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Eden Lights
06-27-2007, 01:34 AM
Don't worry I am not trying to sell you anything, but as we all get busier from all this great information, how will we get it all done? Anyone interested in talking about their installation procedure in detail? Yes we all use different fixtures, connectors, and etc. but the general procedure is the same. Tomorrow take time to count how many times you walk to the truck? How much time do you waste looking for something? Are there tools you need to make you more efficient, how much waste do you produce: wire, connectors, and etc. Many will call this procedure a waste of time and resources, but a 40% improvement is very common. Step one is to pull everything off the truck, ebay or trash anything that is not needed, Spread out the remaining items, make a place for everything, most used items should be the easiest to get to and be placed as close to the place needed. Inventory all consumables and establish a min/max quality on hand to prevent supply house trips. Color code, label, paint, group, and etc everything. Yes all this is common sense, but we just never follow through. Many will call this Kiazan, High Performance work team, Lean, and etc.

Pro-Scapes
06-27-2007, 09:37 AM
I think Mike G and others have showed us that being organized will greatly increase effeciency. Having a procedure with the flexability is important.

For jobs above 25 lights I usually take a laborer with me. On thoes jobs I instruct them to start digging where needed imediatly on arrival.

I hang the transformer 1st usually so the laborer can dig out my base and irrigation hub at the bottom of the trans.

I then place all lights in thier final locations (I like to assemble lights at home if possible) this allows me to pin point my hubs. I quick code wires with just a touch of tape and a note pad in my pocket.

I then either begin digging fixture wires in (I like to leave 1-2 ft of wire at the fixture) or having my laborer do it. I also at this time execute any bores or sidewalk punches that are needed. to get my lines to my hubs.

Any place there is multiple wires I usually bundle them.

myself or the laborer continue to bury all the fixtures and main feeds. Once burial is complete we begin stripping wires and twisting hub connections together . Then we move on to the trans connections. I always figure up the rough voltage tap ahead of time an test it at the fixture under load. I adjust accordingly. I also test the voltage at all taps and record my findings then check them again once the trans is fully loaded

Make all final connections at trans.. take readings.. Solder and grease tube hubs... clean up. collect a check and hit the road. We return that evening (sometimes still there) to adjust and view the job.

We are also experimenting with above ground installs again on jobs we wouldnt normally finish in a day. We kind of make a wiring harness for the job and put everything together with (bundled wires) reg wire nuts. Get everything hooked up and adjusted then return the next day to bury the system. This has worked well for clients who doubt our design or think they know more. Just tell them you will above ground it and let them see it before you bury it.

I definatly still need to refine this. My best yet is 30 fixtures in a day solo or 24 fixtures in 4 hours. Sandy soil... longest run was 38 ft... all lines followed same route... 4 hubs.

David Gretzmier
06-27-2007, 11:16 AM
Things to improve efficiency that I need to do:

develop a tool belt system like electricians and carpenters wear- I really only use strippers, cutters, screwdriver, connectors, rubber mallet, and bulbs. instead of carrying around a tool kit, I need to wear it.

develop a better trailer and storage inventory system. I try to stock all bulbs I need, and I grab a 60 degree 35 watter and...I'm out? when did that happen? and those can't be bought local. do I stop or compromise effect with a 38 degree and switch out later?

clean my truck. It is a disaster in there. I was cleaning the other day and found a check. a CHECK ! 36 bucks from my insurance dividend just laying around in there. a clean workspace is a more efficient one, but I live in that thing.

If I did those three things, I could easily improve my times by 40%.

pshields
06-27-2007, 01:56 PM
As a non contractor I got fried for asking a question in this forum but improving processes is something I know about. I have lead kaizen events in our company. What we do relates to the manufacturing floor. For tools we use a shadow board. It has the outline of each tool on it or even a foam cutout so at a glance you know what tools are missing. For parts you can use a two bin system. I am not sure you would have enough room in your trucks but the concept is that there are two bins of everything. Usage and the time it takes to replace the parts determines the bin quantity. When a bin is empty you would take it back to your shop and reorder. Bins usually have enough info on it to order without looking anything up. Empty bins should stay together in the shop so you can visually see what is waiting to be filled.
Kaizen events are great for finding waste in a process. You first map the current process. That means drawing boxes to represent each step and what happens at that step and what is needed. Everything needs to be included and has to be accurate. You then determine the value added steps. Then you brainstorm on how to eliminate everything else. You then create a new map of what the new process should be. If you have people that work for you it is very important that they are involved in the process. If they are the ones that do it every day, they will know best how to improve the process. We have had a lot of success with this process.

