Contaienr yard with stop sign.jpg

This week’s blog was written by Super Cubes’ latest hire, Katie.

Last week, I was able to experience what “going to the yard” means. Being completely foreign to the cargo container business, it truly was my first time ever viewing and visiting an actual container yard. I didn’t really know what to expect besides dirt and piled containers. When arriving, my assumptions were correct for the most part. There were a countless number of containers lined up on the sandy dirt ground as I imagined. It was nice though to have such warm welcome to the yard. We had smiling faces of our container depot colleagues and our client, which was a great start to the day!

Going more on the actual site, I was able to physically touch and walk inside and outside of both used and one-trip 20’ cargo containers.  The closer I viewed and touched the container itself, I found myself seeing so much more than just steel sitting before me. I started picturing how this large piece of steel with corrugated sides could be turned into a restaurant or even a future home for my husband and I to live in. The stability the floors and ceilings provided when entering and wandering inside, the container made my visions that much more real. I even then came across the thought of we could actually get stuck in one of these and never come out if the heavy secure doors locked us in!  Scary, right? But honestly, having the right experts beside me, I knew there was no chance of that happening and there was no harm that could be done.

My first of many lessons were learned that day. Having the right people by you with examining and purchasing a cargo container is key to completing any project successfully. The right people are the ones that have built great relationships and continue ongoing connections with their container industry colleagues. Furthermore, the right people know not just the ins and outs of how the container process works, but more importantly, understands and grasps the physical aspect of each particular cargo container and how different modifications can affect them. Knowing the capabilities, the container physically has helps all working people create the vision their customer is desiring. Bottom line, really going with the right person and business does make a difference. They will guide and provide you with the best answers to the many questions you will come across as I did when I was on site. As a result, the best experience will be had and YOUR cargo container vision will be created.

AuthorSuper Cubes LLC

Last week we brought the rest of the containers to make the Trammel Container Home.  If you missed the first part of the process, check out our earlier blog here

Since the first floor went into place, Justin at MJF Contracting and his team have been hard at work.  They cut down a container to be a stairwell. They finished a lot of the site work for the home including back-filling the foundation.

 Dick's Valley Service drivers showing how soft the ground is

Dick's Valley Service drivers showing how soft the ground is

We had to adjust our delivery date because of road restrictions. Since the Trammels are building their home in March in the Midwest, it is road restriction season. For those of you not aware of this, it is when certain roads have restricted weight limits. This is because during this period, the ground is thawing and it makes the roads more susceptible to road damage. Road restrictions were announced and went into effect before our scheduled date for bringing out the remaining containers. We were able to change the delivery date quickly to accommodate this.

However, to do that, we did have to bring one container out the day before the crane came in. It was a good example of why this is a tricky time of year for container deliveries. The ground is frozen, but that top layer freezes overnight with cold temperatures and then thaws during the day. You could see where the truck was sliding around during the delivery of the container. Dick’s Valley Service is our go-to for ground-level delivery and they did an amazing job. They came back with the remaining 2 containers while the crane was there.  The drivers were joking around about how much they were sinking into the ground.

The crew really made the second round of container placements look so easy! MJF Contracting’s crew was ready to place the containers exactly in place and weld them to the bottom level of containers as we moved through the containers. Kuehn’s Crane Service was so precise in their placement. It was great to watch.

The big excitement was with the 7th container. We brought that container out right after the first level of containers were set down. Sam, the welder, cut off the nose end of the container including the corner posts. He then cut the container down and welded the end back in place. There was a height restriction that didn’t allow for the full 40’ of container to stand on end, but the plans call for the container to serve as a stairwell going all the way to the roof where there will be a terrace.

Once the 6 containers were in place, the 7th container was lifted up to an angle and set on supports so additional welds could be done to the floor of the container. Then the whole container was lifted upright and then swung into place. Great Lake Superior Walls had a perfect foundation set in place to accommodate the door end of the container.

Now that all 7 containers are in place, MJF Contracting will start cutting into the containers into rooms, building in support and finishing off the container.

Check out the pictures and videos below to see how everything came together!


Here are some pictures from the day

Here are more videos from the day

 Drone view of 3 container sitting on the foundation of a house with the crane next to the house

Drone view of 3 container sitting on the foundation of a house with the crane next to the house

Last week we had a bit of crane excitement at Super Cubes!! We delivered three one-trip 40' high cubes containers to the Trammel Container home. We worked with MJF Contracting LLC and Kuehn's Crane Service to offload the containers from our trucks. Kirk and Leigh Trammel have put together a fantastic team to build their custom container home.

MJF Contracting is the general contractor for the project. Justin and Eric have been coordinating everything for this Midwest winter build.

First they had M.R. Excavating prep the site. Then, MJF worked with Brad Weiss at Great Lake Superior Walls for the pre-cast concrete foundation. That was all set in place so the containers could come out and close in the foundation.

Kuehn's Crane Service was onsite to lift the containers off of the chassis. They swung them into place and then working together, the team set the containers down precisely on the foundation.

They got the first container set down perfectly on the back end of the foundation. Precision was key because if they set the container too far out, it wouldn't seal up tight. If they set it in too far, it would create a ledge for moisture to sit. Here is a video of them working through getting that set just right.

Once they got that one set down just right, the second container backed onto the property and they lifted that off and set it right down. That went more quickly since they had the first one as a guide. Even still, they needed to pull the containers together to remove any gap between them. Here's a video of the container going from truck to foundation.

The third truck backed in and they quickly got that one all hooked up and set into place. Here's a video of that.

Even with the second container to use as a guide, the third one needed a little more work to get it in place. They worked together to snug that third container in as tightly as possible. You can see how they strapped the first containers to each other to pull them together before setting down the third one.

As you can see, the last container was still hanging over by about half an inch. They strapped all three containers together and kept working at it to pull them all on perfectly onto the foundation. What is so amazing is that Great Lakes Superior Walls was able to make the foundation down to the 1/4 of an inch to be an absolute perfect match. At it is a testament to Justin and Eric's determination to make sure it fit that perfectly in the end.

Once they had all three containers in place, they were able to start heating up the foundation to make sure that set well in the cold weather. They are going to start cutting into those three containers to make the first floor of the house.

We delivered a fourth container the following day. That one will be cut down and reinforced. Ultimately that will be set on its end to become a stairwell. When they are ready, we'll come back with the last three containers to be the second story of the house and the crane will set the stairwell in place. 

We'll be sure to keep you posted on the project as it progresses. In the meantime, here are some pictures we took as well.

If you want more information on any of the companies mentioned, just click on their names where they are highlighted to be brought to their websites. If you want to reach M.R. Excavating, email them at