Having a service body is great. Room for plenty of tools and equipment. Only one problem, how to keep the small tools from just getting thrown in a box and left to rattle around in a rusty old tool box? The solution is the custom built tool storage drawers from AG Body We contacted AG Body because they make the best quality, custom tool cabinets in the industry. These units are made from heavy gauge steel with a high durability white powder coat finish..
In order to actually get the drawer unit for our truck, we first had to do a lot of measuring. The design guide from AG Body is very detailed. We first had to determine how many drawers and in what depths we wanted. This, of course, is dependent on the height of the service body compartment as well as deciding if it will installed in the fore or aft compartment because of differing widths. The inset at the bottom of our compartments precluded us from keeping the drawers near the bottom. We came up with a configuration of one 5" deep drawer for large tools such as an impact wrench, drill or the like, and three 3" deep drawers for all our other hand tools. We wanted to have plenty of space at the top for miscellaneous storage as well..
Once all the measurements were finalized and the design guide submitted, it was about three to four weeks and the cabinet arrived, well wrapped, and ready to install. The next big question was which side of the truck to install the unit. We settled on the driver's side since the unit weighs about forty pounds and we already had our batteries mounted on the passenger side. We thought this would help even the weight distribution..
The next step is getting all the components to align. We started by inserting the right side base plate. This was placed as close to the side of the door opening as possible to keep the unit as far from the hinged side as we could so the drawers will fully extend without hitting the door. Using a square, we made sure it was at a right angle with the back of the compartment wall. Then we measured the tool rack to determine the distance for the left upright support and using a dead blow hammer, got it into place. The fit was extremely tight due to the thickness of the rubber seal which we failed to take into account when we measured for the order.
With the uprights in place, we drilled ¼" holes in the bottom of the compartment and used grade eight bolts to secure them. Next, we moved the heavy drawer unit in place and slid it back flush against the rear of the compartment. This is when we noticed that the mounting holes on the drawer unit and the predrilled holes in the uprights were off by an inch or so. We could have slid the drawers forward but then we would loose the support of the compartment wall. So we marked with a sharpie from underneath, onto the drawer unit to show us where to drill (2nd image, right). We drilled a ¼" hole on each side of the drawer unit and then moved it back into place..
Now all that was left was to mark and drill the rear mounting holes in the back of the compartment. This was much harder than we anticipated. To reach the bottom of the unit at the rear, we first opened all of the drawers so we could see where to drill. This is where the problem lies. With the drawers open, it is nearly impossible to reach around to the back of the drawers and mark the location to drill. It almost required the skill of a contortionist. We finally got the holes marked and drilled. All's good, right? Wrong. Because of the angle we were working at to mark the holes, the drawer unit had contorted and one hole was nearly ¼" off.
So now we bolted one side the body and then struggled to reach the other hole now that the drawers were unforgiving. We managed to get the new hole marked and drilled. With some black paint from underneath, no-one will ever know the difference. With the last bolt installed, the tool drawers were finally ready for action. Thanks to AG Body for the spiffy marvel, we will be able to keep our tools handy and safe. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort.