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Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:03 pm
by coachgeo
Purchased an 18 foot flat bed Tandem axle trailer with pintle hitch. No deck installed. Wheels BELOW deck height. Will be pulling it when needed with an LMTV1078 (my ambo expo rig posted about in here.)

So I've not had a garage since Gulp.. 2004. Had that about 2 years. Before that........ never had a garage... not even as a kid. Had a 20foot container for a while I sorta planned for use as a shop butttt the economy tanked... and life crashed. Moved and had to leave it behind.

Anyway all along I've collected and inherited tools... used them in my Jeep or Unimog with onboard air or air tank etc. Wood tools, mechanic tools etc.. Right now they are stuffed into a 6x10 shed space haphazardly along with Mower, books, stuff and a motorcycle (for sell Yamaha XT550... replaced it with KLR Diesel non military)

So now.. life has grown back to near normal.. a shop is in future.... till then...... above trailer will get a 12 foot moving box on it as the "Tool Habitat".

Help me set it up ye masters of all things "Shop" Here is some points in decision making

. Live in Southern OH.. there is snow but not much.
. Ground here SUCKS. Lot of clay-ish material, Gets muddy. Things sink in when sitting. Tires spin on grass and slippy terrafirma below.
. Plan to install poor mans awnings (Tarp made) wth screen and/or tarp walls as well.
.... Set up like a camper. Put out awning with or without screen/tarp walled room when doing projects outside. Fold away when not. Lots of citronella candles to fight Mosquitoes.
.... one Screen Tarp room will go off back over what ever remaining portion of bed exist (that area to get decked) and other off passenger side to work under. This side one goes all way to ground level .
.... did you know they make stick on zippers you can make door openings with in Tarps. Will use these.

. Plan to build Shipping container shop in 2 years or so. Either two Containers and roof between along with big sliding barn doors on each end...
..... or one container; with open side having pole barn walls (and a door?). Again sliding Barn doors both ends.

. Thought is to park this tool Habitat as tight to far end of above as possible if go two container shop.. or on walled side if just one container. Appropriate doors installed to keeps access to tools in habitat.
. Tools storage always in Tool Habitat on trailer rather garage/shop is built or not.
.... Won't have to dedicate as much of the garage/shop floor space to tool storage is one thought behind that. As well as:
....... will allow me to be mobile to rescue my own Fubared car or Motorcycle
....... will allow me to be mobile with tools to pay back the world for all the help others have given me over the years. And for remodeling at my job which seems to happen yearly. Will help me remain a valuable asset to the company. AKA...... job security

. Box (tool habitat) going on trailer has doors in back like a shipping container.
. Here is the kicker...... this Habitat on passenger side has more doors like a shipping container as well...... the whole side opens up. pretty much all 12 feet of it. They are two near 6 foot doors but each is hinged in middle as well
.... awesome.... but is it?

kinda like this one.... with two full set of doors instead of three and no cab over portion.
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........ would mean only one wall; driver side, can be dedicated to storage, permanent shop tables etc. without blocking some or all of a door.
........ arranged mostly on one side would put the whole thing heavy on one side if minimally block doors. hmmm... not good?
........ will help a little by putting the 5000 watt 110/220v air cooled diesel GenSet and Medium size Air compressor on tongue. (non silent type so will need "silencing")
....... GenSet removable so can be installed on Expo Truck as well. Multi purpose fits my budget best.

Things to put in Tool Habitat.

...... Drill press (harbor Freight like) Got 220V wire feed welder. Air tools, 110v tools ... no table saw yet. tons of miscellaneous nuts and bolts and other hardware etc. halogen Shop lights, one cheap ass tool drawer cabinet. multitude of metric and SAE wrenches, left / right hand screw drivers, hex and stars drivers, Ornamental Tube bender, Pipe Bender (that weighs a ton) etc etc etc.



Sooooooo. what do you thimk?

? What doors to block (or not)
? mount box full to rear or full to front... or leave some extra space in front or? (Yeah weight distribution is part of this)
? best use of space? what tools near what? what can be in a cabinet and what should always be accessible etc.
? ideas of storing nuts and bolts organized... and not bouncing out all over the floor while in transport etc.

Re: Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:07 pm
by coachgeo
OK.... so this winter came across another Ambo body for good price. Figured it would make a good giant tool box.

