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 think 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


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