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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Truck Container in lieu of building a building

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drussell

02-17-2017 08:44:17




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Do any of you have experience with buying an container and using it in place of building a similar sized building? I saw a couple of them sell at auction recently for $1500 a piece. They were 8'x8'x20'. Was wondering how they hold up to the elements over time or if they require repainting pretty often.




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BarnyardEngineering

02-20-2017 12:24:37




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
My club owns two of them to store field maintenance equipment (lawn mowers, etc).

They are 8x8x20 outside. I think you can get them as short as 10' and as long as 53'. Inside, you lose about 6" in every direction.

For instant secure storage without dealing with building permits, they really can't be beat. If you have to move you can take them with you, unlike a pole barn.

Be careful because some towns are getting wise to the loophole and are creating specific ordinances against shipping containers.

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kcm.MN

02-20-2017 12:19:47




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I remember reading a story about a guy who put 3 or 4 containers together and actually welded or bolted them together. He then cut doorways from one to another, and on one (IF memory serves) he cut most of the whole wall out for a double-width space. Can't remember if there was mention of a single roof built on top, but I'd certainly build one!



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Brent Zappe

02-18-2017 08:40:26




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I was a custodian for 30 years at a school district that just loved containers. The only problem we had found was that when you buy one make Shure you look at it. My school district would buy what they call a package deal. Some where very nice clean and yes no rust. Some others where filled with rust on the doors , hinges, roofs. These where the worst ones doors would open hard and need to be replace in time. Hinges would break and need to be replaced. It all depends on what you buy and get. Some are very nice and well worth the money but like I would suggest look them over well before buying one.

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dr sportster

02-18-2017 08:29:37




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
If the outside temp is 60 or less you can use it as a small shop but if it is above 70 all that heat stays inside and if you go in for storage you can't wait to get out.



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ztr mowers

02-18-2017 05:30:19




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
i use a 40ft unit for storage, works great , but like mention gets hot in summer and always need flashlight whe enter, but all that could be solved with windows and lights i just have not bother with that yet as it is used for used lawn mowers parts storage only. anybody need any used lawnmower parts!!!!!.



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John in La

02-18-2017 04:34:12




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
Some great ideas here but lets dig deeper.
A container is very secure if left in tact but then you run into loss space. You can only use about half the container for storage because you need to leave a isle to walk down. If you use 2 of them as side walls for a shed and cut out the inside wall you get better access but then lose the security. It is now no more secure than a building.

You did not say where you live but condensation can be a major draw back. It will also effect your price being far from a port.
You also need a large level area to unload the container unless you plan on moving it with heavy equipment to the final spot.
You also need to remember trucking cost that you would not have with a stick built building.

I consider 20 foot containers trash. Most of these are sold to contractors for tool storage because they are so easy to move.
For just a few dollars more; some times for the same money; you can get a 40 footer because they are harder to move.

What you really have to watch is the grade of the container.
Yes you can buy 1 time use containers. Others that have a IICL5 (inspection standard) or CW (cargo worthy) paper work; but you are going to pay for these because they can still be used as shipping containers.
Just because they are WWT (wind and water tight) now means nothing unless you consider the grade. Could be grade A; B; C; D. A and B are pretty good containers while C and D are worse.

Most containers you see sold at auction are sold AI (as is) and grade C or D. The under lying condition can be very questionable.
You have to watch the floor structure; cleanliness; unseen rust; and major repairs.
You have to consider these boxes spend there whole life with a water spray of salt water.
If you have never lived where you can smell salt in the air from sea spray at least think about that.
HINT; Metal and salt do not mix. Think of what road salt does to your car.

So while most think shipping containers are a one time use box; that is cheaper to build a new one rather than haul it back; and a reason they are so available and cheap; is not true. Yes you can buy this type container; but most you see for sale are just not sea worthy any more and will not pass inspection.

OK now that I scared you off let me say. Sea container inspection is VERY strict. Most containers we consider usable will not pass inspection.
If you can find a good one; or are willing to clean a old one up to prevent future rust; it will be the most secure spot you have and will last 2 life times. Your grandkids will use it.

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Texasmark1

02-17-2017 19:01:49




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I've seen several here. Use the container for the side walls (one on each side) and span with trusses. Close in the front and back and you have a barn, shop or storage area.



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ss55

02-17-2017 18:09:29




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
At $1,500 you are approaching the cost of some garden shed kits. I had an 8 x 16 garden shed that was handy for storage and easy to add built-ins. Windows and ventilation are easy to add. It didn't need maintenance until it was about 25 years old. The kits are expandable by four foot increments.



