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Forum topic by ZiggyZ posted 10-18-2012 01:59 AM 1223 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 2349 days

10-18-2012 01:59 AM

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for some opinions on some options I am thinking about (or a totally different idea) for transporting tools to and from projects. Here is some background:

I work a different full-time job so woodworking/built-ins/finish carpentry is a weekend source of income for me.

I have a 6’ bed Toyota Tacoma 4×4 that is my daily driver and what I currently use.

Most of the work I do is done in my shop and then I take the boxes to the site for completion of the install. I also get quite a few jobs doing odds and ends like decks, doors, trimwork, etc. Since my tools cannot stay in the back of my truck overnight (no garage), I am looking for a solution that enables me to keep them in it or detach a trailer and leave them in it.

Some of the tools I use include a jobsite table saw, miter saw with stand, festool vac and track saw, routers, sanders, nail guns, compressor, drills, and various fasteners. These items all fit in the back so I have considered getting a cap or topper put on to be able to lock it and fab’ing up a rollout tool tray.

The other option I am considering is buying an enclosed 6’ x 12’ trailer and building it out and parking it at the house when I am not using it.

The downfall I see to the cap is limited space and inability to use my bed for mulch, etc. I may have to buy a utility trailer in this case as well. I’m not sure how much a topper would be so, any ideas on this would be helpful as well.

The trailer is fairly pricey ($3k) but would provide a longer term capability should my biz expand.

So, bottom line, does anybody use either of these options and if so, any ideas or input or lessons learned. Or is there something else I am not looking at that would be viable.

Thanks for any input!

6 replies so far

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3305 days

#1 posted 10-18-2012 02:11 AM

i got tired of the same problem years ago
like parking the truck at lumber stores
next to 20 other trucks
owned by guys that knew what the tools were worth

finally got an SUV with auto lock on the key
i could go home and sleep while it rained too

you might want to check on a trailer
or shell
that has storage bins with locked doors
just dumping everything into the same space
is a real bugger
all the cords get tangled
and the tools bounce around
and can get beat up

here is one guys solution lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jumbojack's profile


1674 posts in 2588 days

#2 posted 10-18-2012 02:11 AM

I bought a trailer and have not regretted it for an instant.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2654 days

#3 posted 10-18-2012 03:07 AM

I see a lot of guys in my area using 2 horse bumper pull trailer for what you want. There are lots of them available since the advent of the slant load horse trailers everyone now seems to prefer. Check the farm section of CL for some bargains.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2074 days

#4 posted 10-18-2012 04:12 AM

I had a cab high shell on a pickup once. The locking mechanism was so flimsy that anyone could open the back. All you had to do was unlatch the tailgate and then give a hard pull on the shell’s door. All that was holding everything closed was two rods (one on each side) and they would spring when pulled on. I don’t recall how many times I found the back unlatched or standing open and whatever I had in the back riffled through.

I also had one of those fiberglass bed high covers that would hinge up. But, you were not supposed to drive with it partially open. So the tallest item you could carry would be the height of the bed.

If you go with any kind of shell I would suggest that you invest in an alarm for it.

My choice would be either a panel van or a trailer.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View lab7654's profile


266 posts in 2211 days

#5 posted 10-18-2012 04:34 AM

I agree with the people who say van. My dad’s extended Ford E-250 is basically a rolling carpet layers’ warehouse, and it can fit everything from 4×8 sheets of lauan plywood to 12’ rolls of rug. Trailers can be a hassle to use, especially if the job requires you to park in a tight spot.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3249 days

#6 posted 10-18-2012 12:43 PM

I used a Van for years in my business. My last Van (before retiring) was a full size 1 ton GMC 9 passenger van that was used by the State.(fully loaded) Got a heck of a deal on it with only 21,000 miles on it. Took all the back seats out and used it as my work van. It was amazing how many cabinets and tools I could carry in it. Since it had tinted windows; when I parked it somewhere’s, nobody could really see what was inside. 9ft. behind the front seats, almost 11 ft. between front seats and back. Could lay 4×8 sheets of plywood between wheel wells and the floor was carpeted.

With the trailer hitch, if a job required, I could rent a trailor for a day to haul a complete kitchen to the site. return the trailer and have everything else with me in the Van.

I would clean it out, clean it up, put back seats back in and use it for family use for traveling.

In our area, enclosed trailers where a target for theives. They knew most enclosed trailers where used for that purpose, so they would steal trailer and all and dump the trailer somewhere after they cut locks and stole everything inside.

Big investment to start, but so many uses. My last Van when I finally retired it; had 356,000 miles on it, still looked new and ran like a top…..............and I sold it to a couple guys that were painters.

-- John @

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