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#202099 - 07/16/11 09:34 PM Staying Organized
BigB Offline
Member

Registered: 03/31/04
Posts: 727
Loc: Tucson, AZ USA
I am fairly well organized when it comes to my truck.(high top utility cutaway van) The problems I am having right now are with the bins we use to keep stuff in. There are 4 bins for boxes organized by metal, nailers, cut ins etc, but it is always a pain to unstack them and worst of all to keep track of them resulting in running out of certain ones and losing time going to get more.

I am thinking of building a rack with shelves that can be put at the head of the cargo area and all the different types lined up on the shelves, which will be custom spaced to fit the different sizes. It will look like a retail display, and can be re stocked at a glance. I have backstock in the garage right where the van backs in.

I am thinking of using angle iron and expanded metal with sheet metal over the expanded metal to keep the nails from hanging up.
I could also use wood but I'm afraid it would be too bulky and could fall apart. Plus, I am a better weldor than carpenter.

Anyone have any ideas they might have tried?

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#202105 - 07/18/11 06:25 AM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
BigB,

When I was in business, I had 4 trucks and each truck was set up the same way. We kept all the boxes in "milk crates" (the ones that you can buy) and kept them on the bottom of the wood shelves. (1 truck had metal shelves) The wood in front of them prevented the crates from sliding out from under the shelves. 1 crate had the "rough in" styles, 1 crate had old work, and one had utility and 4" sq (1900) type of boxes. We only kept a few of each style on the truck. If we were roughing in a house, then we would bring cases of what we needed. The ones in the crate where just "Stock" in case you were on a job and needed something extra to get a job done.

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#202118 - 07/18/11 05:51 PM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
Alan Belson Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
I'd use birch plywood, 1/4" or 3/8" and knot-free softwood bearers [ and for a van BB grade would be more than good enough]. Strong, light, easy to cut and shape, the 1/32" thin veneers and lack of voids mean you can sand up or rout the ply edges smooth without lipping or the sharp edges of metal. Chipboard or MDF is useless for racks and shelving IMHO. The weight/stiffness ratio of Birch ply is as good as Dural- and hauling excess weight about is getting expensive. Plus, little risk of setting the van on fire with a welder! Pop rivetted or bolted ply or softwood longerons, fixed to the existing van internal struts at strategic points, mean a strong chassis for a racking assembly can be rapidly made. I would avoid drilling the floor! Ply-offcut doublers can be glued in at stress points. I now use 'Titebond III' as my favorite woodglue, + 18g brads / woodscrews for structural joints, [good for at least 800 psi, water clean up, 100% waterproof cured, rapid grab]. A coat of water-based varnish to keep the grime of everyday work off the wood is a good idea. Tip: Boxes must be stable on the move & not be overfilled or they will self-empty when you hit potholes or kerbs!

Doubts? Here's the biggest aeroplane that ever flew, built almost entirely of laminated birch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5XSESxKfKE
_________________________
Wood work but can't!

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#202119 - 07/18/11 06:25 PM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
Harold:

Yes, those great plastic boxess from Tuscan, DairyMaid, etc!! I never thought that they could be bought!!

Shelving was "L" angle for the framing, plywood for the shelf bottoms. Crates on the bottom w/boxes. Assorted bins for the smaller stuff.

Then, bought a 'new' van....with a shelving package installed for 'gratis' from the factory. Bins, drawers, cubbies, and the bulkhead behind the drivers seat & window security screens. Rattles,squeaks, & generally noisy.

