveyor uses simple wooden cargo dividers as a storage system to keep everything organized.
Voltaire said, “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation”. We couldn’t agree more. You should steal any of these organizational concepts we’ve shared here. Got any ideas of your own? We’d love to see them! And if you’re looking for other insights to optimize your operations and generate more revenue, try Momentum for free. You can get started here.