ROLLING TOOL BOX

Expense of building my Overland (Ambo boxed) truck (esp. after unexpected Tranny Failure) ate my planned funds to build a garage (don't even have a carport or Lean-too) so building a rolling tool box to overcome this little problem at a 1/4 of the price. Will be so damn happy to get my tools out of all the nooks and cranny's stored in various tiny sheds. Stowed like that has made my tools not accessible. Is like not owning any..... driving me nuts. A cheap car Tarp tent garage thingy will be the Awning/Enclosed space to work under. Will somehow attach this to roll out from side of Ambo Box like an RV Awning.

After looking for the right deal for over a year finally got a Tandem Axle trailer used 17' flat bed trailer. Deck above wheels (not low boy). Had to be that to fit an 8' box on the top. OK price sorta.. needs 4 new tires.... and axle's rims are obsolete.... easy fix..... just more $$$. For something that wont be on the road much..... think I'll just go with semi hard to find obsolete tires to go with Obsolete rims. Comes out more expensive in long run....... mayyyyyybe....... but it is what it is.

Was going to mount to this trailer my already owned Cargo box of back off a 1990's era moving truck..... or one from back of another truck (whichever ends up cheaper to get mounted on trailer) and in process found.. ANOTHER AMBULANCE BOX..... 14foot. Pre-wired for a Generator.. fully shelved with more space to stuff tools than the White House basement. And it is cheaper in the long run than a cargo box. So this is getting mounted to trailer. Then can slowly start packing it with my gear.


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Built a wood frame to simulate the truck chassis that the box would normally sit on. 2 4x6 plus a 2x4 on top and bottom to get it to sit right height. Still had to remove the cooling fan on the AC condenser cause it was getting crushed. It was lowest branch on the tree. Ambo is lag bolted to this wood frame in same spots it was bolted to truck's chassis. This frame sits on the bed of the trailer (that has no deck on it) and will be building steel brackets to lock down more appropriately this summer. Probably will weld these brackets onto the trailer cross members (channel iron) and bolt these to the wood... this will also lock the wood stack together better and give four five direction support (fore-aft, port-starbord, clamp downward the whole thing)

For now this frame is just strapped down. Also for transport strapped shiat of ambo box as well to get it home the one hour trip back in December. Whole adventure of getting it onto trailer and the frame built took about 10 hours. We used a heavy hydraulic wheeled jack under trailer tongue to steer the the trailer between the blocks holding up Ambo box. Only had mm's clearance... was tight but we go her done. Would have been easier if it was not cold as hell and snowing off and on. But it was do it on Xmas break when off work..... or loose the chance to get the box.

Re: Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:09 pm
by coachgeo
Finally some good weather. Starting back to work on this toolbox on wheels and run into a snag. The benches inside have a good bit of water inside them. Could this be built up condensation? Leaks? Most the lights on the sides and back were removed and there is a metal plate covering them but I can tell they are not sealed well at all. But..... there is no water anywhere else though. Rear windows are broke out but covered. Front cab to truck window/crawl thru for now only has a plastic bag taped over it. What to yall think? Was hoping to start clearing out my sheds with tools randomly stuffed everywhere and put into this ambo today to start organizing my tools.

Re: Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:41 pm
by coachgeo
coachgeo wrote:Finally some good weather. Starting back to work on this toolbox on wheels and run into a snag. The benches inside have a good bit of water inside them. Could this be built up condensation? Leaks? Most the lights on the sides and back were removed and there is a metal plate covering them but I can tell they are not sealed well at all. ... What to yall think? ....
Just talked to Roger who sold me the box and damn.. he had leak issue exactly the same even before taking all the lights off. He did silicone the plates he installed... just not the outside edge where noticeable, but next to the actual opening on the body where the light once was. He said he did find while working on it that the dept. that maintained the truck had siliconed the shiat out of the little clearance/running lights at the top. hmmmm..... roof leak? but still weird.. ONLY inside the benches. Well he did say also inside the area where the AC is installed as well.

Re: Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:41 pm
by coachgeo
Snag #2. The outside tall box door on driver side.... none of the keys I got will turn that lock. Is that normal for this door to have a different lock? I only got two keys and they are NOT really any different besides wear, but Neither will turn the lock though. Any suggestions?

Re: Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:53 pm
by coachgeo
coachgeo wrote:Snag #2. The outside tall box door on driver side.... none of the keys I got will turn that lock. ...
:oops: oops.. color me stupid... tried both keys "upside down" Put it in the right way... and it works just fine. duhhh :lol:

Re: Help me build Mobile tool Habitat.. Ambo rescue rig?

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:44 pm
by coachgeo
One door needs little work. Posted on that here