My team has a lot of stupid little rules. I say they’re stupid because as an outsider you may think some of these rules are bit ridiculous. However, our stupid little rules have come from learning things the hard way during years of racing. For example, we have a rule that says if the hood of the racecar is down, it must have the hood pins attached. We do this so the car doesn’t end up on track with the hood folded over the windshield. It’s hard to win races when you can’t see out the windshield.
Recently we added a new stupid rule: no tools on or in the racecar. This rule ensures that we don’t end up on track with a ratchet under the brake pedal or a screwdriver in the fan belt. To enforce this rule, we purchased a simple tool cart with some caster wheels. The concept is to use the tool cart as a portable work bench when doing projects on the racecar. Tools go into the cart, not the car. We chose a plastic tool cart for its lightness and upgraded the caster wheels to have brakes to keep the cart from rolling around in the paddock — I’ve never been in a level paddock once in my life.
Once we started using the tool cart, I don’t know how we got by without it for so many years. It is incredibly handy and it helps keep our paddock space organized and clean. Most importantly it works to ensure no tools remain inside the racecar, which is the ultimate goal. We have found that the tool cart can quickly fill up with garbage and water bottles if it is not policed regularly. We try to empty the top of the cart out after each project is completed on the car to keep things tidy. Some tools remain in the cart at all times because they are used continually. Things like rags, Simple Green, air gauge, impact gun, etc.
The portable tool cart isn’t the most complicated engineering wizardry that will make your racecar faster. However, it is an inexpensive, simple, easy-to-implement concept that will ensure your racecar doesn’t head out on track with a pair of pliers rolling around on the floor pan. Choose your own adventure.
To read more from Rob Krider, or to contact him, go to www.robkrider.com.