5 Items to Keep in Your Contracting Business Vehicle

If you’re like a lot of contractors, you’ll have a vehicle that you often use for business. Having everything you need makes life easier. Here are five things to put inside the vehicle, to keep your workflow running smoothly and safely.

Tools and Materials
If you do most of your work at client sites, you will need to bring a variety of tools and materials with you. Big equipment and supplies may be shipped directly to the location, but the things that you bring from your workspace will probably go with you. Install a storage system that allows you to keep the most common tools and materials in your vehicle. A checklist will make it easy to confirm that you have everything before you leave. Make sure to create an inventory of materials, and update it as you use them. That way, you don’t have to worry about arriving to the client site and realizing that you don’t have what you need.

Extra Documentation
If you’re not doing virtually everything electronically these days, you’ll need extra forms. You can’t always anticipate when you will need to write out an estimate by hand, or create a contract for a client to sign. Even if you plan to take most of your work back to your business for preparing and sending out, it’s a good idea to have a way to take notes on the site. Being able to explain what you’re talking about might require you to draw it out, and it will be a lot easier that way.

Record-Keeping System
Having a way to keep track of your records is important, particularly if you go to multiple client sites every day. It’s easy to lose a copy of an estimate, particularly if you do it in writing. Choose a filing system that you can grab and go, that won’t take up too much space in your vehicle. Better yet, consider upgrading to an electronic filing system that you can access from a laptop or other device. If you do plan to work with an electronic system for estimates, payments and other records, make sure that you have Internet access wherever you go. A mobile hotspot is usually sufficient, but it’s not always enough.

Vehicle Maintenance
One of the best places to keep the maintenance tools for your vehicle is in your vehicle. Make sure that you have all the items you need for regular upkeep, such as:

  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Road hazard cones
  • Jumper cables
  • Cleaning supplies

Many contracting business owners practically live out of their vehicles during the day, which means that they can get pretty dirty by the end. Of course, the last thing that you want is to show up to a client site with a huge mess. Keep a small quantity of cleaning supplies, especially single-use cleaning wipes and garbage bags. That gives you an easy way to tidy up in a hurry, without leaving a lot of used supplies behind.

Safety Equipment and Supplies
It’s hard to tell when you’re going to get caught in some kind of weather-related disaster. As a general rule, you should always plan to keep a handful of safety supplies in case of an emergency. These include:

  • First aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Water bottles
  • Shelf-stable food
  • Battery-operated radio with spare batteries
  • Spare phone charger

Remember that if you ever get stuck in your vehicle and you’re unable to leave it during very hot or very cold weather, your best bet is to stay put and call for help. The vehicle provides protection that you won’t have if you get lost trying to get to safety.

Working out of your construction vehicle can be a great idea, as long as you have everything you need. For more tips on starting a contracting business, contact CSLS today!

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.