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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m building some storage racks for my van. It’s a multi shelf stand up rack made out of 3/4 and 1/2” birch plywood.

Im going to put Milwaukee packouts and the like in the rack. It’ll hold 4 of packout organization boxes that hold screws, etc. and several of the thin organizers.

Thinking about building a 20” wide x 12”tall x 40” deep drawer box to the floor first directly behind the safety bulkhead. Then sit the rack on top.

The drawer will pull out the side door and extend 40” on locking heavy duty drawer slides. The rack with the organizers would back up to the safety cage. They would pull out toward the back of the van.

Then the side of this tower cabinet will be about 16” wide and 40” tall. Solid plywood yo hand stuff on or make little tool holders.

What’s your set up ? Any cool things you made custom to hold your gear ?

What can you grab from your van or truck without getting into the van or truck ?

I’m trying to minimize getting in and out of the van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Wood Wheel Floor Flooring Automotive tire

It’s not near finished but here’s the work in progress.

That organizer on the shelf isn’t the organizer it’s being built for. The rack will hold any organizer on the market. Or you could just use it as a shelf.

I still need to load more shelving and add my support cleats. So it’s going to keep going up.

This type construction is called “ additive construction “. Instead of a dado, I’m adding 1/2” plywood spacers. No dado.

All I’m working with is a circular saw.

Everything is screwed, glued and stapled.

The trim isn’t secure yet, you can see it’s broke. That’ll be cut and proper when I determine the finished height and after I put top on it.
 

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Wood is good. Lighter than steel. Rattles and squeaks will be quieter.
Plan for removal to your next van?
You’ve probably already thought of some sort of retention method to prevent stuff flying around during evasive maneuvers.

How have your work flow preferences influenced your design?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wood is good. Lighter than steel. Rattles and squeaks will be quieter.
Plan for removal to your next van?
You’ve probably already thought of some sort of retention method to prevent stuff flying around during evasive maneuvers.

How have your work flow preferences influenced your design?
Thank you for the reply.

Yes, it’s surprisingly lightweight. Very strong. I plan to secure it to the steel bulkhead that separates the cabin from the cargo area. The rack will sit up on a drawer I’m going to build.

the drawer will pull out the side door.

I’m trying to put everything I typically do within reach so I’m going to be putting tools, toilet rebuild, faucet repair, and accessories close by the door. I may raise the floor 8” at the side door because it’s a high roof van and has plenty of headroom.

I could put slide out drawers all along the side door that would pull straight out. Minimizing getting in the van.

I’ve been using Plusnuts ( threaded rivets ) to secure the wood to the van.

When I geta new van I typically build new cabinetry for it. But I keep vans 15-20 years.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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I just did my new truck in angle iron steel and put plywood shelfs into the
steel slots.... The angle iron cost me about 300 bucks but it really seems to
work well for me....

Wood has never thrilled me, I was raised up getting erector kits for x-mas I guess....

this truck has only an 11 1/2 foot long box on it so I have had to squeeze and
find a way to put all the shelving into it as best possible.... on the right there is
room enough for 3 water heaters and some ladders up in the front of them

I made tons of over head shelving and I really dont know what I am gonna put
up into that area yet.... and I cut a hole into the front windbreaker over the cab to store
water heater pans and other light objects

. all I need to do now is install the parts bins on
the left and right side near the front and and its basically complete

except for a new lift gate which gets installed sometime in the next
2 weeks...


Composite material Door Building House Concrete


Wood Gas House Tree Beam


Wood Beam Floor Flooring Composite material
 

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I just did my new truck in angle iron steel and put plywood shelfs into the
steel slots.... The angle iron cost me about 300 bucks but it really seems to
work well for me....

Wood has never thrilled me, I was raised up getting erector kits for x-mas I guess....

this truck has only an 11 1/2 foot long box on it so I have had to squeeze and
find a way to put all the shelving into it as best possible.... on the right there is
room enough for 3 water heaters and some ladders up in the front of them

I made tons of over head shelving and I really dont know what I am gonna put
up into that area yet.... and I cut a hole into the front windbreaker over the cab to store
water heater pans and other light objects

. all I need to do now is install the parts bins on
the left and right side near the front and and its basically complete

except for a new lift gate which gets installed sometime in the next
2 weeks...


View attachment 133960

View attachment 133961

View attachment 133962
I knew you would go with the lift gate what happened to the uhaul truck with pull down ramp???
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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502 Posts
I just did my new truck in angle iron steel and put plywood shelfs into the
steel slots.... The angle iron cost me about 300 bucks but it really seems to
work well for me....

Wood has never thrilled me, I was raised up getting erector kits for x-mas I guess....

this truck has only an 11 1/2 foot long box on it so I have had to squeeze and
find a way to put all the shelving into it as best possible.... on the right there is
room enough for 3 water heaters and some ladders up in the front of them

I made tons of over head shelving and I really dont know what I am gonna put
up into that area yet.... and I cut a hole into the front windbreaker over the cab to store
water heater pans and other light objects

. all I need to do now is install the parts bins on
the left and right side near the front and and its basically complete

except for a new lift gate which gets installed sometime in the next
2 weeks...


View attachment 133960

View attachment 133961

View attachment 133962
MM-You mentioned this truck in another thread, yeah?
 

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Premium Member
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502 Posts
Thank you for the reply.

Yes, it’s surprisingly lightweight. Very strong. I plan to secure it to the steel bulkhead that separates the cabin from the cargo area. The rack will sit up on a drawer I’m going to build.

the drawer will pull out the side door.

I’m trying to put everything I typically do within reach so I’m going to be putting tools, toilet rebuild, faucet repair, and accessories close by the door. I may raise the floor 8” at the side door because it’s a high roof van and has plenty of headroom.

