Dailey Woodworks

My Favorite Lean Improvement So Far – Organized Work Truck

My Truck is my mobile office.  I spend a lot of time there.  It has also devolved into a filthy disorganized mess.  You don’t realize how much clutter and disorganization stress you out until you decide to fix it and feel the burden lift from your shoulders when everything is in its place and there is a place for everything.

The key to making improvements is to label everything so that it is easy to put things back and know if something is off.  Too many times we will clean stuff up only for it to be the same mess a week later because we don’t actively create easy ways to sustain this change.


I have to give credit for this hashtag to Warren, one of my youtube subscribers.

What is Lean?

Lean Manufacturing is based off the Toyota Production System that emphasizes continuous improvement and eliminating waste through every single aspect of the production process to provide the best product at the best possible price to your customer’s

I’ve adopted the Paul Aker’s (CEO of FastCap) version of lean which is summed up “Fix What Bugs You.”  By fixing what bugs me, my disorganized truck, my work is more enjoyable, it’s easier, and I can do it faster.  My mind is now freed from stressing about “where’s my tape measure?” “Where’s my clipboard?” and is now able to better focus on my client’s needs because I’m not stressed trying to find what I need for an estimate.

The Principles of Lean

Lean can be applied to absolutely any area of your life:  From how you get dressed in the morning to how you prepare your taxes.  By applying Lean principles I’ve knocked 3hrs off the production process of my dog kennels (12hrs to 9hrs) and know I can cut it down to six all while improving the quality of my work.  Here’s the gist of Lean:

  • Eliminate All Wastefulness From Your Life and Work – There have been books written on this, but to keep it simple: 90% OF EVERYTHING YOU DO IS WASTE.  Stop it!
  • Continuously Improve by Fixing What Bugs YouPaul Akers of Fastcap calls on his employees to make one 2-Second improvement to their job every day.  Think through how you do things, fix that one irking thing, next time it will be faster and more enjoyable.
  • One Piece Flow – This is the hardest to accept.  We thing batch work is faster. We’ve been told batch work is faster.  However, every study and comparison shows that doing one complete task at a time is faster in almost every situation.
  • 3S – Sweep, Sort, Standardize – This is really the backbone of Lean.  You have to clean up, eliminate your waste, and standardize it so that it stays that way
    • Sweep – Clean up – I when through my truck, pulled everything out, wiped everything down, and vacuumed it out.
    • Sort – What is necessary? what is waste? I then figured out what do I need in the truck, what should be in the toolbox? What should be in the shop? What needs to be in the trash? There is no value in organizing your waste. Purge!
    • Standardize – Implement processes, controls, and habits that make your hard work of Sweeping and Sorting stick.  Also think through how you used items, where they need to be, and how much of them you need.

Imagine if Congress would just halfway apply lean…

The Before and After of My Truck

For those curious, this is a 2013 Ford F150 SuperCrew Texas Edition with the 3.5 Ecoboost Ecobeast engine and 6.5ft bed.  I need to do an article on why a 4-door half ton truck is almost the perfect vehicle.


I’ve only had my truck like this for a couple of days and I love it.  It’s easy to find what I need and more importantly, it is easy to put it back in its place.  I’m already seeing more improvements to make it my “Mobile Office.”   One thing I did learn is that mailing labels don’t stay stuck to plastic, so I switched to white duct tape.

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What improvements are you making? #AllThingsLean2018


The Dailey Portable Shop – Version 2.0

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.
  • Set up to build bunk beds
    Set up to build bunk beds

    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.
    • img_1974I 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]
    • img_1973I 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.



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