Another benefit of having an organized van is your team’s peace of mind. Studies show that van organization can lead to better workflows and increased productivity. This is especially true for electricians who often have to juggle multiple tasks at once.
There are a lot of different ways to go about van racking, and it can be tough to decide what system is right for you. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some of the best van-racking ideas for electricians.
What should you consider when racking your van?
What are your van organization goals?
Before you start shopping for van racking tools, it’s important to take a step back and think about what your goals are. Do you want to create more storage space? Make it easier to find tools and equipment? Keep your van looking clean and organized? Once you know what your goals are, it should be clearer what method works best for you.
How big is your van?
One of the most important things to consider when setting up your van is how much room you have to work with and, therefore, how you’ll use the space. If you have a large van, you’ll likely have more room for storage and can consider different van-racking ideas. If you have a smaller van, on the other hand, you’ll need to be more judicious with your space and may need to get creative with how you utilize it.
What tools do you need to store?
Another key consideration is what types of tools and equipment you’ll be storing in your van. This will help determine the size and type of van racking system you’ll need. For example, if you plan on storing mostly small hand tools, shallow drawers may be all you need. However, if you’re carrying around larger items like ladders or electrical conduits, you might need to look into placing them on the doors or walls of your van.
What’s your budget?
Of course, as with anything else, van racking systems come in a wide range of prices. It’s important to set a budget for yourself before you start shopping so that you don’t get overwhelmed by the options. Once you know how much you’re willing to spend, you can narrow down your choices and find the system that’s right for you.
Note that we have written down both cheap options (shelving – since anyone can get shallow drawers or bins at any department store), and more expensive options (customer installations, such as a false door).
Basic electrician van racking tips and hacks
The cheaper option:
Have a carry-on bag
Other than your necessary tool belt, have a bag next to the driver’s seat with the most common tools you use on your everyday schedule. This way you’re not fishing through the van every time you need to grab a hammer or your tape measure. That bag should also ease the weight on your waist as you’re commuting and don’t want to have to work with tools pressing against your body.
Know where everything is stored
By installing shelves, racks, and bins (labeled by tool type, i.e. “uniform”, “safety helmets”, etc.) in strategic places, you can create a van that is organized and efficient. And when everything has its place, it’s easy to find what you need when you need it.
Another great way to maximize the space in your van is by using shallow drawers next to the driver’s seat. These are perfect for storing smaller items like screws, nails, and washers that always come in handy. By using shallow drawers instead of deep ones, you can make sure that everything is within reach.
If you’re looking for van organization ideas that are both practical and stylish, then consider adding pipe compartments to your van. This is a great way to store longer items like pipes and tubing, while still keeping them organized and within reach. You can even add labels to the compartments so that you know exactly what goes where.
For smaller vans: Use cords to keep taller objects in place
Try fixing cords to the sides of the racking and hanging the necessary tools on them. Make sure they’re at least wall height so you won’t bump your head. This is a risky method, so also make sure nothing falls out when you’re driving to your next job.
For larger vans: Utilize floor space
Use floor vacancy while leaving some room for you to work around. This will give you extra space for storage without taking up valuable headroom. Some electricians even install a workbench on the empty floor space. While this may sound counterintuitive, especially if you work in small teams, benches can actually help store items in multiple compartments while also giving you a place to rest when you need it. And they’re not as expensive as you might think.
The premium option: Add a “false” space
One of the best ways to maximize space and storage in your van is to install a false floor. This involves raising the floor of your van slightly and adding a platform on top. This gives you extra space to store larger items underneath while still allowing you to keep the floor of your van clear.
Another way to add extra storage space to your van is by installing false walls or ceilings. This can be especially useful if you have a high-roof van, as it allows you to make use of all that vertical space. By installing shelves or racks on the walls or ceiling, you can create more room for larger items like ladders, lumber, or pipes.
The more expensive option: Hire a custom van racking service
If you have the money to spare, there are many van organization companies that will come out and do a custom installation for you. This is ideal because they will be able to create something specifically for an electrician’s needs, rather than trying to make do with a shelving unit from Home Depot.
The advanced option: Planning ahead with a field service management software
Workiz can’t do much when it comes to racking your van, but it can help immensely in gearing up your team ahead of their commute. With this all-in-one management platform, your electricians can see in advance what jobs are expected for them on that same day and take only the tools that they need for them. Workiz can also count your inventory to make sure no tools are missing before arriving at the job site.
Important van racking safety tips
Accidents happen to electricians all the time, even when they’re not on the job. To minimize the chance of them happening to you, safety should always be your top priority. Here are a few van racking safety tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure all racks and shelves are securely attached to the walls or floor of your van.
- Never overload racks or shelves, as this could cause them to collapse.
- Always use proper lifting techniques when loading and unloading items from van racks.
- Be careful when opening doors and drawers, as items may fall out if they’re not properly secured.
- Keep an eye out for loose screws, bolts, or any other hardware that could come loose and pose a hazard.
- Periodically check all racks and shelves for signs of wear and tear.
- Never drive a van that doesn’t look safe enough, nor allow your team to do so. Take an extra moment or two to make sure all gear is properly secured.
Electricians need their vans to be organized so they can quickly and easily find the tools and supplies they need. This can be challenging, especially if you have a lot of gear. But with a little creativity and some elbow grease, you can transform your van into the ultimate mobile workshop. All you have to do is take van size and budget into consideration and always have safety precautions in mind.
Electric contractor teams can also be more organized and efficient with Workiz, an all-in-one field service management platform with a built-in Inventory Management feature and plenty of tools to stay on top of all operations. Electricians that use Workiz report to have their revenue increased by 22% on average while working easy. There’s no reason for you not to have the same astounding results, especially if you already have several vans and dozens of tools to keep track of.
See Workiz in action – start a 7-day free trial today or book a free 15-minute demo with a product specialist. Workiz is so easy to use it will make managing your home service business look like a walk in the park.