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Old 03-24-2020, 07:13 PM   #21
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It would actually be cheaper to rip the lid off some other Packout thing and screw it onto a $12 generic dolly.

Do that, and then if you have an apprentice make him put his phone in the bottom one you ripped the lid off of. The packout will always make it into the building and out with everything that way.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:17 PM   #22
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For lift work, I built my own materials sleeves. These consist of 2x4 sticks wrapped with 1/8 plywood -- the cheap stuff. The inner 2x4 sticks are not screwed, are free to slide forward and back. The sleeve is picked up via a cut-out 'handle' on one face only. (use a hole-saw and sawzall )

They fit on scissor-lifts and eliminate no-end of materials trips.

One sleeve is dedicated to 1/2 EMT, another to MC, another to 3/4 EMT -- etc.

Then when running EMT you can just reach down to get your stuff.

I favor MC + 3/4 EMT... I'm not working Big Projects.

I came up with this ugly kluge after rain kept destroying the thin cardboard that the SH sends out with minor materials.

Even j-boxes work with sleeves.

If Trump sends me a recovery check -- same as Boeing -- I'll pop for the Festool stack. Otherwise I'll have to launch my own TV show.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:25 PM   #23
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I've posted these before I think. This is one of my older vans. I built some wood shelving to put the boxes in. They work great for all the parts and pieces. If I am doing 1/2" EMT I can just grab the 1/2" box and it has all my connectors, couplings, and various straps.

Have it set up for all kinds of things with various sized containers. Harbor Freight also has some knockoff units that work pretty good. I used them for years without real complaint.
VERY. Nice!

I have not evolved past using the spare cardboard box from the supply house phase. The work vehicle is always (and has ALWAYS been) a cluttered mess. Might just be time for me to make something new happen. Good post.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:31 PM   #24
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https://www.craftsman.com/versasyste...hoC0DkQAvD_BwE

https://www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-V...Box/1000390943
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:44 PM   #25
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My dad loved craftsman tools. I started out only buying craftsman when I began starting my collection.

Their friking garbage now. And that was well before Lowe's bought them out.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:25 PM   #26
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My dad loved craftsman tools. I started out only buying craftsman when I began starting my collection.

Their friking garbage now. And that was well before Lowe's bought them out.
Almost all of my wrenches & socket sets are USA made Craftsman tools from the 70’s & 80’s. Good stuff! They may not hold up working on big heavy equipment but for the industrial electrical work I did they were/are great.

The rest of my hand tools are a mixture of Klein, Greenlee, & Bondhus.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:50 PM   #27
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VERY. Nice!

I have not evolved past using the spare cardboard box from the supply house phase. The work vehicle is always (and has ALWAYS been) a cluttered mess. Might just be time for me to make something new happen. Good post.
One thing it really helps with, is keeping it clean in the van. My old way of grabbing this/that and then when I was done, just toss it back in the van. Toss it in some random direction.

With the bins, because I take them with me generally, I put the excess back before I take the bins back to the van. This keeps the van tidy longer.... Notice I said longer....
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:52 PM   #28
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I keep my most used tools in the rigid stack. Pull it out of the van, wheel it in, and get started.

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Old 03-25-2020, 06:31 AM   #29
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VERY. Nice!

I have not evolved past using the spare cardboard box from the supply house phase. The work vehicle is always (and has ALWAYS been) a cluttered mess. Might just be time for me to make something new happen. Good post.
Put a lot of thought into what you want to do before taking the plunge.

Originally I was setup with briefcase style organizers. They worked well because I was working out of a pickup, so I could take what I needed. I was going to use them when I got a van, but I switched to Eurobins.

Eurobins are great, and make it very easy to grab what I need quickly, and I can also take the bins with me into jobs.

But now that I am thinking of possibly getting a smaller van, I think briefcase style organizers might be able to hold the material in a smaller footprint.

A rack like this near the side door and back door would give easy access to all that material:

Plastic lock together tool boxes/organizers-screen-shot-2020-03-25-6.25.00-am.png
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Old 03-25-2020, 07:15 AM   #30
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Put a lot of thought into what you want to do before taking the plunge.



Originally I was setup with briefcase style organizers. They worked well because I was working out of a pickup, so I could take what I needed. I was going to use them when I got a van, but I switched to Eurobins.



