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We have covered what size container to buy, how it will be delivered, how you can modify it, and a whole list of different uses for containers. But one huge question is – where are you going to put that? Of course you need enough room for a truck to get in to deliver the container, but beyond that, what do you need to think about? Here are three things to keep in mind when planning your container location.
1) Access. Your container will come on a large truck. That truck needs space to get in and deliver the container. Make sure you not only have enough room for the truck to maneuver, but also that the ground the truck will be driving over can handle the weight involved. This means steer clear of lawns, soft dirt or anywhere where a truck can sink into the ground. The last thing you want is to pay to get a tow truck out to pull out your container. Best bets: paved ground, graveled areas or packed dirt. Also remember that if you are going to have the driver go over packed dirt or gravel that can be affected by rain, check the area before delivery so you can reschedule if there are any issues.
2) Terra Firma. Your container is made of steel. That is heavy. And it is going to sit there for a long time and you are going to put more heavy things inside it. The bottom line – you need some firm ground underneath your container. This can be a concrete or asphalt pad, gravel or packed dirt. 20’ containers weigh 5,000 pounds and 40’s are just under 10,000 pounds – empty. Over time, your container will sink if the ground is not firm enough. This can cause problems in opening the doors and keeping the container floor in good shape. If you don’t have firm ground where you want the container, you may want to consider adding gravel to that spot. It will provide firm ground that drains well and sits a little higher than the rest of the ground in that area. All of those things will help in the long run.
3) Blocking. This is a personal preference. You can block or not block your container. The pros to blocking are that they raise the container up a little bit, which helps if you are putting it in an area that does not drain well. It will extend the life of your container. Also, if you are concerned with the container shifting, you can readjust the blocking by using a car jack to lift of that corner of the container enough to reposition the blocking. The pros to not blocking is that the container will be closer to the ground if you plan on rolling items into it. You will still need a ramp to get up the 6” of flooring. Also, if you are putting the container on a paved surface, the container will settle in more consistently than just in the areas where the blocking is. If you are going to get blocking, try either railroad ties or take a 6”x6” or 8” x 8” and cut it into 2’ pieces. For 20’ containers, have at least 4 pieces, for 40’ containers at least 6-8 pieces of blocking.
One other big rule of thumb – if you have questions about placement, it is definitely something that needs to be discussed. No one who drives a large truck wants to get stuck or not be able to make a delivery, so save everyone some headaches by discussing your concerns ahead of time. Pictures can really answer so many questions, so feel free to take pictures of your delivery area and the area the driver will have to go to access the delivery spot. This can help everyone problem-solve before the container is loaded and your delivery will go smoothly.