Outfitting your technicians for success comes down to more than having the right parts. Here are the 7 things you probably don’t stock in each of your trucks or vans, but should…
The “Non-Standard” List
- Clean, dry socks (look, there’s nothing worse than wet feet)
- Knee pads (give ‘em a break!)
- Backup Gatorade (a quick hit of sugar and electrolytes)
- Protein Bars (snack time on the go)
- Branded door hangers (“sorry we missed you!”)
- Branded stickers with your phone number or QR code (to put on those controllers)
- An extra pair of sunglasses… hell, brand those too!
But of course, there’s some clutch equipment that you shouldn’t forget about as well.
- Wire tracker/fault tracer (like the Armada 900D)
- A multi-tool that’s right for you (like the King Irrigation I-tool)
- Valve box pump (you can go old school with a manual utility hand pump, or get crazy with a drill operated one)
- A good mud-releasing shovel (Seymour Midwest makes a good one)
- Glue-free PVC repair couplings (like this one from Hydro-Rain)
- A universal controller key ring (like the Uni-Key)
- and don’t forget a riser extractor!
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At the end of the day – and especially when labor is in short supply – you want to get the most out of each of your techs and crews.
Use this as a guideline: Each truck should be stocked, prepped, and ready to complete 80% of service calls that it will be sent to.
Not having enough inventory, or missing key equipment, takes a chunk out of their productivity. Now your tech is driving to the supply house or back to the shop, which costs you (at least) double! You are losing precious billable time, the tech wages are all unrecovered, and you might even have a pissed-off customer.
Once you know how to stock your truck, it’s time to set up your trucks with a visual inventory system to allow for quick restocking. Ditch the sealed boxes/containers, and use drawers or bins, labeled with the material and min/max levels. And make it standard! Ideally, any tech can work from any truck in a pinch (yep, we get it, everyone has their favorite vehicle, but let’s save on the training and make you as flexible and prepared as possible… you don’t have time to mess around).
Also, talk to your supplier about having them help replenish truck inventory, automatically, weekly. When a truck is out of an item and will need to leave a site, try to have someone run the needed item or have the distributor deliver it, so you can keep them doing that billable work!
Here’s to the success of your techs, your customers, and your business!