I could put slide out drawers all along the side door that would pull straight out. Minimizing getting in the van.

I’ve been using Plusnuts ( threaded rivets ) to secure the wood to the van.

When I geta new van I typically build new cabinetry for it. But I keep vans 15-20 years.
It's going to be pretty workable and personal when you're done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Much much better than having to hunch over every time you get up in it to get tools or materials,I love a box truck for serious service work
I have a 350 extended wheelbase high roof. Twin turbo, it’ll scoot.

With proper restocking and organization there’s no need to carry the shop with you. Also with customers sending picture texts it helps you have the parts you need. When I started we had a radio in the truck or you stopped at a pay phone. Or called the next customer from the last customers house. Times have changed.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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8,605 Posts
I knew you would go with the lift gate what happened to the uhaul truck with pull down ramp???
I am presently driving the U-haul box truck...its only got 140k on it and
its works out just fine and I am used to it but
this truck in the picture is going to be the back up truck when one
of the other trucks goes down for repairs....

this truck I bought back in the winter taken forever to get going on
with half the labor force just sitting around spending
their stimulus checks at bars and not wanting to come to work..

it took forever to get a new back door on this truck and it has taken 5 weeks to get
a tommy rail gate ordered and shipped here.... 4 years ago it would have only
have taken a week to get one.. and their were people willing to come into work.....

The lift gate is just the final icing on the cake and I hope they still have a
decent work force at the truck center to get this installed fast ....
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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I couldn’t imagine having to climb up in and out of that box truck running service.

Or having to ride the lift up and down. I’d go nuts

Its really no big deal at all, you just put the lift gate about half way up
and its like taking 3 large steps to get into the box...

Riding the lift gate is just something you get used to and
you really will fall in love with that lift gate when you have to throw a large water heater
filled up with lime that weighs about 5oo lbs into that truck.... sweet and easy
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Its really no big deal at all, you just put the lift gate about half way up
and its like taking 3 large steps to get into the box...

Riding the lift gate is just something you get used to and
you really will fall in love with that lift gate when you have to throw a large water heater
filled up with lime that weighs about 5oo lbs into that truck.... sweet and easy
Yeah, that’s more things to do. Every job, get out and lower lift gate to open huge door then step up in there. Then when you finish you have to close the big door then raise the lift gate. Then it breaks…….

Or you get your stuff stolen because it’s too much trouble to lock and unlock a box truck door and lift gate while running in and out of a service call.

I understand you like it but driving a box truck around for me in the city doing service wouldn’t work out very well. I just don’t see the need to carry that much stuff on every job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I ditched the screws building my cabinet and now I’m using 1” narrow staples out of a Bostich air stapler. Still using the glue.

The staples are stronger because I’m using more of them to set the glue. Makes a neater job also.
 

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philosopher and statesmen
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Yeah, that’s more things to do. Every job, get out and lower lift gate to open huge door then step up in there. Then when you finish you have to close the big door then raise the lift gate. Then it breaks…….

Or you get your stuff stolen because it’s too much trouble to lock and unlock a box truck door and lift gate while running in and out of a service call.

I understand you like it but driving a box truck around for me in the city doing service wouldn’t work out very well. I just don’t see the need to carry that much stuff on every job.

I have used both vans and box trucks and both have their place
it all depends on how much inventory and what kind of stuff you want to
carry around with you every day .....

I loaded up my box truck last night and presently have
4 water heaters and one water softener inside it and I wont be
back to the shop for any reason again today... I will be doing the
water softener this morning and then the heater at noon... When that job
is done around 2.30 if something else comes in then I am still packing a full
contingency with me...

what drives me nuts is constantly having to go drive 20 miles away and
re-stocking the truck again .... it eats up the day and burns time and gas.

For me anyway, The box trucks are far more efficient..
 

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I Like Tater Tots
Plumber since 1979. 42 years and still rollin'
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I’m just getting back into service and drain cleaning after the last 20 years of just doing site work. Trucks were impossible to find. I had to settle for an E350 cargo van and I hate it. By the time you throw the machines and camera on there you are packed full. 20 years ago I had a cab over cube truck with a 12’ bed and I loved it. Like Mark said, I could keep all my equipment and still have room for a couple water heaters and plenty of supplies to keep me out of the supply house.
With that being said I found the Packout boxes to be really useful to keep things up and off the valuable floor and shelf space. I mounted them on both sides of the bulkhead for copper, pex, pex A fittings and all sorts of other small Knick knacks that you need.
I couldn’t find an extended van and it sucks you can’t fit a 10’ long pipe in the back.
It’s a work in process. Got led lighting in the back, a winch over the side door for the big machine, a 3,000 watt sine wave inverter to charge batteries, laptop, big drum machine if needed etc. But it sucks to work out of.
Wood Red Gas Rectangle Machine

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Bumper

Flash photography Sky Engineering Aircraft Space

Building Electrical wiring Automotive design Art Gas

Automotive tail & brake light Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have used both vans and box trucks and both have their place
it all depends on how much inventory and what kind of stuff you want to
carry around with you every day .....

I loaded up my box truck last night and presently have
4 water heaters and one water softener inside it and I wont be
back to the shop for any reason again today... I will be doing the
water softener this morning and then the heater at noon... When that job
is done around 2.30 if something else comes in then I am still packing a full
contingency with me...

what drives me nuts is constantly having to go drive 20 miles away and
re-stocking the truck again .... it eats up the day and burns time and gas.

For me anyway, The box trucks are far more efficient..
Do you carry toilets ? How about faucets ?

Extension ladder ?

I’d love for you to open the back door to your truck, standing about 10’ away and snap a pic for me. I’d like to see your set up.
 
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