Turf Troll
06-27-2007, 06:23 PM
hey PShields did you finish your lighting project ?

Mike M
06-27-2007, 08:52 PM
Since I'm on the opposite end of the workload spectrum from you guys, I find myself looking to add an extra 40% redundancy to my jobs so I can milk-out my on-site exposure. Maybe someone will see me working and ask for a business card.

NightScenes
06-27-2007, 11:19 PM
Since I'm on the opposite end of the workload spectrum from you guys, I find myself looking to add an extra 40% redundancy to my jobs so I can milk-out my on-site exposure. Maybe someone will see me working and ask for a business card.

Why not finish as soon as possible and then go out and meet people. Don't wait for them to come to you.

High Performance Lighting
06-27-2007, 11:30 PM
Why not finish as soon as possible and then go out and meet people. Don't wait for them to come to you.

Because when you approach people with the intent to solicite business it creates an appearance that you are desperate , really need the work and are immediately negotiating from a position of weakness. If you "magnatize" your marketing efforts so people seek you out and contact you and already have a predisposition to buy. Then you are negotiating from a position of strength and have a much better chance of closing a project which will yield higher profit margins. I also find that these people are often much more pleasant to deal with.

David Gretzmier
06-28-2007, 01:58 AM
I will be in a great neighborhood next week, and I'll be stretching that one out to give myself and trailer as much exposure in the neighborhood as possible. I find that when I "push" myself at local building trade shows, or through networking events, I feel like a salesman.

But when I get calls from referrals, or from yellow page advertising, the trailer, signs, etc, I feel like a professional.

High Performance Lighting
06-28-2007, 02:11 AM
I will be in a great neighborhood next week, and I'll be stretching that one out to give myself and trailer as much exposure in the neighborhood as possible. I find that when I "push" myself at local building trade shows, or through networking events, I feel like a salesman.

But when I get calls from referrals, or from yellow page advertising, the trailer, signs, etc, I feel like a professional.

That's what I'm saying Dave and it makes a huge difference.

Pro-Scapes
06-28-2007, 09:56 AM
I will be in a great neighborhood next week, and I'll be stretching that one out to give myself and trailer as much exposure in the neighborhood as possible. I find that when I "push" myself at local building trade shows, or through networking events, I feel like a salesman.

But when I get calls from referrals, or from yellow page advertising, the trailer, signs, etc, I feel like a professional.

I know this feeling all too well. We did a local garden show and I spoke with every exibitor there outlining our refferal program... this did NOTHING for business so far but it did create awareness for us somewhat. I felt like I was a desperate housewife trying to get a piece of action. I knew my work could blow away any other landscape firm there. There was alot of intrest in our work and we did get a call from one landscaper wanting us to install a large system for them but never heard back once we gave the proposal. I really got the sick feeling they took our proposal and hit the client with it then did it themselves!

NightLightingFX
06-29-2007, 01:01 PM
Hi guys,
Ned here from Nigh Lighting FX, what I have found to help me in efficiency is to carry a "Leatherman - Blast" on my belt at all times. The Leatherman can do anything you need out in the field cut wire, screwdriver, and whatever else. Since I have had my Leatherman I never feel the frustration of having to make a special trip to get the right tool. I also rarely carry a bulky tool belt anymore. Usually all I need is a screw driver, wire strippers, and my Leatherman and I can accomplish most unexpected task out in the field.
~Ned

Chris J
06-29-2007, 03:52 PM
Years ago I worked as a selector at a major grocery store warehouse. We had to pull so many cases per hour, and we received our pay grades based on our average piece count per hour. This position taught me early on about making the most out of each step, wasting no time on anything. When we are on jobsites nowadays, I find myself always looking for time savers. If I have to go back to the truck to get something, I'll take something with me that we are finished with (like a spool of wire, or some tools). Always making sure that each step is accounted for.
I don't know how fast or slow we are, and I am certainly not trying hurry things and make mistakes, but in reading some of these posts we must be doing something right. It is very rare that a job will take us more than 6 hours with myself and one helper. This would be up to about 35-40 lights.
We did a 16 light install Wednesday in 1hr 30min. (I love those small jobs in the hot months) We finished up too quickly for my taste though. Sometimes the consumer doesn't feel too good about things when the job is so quick.

