For most tradespeople, their ute is their workhorse. It carries all the construction supplies, ladders, hose pipes, heavy-duty equipment, gardening equipment, etc. That being said, you want everything that you carry around with you to be safe and sound everywhere you go. For that reason, lockable, heavy-duty truck tool box drawer units have become a popular accessory that helps keep your tools and equipment stowed away, protected from thieves and the effects of nature. But with so many different types of ute tool boxes, how do you find the ideal one that meets your particular needs?
Types of UTE Toolboxes
UTE toolboxes are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, openings and configurations. And then, there’s also the choice between under tray toolboxes and ute tray toolboxes, which sit in or on the tray itself. They can be off-the-shelf or completely customised. The shape and design of the toolbox may vary, but the main focus remains on its functionality. Features can include lockable T-lock handles, rubber seals, powder-coated surface, stay-open door, stainless-steel hinges, etc.
The materials can also vary. Generally, quality truck tool box drawer units are made of aluminium. Some products, such as dual cab tool boxes, can be plastic or even steel. Plastic isn’t as strong as aluminium, whereas steel is strong, but also heavy. As far as colour options go, you’ll mostly find silver, black and white finishes. A tray slide (or drawer) slides in and out from inside the canopy or under the ute’s tray, and it offers a hide-away type of toolbox that’s slightly shallower.
So what’s the best ute tool box for you? The one that suits you and your ute best, of course. Your budget and lifestyle will dictate the configuration and body style, as well as the materials used in the manufacturing of the toolbox. The type of toolbox you get will also depend on the type of ute you have – single cab, dual cab, space cab or cab chassis, and whether, for example, the toolbox will be positioned on the right-hand or left-hand side below the tray as it will need to slot in neatly behind the wheel.
UTE Toolbox Prices
The price of toolboxes can vary greatly, but expect to pay for at least $70 for a basic on-tray toolbox, and over $1000 for a high-quality toolbox. Polyethylene cargo cases cost about $100, galvanised steel ute toolboxes cost about $75, whereas fully-welded aluminium tool boxes cost over $600. The reason aluminium tool boxes are more expensive is that they’re lightweight, yet strong enough to withstand harsh weather and working environments.
Basically, you have to decide how strong you need the toolbox to be. If you need a stronger tool box for utility truck, then you’ll want to look for a thicker unit. Most people would recommend the toolbox to be at least 2.5mm thick. The price can also vary depending on whether the toolbox is dust-, water-proof and its size. The larger the tool box, the more expensive it will be. Custom toolboxes, with ute toolbox drawers and other features will cost a lot more. And depending on the brand, the warranty for a ute toolbox will range from 12 to 36 months.
Doors vs Drawers
Whether you get a ute tool box with drawers, doors or both depends on personal preference. You can go for a cupboard with shelves or drawers inside, a door; or a combination of both. The toolbox can be designed as a big set of drawers, and you should go to a manufacturer that specifically manufacturers or sells truck tool box drawer units, as the list of combinations you can choose from is virtually infinite.
Storage and Load Capacity
Everyone’s needs for tools and equipment varies, and so does the required storage space. A carpenter, for example, will need a larger toolbox than your average homeowner who only has to perform small home improvement repairs. The number of tools you have will also influence your choice, as you’ll want all the tools to be orderly stored inside the toolbox, without causing hurdles in safe closing or moving. Someone who just wants to store a few basic tools for home repairs, such as pliers, screwdrivers and hammers, will only need a small, basic toolbox to meet their needs.
The load capacity is mainly determined by the material the toolbox is made from. As aforementioned, aluminium tool boxes are the most lightweight option, that’s capable of carrying almost anything. Plastic is lighter, but it can break easily if you’re carrying sharp tools inside it. Steel is the strongest out of all materials, but it’s also the heaviest, which can lower the load capacity of your ute substantially. Again, the weight of the toolbox itself, and the load capacity will also depend on its size, so while you want a big enough toolbox to store everything you want it to, you don’t want it to be too big that it compromises your safety.