Simon Hobson - Landscaper

Vehicle: Ford Transit

"When compared to the competition, bott Smartvan seemed the most cost effective way to get a full van set up."

The owner of a thriving landscaping company, Simon Hobson specialises in full garden transformations and garden rooms. With a scope so wide, he needs a professionally organised van. With tools and equipment spanning hundreds of tasks, his custom van racking solution must prioritise accessibility, clear inventory management and safety. In a recent interview with Simon, we discussed his relationship with bott Smartvan and why he chose to integrate our self-fit van racking system.



Why did Simon choose bott Smartvan racking?


With several options on the market, Simon did his research. After all, he wanted to find van racking that was personalised to meet his specific needs. Plus, it needed to be durable as he spends long days moving tools and equipment in and out of his vehicle. Although cheaper systems can be tempting, they’re unlikely to stand the test of time. To read more on this, read our blog: Metal van racking vs ply van racking

After researching robust options, he opted for our market-leading bott modulo3 kit. Simon told us the following:

“There were several options on the market and this one, from the get go, was the easiest and cleanest to work out what was possible. The online configurator was very easy to use and gave a lovely picture of the final layout. 

“The cost was more expensive than timber by a long way; however, they offered so much more for your money. When compared to the competition, bott seemed the most cost effective way to get a full van set up.”


How did the van racking level-up his day-to-day?


The key aspect that Simon noticed was accessibility. When you’re on the job, the last thing you need is to be rummaging through boxes in search of that one tool you need. This not only gets quickly frustrating, but also compromises the safety of each tool or piece of equipment. 

“The racking makes tidying up at the end of the day far easier. It also motivates me to keep my tools organised and clean. I can see them lasting longer as an effect.”


And the most impressive thing about the new set up?


We always ask our customers about the specific parts that impress them upon installation and after they’ve been working with the kit for a while. Not only does it show how well our van racking complements tradespeople’s work, but it also teaches us about any areas within which we can improve. Right from customer service through to design and development.

"I was impressed with how smart it looks and how much it tucks into the walls of the van, giving loads of floor space. Also just how solid it is. No more squeaky racking with timber!”

Much like ply, his former timber racking simply couldn’t withstand the everyday stresses of working in the field. Now, Simon can feel a greater sense of pride in his workspace that promises a robust future.


Does bott Smartvan help to save money?


Although there are greater upfront costs compared with cheaper, flimsier kits, customers always comment on the money-saving advantages when they shop bott. In Simon’s words:

“We used to spend about 20 minutes a day digging tools out. This is now a little as 20/30 seconds or a few minutes. The whole system will pay for itself in time alone in about 12-18 months!”

Further, the van racking is far more likely to withstand the test of time. This clearly saves money when you don’t need to update elements of your set-up, or even invest in a whole new kit.

Taking advantage of bott Smartvan accessories will also help to save money. From keeping your items safe from damage with Tool Flex Clamps, to protecting your most valuable possessions with the Armorgard TrekDror.


Which accessories have been most useful?


Simon knew exactly what he wanted to achieve: a clean and tidy workspace that would save him tonnes of time. Again, he did his research to create the van racking setup that would work for him.

“I spent a considerable amount of time prior to purchasing working out precisely what will stay in the van, what will be put in and out per job. This helped design the whole set up from the start. Love the boxes in particular as these offer good space and keep everything clean and tidy.”


Top tips for getting the most out of your custom van racking


If you’ve enjoyed hearing about Simon’s journey with bott Smartvan, here’s a few tips from the man himself before you rack out your vehicle.

“Really spend your time writing down precisely what you have and want to keep, think about every aspect of your work. I wrote out lists of things I used every day and things I didn’t, and then designed it out from there. It really has changed the way I work and cut out all the clutter I had. 

Don’t be shy with asking bott questions and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Get to one of their trade shows where you can see the set up.

Overall, make sure you get the system you believe is going to solve the problem rather than focusing on budget. With this focus, the system will pay for itself!”



We hope that learning about Simon’s van racking experience has been helpful. It’s always great to hear from tradespeople using our kits in the wild! If you want to chat about your custom solution, get in touch. We’re always here to help you configure a system that’ll work hard for you - allowing you to save time, space, and ultimately money, when working in the field.