As much as I coach that everybody needs to carry the proper tools in their toolbox, sometimes the most important tools are the ones too big to carry around with you every day. From specialty items like Torx head bits, down to your favorite Leatherman multi-tool, having the right tool for the job makes all the difference! Lately though, I’ve been using some of the tools that I have stashed that are too big to fit in my toolbox and even too big for me to want to keep on the truck all the time.
Being able to get home regularly allows me to keep a corner of my garage sectioned off for some of the tools of our trade that are too cumbersome to travel with every day. Although it creates a certain level of difficulty in having to swap out some of these tools from time to time, the extra income I get on loads for doing so far outweighs the pain! I started doing this when one of my customers offered to buy me a pallet jack for a load they wanted me on because they knew I wouldn’t shy away from assisting drivers when I was offered a heavy accessorial fee to do so.
Since then, my little corner of the garage has had things added to it like moving blankets, extra straps, a hand dolly, flat rolling furniture dollies, lengths of chain and a pallet claw for dragging out sideways pallets. There are many different specialty tools for doing what I do in a dry van that help put me in a niche for freight that others aren’t equipped to take! These are just a few of them that make a big difference in my being able to accept some loads that pay much higher than the norm, that others can’t readily take.
When thinking about other types of truck and trailer combinations, I can see where the opportunity could arise for many others in the industry to do the same as well, with different sets of specialty tools of their own. The more diversified the portfolio of freight you can haul with various different tools, the better position you will be in to command a premium rate where others cannot. Be sure to analyze your individual situation and stash the big tools and trade them out when you can. This will make you more prepared to haul something that may be slightly out of the norm. I know in my case, the tools have paid for themselves many times over and I will continue to add more to my collection!