Essential Components For Your Work Van

Are you setting up as a tradesperson? Want to build a van that’s ready to cope with work? You’re in the right place!

We have designed and built hundreds of work vans for people from every trade and industry. We’re going to use all that experience to help you design a work van that can cope with whatever you throw at it.

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Work vans

Most vans can cope with basic loads but are usually supplied barebones.

This is good news, as it’s a blank canvas from which you can build out your perfect work van.

We appreciate that we aren’t building a camper conversion or a luxury day van. This is for work.

Yet, with a few small tweaks and some practical storage, you can turn an empty space into something much easier to live with and that delivers more practicality.

All for not a lot of money.

Work van essentials

Here are what we consider some work van essentials:


Most vans come with a bare metal floor. That’s fine if you’re transporting plasterboard or two-by-four, but not so good if you want to keep your van in good condition.

We recommend lining the floor with aluminium checker plate if you’re going to be using the van for building or need a hardwearing floor.

For less intensive use, a hardwearing carpet floor or even wood flooring can help preserve the fabric of the van while delivering a more pleasant surface to work on.

Shelving or storage

Depending on your trade, shelving or safe storage for tools, components or materials is essential.

It helps keep things organised and ensures you know exactly what component is where, which saves time.

It also helps keep items safe, undamaged and ready for use.

Holding materials in place while you’re in the move will save time and money by ensuring they get to the job intact and ready to use. This alone could pay for any storage medium you use!

You’ll also be able to store a lot more in a usable form with organised storage than you would just throwing things in the back of the van.

Shelving and storage don’t have to be complex or expensive. You can use simple magnetic strips or wooden boards with fixings.

Or you could go the whole way and use a specific van storage solution. It’s entirely up to you and your budget.


Some vans come with overhead dome lights or side lights, but not all do. Not all lights will be sufficient either.

Depending on how you’re using your van, some extra task lighting or overhead lighting can make a huge difference. This would be especially true in darker months.

The less time you spend in the cold and dark trying to find something, the faster you can get the job done and be onto the next.


Van insulation will be more useful for some work vans than others. If you use your van as a mobile workshop, adding insulation is a must.

A thin steel skin does not hold heat. That will make working in the van difficult in colder months. It can also cause issues with condensation if you spend time in the van working.

A simple insulated skin can make a huge difference. Use wool or natural fibre or specific van insulation.

You can fit it yourself or have someone do it for you.

You won’t lose much interior space and along with an insulated floor and roof, can make the van a much more pleasant space to work.

Secure storage

Building in secure storage may also be useful for some work vans.

If you transport valuable tools, components or materials, you’ll definitely benefit from secure, lockable storage.

This is one area to spend properly, but wisely. Use specific secure storage that is welded or secured to the fabric of the van and uses secure locking to keep the contents secure.

You should still empty it at night but it will protect your gear when you’re at a job, stopping for lunch or leaving the van for a short while.


Work vans are magnets for thieves looking for a quick score. Tools are expensive and easy to resell, so any work van that stores tools needs to be secure.

Even the newest vans usually only have basic security. If you’re going to be using your van to carry expensive tools or materials, it’s well worth looking at upgrading your security.

Go for Thatcham-approved security devices and you may even see savings on your insurance.

Preparing your work van

Not all of these work van essentials will be necessary for every trade or work use.

The more you transport in your van, the more organised you should be. While it takes time and money to outfit a work van, the benefits are many and can even pay for themselves over time.

The faster you can access tools and materials, the faster you finish the job. Over time, that time savings will more than pay for the investment you make.

All while making your time with the van less hassle and more efficient!

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