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Purchasing a shipping container for permanent use on your own property is a great way to expand storage space, safeguard hazardous materials and more. However, both the transportation process and placement procedure can trip up new owners who don't know what to expect.
Here, we'll cover the most important things you need to know to ensure your new shipping container can be transported and put in place without any hassle.
Transporting your container after purchase doesn't need to be difficult. In fact, by choosing an appropriate vehicle to do the job, you can streamline the process and improve the overall price as well.
Following are a few of the most commonly used options for moving shipping containers from point A to point B:
A Crane-Equipped Truck
A truck with a built-in crane can load and offload your container with relative ease. Such vehicles are capable of lifting shipping containers high into the air to stack them or move them around other structures on arrival.
A Tilt-Bed Truck
A tilt-bed vehicle can literally tilt its bed to accommodate both the loading and unloading of your shipping container. This feature is quite useful, but contracting such specialty equipment tends to come at a higher price than simpler alternatives.
A tilt-bed truck is also not as versatile as a crane-equipped option for placing your container in precise positions or overcoming obstacles that may be in the way onsite.
A Flatbed Truck
This type of vehicle offers you the cheapest transportation price from port or provider to your intended location. However, choosing a flatbed truck also requires a forklift or crane on arrival to pick the container up off of the truck and set it in place.
Once your container has arrived, you'll need to offload it onto a suitable foundation, using the right machinery. To help this process along, you should first plan out the details before your container has been delivered to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Consider Final Placement Location
Pick out the right place for your container ahead of time. It should be as level as possible and clear of debris.
Plan out entry and exit spaces for the delivery vehicle and any additional machinery needed to move the container. Trucks equipped with cranes can safely place your container almost anywhere you need it to go.
All of the following are possible for most crane-equipped delivery trucks:
Prepping your space for a shipping container comes down to ensuring it's solid, level and safe from damaging environmental conditions. Ideally, your choice of foundation should be deep enough to guarantee your container does not sink into the ground over time or shift in any single direction.
A number of tested approaches to foundation preparation exist and are worth trying. However, each of these comes at a different price, and more costly options are only advised when absolutely necessary.
A pillar is a type of foundation that is three times deeper than its own width.
This type of foundation is usually used in groupings of four or more to support shipping containers at their corners where the existing terrain is too soft for any other type of structure to be used. You can count on these lasting for quite some time, but they can be difficult to install and must be handled by a professional who has the right equipment.
A shallow implementation of this (less deep than 3x the width of each structure) can also work, but is more prone to shifting over time.
Concrete pads are a very sturdy way of supporting containers on soft soil or sand. However, this option is also prohibitively expensive when compared to individual pillars.
Blocks and Sleepers
Both railroad sleepers and sturdy blocks can be used to support your shipping container if your soil is not too soft and if achieving a perfect level inside is not a priority.
As these materials lack the deeply embedded (or large, floating) stability of the previous options, they're not ideal for containers that need to be perfectly level or impervious to the environment and terrain. However, they can work reasonably well for less demanding storage needs, etc.
Provide Clearance for the Floor
Underneath your container, moisture can collect and gradually seep inside. It's also possible for animals to create secure burrows and nests under your container if it remains in place long enough, leading to potential pest problems.
Keeping your container off of the ground allows air to flow under it, preventing moisture problems from ruining whatever you choose to store inside. Open space underneath your container also makes it less attractive to pests who will not feel safe there.
Clear Away Nearby Obstacles
Uneven terrain and dense vegetation can both lead to your shipping container suffering unnecessary damage either when it's delivered or over time. Ensuring your container has its own space away from such obstacles can keep it in usable condition for longer.
Get in touch with our team here at CBOX to learn more about how set up your new container.