Big-Time Boxes: Cody Gaddie, Snap-on

Aug. 10, 2018
A dedicated diagnostic cart and 11' setup is just the beginning.

Owner: Cody Gaddie

Shop: Brakemax Car Care Center

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Cody Gaddie has been a technician at Brakemax Car Care Center for 12 years, starting out as a C level technician before working his way up to his current position as lead drivability technician where he oversees 15 shop locations and 160 employees.

"I get a lot of work from our other locations of vehicles other techs can’t fix, which are some of my favorite vehicles to work on," Gaddie says. "It's the problem childs."

But while his jobs can be complicated, Gaddie says he likes to keep his tool organization simple.

His 11' 4" long, 7' 4" high, 29" deep Snap-on KRL Series 1023 Roll Cab toolbox with side locker, hutch and horizontal top locker, is sorted into categories using plier racks, socket holders and foam drawer inserts. Gaddie also labels all his tool cases for easy identification.

Each of the 19 drawers of the main box is home to a specific tool family, while the Snap-on side locker holds specialty tools like compression gauges, vacuum gauges and smoke machines. Lesser used tools are stored in the matching top locker, which fits over the hutch of the main box.

In addition to his main set-up, Gaddie has a mobile tool cart from Mac Tools which holds "90 percent of everything to get most jobs done." He keeps most used tools in this 5' long, 44" tall cart, like select pliers and the socket sizes he uses daily.

As a technician focusing solely on drivability, the most used part of Gaddie's setup is a separate matching Snap-on cart dedicated entirely to diagnostic equipment, complete with computer monitor. (Yes, you counted right, that's two carts in addition to the main box.)

"I’m constantly monitoring live data from my diagnostic monitor and constantly have multiple scan tools or scopes hooked up at one time since I specialize in drivability," he says.

Additionally, Gaddie says that besides the size factor, those monitors help the box stand out and it recieves "a lot of attention from customers and employees."

Even though Gaddie says he loves the size of his box, he has some words of wisdom for technicians looking to make the purchase.

"Some advice I would give would be buy the tools first and then work up to a box," he says. "I see these guys buy the biggest box possible and have nothing to put inside of it. I would rather have the right tool for the job and do the job correctly than to have a pretty box and can only do brakes because I don’t have the tools to do anything else."

But for himself? Gaddie doesn't plan to slow down with his expansion. In the next year he says he wants to purchase a Snap-on Mr. Big toolbox with two side lockers, two hutches and three top horizontal lockers so that his setup looks "more uniform" and he has more space to keep organized.

"I’m out of room, and I can only add one more locker to my current box before it’s as big as it can go," Gaddie explains. "I want to make the hutch my diagnostic cart and put two monitors in it so I can multitask even more. [I would] be able to read live data and also research information on the other monitor."

About the Author

Vesna Brajkovic | Associate Editor - Vehicle Repair Group

Vesna Brajkovic is a former associate editor for the Vehicle Repair Group.

Brajkovic has covered the transportation industry for a number of trade publications, with a focus on the vehicle maintenance and automotive aftermarket industries since 2016. Prior to that, she covered the global aviation industry as assistant editor for Endeavor Business Media's AviationPros.com, and held a number of editorial positions at an award-winning community newspaper.

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