Jeff Jones of The Technical Department gets his hands on the latest addition to the Van Vault family.
Having owned an original Van Vault for over 15 years, I was interested to hear that the company had introduced a new version of the product – the Van Vault Slider. Although my original Van Vault has stood the test of time, the Van Vault Slider features a modern, innovative design that offers some definite improvements for trade professionals.
Prior to the purchase of my first Van Vault, I’d invested in a new van and, with security in mind, had added all the optional extras from the dealer, such as upgraded locks, alarm system and grills. I then parked the van overnight in a secure car park – it was well-lit and there was a CCTV camera pointed right at it. What I’ve now come to realise is that all those security measures won’t protect you. If someone wants to get into the van, they will. As a result, I was completely cleaned out.
Since then, my Van Vault has been a trusty companion in various works vans, keeping my tools safe. Sadly, this summer, I had my van broken into again – another victim of the disgusting epidemic that has affected so many tradesmen and women over the last few years. Fortunately nothing was taken on this occasion, as all of my gear was safely stowed in my original Van Vault. 15 years old and still performing flawlessly!
One issue that I have had with my original Van Vault is/was its size – I found that it was a bit on the small side. You could get a couple of drills into it and a tester, but that was about it.
The Van Vault Slider caters for this issue and has easily enough space for six average-sized power tool cases, and possibly more. After all, the drawer can take a payload of 300 kilos. I currently have 2 x drills, 1 x labeller and 2 x MFTs stowed away in mine, with plenty of room still spare.
Another issue with the older model was the top opening lid. No matter the van you have, space is always at a premium. No sooner had you packed up your job, leaving plenty stacked on top of the Van Vault, before you’d realise you had missed something and needed access to the Van Vault again. You would then have to move everything off the li, which could be a tedious process.
The Van Vault Slider is a much-improved design. I no longer have to lift the lid to access inside and the top of the slider is non-slip. The Van Vault acts as a handy shelf for other storage boxes, further improving the organisation of the van. Built like an oversized drawer, it has heavy-duty, smooth-action drawer runners so, even with your weighty tools inside, it’s smooth and effortless to pull out. Once the drawer is fully extended, you can easily access all your tools from the top. Plus, it has a reinforced plate over the lock mechanism to give you added peace of mind.
If I had to make any improvements, I would perhaps add some Van Vault stickers in the drawer when it is purchased. This way, these can be displayed clearly on the outside of the van to advertise the fact you’re using a Van Vault! Hopefully, this can deter thieves before they even attempt to break in.
An update – another break-in
Following the submission of this review for PE, my new Van Vault Slider was put to the ultimate test. My van was broken into outside my house, but thanks to the Van Vault Slider all of my gear was protected safe and sound. So, thank you to PE and Van Vault for allowing me to review the product as it’s saved me all the money and hassle that would have resulted from having to replace my tools.
To download product specifications for the Van Vault Slider, click here.