Eurobins are great, and make it very easy to grab what I need quickly, and I can also take the bins with me into jobs.



But now that I am thinking of possibly getting a smaller van, I think briefcase style organizers might be able to hold the material in a smaller footprint.



A rack like this near the side door and back door would give easy access to all that material:



Attachment 141804
Mine resembles that remark!!

Two things to watch out for. First is the racking system for Tough System. It seems like it comes with holders for 3 bins and you can add later. BUT between the cross arms and brackets you can fit 3 boxes and not just anywhere. To be fair you can stack a couple boxes too and fit maybe 4-5 but watch out for weight limits! On the other hand even with stupid idiots on the road I have yet to have any boxes so much as move more than 1/4" if that on this system compared to rigging lips, bungees etc. To keep my other crap on the shelf when I get to the job.

Second is they aren't designed to mount over/on wheel wells. So you cant according to the instructions use that area. And the side brackets mean they can't mount side by side. So in a standard cargo van you get ONE rack total. The photos in this thread hold tons more boxes. So my hint is you want these.

Third look at the Packouts and the usable space. A lot of space is totally wasted on a lot of plastic. For bigger parts like a box of wood screws or 1/4 To say 5/8" bolts and nuts hands down the Dewalt Tough System organizers rule. The Packout one is a very close second. But for say Stakons it's a huge waste of space. That's where the other organizers work.

But for smaller parts I've tried the Dewalt organizers, Packout, Stanley branded organizers, Ketter, and Husky. In terms of bang for your buck I like the Dewalt organizers the best. I can fit say all my Stakons in one with room to spare. If you get the one with dividers though it's OK for say conduit fittings but not Stakons because they get under the dividers and you cant just take out the one or two bins you need. So get both kinds. Then stack two to four high on your van shelves and you will fit everything in far less space than the drawer and bin systems. We all know you can fit more (with zero organization) if you out all your tools in bags then just dump them all in a heap. The organizers are like that.

Be careful of the T Staks. With the Packout, Ridgid, and Tough System you can fit say a drill driver, most of your bits, and a selection of screws in ONE box. Or say a Sawzall or an impact wrench plus all the sockets and wrenches. The T Staks are just small enough they don't work like that...better as organizers. But the Dewalt Tough Organizers (not Tough System) at $15 for the more expensive ones make the T Staks a terrible deal for basically the same thing.

And you can have it both ways. When I worked out of a pickup I kept up to 4 half width organizers stacked in the roll around Toughsystem bottom bin with room to spare. It held all my Stakons, crimps, screws, and wire nuts in half the bin. The other half had bags of tape (motor tech...I use multiple rolls of tape per job), sticky backs, and tie wraps with room to spare for crimpers, cab,e cutters, and longer tools that don't fit in my bag. I still, have it in the van. Stacked 4 high with a drill box, wrench/socket box, bolt box, and topped with an open crate with all the materials and maybe a bag with a saw in it and basically I can haul in every tool 500 yards into someone's plant in ONE trip.

The good part is that it forces me to out everything away too. The garbage and stuff I need to sort out goes back in the tote bin on top. Packing the van is 5 minutes if that.

Don't forget too stacking organizers are like battery systems. They are not compatible with each other.

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Old 03-25-2020, 07:58 AM   #31
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Put a lot of thought into what you want to do before taking the plunge.

Originally I was setup with briefcase style organizers. They worked well because I was working out of a pickup, so I could take what I needed. I was going to use them when I got a van, but I switched to Eurobins.

Eurobins are great, and make it very easy to grab what I need quickly, and I can also take the bins with me into jobs.

But now that I am thinking of possibly getting a smaller van, I think briefcase style organizers might be able to hold the material in a smaller footprint.

A rack like this near the side door and back door would give easy access to all that material:

Attachment 141804
The euro bins work reasonably well, but there are downsides for me. We do quite a bit of sawmill work and the like, so driving across muddy, rutted sawmill yards, crushing pits, etc, makes whatever is in the euro bins bounce out, bounce into other bins, tip the bins over. They make a mess. When I need multiple of something and grab euro bins to where I'm working, I can only carry a couple at a time and they are prone to tip over. My plan is not to completely get rid of them, but to set up more kits like switched did,.

