the new toolboxes

its a fact that everyone is sick of the new style of wont fit in the sidebins of the warrior,the tools don't fit in the foam inserts and it doesnt withstand getting thrown around like the old style metal ones.does anyone know why the new style came out in the first place?seems to me that someone got their pocket lined somewhere along the line.

if enough complaints go up the line surely someone will listen and hopefully we'll get these things phased out and bring in the old style of box,which had nothing wrong with it.

anyone any thoughts?
If your toolie/tech storeman is a good egg he'll keep back the old metal ones for ya, for getting in the bins. I've found the sparky/ece long ones much better tho' pack a whole heap more in there. The tool rolls arent a bad way of keeping an eye on everything too.
We sent one of our Armrs over with the Coffinesque one we get issued now to the very old and bold VM Sgt in his fitter sect to ask where he could 'stow' his little box on the 12. He nearly had a chest grabber!
I met a Tiffy who was part of a group of who put forward the design for the new toolbox. The blame falls directly at our own doorstep!

P.S. he said the box's were crap as well!
As WSS IPT said recently, there's been one (1) EFR raised on the boxes.

If you don't think the box is up to it, fill in an EFR - takes 2 minutes on FEMIS, including emailing it.

I quite like the look of them, and they seem to suit the folks in my LAD.
Think the design had something to do with making it easier to squat to p!ss for the 'B'(raindead) Mechs
The Signals have these boxes too.

I think the new boxes are pants. You can't get anything else in apart from issued tools, and you can't really put any spares in their either, ie fuses or plugs. As a tech I use loop back plugs on a daily basis, but guess what, no space for them.

The new boxes are poorly thought out and hard to carry (due to handle positions not weight) also highly insecure as you can prise them open no drama. They take up loads of space for very little equipment, does a solid steel spanner need that kind of foam protection?

Would have been better to keep the old ones or use the plastic curver ones (dirt cheap and quite hard wearing) with lots of space for extras.

Why were they changed any way does any one know?
I was issued a tool bag on telic, a bit awkward to find the tool you want but still miles better than the "coolbox."
I'm surprised it’s taken this long for somebody to highlight the problems with this box. Should have been done sooner. It's also sad that such poor quality (and expensive) equipment still manages to get through the DLO procurement process.

Basically the box is a dog. An embarrassment. Everyone knows that. Unfortunately, as Nige stated, we must EFR the box at every opportunity. It’s the only way WSS IPT will admit that they got it wrong and act to replace it asap.

The box was produced in various guises and to be honest the larger ‘supplementary’ ones aren’t too bad. They were issued to RE and R Signals too. These were mainly the larger 0.5m and 1m boxes. However, their boxes came complete with inserts and tools, not the bodged half hearted ‘upgrades’ the VM world got. The VM Sup was basically a case of removing inserts from metal to plastic box, backload metal box – job done. The VM basic is another story.

At the time, the IPT’s policy was to introduce all the new plastic boxes with foam inserts. That’s great for a Sup box which is used occasionally and is large enough to accommodate foam inserts, but not for a small VM basic box with lots of tools and which is used on a regular basis. Selective units were canvassed using a questionnaire to see which tools should be included in the box. This included Armoured as well as B Veh units. General consensus was that the range of tools should stay the same with small amendments to the CES, i.e. remove the crappy sharpening stone.

So, armed with this information, the IPT said to their supplier “here’s a load of tools, make a box with inserts and make the tools fit!” This they did, hence the abomination we now call the VM basic materialised. Now at this stage you would think the Project Officer or whoever was responsible at the IPT would have thought that with such a new and untested product it would have been a good idea to trial it and get things right before acceptance into service – wrong! Green light was given for the production line to crank up and spew forth hundreds of these crappy boxes. The rest is history as they say.

Now, it’s all very well saying the box is pants, but what are the reasons? Well I’m now on a roll so here goes.

a. Because the tool list was more or less the same between old and new boxes, the IPT decided on purely financial grounds to only issue the new box with empty inserts. Just transfer the tools – simple. Sounds ok in principle as you would have otherwise ended up scrapping thousands of serviceable tools if the old boxes were back loaded complete to CES. However, most of the old tools didn’t fit! Reason – the supplier used the latest tools available to make the inserts. So a 13mm spanner procured today may be 10mm long, however the same spanner under the same NSN procured 5 years ago may have been 12mm long. Different manufacturer, different spanner but does the same job at the end of the day. Unfortunately Cfn Bloggs now has to get his Stanley knife out and hack a chunk out of the insert to make his old spanner fit. Not ideal when he has to butcher most of the inserts to make his tools fit and then rush down to the Med centre to get the end of his thumb sewn back on.

