Tips for displaying storage units on the truck

Aug. 4, 2016
Nearly every truck has a space to display a toolbox. Here are some ways to utilize that space efficiently.

Toolboxes and carts can take up valuable real estate in a tool truck that’s already limited by space. 

Cornwell Tools dealer Sean Ostler says he likes to have a toolbox on display to pique his customers’ interest. Customers who are drawn to the box are automatic prospects.

“If I get them on the truck and the first thing they do is go to the toolbox and start playing around, looking at it, opening the drawers, measurements – a lightbulb goes off," Ostler says. "Their eyes say a lot, and if their eyes go right to the toolbox, then I know its somewhere in their mind that they might be needing it now, or needing it soon."

Independent distributor Steve Johnston explains that he and his drivers do not use the tool storage on display in the truck for additional storage. “Then people begin to look at it as just a shelf that you’re using, it’s not a pretty item that they want to buy,” he says.

Mac Tools distributor Nigel Clarke makes sure to rotate the boxes on his truck.

“I try to keep a healthy stock of toolboxes," Clarke says. "I try to keep a variance of colors, I don’t want to have all black. I try to mix up the presentation so people can get a feel for the different colors."

He also makes sure to keep a tool storage catalog near the cash register, for some customers that may be passively looking at options.

Also on Clarke’s truck, he has a customizable build-your-own tool storage unit available through Mac Tools, called the Toolbox Configurator. This program allows customers to use Clarke’s laptop, set up on the truck, to build their own custom toolbox, and display the results on a screen viewable by others on the truck.

This visual can help encourage the customer to make the purchase, Clarke says, while also showing off the customizable program to others on the truck.

“What’s cool is it’s up on the computer screen, and you’ll have three or four guys on the truck and you’ll see them look up at the toolbox his friend is building. Then they’ll say, ‘Hey, let me build it.’ Just seeing other people build the toolboxes get them interested,” Clarke says. “I actually had one guy who was building one, and two other guys ended up ordering their own.”

[Editor's note: While this article first appeared in the August 2016 edition of Professional Distributor magazine, it still provides relevant and useful information today.]
About the Author

Erica Schueller | Editorial Director | Commercial Vehicle Group

Erica Schueller is the Editorial Director of the Endeavor Commercial Vehicle Group. The commercial vehicle group includes the following brands: American Trucker, Bulk Transporter, Fleet Maintenance, FleetOwner, Refrigerated Transporter, and Trailer/Body Builders brands.

An award-winning journalist, Schueller has reported and written about the vehicle maintenance and repair industry her entire career. She has received accolades for her reporting and editing in the commercial and automotive vehicle fields by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA), the International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC), the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Azbee Awards.

Schueller has received recognition among her publishing industry peers as a recipient of the 2014 Folio Top Women in Media Rising Stars award, acknowledging her accomplishments of digital content management and assistance with improving the print and digital products in the Vehicle Repair Group. She was also named one Women in Trucking’s 2018 Top Women in Transportation to Watch.

She is an active member of a number of industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations' (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC),  the Auto Care Association's Young Auto Care Networking Group, GenNext, and Women in Trucking.

In December 2018, Schueller graduated at the top of her class from the Waukesha County Technical College's 10-week professional truck driving program, earning her Class A commercial driver's license (CDL).  

She has worked in the vehicle repair and maintenance industry since 2008.

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