As any good mechanic will attest, the right tool for the job is essential. But if service technicians can’t find their tools quickly and easily, they’ll have a hard time getting any job done.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep everything on your truck organized. It will save you time, aggravation and money. To keep everything close at hand — yet still secure — I’ve arranged my truck in the following rows.
In the first row (closest to the cab), I keep a cross-body bed box. This is essential for storing hand and specialty tools, spare parts and other small cleaning gadgets. In the bed box, I keep an 8-inch brush that gets into the nooks and crevices of aboveground fiberglass spas.
Be sure to bolt your tool box down to prevent theft, and use stainless-steel screws to prevent rusting. A padlock on the side wouldn’t hurt either to keep things safe and secure.
Directly behind the bed box, I keep liquid chlorine and acid. Be aware that some states require a barrier between the chlorine and acid to prevent one from splashing into the other. This can be done by physically moving them away from each other or by using a board — for example, a piece of plywood — to separate them.
Also in Row 2 is my net and two wall brushes. I use an 18-inch wall brush for residential pools and spas, and a 24-inch brush for big commercial pools. You can see as well that the net, brush and pole are on the driver’s side of the truck, making them easy to grab and go.
The third row is made up of white buckets. The first is a trash bucket. The second is for diatomaceous earth. The third is for dry chlorine (I use a mixture of dry chlorine and liquid on my route). I clearly mark the top of each barrel so that the contents are easily identified in case of an accident or spill.
In this row, I’ve organized all the specialty chemicals, such as tile soaps, small chlorine and bromine tabs, foam reducers, clarifiers, algae fighters, soda ash and the like. Next come chlorine tabs, a leaf bagger and a floating garden hose.
Floating hoses cost more, but are worth it in the long run. It’s easier to clean the pool without having the hose lying on the bottom, getting in your way. Tip: If the floating hose causes the leaf bagger to drift off the pool bottom, bolt a lead weight from an old vacuum head to the leaf bagger.
Hidden behind the chlorine tab bucket is a 15-foot vacuum hose, which is extremely useful for spas. On the far right side of the truck, I keep a small pole for cleaning spas and my tile pole.
For added storage, I tow a pool cart behind the truck. These carts come in all shapes and sizes. In the cart, I carry a vacuum head, a 50-foot hose, a test kit and another wall brush (you’ll never have too many wall brushes). In the bucket, I keep old-style skimmer diverters, tile soap and a hose connector.
For safety reasons, you should not carry chemicals in the cart. For one, the weight of the products can damage your truck. Chlorine weighs 10 pounds to the gallon — you don’t need an extra 10 pounds bouncing off your truck’s bumper. This extra weight can fatigue the metal and cause cracks.
Secondly, and most important, you’re more likely to be rear-ended than any other form of vehicle accident. Being rear-ended is bad enough without having to have a visit from the hazmat team.