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Totin' Your Tools


resqman
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Posters periodically mention they carry various tools in their pockets, had kids rummaging through their tool bags, go back to the truck for various speciality tools, etc.

How do you Tote Your Tools to an inspection?

Do you bring just a few essential tools in your pockets, wear a tool belt, drop a tool bag at a central location, or some other hybrid method? Do you use the same method and take the same set of tools when you enter a crawl or attic space?

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I have a certain set of tools that get used at every inspection. Screwdriver, outlet tester, flashlight. These are always in my pocket. I used to keep my tool bag at the front door, but have more than once, found people rummaging through it for one thing or another. So I keep it in my truck and grab things like moisture meters and Co testers as I need them.

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A while back I found a tool belt at Lowes designed for a handyman, and has a perfect place for things like the camera, electrical testers, screwdriver, flashlight, multi function tool, etc. Kind of like this one; http://iss.roostergroup.com/attachments ... -670-P.jpg

It works good for things I use regularly. Everything else stays in the truck until needed.

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I have a Stanley soft bag something like this:

http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp ... +Mouth+Bag

but mine has soft rubber wheels and a telescoping handle as well as the carry handle and shoulder strap. It is not on their website any more. I leave it in the car for the exterior and drop it in a central location for each floor on the interior. In my pockets I carry my camera, flashlite, 2 screwdrivers, stiff blade putty knife, and my Swiss Army Cyber Tool knife that has a small multi bit screw driver on it. I swap out a volt stick for a 3 light tester when I do attics and crawls.

In the bag are: channel locks, cresent wrench, multi bit screw driver with hex, torx, square, and a few security bits, slip joint pliers, small pipe wrench, a good multi meter, IR thermometer, mini binoculars, a compass, tape measure, folding stick rule, a sonic ruler (to distract clients or agents), torpedo level, 16" laser level (also a good distraction), rags, ball cap, and my coveralls. I also add an assortment of hardware as I realize what I should and shouldn'e have with me, like receptacle cover and panel cover screws. I need to find a cheap and easy way to fill openings in panel boxes, it's amazing how many of those I find.

Edit: If I am concerned about people messing with my tools I pop up the handle and roll them with me from room to room.

Tom

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My tool bag stays in the kitchen, most of the time on the counter top. When I'm inside I keep in my pockets an outlet tester, a volt stick, SM moisture meter and my camera. My Ultra Stinger is in my hand most of the time. I really have no need for much more, if I do need something I just head back to the kitchen.

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Toolbelt. Moisture meter in pocket under 3-light tester. I have levels in the car but my I-phone has a rather amazing level app that I use most times. I carry my camera in a pant pocket for protection.

Click to Enlarge
tn_2009728131431_toolbelt.jpg

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Thread drift...

I need to find a cheap and easy way to fill openings in panel boxes, it's amazing how many of those I find.

I report those as a serious safety concern in need of prompt repair but, to me, they are an indication of home-owner wiring and I wouldn't feel right about filling them in and calling them good.

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I report the concern but the last house I did had rodent feces and seed hulls in the panel, and the outer sheathing on the 220 line right next to the opening had been chewed on. Since the rodent wasn't in the panel, it would have been nice to cover the opening with something to keep him out. Maybe a red plug that would show up in a picture to indicate what needs proper fixing, and show a little extra attention to my client's safety. Too bad they would be too small to print my logo on.

Tom

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Ah...I thought you were taking about front cover openings (missing breakers, etc). I'm still not sure that temporary "fixing" of the hole would be a good idea, even if you do report it. Temporary fixes tend to become permanent until something bad happens.

We might want to split this off and discuss it elsewhere. Sorry.

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  • 2 months later...

I use a custom tool belt that i kind of built around what i choose to carry... In the top pocket i keep all my electrical tools. The middle pocket has a lighter, sockets and bits. The large main pocket has my moisture meter pouch sewn into the one corner that i made for its protection, a power screw driver, mirror, wrench, pliars, and a multi screwdriver. The lowest pocket fits my camera and a couple extra panel screws. My flashlight hangs off the front in an altered hammer holder (i had to smash it together a little, it was too wide) Then i also use a little tape measure pocket that i hooked onto the back side of the main pouch for a tape measure (mostly to keep clients busy if they want it), a telescopic magnet, a torpedo level, a small LED flashlight with a laser, and a service wire guage. I also take a 12' Cosco little giant like ladder into the house for goofy attic hatches. 28" 200 lb rated aluminum extension ladder with self levelers. (now wish i had bought a fiberglass one, this one is bouncy at times)In the car i have a ventilator, knee pads, gloves, rain gear and boots, and...tp. I have a tool bag in the car with a few other random things that i rarely use, and back ups of a bunch of the above stuff. I leave the bag in the car. The only time i ever took it in with me i left it there...

i guess i went on a little there...

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  • 7 months later...

