Bob Arlotta in front of his Big-Time Box
Photo credit: Bob Arlotta
Long Hill Auto Service, Millington, NJ
This isn’t Bob Arlotta’s first entry in Big-Time Boxes. However, his massive Snap-on toolbox just keeps getting bigger.
“It is so big because with new cars there comes the need for new tools and when my box gets too full, I like to expand so things aren’t too cramped,” says Arlotta.
Yet the acquiring of tools (and ultimately somewhere to store them) had humble beginnings. Arlotta recounts how it all began: “When I was 15, I had a Snap-on dealer come to my house every Thursday and I started to buy tools so I could restore a GTO and some day become a mechanic. When I was 16, people in the neighborhood started to ask me to fix their cars at my house as they saw me restore this GTO. I was done with the GTO when I was 17 and it was my first car. This collection of all Snap-on tools took about 35 years to collect, and I cannot even begin to track its value. I am almost 50 now and still have the same passion for Snap-on tools and the industry that I had when I was 15.”
Arlotta now owns his own shop, Long Hill Auto Service, where he “works on basically any car that comes in and needs work.”
This is not some sort of shallow boasting, either. When questioned how serious he was about that, he started listing his factory scan tools: “We use all factory tools that are laptop-based, including Nissan, Honda, Land Rover, Jaguar, GM, BMW, Porsche, Toyota, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, etc.,” Arlotta notes. “For handheld tools we use the Tech II, the Snap-On Solus Ultra, Starmobile, Chrysler DRB III, the Honda tool and Hickok for Ford.”
Arlotta does not believe in compromising his repairs by not using the right tools, so he purchases whatever tool he needs to do a job right, quickly filling up his box. “Do I need all of the space? I would say yes, because as of right now it is full and every addition I make to the box seems to fill up pretty quickly,” he says.
This colossal box also features distinct modifications. “We put LEDs in the top section of the box and a magnetic strip to hold up some large ratchets, for quicker and neat access to them,” Arlotta boasts.
When asked why, he mentioned that the evolving nature of automobiles forces him to keep pace. The box keeps growing, including recent additions such as three top cabinets and additional tool drawers. Arlotta notes that his Snap-on box includes two side cabinets (No. KRL1012A), three top cabinets (No. KRL5445APBO), the bottom middle section (No. KRL1003B), top middle (No. KRL1203A), the right of the middle on the bottom section (No. KRL1011A), and on top of that, and on the left side of the center section are No. KRL1221 boxes.
It seems easy enough to misplace the tool numbers of the box, let alone the tools it carries. According to Arlotta, he has “a very organized box.” After all, with 35 years worth of tools is one place, organization — and size — are important.