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Tool organisation (in vehicle)


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Hi all,
I do long term trips in Africa and so carry a far selection of tools with me - the usual suspects of drill bits, screwdrivers, hammer, rubber mallet, files, clamps, socket set and ratchet etc etc etc
However these have all been purchased over the years and never as a cohesive selection in a nifty plastic carry case for example. So my tool organisation has been chaotic at times which makes repairs more stressful, so time to get better organised ;)

Does anybody sell a range of good quality empty tool set cases?

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Edited by roamingyak
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You are not likely going to find a suitable moulded case to suit what tools you have. I would consider a range of clip lid plastic kitchen containers and pack  various items in each. They will take up less space and keep them drier. It is also easier to stash smaller boxes than one large one.

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Or get larger boxes and buy some high density foam. Then position your tools on the foam and draw round them, cut out with a scalpel slightly smaller. This should make everything a snug fit and in orders that work for you. So you could have a wheel bearing kit, a service kit and then a remainder set.

Mike

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My basic in-vehicle toolkit is a mid-range Halfords socket/spanner set like your picture but with less stuff, then a peli case to hold the other essentials & spares - big hammer, bearings/seals, pliers, etc. not much really. The neat case isn't super space-efficient but it does make life easy & neat and helps ensure you packed everything away. Only other item is a breaker bar.

The 109 has a bigger Halfords set (150pce) and a bigger peli case with a wider range of tools but that's designed for keeping itself and several other vehicles rolling through some nasty stuff, not jut basic roadside repairs.

In both cases, Peli cases are the best solution I've found for loose tools - nothing is stronger or better sealed.

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I made this 

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it fits snugly between the wheel wells in the back of the 110 sw up against the 2nd row seats , I shaped the bottom so it fits over the seat belt anchors in the floor . It’s got a wheel changing kit from a disco , colapsable shovel, hammer , tow rope ,socket set , screw drivers and other tools , and still room on the rear floor . Cost about £20 to make .

 

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Thanks everybody, some good replies and food for thought, much appreciated and really enjoying this positive and welcoming forum!
I have to admit to having tried most of the suggestions and was hoping I'd missed a miracle cure for the fact that I'm not good at putting tools away after I've bashed/fixed something.... 😉

Ballcock: Clear plastic kitchen boxes inside Rako boxes (which I base my storage around: Example Rako boxes ) are quite good, but each box becomes quite heavy, and 3 stacked on each other means getting to the bottom is hard work and often involves a squashed finger as you drop one if the fit is tight. And then as you don't access these every day, the Rako box is stacked a few boxes in the stacking system I employ, so its a big box, small box shuffle to find a tool (sounds silly to complain, but taking the fatigue factor out of repetitive small tasks is worth its weight in many things when its 44 degrees or your surrounded by hostiles etc

miketomcat: Made me think that maybe I should buy some foam and a plastic tray and make a tool box out of one of the Rako boxes I already use - need some carry handles on it, and struts to support the lid when open so that this becomes a tiny workspace for a magnetic tray for bolts etc. Thanks, that might be practical.

Bowie69: I have them, but only used them for spanners that I never used - those that I do use (10, 13, 17) I always left out of them!
Ideally  looking for an overall solution that encompasses storage of most tools together.

mmgemini: All you need is a large shady tree and your a premium mechanic by African standards 😉

Fridge and Ed: How do you stop the tools smashing around inside? I've used a rigid Stanley canvas tool box/bag but everything is just jumbled in, hard to find anything inside of it.

Ian: Well done mate, good solution ;) I'd prefer something removable though...

Thanks again!

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It is removable but fits in just snugly enough to stop it bouncing about when your off roading , didn’t want it there permanent as if I need to carry a large load I can fetch it out easy enough . Or in removable do you mean portable ?

Edited by ianmayco68
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Simples, have more tools than you have space for then you'll have to squish them in :ph34r:

The peli's we use at work (I think we've stopped using genuine Peli's to ship our products because they never come back) come with pick and pluck foam. If you're that bothered then I have a friend with a big laser cutter and she can cut foam on it I think. Normally I'm carrying some welding equipment so gauntlets can add some padding. In all seriousness I usually suffer from the first problem... 

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Whatever you do, make sure your tool-roll/chest/box is properly secure.

3 decades back, one of my guys managed to barrel-roll a 110 down a Welsh hillside when he tried to get to a transmitter-site despite a couple of feet of ice-accretion, frozen rain and snow.

He survived [no thanks to Bronglais hospital who didn't diagnose his upper-arm fracture], but I dread to think what would have happened if his tools, a trolley-jack, a Tirfor and several transit-cases of "MOULD" radios hadn't been properly secured.

Nothing good has ever been reported from being caught in a spin-cycle with a few hundred kilograms of random stuff.

Edited by Tanuki
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I have a temporary solution that seems to have taken root, it actually serves very well, ....... I was horrified at the price of recycled plastic boxes and have no means of 'commandeering' anything any more, I found these 'totes' at the local DIY store and tweaked them to stack together, there are two offcuts of plywood and the top two have feet (the white bits) which keep them from sliding forward or aft.

The stack sits at the left hand side of the boot of the P38, drop the tailgate pull the stack onto it, lift off the top two side by side and you have fairly instant access to evrything. The top one got its handle cut off and replaced by a tyre lever so that it fits height wise under the back shelf .

Spanners sockets in the bottom.... screwdrivers pliers etc in the middle and small and fragile on top. The plywood just slides out for full access.