b. Ergonomically the box is crap. Picture the scene: VM told to replace starter motor on VOR TUM on Vehicle Park. VM staggers over to truck with starter motor under one arm and toolbox in other. The old box was relatively easy to carry using one hand. The new one is a bitch. To do the job, the VM has to remove most, if not all of the trays because the tools he needs are spread throughout the trays. This wastes time. He is then working with five or six trays splattered all over the ground in the dust or in a puddle. If it’s raining, the trays being foam will absorb lots of water and hang on to it. Rust quickly sets in as the tools ‘sweat’ in wet inserts.

c. The quality control is appalling. The foam insert ‘glued’ to the lid keeps falling out because its stuck there with double sided ‘un’sticky tape. If it does remain in place, the tools (hacksaw etc) keep falling out when the lids opened. Arrrrgh! What was wrong with Velcro straps? The hasp will pull off with ease, complete with locked padlock. A large batch was issued with no retaining washers in place to secure the pop rivets holding the hasp. I think this was fixed eventually. The thickness of plastic seems to vary from batch to batch. That means you can’t stand or even site on some boxes. The IPT will tell us that it wasn’t designed for that, but let’s get real, nether was the old box and it could put up with much greater abuse. That stupid aluminium sealing lip will distort with the slightest bang – if it doesn’t come distorted from new. That’s what you get when you pull a load of Albanian asylum seekers off the street to work on the production line for 50p an hour. Did you know the box is made in Manchester? How embarrassing for British design & manufacturing. If you took a walk down Blacbush market and spend a fiver, you could get a robust toolbox built in China with greater quality control. And that’s a fact. You don’t need any expensive pish like Snap-on or Facom, just a good sturdy metal box.

d. Cost. “Fecking how much did you say?” At £200 a box (without tools!), it’s horrendously expensive for what you get. This is because it’s a bespoke design, which not only costs more but the manufacturing process is extremely time consuming. Have a look at the box. Look at all those pop rivets, and welded aluminium extrusions. No automation here I’m afraid. Some muppet has to build each box – badly!

e. Size & shape. It looks like an overblown girlies vanity case. That’s embarrassing, coz you look a chod when you’re carrying one. More importantly, and as previously mentioned, it doesn’t fit it the stowage places the old box went. WR 512/513 for example.

All this could have been sorted out if the box had been trialled properly. How sad.

On a positive note (the only one). A monthly tool check now takes nano seconds. Splendid, it makes it all seem worthwhile now I can hear you say. I’m going to disappoint you here also. An old tool check, whether it was done on a stencilled 6ft table or on the shop floor meant you got each tool out and looked at it. If it was defective, or showed signs of wear, it could be replaced. It could also be cleaned and oiled if necessary. What happens now? Lid up, insets out, quick squint, yes their all there, job done.

I suspect we may only get out of this mess when the VE trade eventually starts to disappear across to the VM side in sufficient numbers. That means the contents of the box will have to be reviewed to take account of the sparky jobs VMs will now have to undertake. This may be a convenient face saving exercise for the IPT as it will allow then to replace the box sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I would keep the pressure on. Keep badgering your ASM/OC to inform the chain officially about the box’s failings and don’t forget to EFR the damn thing into extinction.

Rant over.
Just found out that they only ordered enough boxes for TA Armourers and not for NRPS. The boss has my box and I get to keep my Handbag.

Happy very much, after I saw the size of the s0dding thing. :D
DLO don't procure DPA do.
sparky8 said:
DLO don't procure DPA do.
Are you trying to say that the DPA procured the Toolboxes or that the DLO don't procure anything?
WSS (DLO) is a 'trough life' IPT. That means they procure, support and eventually dispose of the kit. The new Merkle In Field Welder (replacement for Colt / Stallion) is another example of a piece of kit bought by, and supported by WSS IPT. This, however, is a good piece of kit. Mind you, it's German so it should be.
Also find it amazing that they are still able to procure the crappiest ratchets ever!!!!!!! How annoying when your in a tight spot and it keeps changing direction, (so I'm told as all I do is shine my ass these days and deny all knowledge of Cheiftan). Nige is right though, if we don't flag it up the system see's it as a rosy garden.
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