Introduction: Ute (truck) Storage Using Household Items
A few weeks ago, my wife and I washed and cleaned our vehicles; I was surprised at the amount of stuff under and behind my ute's seats!
I clearly needed some storage system, but there is only limited space in a single cab ute. Fortunately, I remembered seeing a hanging shoe rack somewhere (probably on Pinterest!).
A quick trip to the local Storage Box store produced the shoe organiser, a tray for under the passenger seat, and a serving tray for the lower space under the driver's seat.
Here are the tools I used:
- Cordless drill, drill bits, and screw driver bit
- Hot glue gun
- Self-drilling metal screws
- Wood screws and washers
Here's how I put it all together ...
Step 1: Fitting the Wooden Bar
My Toyota Hilux has a bracket at each end of the cab's rear wall, suitable for screwing a board to.
In this case, I ripped 50mm (2in) off a sheet of 19mm MDF* but you can buy similarly dimensioned timber from your local timber merchant**
The easiest screws to use are the self-drilling metal ones; these don't require a predrilled hole. I used "Wafer head, self-drilling drill point" screws; I had to buy a pack of 50 even though I only needed two...
Although there is not a lot of weight on the wooden bar, it pays to get screws with a thicker shank. I chose screws with a diameter of 10g (guage)*** = 4.8mm diameter.
After cutting the wooden bar to fit right across the ute, I marked and drilled two pilot holes in the wood where the screws need to go.
The self-drilling screws tapped themselves right into the metal brackets with the aid of my cordless drill.
*Medium Density Fibreboard
**e.g. In New Zealand there's Bunnings' Pinetrim 40 x 18mm Untreated Dressing Grade Pine D4S or Mitre10's EcoPine square dressed board 45 x 19mm
Step 2: Adapting the Shoe Organiser
The organiser's pockets come in three rows of four.
Cut each row just below the seam of the pockets above, leaving a flap of about 40mm (1.5 inches), as shown by the red lines in the photo attached.
Fold the cut edge down a third of the flap's height (i.e. fold on the blue line) and glue the fold.
Fold the flap another third (fold on the the pink line), and glue that also.
This seals the cut edge of the fabric to stop it fraying, and makes a three-thickness strip to screw through.
Step 3: Fitting the Organiser Pockets
Screwing straight into the fabric can cause the material to bunch up around the screw, so pre-drill the holes first. I used four holes as the pockets will not be carrying heaving loads, but you may like to try five holes.
Use washers with the screws to help spread the load.
Serendipitously, my three pocket panels fitted exactly along the wooden bar. You can space or overlap them to suit your vehicle.
Step 4: Add Other Storage Items, Like Trays
I carry several rachet ties, various lengths of chain, and other items; these usually end up piled under the seats or in a heap in the passenger's footwell.
The Storage Box shop carries many useful items that can be used here, but after some valuable suggestions from the young woman there, I ended up with a plastic serving tray for the driver's seat, and a low tray (fish bin or tote tray) for the rachet ties under the passenger seat.
Step 5: A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
All small, light objects can go in a pocket, heavier items can go in the trays, bulky items sit on the floor, and some things can hang from the headrests. The sunshield folds up and sits on the easily-accessible shelf made by the wooden bar.
Everything is secure and out of the way!