Dewalt and Ford have created an RFID tagging and tracking system that automatically checks to make sure that you haven’t left any power tools at a work site. The system is convenient for contractors who drive Fords and use DeWalt tools, and probably a worthwhile investment for their multiple thousands of dollars of equipment.
Personally, I have no use for such a system, but I like the idea of an organized tracking method to make sure that you have all of your equipment.
When I was teaching, I helped a student with severe ADHD develop a system to help her get between home and school and back home again with all of her materials. The program was based on counting to three. Her lunch box was marked #1, her daily planner was #2, and her “inbox” in her locker was #3.
She had two sets of books (one left at school, and her parents rented a second set to leave at home), so all she needed to do was count “1, 2, 3″ to make sure she had everything in her backpack at the start and end of the day. The “inbox” in her locker was just a tray like what you might use for an inbox on your desk at work. As she moved between classes, she would put all of the things she needed to take home with her that day into #3 — notebooks, papers for her parents to read, worksheets. Then, everything from the tray was dumped into her backpack as she counted “1, 2, 3″ at the end of the school day. At home, she had a similar tray on her desk where she placed her homework and such as she completed it. In the morning, she just made certain that she had 1, 2, and 3. Her rate of completed take-home assignments went from 30 percent up to above 90 percent in just the first week of using the new system.
Since then, I find myself creating numbered lists to help me make sure that I have all of my materials when I’m traveling for work. My laptop is #1, my power cable is #2, and my handouts are usually #3. Before I leave a workshop room I ask myself, “Do I have 1, 2, and 3?”
Contractors who don’t drive Fords or use DeWalt tools can do something similar with sticky dots and a magic marker. Number the equipment as you put it into the truck, and then make note of the highest number you reach. As you’re leaving a work site, just count up the numbers to make sure you aren’t missing any of your equipment. Easy as pie.
How do you check to make sure that you have all of your materials when you leave a work site? Feel welcome to share your creative solutions in the comments.