I believe part of being a successful racing driver is being organized. My friends make fun of me for being Type A, which is just a nice way of saying I’m anal retentive. Personally, I’d like to keep my butt out of that conversation. All I’m saying is that life is easier at the track when your pit area is tidy. As the saying goes, cleanliness is next to godliness, and I have a very simple solution to help keep your paddock space clutter free and easy to work in.

Extension cords always help solve problems at the track. Whether it is to charge radios, run a wet/dry vacuum or provide lights for making margaritas at night, power is essential.

Most race teams normally have a plethora of extension cords to help provide power around a rented garage at the track or in the paddock attached to a nearby generator. At the end of a long hot racing weekend these cords are generally haphazardly thrown into a trailer where they become quickly knotted up and then become a big problem later. A nice box to store these cords can be helpful for storage and also to keep the cords clean and not tangled into a rat’s nest.

One of the most important extension cords I own is a 100 foot 30-amp cord used to ensure my motorhome has power at events like NASA’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill where there are so many motorhomes packed in such a tight space, you may have to use a long cord to get power.

To power my welder anywhere and everywhere and also to provide a long reach for my motorhome at the track, I have a long 30-amp extension cord that is massive. I bring this thing everywhere and due to its size it can be cumbersome in the paddock. It is easy for it to get wrapped around tools, feet and tables. It is 100 feet long, but sometimes I only need it to be 12 feet long. To keep things clean and safe for everyone’s feet, I found a way to use my storage boxes at the same time I am using my extension cords.

Making a simple notch in the top of the box will allow the cord to feed out of the box. For you knife nerds out there, that is a Spyderco Delica with an Emerson blade.

After purchasing a nice plastic bin to store my extension cords, I decided to notch two holes in the top of the box just below the lid opening. The reason for the notches is to allow the ends of the cord (the male end and the female end) to snake out of the box to be attached to power and attached to tools or whatever I want to provide juice to.

I cut the size of the notches in the top of the box just a little larger than the diameter of the largest cord that would be inside the storage container.

I chose to cut notches on either end of the storage box so the cord could feed in and out of the box easily. I notched the box just a bit larger than the cord so the cord would exit the box but also the box wouldn’t lose its integrity. The depth of the notch was just deep enough so the lid would still fit on top of the box while the cord fed out of the box.

Once I notched the box, I test fit the cord to make sure it would fit through the new opening.

With the two notches cut into the box, the extension cord can slip in and out of the box to allow for a longer or shorter cord. It works great. It keeps the cord clean, untangled and out of the way. The whole project set me back the cost of the plastic box, around $30.

The next step was to test-fit the lid to ensure I notched the box deep enough so the cord would feed out of the box while the lid was attached.

Once I set this box up, I don’t know how I lived without it before. It simplified organizing extension cords, keeps them clean, untangled and easy to find — as opposed to wrapped around a wagon in the trailer, a toolbox and a jackstand.

The cord inside the box loops around really easily and avoid tangles.
Here is the final product. Simple box, two holes, and a very untangled cord that is not in the way to help keep things in the paddock clean and organized.

The box keeps things tidy, instead of a mess of extension cords laying around our paddock space causing a tripping hazard, the extra cord that isn’t needed remains inside the box. Additionally, we can clean the cord up quickly and then put it back in storage, ready for the next event.

Nothing is officially finished until it gets an addition from my Brother P-Touch label maker. This box has a place to live and a label that says “Extension Cords” so it is ready to go to power things up in the paddock.

Keep your cords tidy, my friends.


Rob Krider is a four-time NASA Honda Challenge 4 National Champion, the author of the memoir, “Cadet Blues,” and is the host of the “Stories and Cocktails” podcast.

Image courtesy of Rob Krider

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