Racking out a van for optimal storage and enhanced organisation is crucial for van drivers and tradesmen who value efficiency on the road, and throughout their day. At CVS we’ve seen – and assisted – with some amazing van fitouts that transform basic boxes into mini workshops and super organised machines that really earn their keep.
Transform your working day
Here are our top tips and practical advice to keep in mind when setting up the interior of your van:
Plan the layout
Before you begin, take time to carefully plan your van’s layout. Consider the items you regularly carry and how frequently you need to access them. This will help determine the most efficient placement of shelves, racks, drawers, and compartments.
Measure twice cut once
Measure the interior dimensions accurately. Sounds obvious but you’d be amazed how many fail at the first hurdle. If you are ordering pre-built racking systems, ensure you have factored in wheel arches and ceiling heights. If you’re undertaking a custom installation, you’ll want the racking to fit perfectly to optimise all the available space so get yourself some graph paper.
Use lightweight materials
Choose the lightest possible option for your racking system to avoid adding unnecessary weight to your van, and associated fuel usage. Aluminium and composite materials are popular choices due to their strength and low weight.
Consider modular systems
Generic racking systems allow for easy customisation and reconfiguration as your storage needs change. Look for systems that offer adjustable shelves, removable drawers, and flexible components.
Secure your racking
Stating the obvious, but you’d be amazed how many things get thrown about and damaged enroute. Ensure that your racking system is securely anchored to the van’s floor, walls, or roof to prevent it from shifting during transit. Use appropriately strong fixings and brackets designed for van installations.
Utilise vertical space
Make use of all the space in your van by installing tall shelving units or racking. This will enable you to store items vertically, really maximising storage capacity.
Group similar items
Organise your storage based on the type of items you carry. Group similar items together and allocate dedicated compartments or shelves for each category. This will make it easier to find what you need quickly. Smart couriers often organise their packages by route; with handy shelves or boxes labelled 1, 2, 3 etc, and loaded in drop order.
Label and barcode
Labelling shelves, drawers, and containers with clear descriptions or using barcodes can significantly improve organisation. It helps to quickly identify items and maintain an efficient inventory system. There are also several easy to download apps that generate QR codes (for printing on stickers) that can be scanned with a mobile phone throughout the day, eliminating the need to repeatedly open every carrycase or toolbox.
Use bungee cords, straps, or cargo nets to secure loose items or equipment that may shift during transit. This helps to ensure both their and your safety within the van.
Consider safety regulations
Be mindful of legal requirements and safety regulations. Ensure the racking system does not obstruct your view or impede the functioning of safety features such as airbags or seatbelts. Overloading is prohibited and won’t do your trusty van’s shock absorbers any favours… don’t be tempted to try and pile everything in if it’s safer to make two trips.
Distribute the weight of your cargo evenly across the van to maintain stability and prevent excessive strain on the suspension. Heavier items should be placed on the floor or lower shelves, while lighter items can go higher up.
Depending on the complexity of your van installation, you may need specialist tools. For a basic fitout gather a drill, screws, screwdrivers, measuring tape, spirit level, and a saw. It’s essential to have the right equipment to hand to assemble and secure your racking system properly and do a professional job.
Periodically inspect and maintain your racking system to ensure it remains secure and in good condition. Check for any loose bolts or fixings and replace damaged components promptly.
KISS – Keep it simple stupid!
Remember to consult local regulations and industry guidelines regarding vehicle modifications, as these may vary depending on your profession, tools and load. Additionally, consider any insurance implications when making modifications to your van as some changes may need to be declared to your insurance provider.
Good to go!
By following these tips, you can effectively rack out your van for optimal storage and enhanced organisation, leading to a more efficient and productive work environment. If you’d prefer to get the CVS pro team involved – we are always happy to assist with ply lining, racking, tow bars, roof racking, garment rails, or bulkhead partitioning – give us a bell for a chat about your chariot plans.