What's in a toolbox? If your fleet offers a tool allowance for technicians instead of a provided set, you must make sure they have the right tools.
Snohomish County Fleet Services in Washington provides a tool allowance for employees and requires its technicians to bring their own tools, typically up to the 1-inch combination wrench and ½-inch drive socket range for automotive technicians. The required tools would be “all the standard tools you need to do probably 90% of the work on a passenger car or light-duty pickup,” said Director/County Fleet Manager Roy Scalf. The fleet provides specialty tools in the tool room.
Examples of tools required in technician toolboxes include:
- ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, and ½-inch-drive socket sets
- full screwdriver sets
- pry bars
- combination wrenches
Midwest City, Okla. provides an allowance for techs to purchase their own tools, but it supplies tools such as ¾-inch socket sets and larger. The city also provides personal protective equipment, mechanics’ gloves, rubber gloves, uniforms, cold weather gear, steel-toed boots, jacks and jack stands, a personal Portacool fan, and electronic hand-held testers.
“We don’t want to make it sound like we’re saying, ‘You can’t work here if you don’t have $50,000 worth of tools.’ That’s definitely not the case,” said Craig Davis, transportation manager.
Do you provide tools or offer a tool allowance? We spoke to fleets about the pros and cons of both methods. Read the full story below.