Imagine this: You have the perfect day ahead of you, which starts with a quick service appointment nearby. Replacing that leaky faucet at the first stop should take less than an hour, and then you’ll be off to the other five stops that will round out your day. You don’t have a lot of time between appointments, but as long as you don’t hit too much traffic, you should arrive on time for each one.
As you pull out of your driveway, you mentally review everything you threw in your van the night before to make sure you didn’t forget anything. Confident that you have all of the tools and supplies you’ll need to make it through your day without having to dash back to the shop or the nearest hardware store, you merge onto the roadway in the direction of your first stop.
As you’re driving, you hit a pothole you could swear wasn’t there yesterday and hear a cacophony of noises coming from your cargo area. You know that can’t be good, and you already anticipate an overturned toolbox, displaced materials and a general mess in the back. As you pull into the nearest parking spot and send a text to let your client know you’ve arrived, you ask yourself why you’ve never taken the time to upfit your van.
Money, costly downtime, having to reschedule appointments — all of them have seemed like valid reasons in the past. When you open your cargo doors and see the carnage that should be organized tools, materials and supplies, you know those tired excuses for not upfitting your van aren’t acceptable anymore.
Benefits of Having an Organized Cargo Van
As you continue looking for your favorite screwdriver and come across your once contained, now scattered drill bits, you quickly contemplate the potential benefits that some basic commercial van accessories can provide. These benefits include:
- Increased Productivity & Revenue: When your things are organized, you can find them faster, and that enables you to get more done in a set period of time. Since you’ll be able to get more done, you’ll earn more money, which means it’s just a matter of time before your cargo van accessories pay for themselves by enabling you to take on more jobs — and that’ll be a nice return on your investment in contractor van accessories.
- Better Brand Image: An organized van and work space shows your clients that you’re a trustworthy professional who’s ready to tackle a job no matter how challenging it is.
- More Accurate Inventory: When you use work van storage bins and other accessories to keep your things in order, you’ll be able to see your full inventory of tools and supplies with a simple glance. You’ll know if you have everything you need in the right quantities in seconds instead of having to spend minutes or even hours to rummage through your cargo area.
- Improved Ergonomics: Some tool drawers for a work van and a few other accessories can improve your van’s ergonomics because you’ll be able to retrieve the tools you use most often with less strain on your body. For instance, you can configure your accessories so your heavier tools are stored closest to your cargo doors instead of a foot away. This will allow you to retrieve them with less strain. Having a drop down ladder rack instead of a fixed rack can also help you reduce the strain on your body.
- Better Protection: When your tools and materials are left unsecured in your cargo area, it increases the likelihood that they’ll be damaged, especially if they’re fragile like light switches or light fixtures are. Your van is also at risk for damage when things aren’t secure. A small screw or nail can scratch your paint, for example, while a heavy piece of equipment may dent the sides of your cargo area or even your cargo bay doors. It’s easier for someone to steal your work items if they’re unsecure as well. With lockable storage solutions, you can prevent theft and protect your supplies, tools and van from avoidable damage.
- Improved Visibility: If you install some work van lighting, you can enjoy better visibility, which will be particularly useful when you have to work at night.
- Increased Safety: Adding things like convex spot mirrors, a rearview camera, parking sensors and grab handles can help keep you safer on the road and while you’re working.
Essential Commercial Van Accessories
With gas prices remaining reasonably low as the economy continues to recover from its not-so-distant recession, businesses are buying more large commercial vans than small ones. While small work van sales in the United States grew by eight percent through the first half of 2016, large commercial van sales were up by 18 percent through the third quarter of the same year.
Regardless of whether you use a large or small contractor van for your business, there are some cargo van accessories you may want to consider getting for your work vehicle. These accessories include the following:
- Paper Holders: Have you ever arrived at a job and were unable to find the necessary paperwork? You can prevent this from ever happening again by having a paper holder installed in your work van. Paper holders are available with multiple slots, which makes it easy for you to keep all of your paperwork organized and within easy reach.
- Bottle Restraints: You can install bottle restraints so that your bottles are easily accessible when you need them and secure as you’re driving. Bottle restraints are especially useful if you travel with liquid supplies that can become hazardous if they’re jostled too much or handled too roughly or you’re transporting dangerous chemicals. Bottle holders are available to accommodate different bottle sizes and various numbers of bottles.
- Hooks: Utility hooks can be mounted on shelf end panels, partitions or any other flat surface in your trade van. Hooks are great for stowing a wide variety of work items, such as electrical cords, tool belts and hard hats.
- Interior Lighting: Work van lighting can make it much easier for you to see where your tools are located and make it safer for you to move around in your van. If you’re going to upfit your van so it has interior lighting, make sure the lighting is sufficient to illuminate both sides of your vehicle’s shelving as well as its center aisle.
