Whether still in paintless training or a seasoned veteran, you know that a good tool cart is key to quick PDR. I’ve been on a 20 year hunt for the perfect tool cart and some now on the market do come close.
The PDR cart and case combo in the video is inspired by the TDN tool cart, which is an amazing design. Also gleaned some ideas from Bill Brothers and other hail technicians using the Snap-On clip rails for rods.
The form factor of a roll around tool cart is important to me, but when loading for mobile, I really liked the gun case approach. By adding the legs and standing cart upright, you get the best of both worlds.
The first designs required welding, which I did not want to do on a prototype. The pins at corners are not my favorite approach but are secure. If you have better ideas, I would love to hear them. Something along the lines of a card table legs with spring pins would be cool.
The cart can be set up or torn down in 10 minutes or less. I’d like to make this quicker with better fasteners (Dzus?) and am on the hunt for these.
Right now the aluminum tubing has Riv-nuts for embedded fasteners. This is a good system, and eliminates welding, but is expensive to tool up for. There is a low tech approach, but its tedious.
The lid or left side (in standing position) is hinged for storing items behind the longer paintless dent rods. This empty space is required for rod handle width and tight tool grouping. A better hinge system is coming soon.
A complaint I hear about other designs is the excessive empty weight. I tried to avoid this and fully loaded, this PDR cart weighs in at 91 lbs. Getting lighter meant shedding the cart of all tools used for R and I (remove and install) or teardown. Sockets, drills, impact drivers, etc., all are now carried in a separate rolling tool box.
Each box fits nicely in a small car with seats folded down. No one piece is so heavy that I wind up needing back surgery.
Organization has never been my strong suit with my paintless tools. Since each tool has a place with this design, I can tell at a glance if a piece is missing. Knowing I will need to nest it all again to go mobile, forces me to put stuff in its place.
Having the PDR rods mounted in a case means less time spent pulling tools out of bottom tray when its time to setup again.
The injection molded plastic of the SKB case is not super strong, so the aluminum frame was used where possible. This SKB caseis 17 inches wide, but if I were to do it again, I would use the 20 inch wide SKB case.
The Snap-On looped rails come 9, 12 and 17.5 inch widths so more paintless rods could be mounted in a wider box.
What do you think this cart needs to be the ultimate?