Mark's Minimal Nothing-To-Steal Electrician Van

Everything out at every job


USED FOR Electrical
MODEL Citroen Dispatch
BODY Full-Size Cargo Van


Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Interior lights
Wired electric
Stand inside?

See more of Power Sonic LTD.


Add a sacrificial plywood layer to your floor. more »
Put everything in your van for security. more »
Skin your van's walls with thin plywood. more »


Mark Allison

Power Sonic LTD.

Yorkshire United Kingdom

Mark owns Power Sonic Ltd., an electrical business in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. This van is a Citroen Dispatch, which he says are economical to lease and keep running. In his business, they only lease vans for three years, instead of buying them outright.

One of the features he likes is the low roof. Normally, tradespeople love high roof vans! But for them, being able to get into a parking garage in the city is a key requirement of their work vans.

Everything Comes Out, All the Time!

Whatever we do, wherever we're working, these vehicles are always empty, aside from the small consumables...stuff no one's really going to want to nick.

One of the fascinating things about this build is that Mark pulls all the tools out of the van on every job. They used to use conventional racking in their vans, but they've gone to a mostly Milwaukee Packout system.

Mark has a minimalist philosophy here on having only the tools you need for the job and not carrying every possible part or component just because you think you might need it. Just about everything rests on the floor. Tool boxes are accessed at the sliding doors on the side of the van and everything can be taken out in a minute or two.

One of the motivations for this no-racking, everything-out philosophy is theft - tool theft is a big problem in the UK, and this theme is repeated in most van tour videos in urban areas. Mark says they had a theft a couple of years ago that really affected his thoughts on organization and how they work.

Careful Planning and Scheduling

You might not think that Mark's even got enough tools in this van to do electrical work, but he says they do keep a large assortment of everything they need locked up elsewhere.

They only take what they need to the jobsite.

This means that he carefully plans what needs to be on his vans at the start of the day: jobs are scheduled, tools and supplies are selected for those jobs for the day, and vans are loaded accordingly.

Mark's Minimal Nothing-To-Steal Electrician Van
Mark's Minimal Nothing-To-Steal Electrician Van Image from Mark Allison

Will It Work for You?

This strategy works very well for some electricians. Most electricians don't carry large items, don't need a bunch of bulky inventory like pipe fittings or fan motors, and have fairly compact power and hand tools. If you run a lot of conduit, or install a lot of large service panels or fixtures, this might not work as well.

This also would not work as well for HVAC techs, plumbers, or remodelers, although there are tradespeople in those fields that have managed to minimalize the space and weight capacity they use. If you can specialize in particular types of structure (like low-income housing) or only do particular types of work (like residential HVAC only) it's easier to go minimal.

The Tool Box and Inventory Setup

The main tool and supply setup is very simple, compared to most trade setups:

  • Stack of Packout organizers stores small consumable parts like screws, wire nuts, clips, cable ties, and grommets.
  • Open-topped Milwaukee Packout Tote carries hand tools.
  • Packout box holds all the power tools.
  • Large bin holds miscellaneous large tools.
  • KableMate wire spool holds wire.
  • Tool backpack.
  • Some other miscellaneous boxes.
  • Packout box with cart wheels and handle.

They bring all their tools onto every job and Mark says it's possible to bring everything onsite in one trip. These are stacked on the Packout cart and wheeled in. This leaves the van clear of tools while they work.

Then, on the Van's Walls

There are some tools and supplies mounted on the van's walls. These are:

  • Hanging organizer at the rear has some electrical and plumbing supplies.
  • Caulk rack hangs on the back door.
  • ToughBuilt tool belt system hangs on the wall.
  • Breaker assortment mounted on unistrut.

Most of the inside of the van is skinned out with plywood. This keeps the metal surfaces protected and makes it easy to mount items to the walls or doors without drilling and screwing sheetmetal.

Power System

Mark's got a pretty large 1500W inverter hooked up to the van. This keeps the laptop and battery chargers going, plus it has USB-out ports to charge any USB devices.

Some switched LED light strips keep the cargo area of the van illuminated.

Interesting Citroen Features

The Citroen has some interesting features that would be nice to see on US domestic vans. One is the pass-through hatch under the passenger-side seat in the cab. This permits storing long materials inside the van that are too long to fit in the cargo area. This is coupled with a D-ring on the floor for securing the material.

Storing everything inside your van is a great strategy for efficiency - it's easier to get to long materials inside your van instead of untying from a roof rack. And it may reduce theft - if a thief can discern that you're in the trades because of what's on the outside of your van, they'll know you've got good tools inside it.

A built-in laptop tray swivels to face the driver's seat and has a strap to secure the laptop when it's not in use.

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