Portable Shop in a Trailer

I'm thinking of how I'm going to transport my finished cabinetry once it's ready to install. An old U-Haul truck would be nice I guess, but I'm concerned about the cost of keeping up, insuring and driving a full-on cube truck. What I am wondering is if a large (TALL) enclosed trailer would suit my needs?
I'd like to have it equipped with a full set - and I mean 100% complete - of tools necessary to install the cabinets and architectural woodworking I plan on building. At the shop I *was* working, it is a gigantic clusterfuck whenever we'd go to an install, running around grabbing a tool here and a tool there and then not having what we need and spending precious manhours taxiing back and forth to the shop.
Anyone have any experience with this?
JP ******************** Semi-skilled cabinetmaker looking for a high-end custom cabinetry shop to work at. I bring my own hand tools and measuring devices and I'm ready to learn. During the day I'll bust my ass to get done what needs to be done, and at night I'd like access to the shop to hone my skills on my own projects and to teach myself how to read blueprints. Email me if you're looking for this type of employee.
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Jay Pique wrote:

with used as a shop. With a trailer your still going to have to keep up with a vehicle to pull it, tools are heavy so your going to need full size truck, surburban, expedition to handle the load with a tranny cooler, brake controller, all that fun stuff. Funny you should mention it the "while you were out" trailer is on TLC at the moment, there are about a dozen of those shows all having shops in a trailer you can look at for ideas.
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JP,
I really enjoyed your signature block. I hope the right person reads it. Post again at alt.building.construction - same message and question. You might give a general idea of where you are or where you want to go.
Here is my response to your original question. My crew has 3 trucks and a shop. One truck does not carry tools. I have painted the tools from each truck a different color to ease putting the tools back on the correct truck. There will always be the problem of guys being tired and just throwing the tools in a bucket on the back of the truck. You will always here someone say, "It must be on the 1 ton" oh, "I left that in the shop when we had to take it in for. . . . ." We do fairly well, the odds are greatly increased with the color code and, more importantly, having a particular place for each tool. Labels on shelves or drawers, similar arrangement to different trucks, redistributing those tools every morning or at least at the end of each job sequence all help.
When you are paying the bills, remember how many dollars of payroll, fuel, mileage, upset customer you went through for a $300 battery drill. Sometimes the tool purchase hurts, but in a years time it is sure chicken feed.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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Jay Pique wrote:

1. Do you have all the tools currently? If so; how much space do they take up?
2. You might want to call around for a custom trailer manufacturer. That way you'll be able to store all of the tools and each will have its place.
3. Having access to the tools from the outside (flip up doored bins) can make life easier. You'll need good locks on them unless you store it in a secured area.
4. If the trailer is too big, it becomes difficult to manuever.
5. Hire a good sign painter to paint your business info on the BACK and sides of the trailer
Brad
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The local bookstore has several books about toolboxes; one of them had a bunch of examples of large portable jobsite boxes. I didn't buy it so I don't remember the title, but a well-stocked bookstore might have it.
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The Toolbox Book by Tolpin has a chapter dedicated to a workshop built into the back of a full-size van. An enclosed trailer is roughly the same size, so I'm sure it will work fine. But the question I have is where you will be going to install your cabinets. If you're out in a rural area or in the suburbs, you'll be just fine. But if you'll be visiting customers in the city, you'll have problems maneuvering and parking your trailer and the full-size truck required to tow it.

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That's also the book I was thinking of that has a chapter on large wheeled jobsite toolboxes. The advantage of a separate box is that you might not be able to park right next to the worksite, but you can take your entire toolkit inside with you. The largest ones are probably about the same size as one of your finished cabinets, so any truck or trailer that can carry one will be able to carry the other.
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Sounds like it would work. Though you are still going to need a good truck to pull it with.
My own mobile shop was built into the back of a 75 international step van. Even threw in a power converter for remote locations.. I was doing mostly sheds and garages.
D. Mo
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Sat, Sep 4, 2004, 5:49pm snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (JayPique) claims: I'm thinking of how I'm going to transport my finished cabinetry once it's ready to install. An old U-Haul truck would be nice I guess, but I'm concerned about the cost of keeping up, insuring and driving a full-on cube truck. What I am wondering is if a large (TALL) enclosed trailer would suit my needs? I'd like to have it equipped with a full set - and I mean 100% complete - of tools necessary to install the cabinets and architectural woodworking I plan on building. <snip>
OK, you've succeeded in confusing me.
You start out by wanting to transport finished cabinetry. Truck or trailer? Then you're saying you'd like to carry along a full set of tools too.
What you leave out is: What size cabinetry are you talking about? Something that's going to take a huge truck or trailer to carry? Maybe a pickup and tall campershell? Or, maybe just a van? And, how many tools are you talking about? A complete woodworking shop? (In that case, maybe a truck AND trailer.) Or would a pickup toolbox hold everything?
I've seen people do just what you're asking, using an old post office mail delivery van.
You can always get a cube van, and use it as primary transprtation too, get rid of your car. That'll cut down insurance, etc., plus be a rolling advertisement (I'm taking it you'll have your business name painted on it).
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
Attaboy: http://www.dailywav.com/0702/attaboy5.wav
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2004 16:45:25 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I've got a knack for it - I confuse myself almost constantly.

My thought was to use a trailer, that way I can just have a shop pick-up as opposed to a truck and a pick-up. WRT tools, I'd like to carry a full set of tools that would "normally" be used to install kitechen cabinetry and home office type stuff.

Not a full shop - just enough to get through 95% of the installlations you're likely to encounter. If you have a duplicate set of tools for installs, then you don't have to worry about forgetting something when you head out the door. Plus, the guys back at the shop won't be without a particular tool that you have on site. IMO the cost of the extra tools will be more than offset by the efficiency gains. YMMV.

There's an idea I hadn't thought of. I was thinking u-haul truck, but an old UPS truck might do the trick as well.

Ugh. I'm not sure I'd want to wheel around in a cube van day in, day out. A trailer could also be painted with my business info as well. Who knows....it's all just a dream right now!
JP ************* Meliora.
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On Sat, 04 Sep 2004 17:49:59 -0400, Jay Pique wrote:

No experience but got a catalog in the mail this week that might help some
American Van http://www.AmericanVan.com
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