Ready To Roll: Locksmith Service Vehicles and Accessories

Driving a good-looking, well-equipped service vehicle will not only provide name recognition but also will make your work time much more productive and comfortable.


Flooring & Cabinetry

Before installing any cabinetry, think about the flooring material. I personally prefer commercial carpet in a medium solid color. I know it will get dirty, but the advantage of carpet is pins and wafers and little pieces will not bounce as far from where they fell.

Locksmiths use all types of vehicles as a service vehicle. They can be a full sized van, mini van, pickup, walk-in van/pickup, etc. Outfitting a service vehicle with cabinets requires careful pre-planning to determine the best use of the limited amount of space available. The work area layout should take into consideration if the locksmith will require a workbench. Determine how much bench area is required for servicing and repairing, key machines, etc. Will key blanks be kept in boxes or installed onto a wall rack? How large must the largest cabinet be to accommodate specialized equipment? With the newer vans and the Ford Transit Connect, another consideration is, do you obstruct the driver’s side, side door?

Cabinetry is available in steel, aluminum and wood. Wood cabinets are usually constructed by the locksmith.

Cabinetry options include base cabinets, overhead cabinets, closets, shelving, partitions, workbench and countertops. The depth of cabinets can vary with the deeper cabinets holding more equipment. However, in a service vehicle, if the cabinets are too deep, there may not be sufficient space for working or moving. Something else to consider is just because the service vehicle has cabinets, not all of the equipment necessary may fit in the cabinets. For example, a stepladder will not fit. It may be a good idea to install a roof rack for oversized materials and ladders.

For more cabinetry information, consider contacting the following companies:

A large vise mounted onto a sturdy work top gives you a third hand to service and to make modifications. Purchase a good quality vise. The difference between a cheap vise and good quality vise is the moving jaw remains parallel with the fixed jaw. Smaller object can be held securely when the jaws remain parallel.

 

Tool Boxes

Some tools must be in a service vehicle at all times. Other tools can be brought in for specific jobs. These tools will vary by the expertise of each employee, the costs and how often the tools are used for a job.

Having dedicated tool boxes labeled for the different jobs enables each employee the opportunity to have what is necessary by just grabbing the tool box.

This is a great idea in theory. However, not every employee will return the tool box as prescribed, nor will the toolbox have all of the necessary tools.

 

Inverters

To power electrical tools, recharge the batteries for cordless tools or operate key and other types of machinery, locksmiths are investing in inverters. An inverter is a power converting unit that inputs 12 VDC (Volts Direct Current) and outputs 115VAC (Volts Alternating Current). For the end user, Inverters are purchased by the wattage output.

The type and size of the inverter determines the devices that can be powered. Some devices, for example variable speed motors, require 115 VAC that is identical to the power provided from the grid to your home or business. The power requirements of the devices to be powered determine the size needed for the inverter.

For applications that require 300 watts or less, there are inverters, designed to be powered using a cigarette lighter. For greater power demands, the inverter must connect directly to a 12 VDC battery.

The output of the vehicles alternator determines the wattage that can be produced. Most newer van and pickup truck alternators will produce at operating conditions approximately 1200- 1500 Watts under optimum conditions. Determine the actual amperage output of the vehicle’s alternator before purchasing an inverter.

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