Essential Work Van Equipment for Electricians: The Top Products You Need
18th May 2018
As an electrician, your van is your home base for everything you need for almost any job. In an ideal world, your tools are all within arm's reach, organized so you can find them easily and stored where they can avoid damage and rust. However, we all know this isn't an ideal world. Between hectic days and complicated jobs, you may not think you have the time to completely reorganize your van — but it's an essential step to ensure your business' success.
If you find it's hard to find the important tools and parts you need to finish a job, you probably need to rethink your van's organization. When you don’t know where everything is, you spend far too much time looking for the right tool or going back and forth to your van because you’re only able to find one thing you need at a time.
Electricians like you put in long hours and long days. You don’t need the irritation of being unable to find a tool quickly. Staying organized means you can get to do as many jobs in a day as you would like. You can save yourself or your employer money by organizing your electrician work van.
Why Keeping an Electrician Van Organized Is Important
Your van is like your office. Instead of sitting behind a desk every day, your van is your place of business. Like an office, the equipment in your electrician van should be well organized with everything you need to do your job within reach.
Your van needs to be organized so that you spend little time looking for what you need to fix your client's problem. Organizing your van so that your tools are readily available and stored properly results in several positive outcomes:
- You spend less time on each job looking for the right tool, which can mean more income since you'll be faster on each job.
- You can give your clients the quick and reliable service they need.
- When you properly store your tools and accessories, they last longer, which saves you money in the long run.
- You'll likely have fewer stressful driving experiences because your van is not so noisy.
It’s time to think about upfitting your van so that you can organize your tools, accessories and records efficiently. Whether you own your own van and run your own business, or you employ several people and run several trucks at a time, Advantage Outfitters can help you find solutions to attain a new level of organization that increases profits.
With shelving systems built for the kind of van you drive and customized for your unique needs, you'll never find yourself at a loss when searching for the equipment you need.
Essential Work Van Equipment for Electricians
Let’s take a look at the tools that every electrician should have on hand. Many electricians are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). If you've started an apprenticeship as an electrician, here’s an electrician van stock list of what the union recommends for apprentices, although the list works just as well for non-union members:
- Side cutters
- Multi-tip screwdriver
- Flat blade screwdriver — stubby and regular
- Tape measure
- Wire strippers
- Torpedo level
- Razor knife
- Needle nose pliers
- Hacksaw frame
- Two times adjustable pliers
- Number two Phillips screwdriver
- Tool pouch with a belt
Other recommended tools for all electricians include:
- Amp meter
- Digital multimeter
- Fishing tools
- Power drills and drivers
- Labeling machines
- Power saws
- Paper towels
- Extension cords
An electrician may also need other tools and accessories during the course of a job, but the above list provides a good starting point.
How Staying Organized Enhances Your Business Practices
When looking at this list of essential tools, it’s easy to see why they need to be well organized and stored efficiently. When you talk to Advantage Outfitters about the many different electrician van shelving packages we offer, you can see how it would make it much easier to find just the right tool at just the right time.
The advantages of updating electrician van organization are that you can:
- Minimize replacement costs: Very few, if any, electricians can afford to just replace their important tools regularly. When you use shelving and racking to store tools and accessories, they are better protected than when they are just lying around loose in the back of the van and will last much longer as a result.
- Prevent misplacing tools on a job: How many times have you asked yourself where you put a particular tool? It’s easy for things to disappear when you’re dealing with a mess. You put a tool to the side, and your attention is diverted for a second. When you go back to look for it, you can't find it.
- Create an efficient layout: Even within the small confines of a van, you can create a useful organizational system that helps you operate more efficiently. Create a system using shelving and racks and other essential organization tools helps keep your business organized.
Make a Plan for Your Van System
Before you commit to an electrician van shelving package, it’s a good idea to sit down and plan out your potential organizational map. Your new van layout should benefit your organization enough to increase your productivity on the job. How will you use shelving and racking to their best advantage?
1. Outlining Your Organizational Map
Get a notebook and draw an outline of your truck and its cargo space. Now break that cargo space into zones. Where do you want to store your power drills? What about your ladders? Electricians always need a lot of wiring, so where’s the best place to hang or store it? Consider using durable, clearly written labels for all drawers and shelves to ensure things stay organized within the van.
Putting forethought into your organizational map will make it that much easier to select just the right shelving and racking system when you move to the next step.
2. Planning for Multiple Work Vans
If you own more than one work van, an organizational map will benefit you even more. You like to know where everything is in an organized model. Having a uniform organizational structure for your multiple work vehicles is beneficial for you, your employees and your customers.
If a van breaks down and you need to swap it out for another one or if you or your employees use a different van each day, there's no confusion as to where necessary items are.
3. Keeping Track of Your Tools and Equipment
An organizational model makes it easy to do inventories and restock the vans with new parts. In a clean, well-organized van, you will know when you are out of something or need to replace your equipment.
But here’s a tip — if you run a fleet of vans and are moving to an organizational model with shelves and racking, always leave room for your employees to store their own tools in the van. If you use tablets or laptops at job sites, consider an inconspicuous drawer where employees can store them out of sight. Your employees will appreciate the allocation of space, as it can help give them the feeling that the van is their personal “office.” Plus, it will enhance the security of your equipment and tools.
So what are the things you need to consider when you’re creating a new organizational model?
How to Take Inventory of the Tools in Your Work Van
What are the tools or accessories you must have in the van? What tools are nice to have but mainly take up space and can probably be left in the main office until needed for a specific job? After you select your most crucial tools, you will have additional room for extras.
1. Note the Tools Needed
A number of tools will be required again and again for many different types of jobs. Store these tools where they are easy to reach and can be found quickly.
