Prioritizing Organization in Top Gun's HVAC Service Van
|MODEL||2018 Ford Transit 250|
|BODY||Full-Size Cargo Van, Extended, Mid Roof|
See more of Top Gun Heating and Air LLC
ABOUT THE ORGANIZER
Top Gun Heating and Air LLC
Richland Hills, TX
Jon runs Top Gun Air, an HVAC business that services the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas.
This particular truck is mostly used for HVAC service, but it can haul installation components in a pinch because of the large amount of floor area.
Jon's got some great reasoning for why organizing your work truck is so important:
When you have that level of organization, that just lends itself to less stress, more peace of mind.
This van has lots of great bits and pieces, but it's still a work in progress - he's still moving things around to clear the floor and make things secure.
Like many tradespeople, he has tons of tools and they are hard to keep track of. Another reason for organizing:
I hate losing tools, but I do! I do, every year. I'm always buying a replacement this or that.
Sound like you? Lots of skilled tradespeople say similar things. Organizing things so it's easy to see if something is missing or out of stock (Jon has done this) can help with this.
Organization Vs. Space
Jon invested a lot of cash into his Milwaukee Packout setup.
Organization. Packouts are great for making sure everything has a specific location and are easy to move around. The clear tops make it very easy to see when something is running low, so it's easy to see when you need to stock up. (If you're older, contrast this with the old school steel parts organizers!)
But he points out that there is some serious compromise here:
The more Packouts you have, the more space they take up.
Though the organizational capabilities are great, the setup takes up a lot of space, meaning that it might not work as well for a smaller van. This is something that Jon is still trying to balance out.
His Packouts are mostly arranged by job, which means he doesn't waste time putting together a kit before he walks to a unit.
The primary organization on this truck is steel shelving from American Van and Packouts from Milwaukee.
Unistrut bolts to the Ford factory upfit points with M8 hardware, which then bolts to the shelf system to hold it in place.
There is a Packout stack in the front and a plywood Packout wall in the back.
Side Cargo Door Is Key
The area around the side cargo door is setup for no-climbing access to frequently used kits and tools.
On the Bulkhead
On the bulkhead, Jon mounts several power tools and their batteries, right next to the cargo door. There are two types of mounts:
One set of mounts holds 6 Milwaukee batteries using the popular 3D printed mounts. These mounts bolt directly to the bulkhead.
The other set of mounts hold his DeWalt batteries and power tools. This tool rack is something he made himself out of plywood and has slots for his multitool, drill, and impact drivers.
He likes both, but the DeWalt rack has a second benefit: he can instantly see whether a tool is there, without wondering whether it was left on the jobsite.
The bulkhead also holds several drill bit cases that are uniquely mounted - Jon uses 90 lb magnets that attach into the 1/4" holes of the Milwaukee cases.
The Packout stack in front of the door is easily accessible.
Handles are flipped up (pointed at the door) and labeled, which makes it easy to makes it easy to grab a specific job kit and be on the move.
The Packout wall is next to the door and mounts another 9 Milwaukee batteries. Several tools fit on the Packout wall, but these are far enough up and in that they require getting in the truck to grab them.
He cleverly mounted his pipe wrenches (which get little use) to the Packout wall by screwing sections of Unistrut vertically to the plywood. The wrenches then slide vertically down into the slots of the Unistrut.
Jon likes Shubee shoe covers to keep customers' floors clean. They're waterproof and reusable.
He sticks a Supco Magnetic Umbrella on a unit to give him shade from the Texas sun. Especially useful on rooftops!
A stepladder in the truck mounted to a Jet Rack system. While he likes having the ladder off the floor, it basically negates the upside of having a mid-roof van - the headroom. You can't really stand up without maneuvering around the ladder.
Another ladder rack is on the outside, a single side-load unit, but on his next truck he's going with the double setup.
He loves the Veto Pro Pac bags, but he scaled back because he felt like it was getting a little out of control.