Another facet of your touring set up might include a carpet for the stage, if this works for the band.
Meticulously mark the places for various mic stands, wedges, instruments and risers. In this manner your setup is extremely quick and consistent from day to day.
I like to use a Sharpie to mark the outline of everything instead of tape. This keeps it all neat and clean looking as the marks disappear when the pieces are put in place.
Take the extra time to precisely spike the places where monitors wedges will sit. The ability to duplicate the loudspeaker/microphone relationship will help immensely when tuning the wedges, particularly when you are utilizing more than one enclosure in an individual stage location.
Small changes in angles and distance can have big effects on the results at the microphone position.
Color-coded connections on the business side of monitor amp racks. Note the AC connections in the background carrying the same colors to the stage distribution scheme (click to enlarge)
The load-out begins as soon as the truck doors are opened for load-in. Live by it! The minute your gear rolls in to the venue you should be thinking about how you will take advantage of any opportunity to make the installation and strike easy and quick.
Ramps are very convenient, but they require extra work to move heavy pieces up and down. They may create bottlenecks or hazards that might not be necessary.
On the other hand, forklifts require less muscle, but are notoriously slow in most circumstances. Of course there are always exceptions. Review each situation individually.
Try to keep the bulk of your gear on the same level that it enters the venue. Do not move heavy amp racks up onto the stage, if they roll in at floor level and there is ample room for them to operate there.
Utilize storage space wisely. Keep your accessories (dollies, etc.) and work trunks close to where they are needed for the strike.
Evaluate every situation with safety in mind. Work smart, and it will be plenty fast!
Dan Laveglia is a long-time system engineer who has worked with Showco and Clair Brothers, working with top concert artists.