Pro-Scapes
06-29-2007, 07:14 PM
Yeah we try not to over rush jobs...I could of done a couple of jobs alot faster this past winter. I naturally turn into a snail in this summer heat and humidity so no worries there.

Ya know what would be slick..Something that opened the trench and tucked the wires in one kick. Mike G says he has propriety tooling. I wonder if we could get him to sell the tooling since he still has his fixtures to set him apart.

I been trying to think of a way to do this but cant come up with anything that wouldnt be impossible to kick or something that wont damage the wires. I really take pride in having near zero property disturbane during installs. Seen a guy with a ditch witch last week to replace a bad irrigation wire. All of 100 ft. I could of dug that before he had his machine off the trailer

High Performance Lighting
06-29-2007, 10:09 PM
Things to improve efficiency that I need to do:

develop a tool belt system like electricians and carpenters wear- I really only use strippers, cutters, screwdriver, connectors, rubber mallet, and bulbs. instead of carrying around a tool kit, I need to wear it.

develop a better trailer and storage inventory system. I try to stock all bulbs I need, and I grab a 60 degree 35 watter and...I'm out? when did that happen? and those can't be bought local. do I stop or compromise effect with a 38 degree and switch out later?

clean my truck. It is a disaster in there. I was cleaning the other day and found a check. a CHECK ! 36 bucks from my insurance dividend just laying around in there. a clean workspace is a more efficient one, but I live in that thing.

If I did those three things, I could easily improve my times by 40%.

Dave,:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: do you realize that when you tow your trailer it costs you more in gas? How is this figured into your $4,000 a yr savings with your sprinter van?

David Gretzmier
06-29-2007, 10:45 PM
I tow a trailer with my f-150, and get about 12 mpg. I never said I had a sprinter, but said the next rig to buy will be the most fuel efficient out there.

compare costs- 12 mpg at 3 bucks a gallon, I actually went 25000 miles last year on my f-150, that's about 2000 gallons, or 6 grand in dough. the sprinter I am looking at is the one with 14 foot behind the seats, it gets 24-27 mpg depending on your foot. the 4000 a year fuel savings certainly will help make the payment. over the expected 250,000 mile life of the rig, the fuel savings alone over gas will BUY the rig. that is a statistic too large to ignore.

If you compare it to a thirstier rig like yours, or if gas goes up, the payoff goes quicker. can't argue the math. by the way, you can get a sprinter with a box like yours with external doors, but they do drink a little more fuel. how much depends on weight/height of box.

High Performance Lighting
06-29-2007, 11:10 PM
I tow a trailer with my f-150, and get about 12 mpg. I never said I had a sprinter, but said the next rig to buy will be the most fuel efficient out there.

compare costs- 12 mpg at 3 bucks a gallon, I actually went 25000 miles last year on my f-150, that's about 2000 gallons, or 6 grand in dough. the sprinter I am looking at is the one with 14 foot behind the seats, it gets 24-27 mpg depending on your foot. the 4000 a year fuel savings certainly will help make the payment. over the expected 250,000 mile life of the rig, the fuel savings alone over gas will BUY the rig. that is a statistic too large to ignore.

If you compare it to a thirstier rig like yours, or if gas goes up, the payoff goes quicker. can't argue the math. by the way, you can get a sprinter with a box like yours with external doors, but they do drink a little more fuel. how much depends on weight/height of box.

Dave I saw a sprinter van today that was being used for a mobile dog cleaning business. The sprinter has got to quite possible be one of the ugliest vehicles I've ever seen. The diesel sounded like a tin can rattling going down the road. Mercedes should be ashamed. What a detriment to the brand. Thanks for your concerns about my gas bills but I think I'll stick with what I've got. I'm very happy with it and I prefer to buy American trucks :usflag: :usflag: :usflag: :usflag: :usflag: . If it makes you feel any better the company that manufactured the body of my truck (Supreme) also does the bodies on Fed ex's box delivery trucks.

Pro-Scapes
06-30-2007, 12:40 AM
any more pics of the body and layout of the inside of your truck ?

High Performance Lighting
06-30-2007, 01:09 AM
any more pics of the body and layout of the inside of your truck ?