Hi all,

As a part time inspector (approx 2/week), I rarely have anything really useful to add to the forum so I'm glad to share what's worked really well for me for about 6 months.

I have a two-part system with a tool pouch (like blazenut but much smaller) and a Stanley Mobile Work Center which is just a toolbox on wheels that has an upper and lower compartment. I've attached a needle-nose plier holster and a hammer holster to the side of it which are a great sheath for my probe extension pole.

I'm able to put on the belt, carry my ladder on left arm and wheel the toolbox behind me and don't have to go back to the truck once for tools. And customers stay out of it since I keep the lid closed and latched when I'm not pulling something out of it.

If you're curious, here's what I'm able to fit in each. I can attach pics if you're interested...

Tool belt: Flashlight, multi-bit screwdriver, water pressure gauge, 3-prong outlet tester, two-wire lighted tester, driver bit set for cordless screwdriver, telescoping mirror, homemade probe.

In the box top half: Mini wet-dry vac, cordless screwdriver, soap.

In the box bottom half: spare batteries and light, moisture meter, hat w/LED's, respirator, socket set, TIF 8800, Tyvek suit, towel and spare rags.

In the pocket: Camera

On the hip: Phone with level (Android, not iPhone thank you very much).

Hoping to add a borescope to the mix soon. I hate not being able to see heat exchangers with winter around the corner...

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I carry two bags into the property, one for tools, one for knee pads, respirator, drop cloth and the like.

A flashlight, outlet tester, tape measure, camera, voice recorder, 6" rule (for picture scale) and two moisture meters go into a Skillers Vest:

yhst-43407113301415_2110_248669454

at the start of the inspection, and other stuff goes in there as required. (I have several of the older version without the Velcro tabs to hold the pockets shut, if I a have to buy new ones I would probably cut them off).

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I carry two bags into the property, one for tools, one for knee pads, respirator, drop cloth and the like.

A flashlight, outlet tester, tape measure, camera, voice recorder, 6" rule (for picture scale) and two moisture meters go into a Skillers Vest:

yhst-43407113301415_2110_248669454

at the start of the inspection, and other stuff goes in there as required. (I have several of the older version without the Velcro tabs to hold the pockets shut, if I a have to buy new ones I would probably cut them off).

I can't imagine inspecting in TN with that vest on. It's 90+ degrees here for about 4 straight months around summer. Is that an issue in IL?

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This time of year, I do love my Cool Vest - I just toss it on over the Skiller when I head into an attic.

The Skiller is actually quite light and thin, I wear it over short-sleeve wicking hiking shirts in the summer, and it's fine.

What I wish I could wear on super-hot days are shorts, but they just don't work for me in nasty city crawl-spaces and attics....

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I travel light and carry but a few hand tools, tape measure and LED flashlight on a small clip-on pouch. All documents are PDF form fill on my tablet PC, signed with a signature pad and remains on the kitchen countertop throughout the inspection. Photos are sometimes synced to the tablet after the inspection for use during the verbal. The only paper involved is the SOP/COE which is required to be given to the client on site. Reports are Emailed direct in PDF form or a hard copy is postal mailed, client's choice.

Marc

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This time of year, I do love my Cool Vest - I just toss it on over the Skiller when I head into an attic.

The Skiller is actually quite light and thin, I wear it over short-sleeve wicking hiking shirts in the summer, and it's fine.

What I wish I could wear on super-hot days are shorts, but they just don't work for me in nasty city crawl-spaces and attics....

I've never seen a cool vest. How does it work? Do you just stick it in the freezer anf then put it on?

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Mine is a ClimaTech CM2000:

CM2000%20Clipboard%20Cut%20Out%20Thumb.jpg

http://www.climatechsafety.com/CM2000.html

but there are several other brands as well.

I have two sets of cooling packs, I just toss them in the cooler along with lunch, snacks and drinks the same way you would an ice-pack, and put them back in the freezer in the garage at the end of the day - in fact I use them as "super ice-packs" even if I'm not taking the vest.

The vest is very effective, and even though it is cooling your torso only, you feel cooler everywhere, and you can can control the cooling rate by adjusting the tightness of the vest with the side webbing (which is adjustable while wearing).

The external vest's mesh is pretty stiff, but IMO that's a small price to to pay for extending my comfortable time in a really hot attic by 3-4X.

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http://www.tessco.com/products/displayP ... ventPage=1

I use this Flambeau step-stool to carry 'spare stuff' (and me if I need a boost). 305lb rating... has a little tray inside, etc. Nice strong latch and has been in service for about 4 years--no problems.. Great for hitting those stains on the ceilings, dealing with panels that are just a bit too high, tall windows.

I walk in with this, the 'geek belt' (pouches with stuff I want on hand like everybody else) and a Sears large(st) pry-bar. The rest of the stuff is in the E-150 Van. (including a 32' ladder on the roof).

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