A tool truck for the modern distributor

May 2, 2024
This Mac Tools tool truck has it all – a tool chute, side cameras, storage boxes, and a customized workspace to top it off.

Back in late February, when Mac Tools held their annual Tool Fair, AJ Bowlin and Stewart Brown had their new 2024 Freightliner MT55 on display. Bowlin gave Professional Distributor a tour of the truck highlighting an array of its features. Check out the video here: VehicleServicePros.com/55019465. Now, a few months later, we’re catching up with Bowlin to see how he and Brown filled up the new truck and to learn more about all its bells and whistles.  

Bowlin and Brown are an Orlando, Florida-based Mac Tools distributor duo – Bowlin runs the route and spends his time on the truck, while Brown handles much of the back office work. The two got together with Herr Display Vans back in July of 2023 to start discussing the design of their truck. 

Down the tool chute

Of the many features included in the truck’s design, a tool chute was one. In the past, when a customer returned a broken tool, it would be placed in the drawer of a toolbox on the truck. 

“But you go to sell the box and now you've got a drawer full of broken tools,” Bowlin says. “You gotta figure out where to put them, so we had a chute put in this truck.”

From an opening on the top of his desk, Bowlin can send the broken tools down the chute and into a tote inside one of their two 48” storage boxes on the outside of the truck. At the end of the week, Bowlin can empty the tote and ship the tools back to Mac. Aside from the tote for broken tools, the storage boxes are also used for housing larger products like jack stands. 

Another feature the two had added to the truck was cameras. 

“We got the idea from city buses, and we had cameras installed on the front sides of the truck,” Bowlin says. “So when [the] turn signals come on for either direction, we've got a camera that displays the whole side of the truck plus the street.”

Setting up the truck

Going from a blank canvas to a fully stocked truck took longer than Bowlin and Brown had hoped. Where initially the two believed the process would take only two to three days, Bowlin notes that it took them five days working from 8 AM to 8 PM each day. 

“The tough part is you start with a bare, empty truck and obviously, you'd like to match the layout of what your old truck was,” Bowlin explains, “and then you realize, ‘Hey, these cases don't fit on this shelf.’ So you end up moving the same product, probably four or five times before it's in its final slot.”

While organizing the truck, Bowlin went for a “comfortable, but impulsive” organization style. He wanted the most commonly sold products right in front of the customer so they could easily find them, but also easily grab their attention.  

In this longer and wider truck, Bowlin has more space for displaying new products. In the past, the new products mainly sat on the dash, but now he can scatter them more around the truck, giving customers the opportunity to pick them up and try them out. 

The workspace

Previously, Bowlin didn’t have much of a desk space, but now he has a customized desk with a matching work surface right across from him. The desk and work surface feature a “really cool Mac Tools logo with an American flag inlay,” Bowlin describes. 

But what he’s most excited about with the desk is that it allows him to be more organized and better prepared for the day. He can have his notes right in front of him, take payments, do research, and with his extra monitor, he can show customers products or other information that they’re looking for. 

Overall, when designing and setting up their new truck, Bowlin and Brown were looking for ways to modernize their business. Not only for their own sake but for the sake of their customers as well. 


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