Billy, I'd rather not lay it open for more criticism from Dave.

High Performance Lighting
06-30-2007, 01:33 AM
any more pics of the body and layout of the inside of your truck ?


Billy, best I could do on such short notice is my backyard swimming pool

Mike M
06-30-2007, 08:29 AM
Nice. By the way, is that a hot tub with a blue filter on it? That's a cool idea. I Never thought about blue filters on pool areas. Then again, there are a lot of things I never thought about.

I was wondering if Dave has different vehicle needs than landscape lights and accessories, since he does all those Christmas light installations. Chris has been using his pick up for lighting, and I think that will work well for me, throw my bag of tools and boxes of fixtures in the cab or in a tool box, throw my shovels on a bed-liner, have a hitch for my landscape trailer. The tool box could be split, lighting & electrical tools on the right, landscape equipment materials/tools on the left. Ladder rack on top. Bulbs and lenses on a rack in my garage. White or black F-150 4x2? Oh, I almost forgot, southern style very large Gatorade dispensor mounted on truck. And a first aid kit handy for heatstroke. LOL.

Mike

High Performance Lighting
06-30-2007, 09:20 AM
Nice. By the way, is that a hot tub with a blue filter on it? That's a cool idea. I Never thought about blue filters on pool areas. Then again, there are a lot of things I never thought about.

I was wondering if Dave has different vehicle needs than landscape lights and accessories, since he does all those Christmas light installations. Chris has been using his pick up for lighting, and I think that will work well for me, throw my bag of tools and boxes of fixtures in the cab or in a tool box, throw my shovels on a bed-liner, have a hitch for my landscape trailer. The tool box could be split, lighting & electrical tools on the right, landscape equipment materials/tools on the left. Ladder rack on top. Bulbs and lenses on a rack in my garage. White or black F-150 4x2? Oh, I almost forgot, southern style very large Gatorade dispensor mounted on truck. And a first aid kit handy for heatstroke. LOL.

Mike

Those aren't filters. It's the Jandy color wheel pool and spa lights. You can change to white, pink, purple , blue or green color from the jandy remote controller. White and blue look the best I think.
For many years I operated with an F-250 and a 6X10 enclosed trailer. I still have the set up as a backup. The trailer just became too much of a hassle. There are alot of hills and very narrow streets in older parts of Los Angeles (ie Hollywood Hills) . That and HOA developments which prohibit parking of the trailer overnight on the job site made it an inpractical set up.

Pro-Scapes
06-30-2007, 10:02 AM
I think its a real shame that people woud critique out of jealousy. Its different to offer up ones own opinion but when someone who has done the trial and errors for you is offering up sound advice we should sit and listen...take note and think about if implementing any of it would work for us.

I respect your decision not to post it in public. Nice back yard. We are planning ours now and it will mimic a rustic island resort complete with thatch hut and shower and an outdoor cabana with bar and lounging area.

High Performance Lighting
06-30-2007, 10:20 AM
I think its a real shame that people woud critique out of jealousy. Its different to offer up ones own opinion but when someone who has done the trial and errors for you is offering up sound advice we should sit and listen...take note and think about if implementing any of it would work for us.

I respect your decision not to post it in public. Nice back yard. We are planning ours now and it will mimic a rustic island resort complete with thatch hut and shower and an outdoor cabana with bar and lounging area.

I do wonder the motivation sometimes too Billy. Let me knock this guy down to make myself feel better mindset. I was surprised at the criticism of a digital camera (overkill?) . I'm even more surprised at an attack on a work vehicle because it consumes too much gas in their opinion. I don't appreciate it when someone tries to impose their values on me:nono: . If it's not for them then fine. I think you said it in one of the threads that if everyone had the same tastes then things would be pretty dull. This guy has an agenda of saving the environment. Me I'm not as deep. I'm just trying to make a living putting in some lights. Life's complicated enough. Leave me alone would ya.;)

Pro-Scapes
06-30-2007, 10:32 AM
while your camera is a good example of something that doesnt work for me right now I do need to organize better this early in the game and nail down procedures. I think being well organized and having everything in line will in itself greatly reduce installation times. I often find myself having to run out for something I forgot to bring. If I could have it all organized so I could see whats missing in a heartbeat I think that in itself would help.