- Parts Cases: Parts cases are made to stow just one part or multiple parts. Being able to separate parts into their own cases will make it easier for you to find what you need when you need it. It will also enable you to keep better track of the parts you have on hand and replenish your inventory in a more timely manner when necessary.
- Tool Drawers: Tool drawers are an effective way to keep your tools organized and accessible. Tool drawers can also protect your tools and your van from damage during transit. When you’re on a jobsite, your attention needs to be on the job at hand, not on the tools in your van. That’s why you should consider getting lockable tool drawers that can prevent your tools from being stolen when you’re preoccupied with your work. Tool drawers are available in a number of configurations that can accommodate your tools no matter what kind of work you do.
- Conduit Carrier Tube: If you transport conduits such as copper pipe or other lengthy building materials regularly, installing a conduit carrier tube can help you get your materials to their destination intact and undamaged.
- Ladder Racks: What do you do when you have limited space available in your cargo area? The same thing warehouse managers do when their facilities are running out of floor space to store more products — use vertical storage space. Ladder racks enable you to store equipment on the top of your van securely. They also protect the top of your automobile from scrapes and dents when you do store things on your roof.
- Roof Decks: Like ladder racks, a roof deck can protect the top of your vehicle from damage. Additionally, roof decks have multiple cross bars and side rails to prevent your items from falling off. You can use a roof deck to store equipment such as ladders, and the last cross bar is often a roller which makes sliding the ladders down for use a breeze. Roof decks have multiple points where you can secure hooks and ratchet sets, which can help you keep your cargo area uncluttered.
- Roof Deck Catwalks: While ladder racks and roof decks can protect the top of your van from scrapes and dents caused by your equipment, they cannot protect your roof from damage you cause by walking on it. A roof deck catwalk can protect the top of your automobile from this kind of damage, however. Since it gives you the ability to navigate the space on top of your vehicle without making unnecessary contact with your equipment, a roof deck catwalk can also protect the equipment you store on your roof from damage.
- Cargo Racks: Cargo racks are generally designed to enable you to store a wide variety of equipment on your roof. They often have ladder stops and straps to make loading and unloading your equipment much easier.
- Drop Down Ladder Racks: As was mentioned earlier, having a drop down ladder rack can improve your van’s ergonomics because it requires less physical strain and effort when you want to retrieve or stow a ladder since the ladder won’t be stored on your roof.
- Access Ladders: An access ladder makes it much easier for you to access the equipment you store on your roof safely. An access ladder is one of the smartest upfits you can get to prevent an injury to yourself and prevent damage to your commercial van.
- Rear Roller Bars: Have you ever worried about pulling away from a jobsite and hearing all of the equipment your stowed on your roof hit the ground behind you? A rear roller bar provides extra security for your equipment by keeping it where it’s supposed to be — on top of your roof.
- Shelving: Shelving is a great way to keep the things you haul organized in your cargo bay. Van shelving is typically made from either steel or aluminum. Cargo van shelving is available in general service packages, and it also comes in configurations designed for people who work in specific industries.
If you’re in the delivery business, for instance, you can get a shelving package that has plenty of room and strength to support your heavier deliveries. Your package can also include shelves you can fold to clear the aisle in your cargo area as you work your way through your delivery route. Industry-specific shelving systems have also been developed for the following professions:
Contact Advantage Outfitters
At Advantage Outfitters, our motto is “work vehicles that work better,” and that’s what we do. We make work vehicles work better every day.
We have all of the commercial van accessories you need to transport all of your equipment and materials securely, safely and in an organized manner. From tool drawers and boxes, to ladder racks, to industry-specific shelving packages and much, much more, we’re your one-stop shop when it comes to upfitting your van to work better.
With the right storage configuration, you can reduce or even eliminate return trips to the shop or jobsite. You can take inventory of the equipment and supplies in your truck quickly to make sure you always have what you need on hand. With our storage solutions, your clients and prospects will always see you as an organized, capable professional who takes your work and their needs seriously.
Our contractor van accessories can save you time, increase your productivity and efficiency and help you make more money. They can keep you safer while you work as well and protect your tools and van from unnecessary damage.
If you’re ready to start enjoying all of the ways that an investment in cargo van accessories can benefit you but aren’t sure what accessories you need to see a meaningful return on your investment, contact Advantage Outfitters. We’ll discuss your business and your needs with you and help you determine which commercial van accessories will yield the greatest, most immediate and lasting ROI for you.
We offer a wide range of products made by some of the most respected accessory manufacturers in the world, including Vantech, Prime Design, Legend Rubber, and Ranger Design. Our solutions are perfect for many of the most popular work vans, such as Sprinter, Promaster, Transit and popular GM Vans including the GM 2500. So, you’ll always know that the van accessories you get from us are top shelf and the right ones for your work van.
To learn more about our extensive product line or to discuss your individual needs, contact Advantage Outfitters. We’re eager to make your work vehicle work better for you. Give us a call at 866-925-4844 or contact us online today.