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On 7/20/2018 at 10:05 PM, roamingyak said:

Fridge and Ed: How do you stop the tools smashing around inside? I've used a rigid Stanley canvas tool box/bag but everything is just jumbled in, hard to find anything inside of it.

Peli #1 in the ambulance leads a quiet life as it's never thrown around off-road to any great degree, keeping moisture out & preventing heavy items (lump hammer, hub spanner) from escaping is its main job.

Peli #2 in the 109 has foam in the lid and is so packed the tools can't really move about, I have a sort-of system with it where some rarely-used stuff lives in the bottom and other stuff nearer the top and it all kinda mostly sits in there nicely.

TBH I've found the big blown-plastic toolbox doesn't guarantee the sockets are always where you left them but as least you can always see where they're suppoed to be & stick everything back quickly and easily. That set stands up in the rear, ratchet strapped to the tub capping. The smaller one in the ambulance tucks behind the passenger seat against the back wall of the toilet.

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I have a Stanley toolbox with spanner roll and general stuff chucked in and a half inch multidrive draper socket set coupled with axe, sledgehammer, bottle jack and breaker bar behind the seats amongst other stuff but if I were going on expo I think I'd have a proper top box in an angle iron frame, I've done 1000's of miles as an ag fitter with the box in frame and it's perfect and safe, 25x2 strip on edge welded together makes excellent draw dividers and use solid bar or toob welded to a plate in the top to make pegs for sockets as socket rails won't hold much over 3/8 shallow when the going gets rough. It's amazing what you can pack in when it's organised and it's easy to get at and you notice if you have left something out.

 

will.

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I have a canvas tool roll that lives in the 90 with a range of spanners, screwdrivers, blade, small hammer etc.

When travelling I add in additional spares and a Halfords socket set....

Spares are typical wheel bearings, aux belt, tensioner, props etc.

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27 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Please tell me you're not driving around with a spare propshaft???

Hopefully he meant UJ? :blink: Although not something I'd relish changing on the side of the road.

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12 minutes ago, FridgeFreezer said:

Meh, you've got another propshaft on the vehicle, that's what diff-lock is for :SVAgoaway:

I'm usually over a thousand miles from home on these journeys and have others with me that might benefit from them being available....

I wouldn't want to do a lot of the tracks we've done in the past with just 2 wheel drive and additional strain on the T/box.

Swapping a prop is much quicker than trying to change a UJ by the roadside.

 

Potentially me carrying the prop means we can all enjoy the whole trip !!

It's about caring and sharing JB... Alien concept to some but does happen...:rofl:

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1 hour ago, V8 Freak said:

I'm usually over a thousand miles from home on these journeys and have others with me that might benefit from them being available....

I wouldn't want to do a lot of the tracks we've done in the past with just 2 wheel drive and additional strain on the T/box.

Swapping a prop is much quicker than trying to change a UJ by the roadside.

 

Potentially me carrying the prop means we can all enjoy the whole trip !!

It's about caring and sharing JB... Alien concept to some but does happen...:rofl:

I think it's more the fact that if you have the prop you'll never use it. Guarantee the first time you leave it behind you'll break one irreparably like Nige's on his thread about the axle strengtheners... :rofl:

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2 hours ago, V8 Freak said:

I'm usually over a thousand miles from home on these journeys and have others with me that might benefit from them being available....

I wouldn't want to do a lot of the tracks we've done in the past with just 2 wheel drive and additional strain on the T/box.

Swapping a prop is much quicker than trying to change a UJ by the roadside.

 

Potentially me carrying the prop means we can all enjoy the whole trip !!

It's about caring and sharing JB... Alien concept to some but does happen...:rofl:

I guess my approach is that a prop only fits one end of on vehicle whereas a spare UJ works on everything and take sup way less space & weight, and there's only so much to go wrong with a prop. If you're overlanding, saving a few minutes doing a prop Vs doing a UJ hardly seems worth carting an extra 10kg+ of dead weight around!

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What does the back of your truck look like setup wise? Make a thin tool drawer that has enough room to shove a flat tool roll on if you want to take some bits away from the car if access is that important and then just a box for the bulky bits.

Failing that, tools are heavy and bulky and the only way to avoid that is to have less of them, for example not carrying a socket set but only the socket sizes that are on the car, and even then you can get away with spanners for a lot of those sizes as well. Probably telling you something you already know or do, but just in case.

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18 hours ago, FridgeFreezer said:

I guess my approach is that a prop only fits one end of on vehicle whereas a spare UJ works on everything and take sup way less space & weight, and there's only so much to go wrong with a prop. If you're overlanding, saving a few minutes doing a prop Vs doing a UJ hardly seems worth carting an extra 10kg+ of dead weight around!

But if you carry two props... :)

There are generally 2 X TD5 90's, a TD5 Disco2 and a 200tdi on our trips...

The front prop can go on three of the four vehicles. (Flange change on the D2, which he carries.)

The rear can go on two of the vehicles.

We carry a mixture of items across the trucks that tend not to double up, but the three of the engines are the same ... I guess it's all about how you go about your planning and what your happy with.

My aim is to be on the tracks covering miles. I plan for some eventualities to make sure I can do that and hopefully cover the 3 - 4k miles we do on the trips each year without issues.

Quick bolt on solution for a few kilos of dead weight is a good solution for me. I'm already carrying a tent, stoves, bedding, fridge yada, yada, yada....

You have your view, I have mine. Both different but both what we choose for our application.

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