Integrated vehicle equipment

Customised or standard solutions?
Skilled trade businesses benefit significantly from the installation of integrated vehicle equipment in trade vehicles – this allows tools and materials to be transported safely and work to be conducted on site in a more structured and timely manner. However, many points need to be considered when designing your integrated vehicle equipment so that you can work with it seamlessly in the end.

The best results as per efficiency and convenience will of course be achieved with vehicle equipment tailor-made to meet your requirements. However, if you do not have the planning time or budget to shape such a customised solution, standardised starter packages are also available. 

Standard solution

Standard vehicle equipment designed for the most popular trade vehicle models or sizes from a variety of manufacturers is available from bott. At bott, you will, for example, find starter packages which can be supplied directly by certain vehicle dealerships. These can then also become installation partners – this allows you to have your trade vehicle refitted on site or even to order a new vehicle with the integrated vehicle equipment already installed. Standard solutions are especially simple to implement as they require no extra planning.

If, when fitting bott solutions, the need emerges for additional customisation, you can rely on your bott partner to help implement this. However, customisation options are usually limited. Most vehicle manufacturers only offer one standard solution per vehicle size (at bott, for example: S-M-L). The costs of installing the integrated vehicle equipment are always added to the pure material costs.

Designing customised integrated vehicle equipment

Customised solutions have the advantage of being precisely tailored to your requirements and experience with your customer segment. For this reason, it is recommended to go into as much detail as possible at the planning stage in order to gain vehicle equipment that will truly save you time, make work on site easier and guarantees your customers a professional impression.


What kind of vehicle body you use depends primarily on how you wish to use the space in the vehicle, besides for transport. You can find out how to select the perfect trade vehicle here.

If you have already settled on a trade vehicle, the next step is to adapt the equipment that will be integrated in it such that it ensures ideal working and transport conditions. Above all, this includes finding out how often you work in the interior and what kind of work takes place there. A joiner typically needs to be able to carry out simple sawing tasks in the vehicle – e.g. cutting a strip of wood to size. Thus, joiners should plan to have a certain amount of free space available in the vehicle for this sort of work. Painters, on the other hand, rarely work in the vehicle; may, however, require additional storage space for bagged goods. The loading areas thus have a big impact on the loading and unloading process making their positioning within the vehicle very important.

Sliding doors advantage

Also remember that some tradespeople work in pairs. Large sliding doors ensure enough space so that you don't get in each others' way – insofar that the vehicle equipment leaves this entrance area free. A second door also makes loading and unloading easier for multiple people. Furthermore, several doors might also be useful for tradespeople working alone as they generally allow easier access and thus save significant time.

Interior trim
If you are leasing your vehicle, interior protection can maintain the vehicle's condition – and create a more high-quality and tidy appearance at the same time. Depending on the manufacturer, you can also select from a variety of colours and materials. The supplier bott, for example, uses a professional and clean-looking light grey trim which fits well with shelves made from anodised aluminium, thus creating a pleasant appearance and a lighter interior space. Alternatively, there aluminium natural perforated plate wall cladding is available which allows even more of the wall space to be utilised. Interior trims are rarely painted as this is expensive. Besides the trim, there are other customisation options:

Interior lining

If you wish to match the colour of the roof liner and the trim, you can choose to purchase your vehicle without the manufacturer's fittings and refit everything together with the integrated vehicle equipment. Generally it is more cost-efficient to fit a blank vehicle from scratch than to remove standard trims first.

Glass grids

While installing the interior trim, you could fit existing windows with glass grids. This reduces the risk of break-ins and protects the glass from damage from within – if, for example, an object is accidentally knocked against the window in the interior.

Partition wall

When purchasing a new vehicle, you could elect not to have the manufacturer's partition wall and instead fit your own partition element to enable there to be more legroom in the driver's cab – typically, this can free up to 19 cm of additional legroom. Here you also have the option of installing a partition wall with a window to enable you to see into the interior from the cab.

Work benches and shelving

Storage system
Storage systems are the most customisable aspect of vehicle equipment. Depending on your personal preferences, you might like using system cases, drawers, shelves, trays, cupboards, surfaces or hatches. The storage location will vary depending on the work process and size/weight of the materials and tools that need storing. There is also a difference between material that is used in the vehicle and material that is merely transported from place to place and unloaded. Manufacturers of integrated vehicle equipment usually define what your storage requirements are together with you. When doing this, always consider long-term use: What seems practical right now might reduce efficiency in the long term, e.g. through time lost searching, sorting or refitting the vehicle.

Fixed or mobile storage solutions

A general tip for all tradespeople is to create mobile storage solutions for tools and materials so that everything can be taken out quickly. Fixed boxes and drawers should only be used when absolutely necessary – while tools and materials which you always take to the customer are best stored in system boxes. This makes transport from the vehicle to the customer or the site much easier. On the other hand, drawers, as well as integrated boxes and trays, are perfect for an inventory of materials that should always be on hand but are not needed on site every time. Long component trays are, for example, particularly well suited to bulky materials such as telescopic rods, etc. and can be flipped open with one hand – that makes storing and removing them a lot easier.