I found a slick new tool caddy I think I am going to get. I been using an electricans bag. I dont like the idea of a belt during installation. Its too cumbersome and restricting for me. I will soon be looking for a new enclosed trailer that I can line with parts bins and holders for tooling as well as racks for wire and fixtures all with thier specific place. Looking at 6x14

Mike M
06-30-2007, 05:11 PM
I found a slick new tool caddy I think I am going to get. I been using an electricans bag.

Of course my predictable response: show an image!

I like the open-tray/box idea like flire fly and Mike G., I picked up a much larger electrician's style bag. It has two main sides, and stays open. I'm so ghetto and such a beginner, my Jeep has all these cardboard boxes with the lids cut off so I can easily see what's in them.

Mike M

Pro-Scapes
06-30-2007, 05:54 PM
This is semi ridgid. Sorta like a frame inside a bag. All the generic tools will just find a home inside a drawer for quick use around the house. I am looking at this only for the bag. Maybe I can find a better quality one I can have personalized.

Mike M
06-30-2007, 06:16 PM
That reminds me of the stuff I saw at Lowes, you might want to check them out. I got one on sale, and didn't have to pay for all those tools.

Mike M.

Pro-Scapes
06-30-2007, 07:26 PM
that is from lowes. 40 bucks and comes with the tools

Mike M
06-30-2007, 08:09 PM
Mine is blue, there were lots of styles/sizes to choose, no tools. Like the photo attached but with a split down the middle for two main compartments.

David Gretzmier
07-01-2007, 01:54 AM
At some point I realized there are smarter people than me out there. There was a time when I was not so wise. I did not care for my values being questioned either. take mowing for example- I loved big commercial walk-behinds and thought they were the be-all and end-all. In time, I realized that riders can do a better job in most cases. faster, less gas ( or diesel) and more productive, thus I make more money.

The smartest heart surgeons in the world often learn new techniques to better their craft, as do brain surgeons. I know, I did work for both and have talked to them about how their job has changed in just the past 5 years, and both these men are over 50. smart people learn, adjust, and change. Sadly, it usually takes someone else to tell you what camp your in.

I try to be open to all suggestions about how to do things better, and If I know a better way, I tend to share it and even preach it. What is right for one person may not be right for everyone, but some things should just make sense. I guess gas will have to be 10,20 bucks a gallon before fuel efficiency makes sense to some. It ain't always about saving the environment, as I've said about 6 times, it's about the math. less expenses = more profit.

David Gretzmier
07-01-2007, 02:12 AM
On the tool bag- I use a similar design, the yellow one from Lowe's, it has tons of pockets on the outside for tools you can see the tops of at a glance. It also has a steel frame on the inside opening, but can close. super tough so far, and somewhat waterproof on the inside where i keep my multimeter.

I'd like to figure out a way to transfer the stuff to a tool belt, so all tools are easy to grab. I notice most framers, electricians, and trim guys carry tool belts, but plumbers do tool boxes, normally no tool belt.

my problem is I carry stuff that I don't really need for landscape lighting, and I need a dedicated one just for that for efficiency. rubber mallet,cutters,strippers, connectors, screwdriver, bulb and o-ring grease, bulbs. seems like a tool belt would work for that, I gotta get one and try it.

Mike M
07-01-2007, 07:19 AM
I notice most framers, electricians, and trim guys carry tool belts, but plumbers do tool boxes,

Hey Dave, I think plumbers are more like landscape lighting guys, because when they do their stuff it's on the ground. I find it hard having the tools attached to me. And It's also easier to see everything in a box.

Don't sweat the truck/gas thing. Each of us has a vehicle to help us execute our own business needs. Dude at lowvolt.org has a half dozen econo cars for his lighting business. As for who has the faster lawn mower, I'll see you at the Landscaper Olympics in Southern Mississippi. :weightlifter:

Pro-Scapes
07-01-2007, 08:06 AM
framers and trim guys also are not crawling around in the bushes or sitting on thier duffs in front of a trans. Plumbers are crawing around and such under sinks too. Things fall out of tool belts.

For maint I just grab what I need... Screwdriver... pliers possibly for thumb screws... hex key for kim vaults.. squirt bottle with CLR and a tube of no ox

I think the belt idea would be restricting and cumbersome. The bag or tray gives you places to put accesories as well.

