Big-Time Boxes: James Kinney

Being an automotive technician for 27 years has given James Kinney the need for more tools, as well as more space for tools. But the present finds him content with his storage situation.

“I finally have the space that I need for everything,” says Kinney. “I would not change anything.”

Kinney has been building his collection of boxes for more than 20 years. Space is his main reason for having such a big toolbox setup.

“Toolboxes are very expensive investments,” he says. “I have added sections as the years have gone on, according to cost and the space needed.”

Kinney’s toolbox from Matco includes two MB8525DB boxes in between two MB8500 side cabinets.

All of the drawers are 25” deep. The middle top drawers are 49” wide and all of the other drawers are either 30” wide or 16” wide. The cabinets are 2’ wide and 5’ tall with drawers that are also 25” deep and 16” wide.

The toolbox has an abundance of added features, such as a microwave, a refrigerator and a stereo. It also includes an eMachine E627 laptop with high-speed Internet that Kinney uses for things like vehicle repair questions, as well as Netflix movies when on lunch break.

“I also have surround sound, which sounds fantastic,” he adds. “People always ask me where the music is coming from because you can’t see the hidden Alpine speakers. It’s just a home-away-from-home type of toolbox.”

What is inside the toolbox is also very important, and Kinney’s favorite tools are specialty tools. “I like the specialty tools that come in their own individual cases,” he says. “I like the fact that they are used for a specific reason.”

Kevin Bergman is Kinney’s Matco tool distributor and has been his distributor for 20 years. “Kevin is a good guy and has always been fair and professional,” Kinney says. “We have developed a great friendship over the years.”

Kinney is employed at the State of Illinois State Garage in Paris, IL, having just recently transferred from the State of Illinois State Garage in Champaign, IL, where he also resides. He has worked for the State of Illinois for 11 years total, and his experience in the industry has been a pleasant one.

“Being an automotive technician has been good to me and my family, both financially and personally,” Kinney says.