Being organized as an electrician is no easy task. There are plans, tools, equipment, PPE, and more that can quickly lead to disorganization. Don't worry! We are here with some solid tips on how to get organized as an electrician. In today's article, we will discuss some tips on how to organize your electrician's van or truck, your gang box, or job site office space or container.
Organizing your Electrician's Van or Truck
Organizing your Electrician's Van or Truck can be especially difficult as things can move around and shift as you drive. Check out some of the tips below to stay organized in your truck or van.
- Place large or bulky items on the floor of your van or truck. This way, if your vehicle has to come to a quick stop or go around a sharp turn, none of the large items will roll forward and get damaged or crush another item.
- Use cargo straps to keep things from shifting and to maximize your space! You can use cargo straps to strap equipment, such as a hand truck, to the inside of a van door or to a portion of your truck bed.
- Utilize a great car organizer to keep your smaller objects in one place that is easy to access. Check out this great and affordable one from Amazon for $24.99. You can store your hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, vest,
- You may also want to consider this document organizer to keep your documents easily accessible and in good condition. As an electrician, specifically as an electrical foreman, you are likely involved in a lot of paperwork - such as drawings, specs, safety meeting sheets, dailys, the IIPP, the HIPP, SDS binders, the company vehicle policy/forms, timecards, and more. The last thing you need is another hassle regarding paperwork! Use this organizer to help keep your documents in one easy spot or better yet, make your life easier by going paperless when you can. We provide our employees with access to fillable pdf forms that they can fill out on their computer, tablet, or phone and simply send out. Keep your documents in smaller folders or binders and sort those into the document organizer.
- Keep your truck or van clean! Use a small trash can with several small trash bags to keep trash from getting everywhere. Empty out as needed.
- Keep a small sheet of paper in the top left corner of your windshield facing in towards the driver to keep track of your most recent car maintenance. Simply jot down your most recent oil change, tire rotation, etc. to make sure you're on track with your vehicle maintenance!
- Keep extras of the essentials that could help you stay organized. A pen and pad of paper, zip ties, tape, rubber bands, a phone charger, and a stapler are all useful! You may also consider adding an extra work shirt and pair of socks to the mix in case of any accidents or rain.
- If you have a van, we would strongly recommend adding some shelving with bins to keep the essentials organized and easy to get to.
- Label everything! Label your tools and documents and sort them into categories so that you can find them easier. Personally, I prefer to organize things into categories of likeness or by use - perhaps even using a color-coding system with colored electrical tape or marks. This can also help you distinguish your own tools and equipment at a job site and prevent things from getting taken from you by mistake. You may also consider organizing your tools in accordance with what you use the most and keeping those by the exits of your truck or van since you will be using them the most.
- Take inventory! Keep track of what is in your truck or van so that you know what you have. Remove duplicates and keep track of what you have and what you are missing.
- Utilize bags and bins! Keep your small parts in bags and bins so that you can find them.
- Considering a magnetic system. One suggestion that we received was to install a magnet strip to your van and adding a strip to your tools to stick them directly to the magnet for easy access. Take caution though - if you have any tools that are already magnetic this could damage their magnets.
- Let there be light! Add some touch lights to your van or truck to illuminate your tools and equipment so that you can easily find what you need in the dark.
Organizing your Gang Box
Next on the agenda is cleaning out that gang box. Organizing your gang box or job box can be a major struggle. They can quickly become a jumbled mess of tools and equipment in a bid rather than a tool meant to keep your job site organized and your tools and equipment safe. Follow the step-by-step guide below to re-organize your gang box for an efficient and organized job site.
- First, take inventory. Make a list of what you have in your gang box. Ensure that all tools and equipment are clean and accounted for.
- Put larger tools in crates or on a wooden pegboard and secure them with pegs. You can label crates to keep track of which tools go where. Be sure to group like equipment together. If you decide to go with the pegboard option, trace on the outline of your tool to determine which tools go where.
- If your box doesn't have shelves, make some! You can purchase a job box insert or makeshift shelves out of wood.
- Consider using magnets! If your tools are equipment are magnetized, you can use a magnet to keep them in place and conserve space.
- Use foam! The foam is used to make an indentation of the tool and ensure that the tool doesn't shift around. It also works to help you and your team stay organized making it clear where your tool belongs.
- Keep smaller items in bags to keep the little things from getting lost.
- Use hooks for harnesses and cords. It keeps them from getting tangled.
- Use a logbook! If other members of your team are accessing the gang box and getting stuff in and out, use a sheet to sheet to keep track of who checks out a piece of equipment, when they do so, and when they return it. It makes it easier to stay organized because people are held accountable for their actions and it also prevents tools from getting lost - saving both time and money.