An excellent point is carrying around any 'extra' weight with todays fuel prices!! Thinking back, the 9400# RGVW van that tipped the scales at 7900# in what was a 'normal stocked' condition. The 'service only' van weighed in near 8k lbs., with the normal compliment of ballasts. That would be a different story on my part today!
_________________________
John

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#202132 - 07/20/11 06:27 AM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
harold endean Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/02
Posts: 2248
Loc: Boonton, NJ
John,

Up here we also had Sisco Farms and Augusta farms. However we never borrowed theirs, we always "purchased" crates from other places. I too had a fully loaded truck with shelves gratis from a dealer. Most of the trucks I had, I had to build my own shelves. This one was complete with the metal ones. It too was very heavy and noisy. The tow trucks hated to pick up one of my trucks. However I bought AAA extra duty membership and they had to take any van up to 1 ton and tow it for a max of 50 miles, I believe. That was one insurance policy that paid off for me.

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#202145 - 07/20/11 01:42 PM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
There's a lot to be said for being organized, but I think there are some lessons to be shared as well....

The biggest drawback is that it's far too easy to load yourself down with far too much, and not leave any room for job-specific purchases.

I had sized the bins / containers in my truck to hold 'one box' of a part. This was an error; I probably should have limited my 'rolling storeroom' to at most a dozen. More than that, it's time to go to the shop, or the parts house.

A very real problem is the wear and tear on parts as they bounce around in the truck. This is especially important for cover plates and other 'finished' items. Each piece needs some form of protection.

Parts are not the only things that need to be organized. You also need to organize your raw materials, tools, and 'shop' equipment.

For tools, the really 'trick' way was designed by Festools; look up their 'Systainer' line. They took the old 'ammo box' idea and perfected it, and the result is a lot better than using the cases that came with your tools.

"Shop equipment" is your carts, workholders, tarps, awnings, clean-up stuff, and trash can. Might as well include special-purpose clothing, too.

"Raw materials" are things like pipe, strut, lumber, and such - the stuff you need that comes in quantities larger than you're likely to use at once. I mean, a milk crate might be handy for stacking spools in, but getting 20-ft of black and white out at once is a bit tedious.

Last - but not least - in the equation are the very real limits placed on us by simple physics. While I can easily fill a semi-trailer with all the stuff I really 'need' to have, I'd never get the truck into most parking spaces.

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#202213 - 07/23/11 07:00 AM Re: Staying Organized [Re: renosteinke]
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Quote:
An excellent point is carrying around any 'extra' weight with todays fuel prices!! Thinking back, the 9400# RGVW van that tipped the scales at 7900# in what was a 'normal stocked' condition. The 'service only' van weighed in near 8k lbs., with the normal compliment of ballasts.


lol!

my grandious idea of overloading a 4-banger S10 isn't really working out on the hills around here.....

maybe i could get a rear company placard, so everyone behind me knows who to beeeatch at?

~S~

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#202215 - 07/23/11 09:37 AM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
HotLine1 Offline

Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6804
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
What Reno brought up is excellent. The wear and tear on the 'materials' was something I forgot about. The screws and locknuts that vibrate out of where they belong, the ballasts that had 90% of the label 'rubbed off'. The devices that had 'scars' from many miles. The bulbs that were 'dead' from broken filaments.

These 'shop worn' items usually turned up when it was time to clean out the trucks.
_________________________
John

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#202220 - 07/23/11 11:26 AM Re: Staying Organized [Re: BigB]
twh Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 898
Loc: Regina, Sask.
It's nice to hear I'm not alone with this.

One of the problems is carrying material for residential, commercial and industrial work. If I could specialize, the stock list would be smaller and the inventory turnover greater; but I can't make a living that way.

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#202225 - 07/23/11 06:25 PM Re: Staying Organized [Re: HotLine1]
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted By: HotLine1
What Reno brought up is excellent. The wear and tear on the 'materials' was something I forgot about. The screws and locknuts that vibrate out of where they belong, the ballasts that had 90% of the label 'rubbed off'. The devices that had 'scars' from many miles. The bulbs that were 'dead' from broken filaments.

These 'shop worn' items usually turned up when it was time to clean out the trucks.

John,
I second that.
When I was an EC, during the yearly stock-take (last working day of March), it was an afternoon of surprises. grin mad
We used to find things we never knew we owned and some things we wish we didn't. crazy
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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