I would like to outline how the containers will be received and unloaded. You need to check if there are going to be any trees hanging too low or any power lines too low. The truck with the 40 foot HQ container will be about 15’ high. You need to think how it will back in or drive in and turn around. Will the area be too soft and the truck will get stuck in the soft ground? You will need to have a very long crowbar/pitbar. Like this picture:
1. You will need to have an unloading dock built or have a facility where containers can be unloaded. I think long term it is best to have the unloading dock on your ranch. You can see how some of them are built in the pictures. The width of a container is about 8 foot. So the ramp and the platform on the Dock will need to be wider. The reason, sometimes the loaders with wide tires can be too wide and then can’t go up the ramp. The length of platform where you unload the container, 20 foot long is ideal. The Pallets have to slide out straight from the container. If you try to slide them out and don’t slide all the way out straight, the top of the goods on the pallet will hit the top of the container opening and will not come out.
2. If the Ramp has just been built, the dirt and rock may not be bedded down hard and this can take some months to bed down. Your tractor may not get any traction or may even get stuck till it is all bedded down. The pallets on the container may have to be pulled all the way down the ramp. You will see a picture of a loader doing just that. This loader cannot climb the ramp because it was not built wide enough for the loader. So you can see it has to pull the pallets from the end of the ramp, then pull the pallets down the ramp out of the way so you can get the pallets off and out of the way. The pallets may also get stuck in the soft dirt and it might be good you have some 10 foot long round logs the pallets can roll on.
3. When the container arrives, you will need to have some bolt cutters ready because sometimes there is a seal put on the doors. This seal is to make sure no one has opened the container after leaving our factory. If is has been broken, more than likely the Port security opened it for inspection and we are normally advised on this. Here are some pictures of what the seal looks like. You can also grind it off or use a Hacksaw.
4. Once you get the seal off you can open the doors, but be careful not to open too fast. Open a little and look in to see if there is anything going to fall out of the container and hit you, or maybe a pallet has broken and is resting against the doors. Be very careful.
5. Once the doors are open. You will see some boxes and loose equipment at the door. Obviously pull all of this out and then you will see the first pallet. Be sure there is no loose equipment on the top as we also place stuff on top to make the most of the room. Also check there is nothing on the side of the pallet or under it. It needs to be totally clear to slide out.You will need to have very strong, long chains and also hooks. You will see the hook in the pictures. Below in red are some comments from dealers in what they have used for chains. I would suggest you have 100 feet of chain.
The chain capacity may be provided as a Working Load Limit (WWL) instead of breaking strength. A breaking strength of 24,000 lbs equates to a WWL of about 5,000 lbs.
The individual pallets weigh something like 7,000 to 8,000 lbs. The force required to drag them out is less than the weight. They can snag on the container sides, which increases the tension on the chain. Chains with a breaking strength of about 24,000 lbs or more should generally be sufficient.
We use a couple of different chains. One is 5/16” and the other is 3/8”. They both seem to work well.
6. You will need to put the chain on each side at the bottom of the skid as shown in the picture. You will then of course attach both the other ends to your Tractor/Loader/Forklift. Make sure the pallet is ready to be pulled out straight, not on an angle, as this will jam the pallet in the container. Once the pallet starts to slide, move it faster to slide out as once it gets momentum it will slide easier and is less likely to catch the side of the container.
7. Once the pallet is out, pull it down the ramp and get it out of the way. Then work on the next pallet. It is important to get the container empty so the truck can go as they charge for every hour. Never pull a pallet out with equipment loose on the side. It will jam for sure.
* Note: Every Trucker that arrives to your premises to deliver the container will have a time limit for you to empty the container. If you would like to know what the limit is, please let us know and we will advise. The free time we have paid for it. If you take longer to empty the truck you will need to pay for the extra time. Some of the reasons you can take longer to empty is:
The entry to your premises does not have good access.
You are not there to meet the trucker and have not coordinated the time with him.
You are not prepared with the right equipment. Check our website for this.
You do not have an unloading dock.
You have a coffee or beer with the trucker.
I would suggest you clock the time the trucker arrived and left as on many occasions they go back and tell their company they were there longer. Even 15 minutes will result in a 1hr extra charge. The trucker does this a lot. Even if you ask him when he leaves: There will not be any extra charges, will there?