Space may be the final frontier but when it comes to storage of landscaping tools and equipment, space is usually never enough. As your enterprise lifts off there will be an ever-increasing need for more storage space to secure tools and equipment, from small hand tools to large machinery and equipment, there is a storage solution available to meet every contractor’s needs.
Vehicle storage solutions
Vehicle storage solutions are something every contractor requires and there are a multitude of solutions to organise your equipment and maximise the available space of all vehicles, particularly the ubiquitous flatbed utility. One of the simplest storage solutions for flatbed vehicles is the Ute storage box or cargo boxes. These are available in a range of profiles and materials from hard case plastics to alloy checker plate models. A simple solution that is fitted to the front of the tray with a sealed lid to protect tools from weather. The beauty of storage boxes is that they can either be temporarily fixed in place to allow for quick removal when the full tray space is required for loose materials such as mulch or aggregates.
Ute service bodies are another great option for storage, particularly for power tools, hand tools and fittings. Service bodies are available for a wide range of vehicle types and can also be custom made to meet specific requirements for Dual Cab, Extra Cab and Single Cab Utes. The beauty of service bodies is the flexibility in configuring the internal storage options with an endless amount of storage options to maximise your storage and efficiency. Mesh panel partitions, shelving kits and caddy drawers can all be configured to meet individual contractor requirements.
Van storage systems are also available and similar to Utility vehicles systems there are any number of configurations available to maximise storage options. Side racking, bulkhead storage and deck mounted drawers are available from a number of suppliers in modular units so you can add or remove units as storage requirements change.
Done your dash
When you consider the dead space in your vehicle that could be used for storage, don’t overlook the dashboard. There are dashboard organisers available on the market for a range of popular vehicles that can keep the inside of your vehicle organised and those items you need quick access to close at hand. Dashboard organisers come with removable zippered storage pouches. These pouches are ideal for storing documents, plans, permits etc. There are also Velcro loops or small pouches which can be used to secure other items as required such as mobile phones, iPods, torches etc.
Other in-vehicle dead space areas that can be utilised for storage are behind the driver and passenger seats. Simple lightweight canvas seat organisers with pockets can be hung over headrest supports and secured with adjustable straps providing easy storage. Seat organisers are available with pockets to suit larger objects such as books, magazines, maps and iPad as well as smaller pockets to fit items like sunscreens, insect repellent, pens, sunglasses and phones; the options are endless. Seat organisers are designed to be easily attached and removed for quick transfer between vehicles. You can even attach it to the front of the passenger seat for quick, convenient access to a range of items when travelling solo.
When it comes to maximising storage space on your vehicle don’t just think of the top tray. There are under tray storage options that can safely stash away tie downs, ropes, and other equipment. Standard models and sizes are available to suit most vehicles available in a range of materials. A key feature to consider with under tray storage is to ensure good weather resistant seals on the doors to the units. Fitting neatly between the tray and the chassis, under tray roller drawer units will house all your tools, and equipment is quickly and easily accessible when required. Under tray roller drawer units can also be combined with other storage options, such as under body and above body toolboxes to create your ideal work or storage solution.
Underbody boxes are another option to increase vehicle storage space. Fixed behind the wheel arch they can be added to the driver side, passenger side or both sides of your vehicle.
Out of sight, out of mind
Onsite storage options are available as mobile storage solutions, which can make life easier for contractors. Flat-top tool chests are one of the best options for professionals looking for both tool storage and workspace. The top sections of these units being flat provides a level surface allowing users to easily review landscape plans at construction sites. There are piano box units that open from the front and offer several layers of protection and storage, workbenches with cabinet and drawer storage space that feature a work surface on the top side. Some jobsite tool storage boxes feature fork pockets at the base for forklift access or have wheels installed for manoeuvrability onsite and can easily be wheeled out of way as required.
The beauty of hiring onsite storage containers is that they provide flexibility depending on the size of the job, allowing you to scale up or down as storage requirements vary. Site storage boxes and containers provide a safe and durable way to store a multitude of tools and equipment, and depending on size some site boxes can be relocated onto the back of a flatbed work vehicle ready for your next landscape installation.
When it comes to storing large equipment and machinery, more permanent storage facilities may be the best option. Space can be costly but replacing machinery and equipment due to incorrect storage can cost you even more. Shipping containers have many uses, including storage space for equipment and machinery. They are watertight, durable, effective, and reasonably priced. They also come in various shapes and sizes. They can be modified to suit your requirements and can be secured for safety purposes. Purchasing or hiring a large storage unit could be a worthwhile investment. Your machinery and equipment are assets worth investing in and it is important to provide them with the most ideal storage for preservation, safety, and prevention from damage. By storing machinery and equipment properly, they will be fully functional and ready for work, as and when you need them.
Off-site warehouses can store your idle machinery and equipment without using your working space or the need for building additional structures. The large space in a warehouse enables you to store machinery and equipment of any size, but warehouse space can prove costly and regulations would apply as to what types of equipment can be stored. Another option is a drive-up storage unit – these facilities make accessing and dropping off equipment fast and efficient, but they too are also subject to regulatory guidelines and may not necessarily be the right solution for all your storage requirements.
Equipment storage is a year-round issue and properly maintaining and storing equipment is critical to keeping your operation running, so take the time to consider the right type of storage solution for the size of your business and be sure to maximise the space you already have.