A service van is the lifeblood of your day-to-day business. It houses everything from parts and accessories to tools and invoices needed for repairs. That’s why a van can get messy as more things are added to it over time. Instead of tossing all those items carelessly in the back, think of an efficient layout to keep everything safe and easy to locate.
So where do you start? Below are some helpful service van organization ideas any commercial kitchen or HVAC tech can use.
1. Use Stackable Bins and Shelving
If you’re trying to find the right storage solutions for a service van, always remember to go vertical. This helps keeps the floor clean, letting you maneuver easily throughout your space. Stackable bins can store everything from screwdrivers and multi-tools to screws and small wiring. Some solutions, including Uline Plastic Stackable Bins, come with dividers to separate your bins. That way you can keep similar items in one simple spot.
Depending on the space in the rear of your van, small shelves and hooks are always solid choices. Mounted or tied-down shelving units are perfect for storing boxes and bigger pieces of equipment, such as shop vacuums and lighting. Whether they’re on a pegboard or mounted to the side walls, hooks also are great for holding medium-sized hand tools, power tools and extension cords. Whatever solutions you use, think about invest in bungee cords or zip ties. These will help keep items secure during your daily commute.
2. Keep Your Go-To Tools Close
Having a wide variety of tools means you can make any repair at a moment’s notice. But there are essential items you use every day to handle both small tweaks and major tasks. Make sure those important tools are by the side or rear access door, whether they’re in a bin or hanging on hooks. All the other tools and equipment you use less frequently should be moved further away from the doors.
Things like screwdrivers, wrenches and multi-tools should be easily accessible. Consider putting those in a small bag or bucket, so you can quickly grab them and go. You can keep the carrier in the passenger seat or in the back by the side or rear access door. Tool bags like the DeWalt Lighted Backpack come with 57 pockets, allowing you to carry all your most important tools in one carrier.
3. Dedicate Space to Replacement Parts
Having essential replacement parts in the back of your service van allows you to make repairs quickly after diagnosing the problem. This reduces the wait, whether it needs to be shipped or picked up at your service company. Try to create a small area dedicated to just parts either on a shelf or in stackable storage bin.
Having a designated spot not only makes finding these items quicker, but it also prevents them from getting damaged. Remember to keep fragile parts like fans and motors in bubble wrap or protective packaging. Also, many service companies like to conduct weekly inventory checks on their parts. By having all yours in one simple space, it’s much easier to find specific items that need to be counted.
4. Let There Be Light… and Labels
Finding what you need quickly is a must. Spending time rifling through storage solutions is a hassle and creates unnecessary downtime. Eliminate this problem by adding lighting to the back of your van. These will come in handy when you’re working in the evening or parked in a dark space. If your van is equipped with some sort of power solution, consider placing stationary or mounted shop lights at the front and back corners of the van. Don’t have easy access to power? You can hang battery-powered lighting instead. For instance, the Bell + Howell Rechargeable LED Light Bar is perfect for illuminating a smaller space.
In addition to lighting, clearly marked labels can help when searching for items. As you start accumulating more parts and tools, it’s easy to forget where everything is located. Carefully label each box, compartment and shelf so you never have to guess where something is. This is especially helpful when you need to find smaller components like screws, nuts and bolts.
5. Tidy the Front Cabin
While the back needs to be organized, don’t forget about the front cabin too. A cargo organizer is great for arranging everything from invoices and documents to pens and chargers. That way you don’t have to dig through loose bags or the floor to find what you need. Many cargo systems can be set on the passenger seat or secured to the center console.
If you use a tablet or laptop while on the job, a mounted stand is a lifesaver. Instead of placing it on the passenger seat or trying to keep it steady on the dashboard, a stand lets you type and view your screen at the proper height. Many of these devices don’t need to be drilled into the interior of your van. For example, RAM® No-Drill™ Laptop Mounts are fastened to existing passenger-side seat bolts. Other options, such as the Bracketron® PhabGrip Smartphone & Tablet Mount, easily attach to your cup holder.