Channel 19

Todd Dills

Toolbox system made in the USA by and for owner-operators

| October 03, 2011

Veteran owner-operator Jeff Zehrer of Minnesota (trucking since 1983) had long known the difficulty of finding the perfect-sized toolbox to fit in his sleeper’s side compartment. After 28 years of frustration, he decided to rectify the situation by designing his own. He wanted a toolbox that was sturdy, easily accessible, and could hold all his important tools.

The first Cubby Buddy prototype was born, and Zehrer and his wife Debbie launched sales of the toolbox systems (pictured) in November last year under the 16 Ton Industries company name.

The Cubby Buddy system is a modular storage system. It comes with two depths to fit nearly every American truck on the road — 20 and 24 inches. Start with a base model and add any combination of the one or two-drawer add-on models to customize your system to meet storage needs. A cradle for each base model allows you to adjust your toolbox to varied floor heights.

Following find listings of the four base models; for the six add-on models, visit for more.

**224 Base Model with Mounting Cradle (Two 2-inch drawers) | 5 1/2″H x 11″W x 24-1/4″D
**220 Base Model with Mounting Cradle (Two 2-inch drawers) | 5 1/2″H x 11″W x 20-1/4″D
124D Base Model w/ Mounting Cradle (One 4-1/4-inch drawer)  5 1/2″H x 11″W x 24-1/4″D
**120D Base Model w/ Mounting Cradle (One 4-1/4″ Drawer)   5 1/2″H x 11″W x 20-1/4″D

  • Bandit

    This looks like a real good item and idea. The only thing I would probably change would be to mount it from above instead of on the bottom of the compartment. It will be a whole lot easier to store other things under it rather that piling on top of it and having stuff falling to either side. Looks like a really nice toolbox.

  • Todd Dills

    Thanks, Bandit — I wonder, though, whether adequate support for a top mount would exist in most truck cabs? What do you think?

  • Bandit

    It shouldn’t be a problem, the upper area is well enforced so as to hold a person lying on the bunk for sleeping. It should be plenty sturdy.

  • Todd Dills

    I’d guess you’re right, Bandit.

  • Cubby Buddy

    Thanks for the comment Bandit. We have actually made this possible in our recently fabricated boxes, which is currently only availiable in the 20″ models. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to call @ 320-352-6820 or email @

  • Cubby Buddy

    There are now 10 Cubby Buddy models to choose from. 5 in each depth. Plus Jeff has come up with a load lock security system prototype, but we need to name it. How about Logistics Buddy?

  • tdills

    Good to hear, Debbie — maybe “Buddy load locks”?

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