This thread is a bit of a follow-on from the recent ones on vans/racking/tool storage etc...

Obviously everyone's vans carry their 'tools of trade' so to speak (the mowers, blowers, brushes, mixers, wackers etc) - but does your van kit contain all of the other things that you may need?

(This thread is inspired by having to re-rack a friends van to meet safety compliance standards for one of his big contracts)

Do you have:


Yes - we all hope we will never need it and in most cases we won't, however there is no substitute for having one when something does catch fire, albeit it a fuel spill or dry debris on a machine catching fire - just think - a £20 fire extinguisher may save your £5000 machine or van! 


I'm sure we all have cut/scraped/generally injured ourselves while working - how many of us then ended up digging around in the van for the dusty box of plasters or the electrical insulating tape? Obviously if you employ staff then this should always be on your van! 


Probably not one for the sole traders among us - but if you employ staff then all accidents - and their outcome - must be recorded. You can even get these accident books in handy wallets to stop them getting dusty and dirty. 


Imagine - you have done one job, go to the next and find you have accidentally left your ear defenders or gloves or goggles behind - the temptation may be to carry on regardless. Just imagine what the consequences could be though - for what a spare pair of ear defenders/gloves/goggles cost (even if not the same quality as you normally use), then surely its worth having spares? 


Doubtless many of us out there have accidentally chopped a SKY, TV or telephone cable whilst working -  these can normally be quickly and simply repaired with the appropriate joiner (often only a few pounds) - its always worth learning how to fix these and save having to call out an expert or find an appropiate fixing on Friday just before the shops close. Obviously if its live electric -leave it alone!!! 


If, like me sometimes you are forced to park van/trailer in the road or work partially in the road, a few of the mini traffic cones come in quite useful to slow down traffic/temporarily divert pedestrians. I'm not getting into chapter 8 signage and road closures here, but hopefully you can see their uses... 

Things like these items take up very little room in the van if properly and effectively stored - but will always be there when you need them!

That's in addition to the spare spark plugs and appropriate socket , engine oil for top ups, spare bit of recoil rope, replacement mower blade, two stroke oil, chain oil, strimmer line, cable ties, gaffa tape, silicone sealer, no more nails, mobile phone charger, maps, sat nav and all the other handy bits and bobs that normally end up in a work van....

Doubtless others can think of things I may have forgotten?



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  • Good OP, Adam.

    Funnily enough, only popped into LIDL on the way back this afternoon, saw an extinguisher, sure it was under a tenner, ummed and aahhed but left it.

    You're absolutely right though, it does make sense to carry one, will nip back and get one over the w/e.

    The folding, collapsible safety cones are better for storage, in a small van at least.

    Always keep a supply of rennies and paracetemol with the first aid kit.

  • What's the best type of extinguisher to use, and do you store it in the cabin or in the back?

    I always have the pack of baby wipes, plenty eyewash capsules, small rubber window wiper for steamy windscreens among other bits.

  • PRO

    Yes Paul, I had forgotten the jump leads, tow rope, breaker bar, rechargeable latern, sockets and compact trolley jack that live under my front seats - that's in addition to the handy double barrel foot pump - that reminds me WHY does the van, barrow or ride on mower tyre only go down when you are in a rush?

    (Mind you my equipment tyres are all not as bad now they all contain 'Preventaflat' or 'OKO Z7' tyre sealant')

    I also have something similar to one of these:

    Comes in handy for moving dumpy bags of waste out of gardens (with a bit of thick ply on the top), moving heavy pots and bags, shifting furniture and works on any surface it can roll on....

  • PRO

    My extinguisher is one of these Dan:

    Apparently works on all 'classes' of fire, has a integral pressure gauge and a handy fixing bracket too. Mine is fitted to the front edge of my racking, literally just inside the side door within an arms length of outside.

    There was nowhere convenient in the cab to stow it, so it ended up there, supported in the bracket supplied and has never fallen out but is very easy to grab if needed.

    Dan Frazer Gardening said:

    What's the best type of extinguisher to use, and do you store it in the cabin or in the back?

    I always have the pack of baby wipes, plenty eyewash capsules, small rubber window wiper for steamy windscreens among other bits.

  • PRO

    A BIG flask of coffee lol

  • Adam Pilgrim said:


    Save yourself a tenner..... :)

    "1 Kg ABC Fire Extinguisher for most common types of fire, Powder type suitable for home,car,caravan, lightweight aluminium includes mounting bracket and easy to read pressure gauge"

  • Ian you could save even more and just carry a bucket of water and a bucket of sand!

  • maps, copies of insurance/waste carriers license/etc, water proof coat, lighter/matches, tissues, deicer, baseball bat....

  • PRO

    a ball of green string for tyeing up plants / shrubs ..........    essential for any pro-gardener !!  :)

  • If you're thinking of a fire extinguisher the minimum sensible size is a 2kg dry powder, if you are carrying fuel.

    There is no point in having it in the load area, must be in the cab, preferably between the drivers seat and door.

    An engine fire is most likely and if it ain't put out fast you need to bail!


    What about long crow bars, WD40, slicone spray, rust flash spray, cutting fluid, clamps...

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