Suitable racks for your trade

Racking also varies depending on the trade in question. Joiners, for example, often install glass racks to transport doors, for example. For technical reasons, this needs to maintain a clearance of at least 100 mm above the floor. This prevents rails or drawers from being installed below the rack. If you still wish to use the floor space, the rack can also be installed higher up the wall in order to create storage space for extractors, buckets, etc. A clamping system and anti-slip mat ensures that materials stored on the floor can also be transported safely. Joiners also benefit from keeping the overall shelving height as low as possible on one side of the vehicle in order to be able to manoeuvre bulky objects more easily – which not only prevents materials from being damaged but also reduces the physical strain on your body when loading and unloading. In contrast, painters more often transport ladders. In this case it is recommended to install flexible brackets or rail systems to one of the side walls.

Modifications and switching vehicle

What to do
Modifying existing integrated vehicle equipment is straightforward up to a point. While working, many tradespeople might notice, for example, that the shelving height needs to be adjusted. With a suitable service partner, such small adaptations can be implemented without issues and without compromising the load distribution or geometry. In doing this, be aware of the following: Trying to implement such modifications yourself breaches the warranty for almost every manufacturer – those who seek out a certified partner to carry out the modification, however, can continue to make warranty claims. 

If you switch from one trade vehicle to another, professionally manufactured vehicle equipment can often be removed from the old vehicle and refitted in the new one. A certified service partner can check the quality of the equipment for you and replace individual components if required. The new components will receive a new three-year warranty while the old components continue to be covered by the old warranty. In general, such removals and refits should always be carried out by a certified service partner.

Mobile office

An option for tradespeople?
These days, trade vehicles are not just a means of transport but also a storage location for tools and materials as well as serving as a small, mobile office. This mobile workplace is suited to writing contracts, programming systems, producing designs, sending orders, etc. The office might be bigger or smaller depending on how often and in what capacity you use the vehicle in this way.

Office sizes for every purpose

A popular option at bott is the CarOffice for the passenger seat – a desktop surface with integrated storage for office equipment which can be simply removed if need be. If office work typically takes more time, an ergonomic workstation in the loading area is recommended. Further equipment options such as additional heating, air conditioning or a roof window can making working in the vehicle significantly more comfortable in the colder and especially during the hotter months of the year.

Power and light at the workplace

Work without limits!
Several vehicle models can be supplied with enough light through side windows but with other models (or when working in the interior often) it is recommended to directly integrate lighting in the vehicle equipment. Even if there are windows, light sources in the interior ensure that lighting is not dependent on the weather. For this reason, installing lights is worth doing for all tradespeople who often work in the vehicle interior – this is important for the quality of the work as well as the occupational safety of the worker. Even if you only use the vehicle for transport, LED strips above drawers, for example, ensure that you can find tools more quickly in poor lighting conditions.

Work without limits!

Power supply

Think about whether you need light in the trade vehicle, and thus a power supply, early on at the design stage. In order to charge cordless tools or to provide a power supply for corded tools, a 230 V power supply is available as standard. Fitting a power inverter can turn the direct current from the vehicle battery into alternating current. If more power is required, the power supply can also be implemented with 12 V machines or a 230 V external power supply.

Power output

Machines with an output of up to 1000 W can be operated relatively simply in this way – everything that goes beyond this requires additional measures. Outputs of up to 2400 W (equivalent to average mains power in a house), can be operated with power inverters. Anything with a greater output requires customised special solutions. A second battery is almost always sensible to have if you intend to use electric machines in the vehicle interior or in the immediate area.

Self-sufficient working

During the design stage of the integrated vehicle interior, analyse which machines you use how often and with what power output in order to figure out which solution is ideal for you. From a practical perspective, all solutions can be implemented. Consider that it is always of benefit to be able to work in the vehicle self-sufficiently – because not every work environment will have a power supply you can connect machines to. Thus use the vehicle battery or additional batteries often and charge them over night so they are fully charged and ready for the working day in the morning.

Load safety and fire protection

Nothing beats safety!
Last but not least, you need to consider the safety of your specific vehicle equipment. A good mobile workshop set-up includes many options and accessories in order to maximise order, efficiency and safety:

•  Ladders can be attached to the roof using rails which frees up more space on the sides for shelving.
•  Containers can be secured in place in hatches or in trays using anti-slip mats and belt systems.
•  Large paint buckets or bagged goods can be safely secured to the floor using a rail system and stretch nets or lashing straps.
Glass racks with protective profiles enable the safe transport of bulky flat building components. Alternatively, tension rods can be used which can be tensioned along rails as required. With bott, rods currently not in use can be stored in a long component tray or special tension rod holder. If you are transporting doors and panels, it is recommended to use at least two tension rods, and one load securing mat.

Manufacturers of integrated vehicle equipment also often directly offer health and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets or first aid kits. At the design stage, the brackets for these should be placed such that they are easy to reach in an emergency and are not blocked by cases or boxes.