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Old 09-21-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
mech-tech
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Default road mechanic tool organization????

Fellas, I am in need of advice. I am a road mechanic on heavy equipment, and for the life of me, I can't seem to find a way to keep my tools even kinda organized. I have tried just about every socket rail design and they either let the sockets fall off the rail and scatter EVERYWHERE or they hold the sockets on sooo tight my oily greased up hands can't get them off the dang rail. How do other road guys have their sockets set up? My other tools seem to kinda stay put, but the constant never ending searching for sockets is getting old. I hate to buy all new socket set just to have a nice neat plastic tray to hold them together, but it looks like that is my only other option. The 1/2" drive sockets seem to be the worst at jumping around while boucing down the road.

What works for a regular top box set up? I do like the idea of the sockets standing up on trays, but there is noooo way they will stay there.

HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

I have magnets mounted all over my van to store my most commonly used tools/sockets.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

I glue all my wrench rails, socket rails etc into the drawers. I also use a ton of dividers etc to stop everything piling up into a draw-jamming ball of tools. Can take pics later if you want.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
mech-tech
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

My set up is basically a closed top work bosy on a half ton truck. I have a regular top box sitting it the bed, but for the life of me, can't keep the sockets in order. I can deal with having to search for a wrench in a drawer, but sockets are a different story, though it would be nice to have all wrenches neatly placed
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Perhaps Mechanics Time Savers magnetic socket trays are the ticket.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Here's a bunch of pics I found. You'll notice holders I made for sockets, lots of dividers, wrench rails glued down, punches in rolls etc.













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Last edited by garfunkle24; 09-21-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

I took my top box out and am going to try the 3 Husky 16 compartment tool bags. Will keep fingies crossed.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:28 PM   #8
Dick in Wisconsin
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

For the sockets, have you thought about a piece of 3/4" to 1" plywood with holes drilled to fit the sockets and then put plywood in a tray or a drawer?

Please don't laugh and ridicule me ... I use one similar to this:

http://www.sears.com/craftsman-4-dra...&blockType=G36

Fits a ton of 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive sockets and accessories. In the garage I put it on a small four wheel dolly (HF). Put it in the trailer, bring it next to the race car, sometime pull out just a drawer. But the stuff stays put in the drawers.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Been on the road 3 years now. 1/4 and 3/8 on hansen trays. 1/2 in the plastic boxes they came in. I have zero problem with tools shifting inside of the craftsman box I have so all I can say is take the corners easier.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

I may have to consider glued in trays and racks. I think my biggest problem is that I sometimes have to walk away from the truck to get to the broken equipment, so I always wanted a way to just grab the socket rail or wrench rack and bring the whole thing, but once I get on the road, things seem to move around and get lost. I did think about using tool bags, but I pack waaaayyyy too many tools in the trtuck for that. Looks like some customizing is in order, and LOTS of glue!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Check My sig you may get a few ideas in there.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #12
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might not be what you have in mind but i would take a hard look at montezuma chests. in my opinion they are the best roadboxes. If you get the biggest one it doesnt look very big but it holds ALOT of tools. And they are built very tough.

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Old 09-21-2012, 10:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Snap on has some nice rails. you put the sockets on the square then turn to lock on. they are nice but they are pricey.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by thightower View Post
Snap on has some nice rails. you put the sockets on the square then turn to lock on. they are nice but they are pricey.
Look at the Mechanic's Time Savers Lock-A-Socket Trays, as Blue Point ones are just rebranded.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Im not an road tech but I use these and filthy hands dont make a differance.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:15 AM   #16
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

Quote:
Originally Posted by mech-tech View Post
Fellas, I am in need of advice. I am a road mechanic on heavy equipment, and for the life of me, I can't seem to find a way to keep my tools even kinda organized. I have tried just about every socket rail design and they either let the sockets fall off the rail and scatter EVERYWHERE or they hold the sockets on sooo tight my oily greased up hands can't get them off the dang rail. How do other road guys have their sockets set up? My other tools seem to kinda stay put, but the constant never ending searching for sockets is getting old. I hate to buy all new socket set just to have a nice neat plastic tray to hold them together, but it looks like that is my only other option. The 1/2" drive sockets seem to be the worst at jumping around while boucing down the road.

What works for a regular top box set up? I do like the idea of the sockets standing up on trays, but there is noooo way they will stay there.

HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know were your coming from. I spent 15 years on the road repairing earthmoving and small plant equipment. It can turn a lot of stuff that is fine in the shop to junk in a short period of time.
For my standard 1/2" and 3/8" ones I bent up L shaped bits of metal sheet and stuck them in the box with a bit of silastic. They had a taper so I could run imperial sockets one way and metric the other.(bit hard to explain) Bit of thin foam on the top and it worked fine. Well, better than anything else I tried.

Last edited by bts; 09-22-2012 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

put new shocks on the truck. my thought would be Hansen trays with magnets glued on the under side.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

I have all my sockets on rails or in the trays they came in packed tight in the top drawer of the chest on my truck, wrenches are in rolls and the 3/4" set is still in the Snap-On box.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

been a field mechanic at my dealer since '04, only 3/8" & 1/2" dr sockets in the top of my box.
mainly in MTS magnetic holders, or the original stamped steel boxes.
1/4" & 3/4" dr sockets are kept in another compartment, 3/4" dr sockets in acro bins, 1/4" dr stuff in a repurposed blow molded box

i keep a mac toolbag in the truck in case i have to lug tools to a machine that i cant get close enough with the truck


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Old 09-22-2012, 10:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: road mechanic tool organization????

For the stuff in the service truck, I have a bunch of old-school steel boxes and trays. The boxes I picked up at yard sales/swap meets/etc. and the trays were built by a friend in the tin shop.

Snapon, Proto, Mac, Armstrong and some of the others sell the metal "set" boxes separately.
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