With the right work van set up, you can be confident that you have quick access to all of the tools and supplies you’ll need to make it through your day. Store your tools in your van with helpful accessories to organize your portable workstation. Avoid having to dash back to your shop or the nearest hardware store.
Upfitting your van with quality accessories can help you prevent messes in the cargo area, lost and displaced materials, extra money spent on repairs, costly downtime and rescheduled appointments. When you open the cargo doors of an upfitted van, you and your customers will see organized tools, materials and supplies, and you will feel like a dedicated professional.
Which trade van accessories should you upfit your work vehicle with? Learn about work van essentials below.
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 advantages include:
Increased Productivity and Revenue
When your items are organized well, 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 workspace 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 essentials like 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 extra time rummaging through your cargo area.
Some tool drawers for work vans and a few other accessories can improve your ergonomics. Using these items, you’ll be able to retrieve the tools you use most often while putting 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.
Having a drop-down ladder rack instead of a fixed rack can help you reduce the strain on your body. Other accessories make your items easier to reach, like custom shelving and hooks. Getting the right equipment can make your daily routine much easier.
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. Your van itself 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 work items that are loose in your cargo area, as well. With lockable storage solutions, you can prevent theft and protect your supplies, tools and van from avoidable damage. Upfitted flooring can help protect your interior from damage, and shelving sets organize your items, keeping them off the floor and easy to retrieve.
Upfitting your van with certain accessories can improve visibility and allow for a more comfortable driving experience. If you install commercial-grade lighting, for example, you can make the best use of your cargo area, which will be particularly helpful when you have to work at night.
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. Many upfitting accessories can enhance your workers' safety or the security of your equipment, tools and products.
15 Essential Commercial Van Accessories
Regardless of whether you use a large or small contractor van for your business, there are some trade van accessories you may want to consider getting for your work vehicle. These accessories include:
1. 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. Use one compartment for your jobs that day, and have another section to hold paperwork for completed jobs.
2. Bottle Restraints
You can install bottle restraints so that your bottles are easily accessible when you need them and secure as you’re driving. Refrigerant tank racks are used by primarily by HVAC and Refrigeration contractors to safely restraint their bottles of refrigerant. Welding tank holders keep bottles of dangerous gases such as acetylene and nitrogen secure and upright of in the event of an accident or rollover. Bottle holders are available to accommodate different bottle sizes and various numbers of bottles.
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. Hooks help keep your van organized, with often-used equipment off the ground and in easy reach.
4. 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. Whether you're working on a cloudy day or responding to an emergency at night, lighting will make your job easier.
5. 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.
6. 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 job site, your attention needs to be on the task 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.
7. 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. These organizational features are specifically designed to protect tube-shaped products or materials. They are useful across many industries, but some of the biggest buyers work in general construction, plumbing, HVAC services and electric.
8. 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 vehicle from scrapes and dents when you do store things on your roof.
9. 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.
10. 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. 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.
11. 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. A cargo rack gives you more space when the back of your van is full of your other supplies.
12. Drop-Down Ladder Racks
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. This can help you avoid storing a ladder or another heavy supply directly on the roof of your vehicle, giving you more options.
13. Access Ladders
This type of ladder is designed for accessibility and maximum safety. An access ladder makes it much easier for you to reach the equipment you store on your roof. This is one of the smartest upfits you can get to prevent an injury to yourself and avoid damaging your commercial van.
14. Rear Roller Bars
Have you ever worried about pulling away from a job site and hearing all of the equipment you 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. This accessory is vital for workers who frequently store items on a roof rack.
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:
How Advantage Outfitters, LLC Can Help
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 are a full-service outfitter who can provide the commercial van accessories you need to do your job right. Organize your equipment and materials in your work van and securely transport the items you require. We have ladder racks, commercial van flooring, industry-customized shelving packages, tool drawers and boxes and many more products. 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 job site. 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.
Contact Advantage Outfitters for Van Accessories
If you’re ready to start enjoying all of the ways 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 Fleet and Ranger Design. Our solutions are perfect for many of the most popular work vans, such as Sprinter, ProMaster, Transit and popular GM Vans. You’ll always know 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.