A tool-box must be strong, easily accessible and big enough to carry more than an adjustable spanner. Trays and compartments are useful for separating pins, nuts, bolts and washers. It needs to be easy to remove, too. We’ve also given a mark for stylishness, for those who like to co-ordinate your overalls, shades and toolbox.
So how did they fare?
The Challenger had the biggest, toughest tool-box, although this was partly thanks to the size and construction of the tractor. JCB and Fendt boxes are well-sited (tucked away under the cab), but were let down by their modest size. In fact all that we looked at seemed small compared with what actually needs to be carried. That means loose tools end up in the cab, getting under your feet and rolling about on bumps.
Perhaps manufacturers could be more creative in providing extra space both inside and outside the cab.
One obvious move would be to put the tool-box in place of the rarely-used right-hand steps, like one of our recent Farm Inventions Competition entrants (FW, 12 October or www.fwi.co.uk). That would give space to carry enough tools to keep a Formula One pit crew happy.