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  • Yvonne Root

The Nuts and Bolts of Organizing Your Truck, Van, or Supply Trailer

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Construction Contractor, have you found your tools are always yelling at you because the wife and kids take up way too much room?

Well, here are some ways you can get them to calm down – the tools, not the wife and kids.

Standardize the Process

It doesn’t matter if you have a single pickup or a fleet of vehicles ranging from box trucks to vans to tool trailers, having organized tool and supply transportation is the key to hitting the jobsite ready to roll. Plus, consider this — your vehicles are visible and often the primary point of customer contact for your company.

The simple yet effective tool when deciding how to organize your vehicle space is to Standardize the Process. You’ve heard it before – a place for everything and everything in its place. Yet, this goes beyond just knowing what is in your own truck. When you begin standardizing the process you’ve begun preparing for scaling into a large fleet.

Pay attention to the details

You’ve probably already encountered these objectives for stowing all the necessary items to be hauled to each jobsite:

  1. Store larger items on the floor or lower compartments.

  2. Create vertical shelving and storage spaces (including doors when possible) using all available territory.

  3. In trailers and box trucks include overhead storage cubbies, rods, or rails.

Here are other procedures to consider:

  1. Use smaller containers for each work phase or tool type instead of one large universal box. The bigger the box the deeper whatever tool you need will be buried.

  2. Set up storage zones based on types of tasks to be completed.

  3. Include a field service kit which goes to the jobsite with the equipment. It should contain the parts and tools necessary to repair items most likely to fail in the field (for example, the rope pull on a gas saw.) The bonus point is, this eliminates most field emergencies that would require a trip to the shop for minor repairs.

  4. Consider choosing a battery-operated lantern with a handle which will allow you to hang it while searching in the dark recesses of your trailer, van, or box truck.

 Digging deeper

Whether digital or paper based these are documents which you’ll want to consider having always available in your vehicles:

  1. Daily load sheets for each vehicle

  2. Project Startup Check List

  3. Job Close Out List

  4. Business cards

  5. Client Satisfaction Survey

  6. Informational Brochures

A serious focus on efficiency leads to better professionalism

Do you ever get to the job site and find you’re hit with a bunch of surprises?

  1. Oops, that is going to take more __________ than I thought it would.

  2. What do you mean there is no power source?

  3. Dagnab it, I’m going to have to clean up this _________­­­ before I can use it.

  4. Interesting, they moved all the ___________ since I was here yesterday.

  5. I’m not getting even one bar on my phone.

  6. Umm, I didn’t know ___________ was going to be here today too.

  7. The weather man said it was going to be sunny today – what happened?

You know it is part and parcel with the construction contracting industry, there are going to be things which come up and you have little to no control over them. Think about this, every other contractor on your site or the one down the street is facing the same kind of issues. You can be way ahead of the game by having every single unit in your fleet stocked, organized, and prepared for the day’s adventure.

And, when you’re faced with the last item on the above list, (why is it raining today?) put the time to good use by reorganizing the contents of your work vehicle.


This is another article in the series concerning organizing your construction contracting office, shop, vehicle, and day. Want to see more? Go right here.

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