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Fuel for Thought

Finding A Needle In A Haystack

By Greg Huggins
Posted Oct 24th 2019 6:48PM

It is that time of year again. The daylight is shorter and the nights are longer. Some days we may be doing more in the dark than in the light of day. Working in the dark adds another challenge to the task, being able to see what you are actually working on. Many activities can require both hands, leaving none to hold the flashlight. 

Finding the right tool, spare part or the right fluid can be another challenge. It can be like finding a needle in a haystack when you go digging around in the toolboxes. 

Many trucks on the road today will have a toolbox or two or four to carry all the necessary tools and supplies we might need while on the road. Toolboxes large and small often hold many essentials we need yet have one shortcoming...lights.

In the middle of the night, a breakdown or just a minor repair can have you searching for that spare part or the right tool in a dark toolbox full of other gear.

Consider adding some lights. LED strip lighting is very affordable, easy to install with just a few tools and also long lasting and durable.

I recently added some to my toolboxes and the difference is literally night and day.

BEFORE

AFTER


For just a few dollars and a few tools, 12V LED lighting is very simple to install. I also added a door switch to each toolbox so the light comes on when the door is opened and off when it is closed.

Think about the placement of the light and switch

Placing the LED strip above the door (facing in) keeps the light from shining directly in your eyes when you look inside, yet completely illuminates the entire toolbox. It was also a handy place for wiring the door switch. Make sure to use a rubber grommet where the wire exits the toolbox to keep water out and also keep the wire from chaffing on the bare metal. If you plan to use a door activated switch, be sure to get the right one. A note about door switch placement, if placed on the hinge side of the toolbox, it will be out of the way and less prone to damage when you add or remove items. Also, to get the proper spacing to ensure the switch works properly, before drilling to attach it, use 2 sided tape. Take your smart phone and start video recording, place phone in toolbox and close the door. Open the door and view the video to ensure the light goes out. 


See you down the road,

Greg

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