- Don't put your employee notices, IIPP, MDS documents, Heat Illness Prevention Paperwork, or anything else that belongs on a job board in your gang box! Not only is it against company policy, it also clutters up your gang box. Attaching your documents to the outside of the gang box could lead to them getting damaged or lost. Instead, keep all your important job-required documents and employee notices on the job board in clear display.
Organizing your Job Site Office Space
Lastly, let's focus on organizing your job site office space or container. As a foreman, running a job site means a lot of supplies and can include managing an office space or job site trailer. Check out these tips on how to keep your office space on the job organized
- Use lists and forms! Being in charge can be difficult because there is a lot to keep track of. At the start of the day, fill out a form that takes attendance (i.e. the daily illness report or the beginning of the daily report). You should also have a tool/material sheet and require members of your crew to sign and date when they check something out or return it to hold them accountable for keeping things organized and returning them in proper condition. Just because you are the foreman doesn't mean everything needs to be on you! Make it easier for yourself and others on your team to stay organized.
- Use a calendar or Gantt chart! We are glad that our foremen are great at sticking to schedules, but we recognize that managing a tight schedule can be a handful - especially on more demanding projects. Remember, you can always speak with your project manager or superintendent for scheduling aid! We also recommend using a calendar or Gantt chart as a daily reminder of what you need to complete to stay on track.
- Get everything in writing and take notes and keep records! You can organize things in folders or in a document organizer. This will not only help keep you organized, but it will help ensure that there are no miscommunication errors and provide evidence to back you up.
- Store larger items on shelves or in bins. You can store smaller items in bags or bins and your paper items in folders, binders, and files. Remember, keep everything labeled!
- Don't be afraid to delegate but also don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! Your team is a resource and they can help you stay organized. Know your crew's patterns and limits. Trust them to do their job and hold them accountable for helping you stay organized and informing you about how their tasks are going. Work to be a respected leader by being honest, being a good example, and working hard. No one likes working for a boss that won't get his or her hands dirty! Be there for your crew.
That concludes our first review of how to stay organized as an electrician with tips on how to organize your electrician's van or truck, gang box, and job site office space. We hope it helps you stay organized and makes your day a little bit better. We will be back with another blog post about how to organize your tool belt soon so be sure to stay tuned!
Work for Prime and Need Some Resources to Organize?
If you are a foreman or general foreman for Prime Electrical Services and you need some resources to get organized (such as materials for shelving, a document car organizer, or a regular car organizer) odds are that we can help! Call the office or reach out to your superintendent for help and we will try our best to get you what you need ASAP!
Aren't a Foreman and Don't Have a Van But Want to Get Organized?
You don't need to be a foreman or have a company vehicle to stay organized. From apprentices to master journeymen - all electricians have gear and equipment that they need to keep track of and transfer to and from work. Check out the tips below for ideas on how to organize the car that you drive to and from work each day.
Tips for organizing your car:
- Use a car organizer! Keep your hardhat, gloves, safety glasses, safety vest, and tool belt in it! You'll never forget them and they won't be rolling around your car.
- Keep an extra shirt, pair of jeans, and pair of socks in your car. It can be nice to have the option to change on a particularly sweaty or messy day.
- Keep a phone charger in your car. Keep your battery charged so that you have easy access to contacting your foreman or superintendent and can access online forms remotely.
- Keep a bag of wipes on your car so that you can wipe off dust from your tools or yourself at the end of a long day.
- Keep some emergency snacks! Keep a box of snacks in your car in case you forget lunch.
Tips on How to Stay Cool
It's getting hot again! Remember to stay safe and cool. Review the Heat Illness Prevention Policy, buddy up, and review our blog post on how to beat the heat and stay cool for tips on how to stay cool on the job as an electrician. If you are a Prime employee and don't have your cooling towel from last year you can call or email the office and we will make sure one is sent out to you! Then, simply wet your cooling towel, place it in the freezer over night, and bring it with you to the job site on a hot day. You can place it on the back of your neck or under your hard hat and re-wet it with cool water as needed!
Stay Tuned for More Electrician Tips and Updates
We love staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends! Be sure to tune back into our blog for more electrician tips and tricks - such as our upcoming blog post on how to organize your tool belt for maximum comfort and efficiency!
Interested as a Career as an Electrician?
Are you considering a career as an electrician? Visit the Join Our Team page of our website to learn more about the Prime team and what we have to offer. Find out if we have job openings near you!