Whilst spanners, screwdrivers and pipe cutters are essential tools for any tradesman, the bag or box chosen to store them in is just as important in ensuring they can work efficiently. Hyde’s John Richards wonders how many of your customers are guilty of purchasing a new tool bag in haste, only to find out that it’s just not up to the job.
With such a wide range of tool bags, boxes and belts to choose from, many tradesmen aren’t sure what to look for and which one of the many options will best suit their needs. Should they opt for a good, old fashioned tool box or a tool bag which is easier to manoeuvre, but might be subjected to more wear and tear? Or how about a tool belt that will ensure all their tools are within easy reach?
This is where some words of wisdom from their trusted builders’ merchant can really help, as when it comes to choosing the right tool bag there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Simply put, what works for one tradesman won’t be another’s cup of tea. However, there are certain things that should be considered to ensure the right choice is made, with merchants that demonstrate a little knowledge of the various options quickly winning the trust of customers and therefore securing more sales.
Metal toolboxes, for example, are popular due to their sturdiness; they will ensure tools don’t get damaged even if they get bashed around in the back of the van. Their major drawback, though, is that they get heavy and carrying them around all day can be a strain on the back.
A synthetic or material tool bag is a lightweight alternative. They’re not only easier to carry around but they also make organising tools a lot simpler, with multiple compartments meaning everything is kept in its rightful place. This in turn means tradesmen can get the job done more efficiently without having to scratch around to find the right tools.
Tool belts are also very useful and are often used alongside either a tool bag or a box. A tool belt will ensure that tools are always to hand, even when working at heights or in tight spaces. But they do have their downside, particularly when working at floor level, as the tools themselves tend to dig into your side, with many tradesmen ending up taking the belt off and tools inevitably ending up strewn all over the floor.
What the majority of tradesmen really need is a tool bag that combines all the durability and robustness of a metal tool box with the organisational capabilities of a tool bag, while also being easy to clip on and off your belt.
The ToughBuilt range, now available in the UK through Hyde, does all of the above. The ‘Massive Mouth’ (pictured), for example, features a super-wide opening that makes it easy to access tools, while its synthetic material means it is lightweight and easier to carry than a metal tool box. The octagonal shaped Massive Mouth has a rigid plastic lining that protects the contents and reduces the risk of holes in the fabric developing, while a lockable zip ensures your tools are secure.
Internally, there are dozens of mesh lined pockets so tools can be compartmentalised and it’s easy to find even the smallest items, as they remain visible.
Hyde also distributes a patented tool belt from ToughBuilt — the Cliptech system. The tool pouch is designed to clip effortlessly on and off a tool belt, while its contents remain secure when it is not attached. When working at floor level, the pouch can be unclipped and propped up using the built-in stand at the back, enabling tools to be kept close to hand without them getting in the way.
It’s just as important to think about keeping vehicles tidy too, with the majority of tradesmen admitting — when pushed — that their van could be better organised. Whilst at the end of the working day it can be tempting just to throw tools in the back of the van and head off home, that often leads to trouble the following morning when the rush is on to get cracking on the first job only to be greeted with tools strewn all over the floor. The Cliptech rail overcomes this problem, as it can be attached to the bulkhead of the van, ensuring it won’t take up valuable racking space, making it a great add-on purchase for merchants to offer their customers.