We put together a list of the best work van shelving ideas out there in 2023, to suit the needs of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, or jacks of all trades.
Picking the best shelving ideas for your work van
If you are a professional working from your van, then you’re aware of how important the interior of your van is. Your van is your workplace, so getting the right shelving solution should be a top priority. This InsureMyVan.ie blog is meant to help you pick the best ideas for your work van shelving, so let’s get started.
1. Choose the shelving type that fits your purpose/trade
Getting it right off the bat is all about the first choices. If you are a DIY enthusiast (and why wouldn’t you be) you can simply design the van shelving plans and build it yourself. If you believe that time is money and yours can be more useful elsewhere, just go with a professional solution and purchase a complete shelving kit that you or a company can fit it. There are dedicated businesses here in Ireland for van shelving kits and systems, such as Van Fit Solutions.
The next choice you need to make is whether you want to go with aluminium or wood shelves. This is important, because as you know already, your work van has a weight limit. In general, work vans can carry an extra 500 – 800 kg load and it also impacts your fuel consumption up to 30%, which is less than ideal in 2023. You can read our Risks of overloading your van blog for more information.
So, although a steel racking solution is cheaper than aluminium, it will be heavy, we reckon somewhere in the 15% region. We will only recommend steel shelves if you use your van to carry around heavier than average equipment or materials.
On the other hand, aluminium shelves are very light, and the fact is the number one choice for most tradesmen in Ireland when it comes to work van shelving, despite its slightly higher cost.
And, of course, we will always have wood shelves – simple, DIY friendly and cheap. You can customise to suit your needs and the size of your work van, just be careful not to add too much weight.
2. Use adjustable shelving to save van space
One of the best work van shelving ideas, the adjustable shelves can help a lot if you decide to modify your van. It saves you a ton of work van space and it offers versatility in the future; in case you need to operate modifications or repurpose the van space.
An adjustable shelving system also offers you more freedom in your daily work routine. For instance, let’s say if you need to store larger equipment or materials one day, being able to alter the size of your shelves without too much hassle comes in handy.
3. Build in a false floor
This must be the best storage solution by far. By creating a false bed with access from the side and rear doors, you’ll allow yourself a storage space that can accommodate your largest items, like panels. For some trades, this is an essential feature.
You can build it with plywood panels, but you will have to ensure that you leave enough height for those times when you need to work inside the van.
4. Insert a sliding drawer under the false floor
There is no better solution for storing most of your smaller bits than a sliding drawer, or more than one. These are usually implemented under the false floor with access from the rear doors but the inconvenience with this location is that the drawers tend to be too long, and they restrict your access to the most generous storage space in the van. To avoid this, consider installing the drawer at the side door.
5. Let your tools dictate your van layout
It’s easy. If you use long and fragile tools, you can either shelter them flat under the false floor or high up on shelves, or you can create dedicated slots or door hangers for them. Heavier tools, such as dust extractors or compressors, are more compact in size, so you can be more flexible with their placement.
6. Hang everything you can
Maybe you should actually start designing your work van shelving with this. To save up space in your cabinets and shelves, you need to hang as much as possible from the walls and doors. Pliers, saws, screwdrivers and other small tools and items can all hang on a wall or even on a former window, if you clad the panes.
7. Secure your expensive equipment
Your most precious gear is a magnet for burglars, so you need to find a way to secure it. The best solution is to have a solid compartment secured with a good lock. But remember, if you hide it too well, you will get annoyed trying to reach it every day. We have plenty more safety tips in our Safety for your van & it’s contents blog.
We hope these shelving ideas will help you create an efficient storage space in your work van and save some money too. If you’re looking for more ideas, you can start with these over 100 creative solutions here.