After almost a year I’ve made 10 big modifications to my trailer design and layout. Mostly these have been gradual improvements as I’ve had both time and money. Some were bad ideas, but even our mistakes can lead us to drastic improvements. If, of course, we learn from them. Enter Trailer 2.0
You can catch up on everything trailer related by checking out my YouTube playlist by clicking here.
If you don’t feel like watching ten 10-minute videos here’s the gist:
Trailer: Cargo Mate 6ft x 12xft V-nose, ramp rear door, side door, tandem axles. I bought this trailer used in early 2016 after cleaning out my savings.
My only shop: This trailer is my only shop. I don’t have a garage, I don’t have a carport, My entire shop (save some specialty tools) fits in this trailer.
It’s a PORTABLE shop, not a mobile shop: Meaning, the trailer acts as a tool room. All my tools, workbenches, require set up on location. They aren’t set up in the trailer. The advantage is I’m able to set up the “shop” where and as the specific job allows for the best workflow. Instead of walking all the way from the work to the trailer for every cut.
Efficiency is the goal: The popular term right now is LEAN. Which can be summed up by: Eliminate Waste! Eliminate wasted space, wasted movement, wasted weight, waste materials… all with the goal of eliminating wasted time. I’ll also note that safety is naturally built into this mindset.
I try to strike a balance between ease of access and space savings. I lean towards ease of access. I work by the job, so the more streamlined I can make getting the right tool without moving unneeded tools the better.
Everything in it’s place and a place for everything. This is the ultimate goal. I’ve gone so far as to label drawer, bins, shelves. I’m not there yet but I’m getting closer.
Make it easy. When it comes to organization if it’s not easy to put back it probably wont be. I’m learning this with my safety items. They’re hard to get to so I don’t use them as I should. Other things, however, are easier to put back in their correct place than they are to misplace. <[That’s the goal]
I use passive restraints as much as possible. Bungees and latches slow me down. They also are forgotten, greeting you with a mess at the beginning of the day. I’m trying to remove these from my trailer, and rely on ledges, gravity, and friction to hold things in place. My table saw hold down is a perfect example of this.
I love it!: Yes I wish I had a large climate controlled building to work out of. However, I get twice as much done out of my trailer than I ever did in my set up shop. I just want the large building to back the trailer up to. I now laugh at people who complain about their two-car garage shops being to small. It’s not you just need to get organized.
On my truck I have a standard cross-box style tool box. It’s your basic aluminum box that I got at Tractor Supply Company for around $300. It carries my roadside stuff, basic hand tools, ratchet straps, etc. Since it’s just one big open box, nothing is ever organized…until now.
I started with some plywood trays. Most truck boxes have a lip about half way up where you can add a tray. The plastic trays at Tractor Supply are about $40.00… um not gonna happen. I used 1/2in plywood that I had on hand and made two simple trays; one with a middle divider, one without. They were made with glue and brad nails, super quick. If you make trays be sure to allow clearance for the tool box latches. I had to notch out a place for the latches so I have to make sure the trays are positioned correctly when closing the lid.
Below the shelf that the trays sit on I made an awesome divider system. I took two pieces of 1/2 inch plywood cut dados in them every 3 inches. Once that was done I glued them to the inside of the tool box with some Liquid nails. My dividers are made from 1/8 inch hardboard.
This is the best thing I’ve ever done for my truck. It seems like I can hold twice as much AND I can find it! Watch the Video Below