You rely on your truck for your daily transport and possibly even to earn your livelihood. And your truck toolbox is the best thing since sliced bread, right?
But it’s frustrating to work with a disorganized truck toolbox. Even if you can find the tool you’re looking for, there’s a good chance it’s been damaged.
We’ve put together a set of practical, handy tips that will hopefully inspire you to dive into that toolbox and get organized. A clean toolbox that allows you to find everything you need will have you loving your truck all over again! So keep reading to find out the best truck tool box organization tips.
7 Truck Tool Box Organization Tips
#Tip 1: Cleaning Your Tool Box
The first step to organizing your toolbox is to empty everything and clean the box and the tools. Depending on what your toolbox is made of, you’ll need different cleaning materials:
- Aluminum Truck Tool Boxes can be cleaned with acid. Use a ratio of 1 tablespoon vinegar to 2 cups of water. Don’t leave acid on aluminum for extended periods, though, or it will cause corrosion. For more severe cases, phosphoric acid can be used but remember to wear appropriate protective gear. It will create a white film, but you can wipe this away with a damp cloth and the aluminum will come up shiny as new.
- Steel Truck Tool Boxes can also be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water or any commercial steel cleaner (there are loads to choose from). Steam cleaning will get rid of stubborn grease and grime.
- Plastic Truck Tool Boxes can be cleaned with Coca-Cola – allow it to sit for a few minutes and rinse off thoroughly (or you’ll come back to an ant infestation!).
#Tip 2: Layer Tools in Order of Use
Take your freshly cleaned tools and sort them into groups based on the frequency they are used. You will be packing those you seldom use at the bottom of your toolbox. By layering your tools so that the ones you use most frequently are at the top, it becomes much easier to find and replace those tools without disturbing everything else.
#Tip 3: Canvas Bags
Have you ever seen tools wrapped in cloths to protect them from scratching, knocking, and oil? Well, canvas bags are an even better solution. They do everything the cloths do without the risk of tools slipping out.
They’re a space-efficient way of storing small components that belong together, like socket heads, and larger pieces like wrenches and files. Most come with long ties that can be used to pull the bag tightly closed and then wrapped around the contents and tied to keep them in place.
Canvas wears better than plastic which can cloud and disintegrate over time. It is also washable, so dirty bags can just be tossed in the washer.
#Tip 4: Foam
Foam is an extremely versatile packing solution. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, different densities, textures, and colors. Some brands even include corrosion retardant. Foam can be cut to form liners and sections for your toolbox. You can also gouge or cut out the exact shape of various tools so that each one has its place. This is useful to easily and quickly tell if tools are missing. You can potentially fill your toolbox with layers of foam containing your different tools.
#Tip 5: Sectioning
For items and materials that are not suitable for storing in bags or foam, rigid plastic, metal, or even wood sectioning can be used. This will prevent your tools from being thrown together as you drive and from getting dirty or broken. Cut to fit your toolbox and glue, weld, or rivet in place.
Alternatively, purchase crates and tubs that fit into your toolbox and are the right size for what you like to store. Your local hardware store will offer a range of containers. Look for those with adjustable compartments. The fishing and craft sections can sometimes have the best selections, so be sure to look around.
#Tip 6: Magnetic Tool Holder Bars
Magnetic tool holder bars are another great way to store your tools. They can be riveted to your toolbox and are strong enough to hold even heavy tools in place. Magnets are also great if there’s any spillage of small metallic parts like nuts and washers. And they can be a great way to clean up metal filings.
#Tip 7: Pegs, Hooks, and Clamps (with Bungee Cords and Carabineers)
Attaching pegs, hooks, and clamps to your toolbox is another usual way of storing items so they can be easily located. Used in combination with bungee cords and carabineers, you should be able to secure anything, including liquids; you don’t want lubricants, paints, or glue spilling over everything.
Truck Tool Boxes are Not Just for Tools
We’ve dealt exclusively with ways to store tools in your truck toolbox, but toolboxes are used for various things, including weekly grocery shopping. Here are some ideas of other storage uses for your toolbox:
- Winter Gear – ice scraper, shovel and hatchet, tire chains, heavy-duty survival blanket/poncho, long-life emergency food rations, sealed water bottle, emergency radio, and flares
- General Supplies – bungee cords, rope, cable ties, duct tape, newspaper and/or paper towel, trash bags, rags, lubricant, hand cleaner, and sanitizer
- Basic Gear – extension cord, work light (rechargeable), chain and rope, bungee cords, tape measure, padlocks, and work gear (boots, gloves, coveralls)
- Emergency Equipment – hazard markers/cones, jumper cables and tow cable or strap, tire sealant, emergency fuel (non-flammable), fire blanket & gloves, medical kit
- Towing and Cargo Gear – ratcheting straps and bungee cords, hitch pins, balls and locks, electrical connection adapters
- Offroad Gear – shovel, traction pads, winch, air compressor and tire sealant, jacks
- Camping Gear –ice chest, camping chairs, tent, wood saw/hatchet, fire grid, flashlight
Whatever you use your truck toolbox for and whatever it’s made of, keeping it clean and organized will make it easier and pleasanter to find what you need. Make a list of items you want to keep on hand and regularly check for what needs to be replaced due to use or expiry (in the case of perishable items.)