Rememeber you dont have to carry EVERY tool for every job. You could have multiple small bags for different situations. I also have a large tackle box with drawers and lots of compartments... plastic trays with stainless hardware... extra lenses and o rings... drill bits ... extra consumables ect. That stays in the truck and acts just like a organizer.

The only time I would like a small tool belt is up in a tree or on a roof.

Mike M
07-01-2007, 08:41 AM
and a tube of no ox

Billy, are you only using that on aluminum fixtures?

Pro-Scapes
07-01-2007, 09:10 PM
and a tube of no ox

Billy, are you only using that on aluminum fixtures?

uhmmm yeah mike sure... like I install aluminum. Do me a favor. Go to lowes.. in the electrical section look for a red and white tube from GB or a blue and white one from ideal and read to me EXACTLY what no ox is for

Mike M
07-01-2007, 09:15 PM
uhmmm yeah mike sure... like I install aluminum.

Why do you think I asked? My ideal bottle says aluminum to aluminum, aluminum to copper, and I thought about using it as a general anti-seize, but it's pretty ugly stuff compared with clear silicone. So there, the Ideal bottle said nothing about anything else.

Mike M
07-01-2007, 09:30 PM
blue and white one from ideal and read to me EXACTLY what no ox is for

"IDEAL NOALOX Anti-Oxidant Joint Compound: Aluminum to aluminum connections, Aluminum to copper connections"

I read that label recently and then began the "lubricant" thread to try and clear up best practices.

Now, that's the product I have (#30-030), which is what FOLD sent me when I requested a protective lubricant. I never specified aluminum. If IDEAL makes one that is a little different, and you recommend it for other app's, please mention it in my lubrication post.

Thanks,

Mike M

Mike M
07-01-2007, 09:32 PM
and show an image file. lol.

High Performance Lighting
07-01-2007, 10:03 PM
and a tube of no ox

Billy, are you only using that on aluminum fixtures?

Mike please don't badger Billy. I'm grooming him as my protege' ;)

Pro-Scapes
07-01-2007, 11:34 PM
ok Mike M... Strickly as a learning endeavour... Please go thru all the points in your system(in your head) where oxidation could occur and where you might have alum to alum or alum to copper connections.

Hint. If your at the fixture you have gone way to far altho this might aid as an anti sieze for aluminum hoods. I wouldnt know and I have no idea the flashpoint of this product either.

Mike M
07-02-2007, 12:42 AM
The only other place than a fixture where I could image an aluminum contact might be indoors while wiring a switch or outlet to line voltage.

I can put things in my mind, but at the moment it's mostly beer.

Mike M.

Pro-Scapes
07-02-2007, 08:53 AM
well sober up my friend. Im not inside doing switches. I have an electrician for that!

I am however studying this winter so I can take my electricians test. I feel keeping all that work in house will not only give me more flexibility but it will help my schedualing and work ethics as well.

There just might be a connection point in some lighting systems thats not grease tubed or nutted or ace connectored. While its enclosed its still at risk for moisture. I dont use it on new installs but more on service calls for someone elses existing systems where the client wont replace.

David Gretzmier
07-02-2007, 11:12 AM
Mike M- I think he's talking about some transformers having aluminum lugs or screws, but I may be wrong. Also- nice exmark mower. they cut great, we just don't have a good dealer here. I've never been to the lawnmower olympics, sounds like a fun day.

I am going to try the multiple bag thing, and also the tool belt thing, and let you guys know how it goes as far as time.

on the tool belt, I tend to bed my knees and squat, or put my knees down on the mulch or soil, rather than bend over at my back, so maybe the tools won't fall out. We'll see.

Pro-Scapes
07-02-2007, 11:52 AM
I am going to try the multiple bag thing, and also the tool belt thing, and let you guys know how it goes as far as time.

on the tool belt, I tend to bed my knees and squat, or put my knees down on the mulch or soil, rather than bend over at my back, so maybe the tools won't fall out. We'll see.


Its imporatant to try different things and see what works for you. We have tried many many things over the last year and a half. The tool belt tended to get snagged up in things when crawling back in bushes. I dont generall bend over either unless its just to pick something up. I always take a knee. The bags have worked well for us. Thoes bucket boss things work well too. I carry grease tubes and marking tape in my solder tray. I used to carry all my tools in the tray but it was cumbersome and I found myself shoving things in my pockets.