2. Make Sure You Have Some Lighting
Not every day will have bright sunshine. Electricians need to work when it’s rainy, overcast and in the dead of night. If the back of your van is a dark, foreboding place, not only will it be difficult to find tools, but it can be dangerous. To help, you can place touch-activated lights in key locations that can be accessed easily.
3. Consider Your Personal Health
An an electrician, you might need to carry heavy equipment like a portable generator onto the occasional job site. You don’t want to store these in some back corner of the van where they are exceedingly difficult to remove and load and potentially risk injury. Once again, store them in places near doors where they can be easily removed. You can also talk to us at Advantage Outfitters about equipping your van with a sliding unit that can be pulled out, giving you better access to heavy pieces.
4. Save on Gas Costs
Advantage Outfitters carries both aluminum and steel shelves and racks. If you want to save money on updating your van, you’ll probably want to use steel. If better gas mileage is important to your company, aluminum shelves and racking will help you achieve improved fuel efficiency.
How to Organize Your Van System
It’s a good idea to build your system from the ground up. Here are some tips for quickly reorganizing your van:
- Move the heavier items out of the way: Put heavier items or tools or accessories you use less often on bottom shelves. As you build your organizational map, work your way up so that smaller and more frequently used tools and accessories are available on top shelves where they can be quickly reached when needed.
- Use a label machine to help you find items quickly: If you have drawers or other enclosed spaces, label what's inside. Even with shelves and racking, if you don’t know what’s in each drawer, you’ll spend just as much time looking for an item as you would in a disorganized van.
- Make plenty of copies of your map: When you’re finished creating your organizational map, make copies you can place prominently in each van. That way, you or your employees only have to give that map a quick glance to know exactly where to look.
How Does Creating an Electrician Van Setup Improve My Work?
True, it sounds like a lot of work. However, the extra time that you will put into creating an organized and efficient van model will pay big dividends. Here's how:
1. Easy Access to Tools and Accessories
Not only will you be able to complete jobs more quickly, but you'll be less frustrated. Shelving and racking from Advantage Outfitters can help to do a better job, and it can help you feel better about the job as well.
2. Looking Good for Your Customers
Customers can think highly of your professionalism when they see that your van is well-organized, and they frequently will. If your van is tidy and everything is in its place, they will feel confident in your ability to do the job. That means they’re more likely to recommend you to their friends, which is something every electrician desires.
3. Improved Productivity
When you arrive to do a job, you need to already be thinking about the next one. An organized van means you will spend less time searching for tools or going back and forth between the job site and your van to find what you need. Organization can save you many minutes or even hours during the day, which enables you to answer more calls.
Having less loss and longer tool life. When your tools are properly stored, they are less likely to be damaged, and you will “lose” them less often. An important tool or accessory can disappear in the back of a messy van. When your van is organized with shelves and racking from Advantage Outfitters, you’ll know right away if you left a tool on another job site or back at the office.
4. Having More Satisfied Customers
Every customer wants their electrical problems fixed as quickly as possible. However, they likely won't be impressed if you can't help them because of a lack of organization. Satisfied customers lead to more business from them and positive referrals to their friends and neighbors.
Best Work Van Organizational Equipment for Electricians
Your organizational map is all created. You developed a system where you or your employees will easily be able to find the tools and the accessories needed to do a good job quickly and efficiently. So let’s take a moment to look at the components that can make that organizational map a reality:
Advantage Outfitters has been outfitting vans for electricians and other tradespeople for many years. Regardless of the kind of van you use, we have the shelving or racking units you need to create an organized workspace.
2. Floors and Rubber Mats
Sometimes people don’t consider how important it is to have a good floor in a work van. But the right kind of flooring or rubber mat makes it easier for you or your employees to move around more efficiently and without fear of slipping or falling. Advantage Outfitters carries a variety of composite wood or aluminum flooring as well as a variety of rubber mats for the back of your van.
3. Walls and Ceiling Liners
Even when you have all your equipment properly stored, tools and other accessories can still make a lot of noise. Wall and ceiling liners reduce that noise and help your van stay in good condition. That means the van will be easier to resell later when you want to move to a newer model.
An organized van means it’s less likely that loose tools or accessories will come flying at your head if you have to make a sudden stop. Even in an organized van, though, it still might be possible for some items to make their way forward, so to speak. The answer to this problem is partitioning. Advantage Outfitters can fit partitions to your single van, regardless of its make or model, or to a whole fleet if needed.
Roofs are the ideal place to store ladders, hitch steps and some heavy pieces of equipment. When you’re designing your organizational map, it’s an important place to include. We can help you find the right accessories for the top of your van including ladder racks and work decks. We also offer drop-down ladder rack shelving that is designed to make ladder storage more efficient and less cumbersome.
Let Advantage Outfitters Help You Find Equipment for Your Electrician Van
A better-organized van means greater productivity, less lost time and more jobs per day — all features that will improve your company’s bottom line.
At Advantage Outfitters, our shelves, storage bins, partitions and other components are designed to improve the organization and efficiency of your electrician van. When you contact us about your electrician van storage and organizational issues, you can take advantage of our many years of designing similar systems for other electricians.
Over the years, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work for electricians and other tradespeople. Each van and each operation is different, though, so we will help you find the best electrician van accessories for your particular vehicle. Our goal is to help you create an organized work environment that contains the tools you need on every job.
You can call our team of experts at 866-925-4844 and they will use their knowledge and expertise, developed over many years, to help you find a solution to upfit your electrician van. You can also visit our website where you will be able to live chat with one of our staff or submit a form describing your needs. One of our team will get back to you as quickly as possible.
We are located at 255 West St., South Hackensack, New Jersey and at 107 E. Hawthorne Ave., Valley Stream, New York. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by and we will show you our products and talk to you about how they can help your business.