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How To Place Your Storage Container On-site

How you place a storage container is very important to preserving the functionality and maximizing the lifespan.

Preparing the site

Before delivery we recommend checking & preparing the ground for your Eveon container. You want a level piece of ground at least as big as your (20ft or 40ft) container and accessible for our delivery truck. This area wants to be free from debris and you want to make sure the ground isn’t very soft. You don’t want the container sinking once its been put into place. Storage containers don’t necessarily need a concrete base to sit on but this is a great option if available.

Double check there are no overhead obstructions such as tree branches, phone or power cables that might obstruct the lifting process. This is not only above the area your container will sit but also above the area the truck will sit and any area in between. The top of the crane on the truck can easily sit circa 25-30ft from the ground and the drivers will simply refuse to undertake any delivery if they risk damage to their truck. If you are in any doubt over the access we recommend sending us some photos or perhaps even a video walkthrough of the site so we can best understand the challenge at hand and we can usually advise on ways around any issues.

Spend some time initially thinking about where you want to site the container before preparing the site for your Storage container. Which way the doors are going to face? Check you have enough space and room to open the doors to get in and out whilst carting stuff with you? Make sure it’s going to work for you one in position. Sometimes we suggest physically marking out the space with cones so you can understand how the space is taken up and how you will have to work around it, making sure you avoid blocking any fire exits for nearby buildings and that you allow good access to and around the Storage container.

We recommend that the Storage container is raised up slightly from the ground to ensure its not sat in any wet puddles or mud, and to allow an airflow underneath which will dry out the underside of the container between wet spells. All this will prolong the life of the underside of the container.

To prepare a site for a Storage container ideally you want a set of supports at each of the 4 bottom corners of the Storage container. All original Storage containers will have a corner casting on each of the 4 base corners which will protrude a couple of mm from the rest of the frame.

These containers are designed to be lifted from these 4 corner castings when loaded with 20+ tonnes of cargo, so unless you’re loading very heavy weights inside you won’t need to worry about additional supports along the base of the container – just in the 4 corners.

These Storage containers need to be kept level. If they aren’t level you may find the doors become very stiff or unworkable. Storage containers themselves are designed to flex slightly whilst a container boat may pitch in the sea, and this means if you place a Storage container on uneven ground the container itself might flex to one side, but your container doors are still a square shape and won’t fit into the frame.

This may sound like a silly little issue but it is a problem for many sites that don’t prepare the ground. If you place a Storage container and it’s not levelled out properly then the doors may stick. The problem itself it magnified by the length of the container and the size of the doors involved. Even our smaller Storage containers are long and have big doors so this needs care regardless of the size of container you’re working with.

Make sure your supports will be able to take the weight of the container plus the weight of your cargo without any risk of moving or settling. Pairs of bricks, heavy duty paving slabs or railway sleepers are common supports used. Any support that’s larger than the corner castings (7 inch square / just under 18cm square), and that can take the weight will suffice. If you use a support that crumbles away with a few tonnes of pressure then this can then lead to the racking issues described above. The same goes if you’re are placing the container on soft ground – the ground may be level to begin with but will one corner sink away over time and potentially cause issues down the line?

Finally this may sound silly but we often come across this problem: If you have 4 equal slabs to use as your corner supports and put them on uneven ground, then the container will still be uneven and you may still get racking problems. We recommend having handy additional smaller or thinner supports in such an instance that can help keep the container level when placed on uneven ground.

 

Level The Container Off

In either case when you place a Storage container on supports you want to ensure the doors are working well / smoothly.

Commonly very stiff doors can be fixed by lifting the container up an inch or so, checking your supports are in place and level and putting it down again.

Place your Storage container on the 4 base supports and check the door operation. If the doors are overly stiff or in extreme cases ‘don’t seem to fit’ (or if the lock box doesn’t seem to line up with the hasp) then check the container is level on all angles (front to back, left to right and across any diagonals). If one corner is lower than the others lift the container up, check / change your support in that corner and put the container down again. It may seem that you have a container with funny doors however, in our experience in more than 95% of cases where a customer has an issue closing the doors properly it’s down to the container not being level and supported on its 4 base corners.

Please note the 4 corner castings on the bottom (and top) corners will protrude circa 2mm from the rest of the underside of the container. The container is designed to be lifted and held up from these 4 castings, so you should not need any additional support on the underside unless 1) your container isn’t structurally sound, or 2) you are loading very excessive weights inside (well over 25 tonnes). For the vast majority of customers’ you only need to consider supporting the Storage container on its 4 base corners.

This levelling may at times take a few attempts to get right. Sometimes it may seem like you have to have the container slightly off level for best results – but as this container is likely to be with you for the next 10+ years its worth spending a few minutes ensuring this is good for you.

Sometimes you may measure the container as level and still the doors won’t fit. The most common reasons for this are, there’s an error with your measurements (a perfectly flat surface to measure from may not always be possible to find on a used container), the flex or tilt may be at a funny angle (a container doesn’t need ot be level just front to back, but on every possible angle) or in some very rare cases the container may have already flexed in transit and lifting it up and putting it down again will often fix things.

This process can also be undertaken without truck mounted cranes, using anything from a fork lift to a good car jack can do the job. (Make sure your car jack can take the weight of the container you are lifting, as it failing mid lift may be dangerous) Essentially identify the corner you think is lower than the others, lift it up, try adjusting or adding to the support, put the container down on the support and check the doors again. This may take a few attempts and more than one corner may need adjustment but this can commonly resolve any racking problems. If you can’t identify a lower corner – try any corner. If you lift it up a mm or 2 and the doors are stiffer than before, put it back and try a different corner, if it gets less stiff you are probably on the right track!)

 

Footings

A container can sit directly on level ground, or you can place on footings to keep the container off the ground. If you want to keep your container of the ground you can use wooden beams, poured concrete footings or a concrete slab. Wooden Beam Footings (for example second hand upcycled railway sleepers) are the most affordable and easiest option available. We recommend when using wooden beam footings, a gravel bed should be made underneath the wood to aid in drainage – keeping the beams dry and thus preventing premature rotting of the wood. Concrete footings are ideal for when the Sea Container is going to be located in the same place for a long time, you can form up concrete in each corner at exactly the same level and have the container unloaded on top of the footings. We recommend that a bit of rubber is placed between the concrete and the container as per photo.

Positioning 1

Positioning 2

Double check if there are no overhead obstructions such as tree branches, frowns, phone or power cables that might obstruct the lifting process. This is not only above the area your container will sit but also above the area the truck will sit and any area in between. If you are in any doubt over the access we recommend sending us some photos or perhaps even a video walkthrough of the site, prom the main entrance to your property, maybe road entrance as well, so we can best understand the challenges we might face and we can usually advise on ways around any issues.

Make sure your supports will be able to take the weight of the container plus the weight of your cargo without any risk of moving or settling. 

  • Pairs of bricks, cinder blocks
  • heavy duty paving slabs or cement blocks
  • 4×4, 8×8, railroad ties are common supports used
  • gravel pad – is recommended and allows drainage and airflow underneath the unit
  • cement or tarmac pad – also recommended and can be combined with first tree options as well
  • On YouTube you can find several videos on how to level your container

You and your needs

if you are planning on supplying the unit with electricity, water or internet connectivity, you will also need to take this into account.

Planning permission

Although ‘temporary structures’, some have sought planning permission for their containers. We, therefore, recommend that you check with your local authority if you are sensitive to local environmental issues or have any doubts relating to your project.

It is important that you carefully consider exactly where you place them. Not only for them to be fully functional, effective and long-lasting for their specific uses, but also to ensure compliance, safety and security.