Utes are undeniably the most versatile vehicles out there, and the perfect choice for tradies, farmers, off-roaders, and anyone regularly transporting a lot of gear. They’re also highly customisable, with the ample space in trays and tubs often put to good use. Toolboxes are the perfect addition to any ute, and they’re a safe, secure, and practical way of carrying a whole lot of tools, gear, and work equipment without spoiling a neat and clean cabin. But these aren’t the only things dedicated ute boxes are good at.
Why You Want a Ute Tool Box?
- Organisation and Faster Workflow
Utes double as mobile workshops, and a tough ute storage box is a must if you want an organised place for your tools. Instead of just throwing everything onto the back of the tray, a ute box saves time in finding the right tools for the job in a matter of seconds. Internal drawers, shelves, and compartments help you organise different tools. This means that everything is neatly arranged, visible, and within arm’s reach which lets you get the job done faster.
- Increased Storage
A better organised workplace is one that will also fit more tools. And this is another reason why ute toolboxes are so sought after. They can extend up to the height of the cab roof, and come in different shapes and sizes, but still leave enough tray or tub space for any bulkier items.
- Safety and Protection
Tools are expensive, but they’re also what brings home the bacon. Left in open trays and tubs, they can get damaged from bad weather or when jostling about, lost during transportation, or even worse – stolen. To avoid unnecessary downtime, lost revenue, and the hassle of buying new tools, a ute tool box keeps your investment in tools safe and protected at all times. The combination of thick metals, rubber seals, and recessed locks means they’ll last no matter what they come up against.
Types, Designs, and Sizes
The wide selection of different types, designs and sizes means all ute owners can find a ute storage box to meet their needs. Particularly popular are the gullwing boxes, with a standard height (matching the car roofline), and a design that opens at both sides making access to the tools inside quick and easy. These are usually fitted across the tray floor, so still offer remaining space to the back.
‘One-tonner’ and kitted tradesman boxes are other sought-after designs with both varieties having plenty of space and multiple internal storage solutions. And there are more fitment options with smaller, lower profile, rectangle, and square edge boxes. A common setup is fitting two low-profile boxes along the length of the tray, while still leaving space for any necessities in between.
On-tray boxes can also be combined with smaller undertray toolboxes fitting near the rear wheel arches. They’re good for storing things like clothes, cabling, lights, and any handy extras. Sizes are dependent on the size of the ute tray. Here widths usually average 1800mm, heights extend to cab rooflines, generally 850mm, and lengths depend on the tray length in different cab designs, with factory-fitted trays on single cabs offering the most possibilities.
What to Look for in Your Next Ute Box
There are scores of independent toolbox builders for ute across the country, offering different lineups. The same also sell canopies and can fabricate a custom storage box that meets specific buyer needs. When buying your next ute toolbox, consider the size and design of the box and how it will fit the ute tray. Also, don’t overlook the materials and level of workmanship, internal storage features to better organise your gear, and safety additions that keep the box protected.
High-grade aluminium offers a good balance between strength and low weight. Thicker 2.5mm sheets are drill resistant, and fare well against heat, chemicals, liquids, and typically harsh work conditions. The material also won’t rust, so looks remain good as new. Boxes can be brought to a clean-looking mill finish, or come in a checker plate, non-slip design. They can further be coated with protective paint layers to suit the rest of the vehicle.
There’s a lot of attention to how toolboxes are assembled too. Look for clean, seamless welds in joints, reinforced floors for heavier tools and equipment, rubber seals to wick away rain, and recessed heavy-duty steel locks for added protection. Like tools, ute toolboxes are an investment, so durability and the level of protection will all depend on how things are put together. Functionality and ease of use are other selling points you should focus on.
Opening doors is simpler with gas struts, while inside you’ll find a combination of differently sized drawers and adjustable shelves to store a range of different tools. Sliding drawers are another popular option, as these speed up access to your most used tools without having to open the toolbox doors. Additional external features that make carrying common items like jerry cans or ladders also come in handy. Basically, you add what you want depending on how and where you use the ute and toolbox.
What about the Alternatives?
This includes canopies, tool chests and cabinets. Canopies are a ute storage solution that’s bigger in all dimensions, usually takes up all the available space in the tray, offers more storage and layout variation, has a wider list of accessories, and is generally built to a better standard.
This means that they’re also more expensive. Tool chests and cabinets are a decent alternative if you’re working out of a workshop. Otherwise, where mobility and portability are key factors in your business, nothing beats a dedicated toolbox.