An electrician’s van is a mobile office; everything that might be needed on a jobsite should be in that van to avoid trips back to the shop that wastes your or your clients’ time and money. If you have to dig through the back to look for tools or remove gear to get at the ladder, you’re wasting time and money there too.
It might take a weekend to organize your van, but once it’s completed, you’ll be able to find anything you need at a moment’s notice.
There are many premade organizing units on the market from van manufacturers as well as aftermarket companies. Videos on YouTube will show DIY types how to build and customize units to fit vans. No matter what system you choose, it’s important to organize it from the start and keep it that way.
Organize your work van the right way with these 8 tips:
Keep Large/Heavy Items on The Floor
Think about how many times you move generators, air compressors and other large items. Do you want to lift them down from upper shelves several times a day, every day? Even worse, in case of traffic issues, they can fall off shelves and break anything underneath. Keep heavy or large items on the floor of your van for easy access and your back will thank you.
Maximize the Doors
You’re missing prime storage space if you’re not utilizing the insides of your cargo doors. Use cargo straps to secure a hand truck to one door. Use magnetized strips or install bins on the other door to hold frequently used items like hand tools, measuring tape, note pads, pens, and more.
Keep It Clean
You accumulate all sorts of dirt and debris during the day, so make sure you have a system to deal with it. Now is the time to add a small trash can with a few extra bags in the bottom so you can change the bag whenever it’s full. Add cleaning wipes for the van and yourself, as well as a first aid kit so you’ll be ready for almost anything.
Leave Space for Moving Around
Don’t pack things so tightly into your van that you have no room to move around! Make sure you have plenty of room to pull out drawers easily and won’t bang your head every time you try to get something off a top shelf. Extra padding near the door will give you a cushioned place to kneel.
You may not be the only person who uses this van, or you might forget what’s in a drawer on a busy day, so take the time to label drawers and cabinets as you fill them. A label maker that prints on paper tape instead of plastic isn’t expensive and makes easy to read labels that last for years.
Lock Up Valuables
Van doors are usually kept open at job sites, so if you have any expensive tools or testing equipment, keep them in steel and aluminum locking drawers when not in use. Choose a sturdy lock that’s not easily cut; key or combination locks are a matter of personal preference.
Add Some Lights
If your van is dark, now is the time to add task lighting. If there’s a 12-volt plug in the back, you can add LED light panels on the roof. Small, battery operated lights that attach with adhesive and turn on and off with a tap are ideal for hard to wire areas and come in several sizes. Make sure you have portable lighting in case you have to do any work at night.
Get Input from Others
Ask others in the business what they wish they had in their vans to make life easier and incorporate the best suggestions. Zip ties, phone chargers, and even basic office supplies can come in handy when you least expect it.
An organized electrical van does more than save you valuable time and money. It shows your clients that you’re professional, detail oriented and can get the job done. That’s the image every business wants to convey. By investing a little time and money into organizing your electrical van, you can advertise your skilled demeanor every time you open the doors.