I want to be able to grab my emt kit and have 1/2 and 3/4 fittings, straps, and strut clamps. I don't want to have to grab straps separately, or grab different boxes of set screw or compression fittings. I waste a lot of time doing that, and I inevitably don't grab everything I need on the first trip. I also eliminated the individual small jugs of screws and whatnot, so I don't have to hunt for #12x1" screws or the like. I do a large variety of work, but that includes a lot of repair work, so I want to grab my sealtite kit and some sealtite, some other kits, and roll. I should be able to shave many trips to the truck this way while also making my inventory more flexible. I think a mix of rigid boxes and some smaller briefcase organizers is going to be the ticket, and I can slowly transition over time without spending a few thousand bucks all at once.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:13 PM   #32
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I

The milk crates are important to me. The ridgid $20 milk crate is a pisser but the milwaukee $40 milk crate is .
You BUY mik crates?
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:55 PM   #33
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Almost all of my wrenches & socket sets are USA made Craftsman tools from the 70’s & 80’s. Good stuff! They may not hold up working on big heavy equipment but for the industrial electrical work I did they were/are great.
Same here, my Craftsman stuff is mostly made in USA '80s and '90s with some older hand me downs. I got one of there mechanic's sets around that time, it's still great. I have some Snap On and Mac Tool odds and ends from the same time frame and the premium brands are nicer looking and maybe a little nicer ratcheting action, but functionally no better or worse.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:21 PM   #34
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Almost all of my wrenches & socket sets are USA made Craftsman tools from the 70’s & 80’s. Good stuff! They may not hold up working on big heavy equipment but for the industrial electrical work I did they were/are great.

The rest of my hand tools are a mixture of Klein, Greenlee, & Bondhus.

Agreed, I have Craftsman wrenches and socket sets from 60's-80's and they are all going strong. I think I've only snapped one socket (12pt 13mm). I've used them on heavy equipment with no issues.

For doing underwater mechanical work I've used Pittsburgh impact sockets exclusively in case of loss but in all fairness I have to say that I haven't broken any even driving them with a sledge hammer, but I do use the proper size drive.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:27 PM   #35
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Craftsman wrench tools used to be made by EASCO.

That contract was severed ages ago -- so Sears could go down-market.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:31 PM   #36
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Same here, my Craftsman stuff is mostly made in USA '80s and '90s with some older hand me downs. I got one of there mechanic's sets around that time, it's still great. I have some Snap On and Mac Tool odds and ends from the same time frame and the premium brands are nicer looking and maybe a little nicer ratcheting action, but functionally no better or worse.

I've broken way too many Snap-on sockets to agree. Only brand I've had that issue with.
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Old 03-25-2020, 04:37 PM   #37
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I've broken way too many Snap-on sockets to agree.
That’s because you’re a gorilla, Mech.
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:59 AM   #38
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The trouble with Harbor Freight impacts us they’re so fat they don’t fit in a lot of places.

Recently bought a Lowe’s Craftsman set if sockets to replace a lot of missing 1:4 and 3/8 ones. I have never broken sockets either except Snspin. I have galled non-impact sockets badly with an impact gun but that’s it until now. Even on bigger sheet metal screws the Craftsman sockets just burn up. I think one if the big issues is they are all 12 point sockets. Where I usually use 6 points for strength. Except the crazy 13/16 5 sided utility socket you need on transformers and vaults.

Bought a cheap Husky set to replace them...no issues except they’re laser etched. I prefer stamped but hey it’s throw away tools. As a service contractor most of my sockets eventually get lost 5 decks down or in someone’s tank of something that I can’t or won’t fish around in to get it out.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:21 AM   #39
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My dad loved craftsman tools. I started out only buying craftsman when I began starting my collection.

Their friking garbage now. And that was well before Lowe's bought them out.
My local Lowe’s guy told me Craftsman is building a huge factory in Texas to bring manufacturing back to the USA.

Haven’t fact checked this but I love a good rumor. Hope it’s true.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:41 AM   #40
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Another vote here for the DeWalt tough system boxes. I've been running them for a year so far with no failures. Custom 'rack' in the van to hold them.

I have them organized by job type. Ie. Residential, conduit, flex, pvc, screws/bolts, etc.

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