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C. Amick

02-17-2017 16:21:42




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
That's just a little over $9.00 per square foot. Don't think you can build anything that cheaply. Seems like they would get really hot inside in the summer.



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Tim S

02-17-2017 16:12:40




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I'm thinking about a couple for side walls and a roof over them like the picture, I see them advertised in Columbus Ohio, 40 miles north of me, 40ft for $1300, they will set them on my drop deck, I can scoot them off on the loading dock here, cut a side door and a couple windows in them if you want, they would be bird proof..I have seen them stacked up and homes/hunting cabins made from them,,320 sq.ft would be around $4/ft, and bird/mouse tight..keep them up out of the mud and blow a coat of paint on them now and then..

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RedMF40

02-17-2017 14:36:48




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
A friend uses one for storage, need plenty of light. They're dark inside, no windows.



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steamboat

02-17-2017 13:36:17




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
Is it true that sea containers are only used once?



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JMS/.MN

02-17-2017 19:04:23




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to steamboat, 02-17-2017 13:36:17  
Most of them are- too expensive to ship them back empty. But, some are used to ship grains back....especially those in specialty markets.



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jocco

02-17-2017 10:44:02




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
Guess it depends on what you are doing. I have seen trailer truck box bodies, rail road cars, sea shipping containers and van bodies used. One issue as others said they do not seem to be cheap I do think they are a better investment than a canvas portable building which lasts about 3 years.



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DoubleR

02-17-2017 10:40:10




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
My son rents a couple of storage lots in the Detroit area suburbs for his business to park equipment and such. He brought two of those containers. He made one into a office complete with electric, heat, and air. The other for secured storage of smaller items. He's got a guy that will move them for him cheap if he needs to move them to a different location. They work out pretty good for him.



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Bill in IL

02-17-2017 10:34:14




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I have one for my woodburner shed. It sits on a concrete slab to preserve it an keep from sinking in the mud. They are one tight structure that's for sure which make them really hot in summer. They are less than 8 foot inside dimensions something like 92 inches I think height and width.



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John Deere D

02-17-2017 09:47:19




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  

Here's a PICTURE I located on the INTERNET:(not my shop)

I have my two 20 containers (purchased new) on a foundation. At some point I shall Install a roof as per this picture. My Rafters shall be Engineered. I'll have a celling height of 12'. There is to be a Monorail installed at he 12' height.

Bob..

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C. Amick

02-20-2017 08:18:00




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to John Deere D, 02-17-2017 09:47:19  
I would like to see the framing details. I wonder how or if the building is attached to the top of the metal shipping container?



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Dick2

02-17-2017 09:29:18




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
Originally those containers could be bought very cheap. They've become so popular now that they are not cheap anymore.



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coonie minnie

02-17-2017 09:29:14




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I have a few here... they work well for storage. I have painted some, mostly because they were an ugly color to start with.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I have seen some pretty creative uses- the most in a public setting being a concession stand on the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego.



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Steve@Advance

02-17-2017 09:27:52




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
If you are looking for secure storage, they are great. Find a good one that is not damaged and it will even be rodent proof.

As for using it for a shop, it would be a little small, depending on what you are wanting to do. Probably want to insulate it if not already.

If you have room, I've seen 2 placed side by side with a roof and walls between, make a shop or covered carport with storage on each side.

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da.bees

02-17-2017 09:03:16




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
Sea containers are more secure from break in than buildings but i don't see other advantages.



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Geo-TH,In

02-17-2017 08:57:50




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 08:44:17  
I hired someone to build my pole barn with 10 foot sides At $10 a square foot. You are only getting 160 same ft for $1500.



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drussell

02-17-2017 09:26:19




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to Geo-TH,In, 02-17-2017 08:57:50  
At $10 a square foot a 160 square foot building would cost $1600, which is $100 more than the container. You are getting higher sides with your building, and the long narrow shape of a container has it's own drawbacks vs a building. However, a container wouldn't require a building permit. The container also comes with a floor already built.



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Geo-TH,In

02-17-2017 15:53:42




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 09:26:19  
If you want to crunch numbers, my pole barn is $1/cubic foot. Container is $1.17 a cubic foot. Also is a container really 8 feet wide on the inside? 8 ft tall? 20 ft long?

I would build my own shed that small and good chance materials will be under $1500.



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dhermesc

02-17-2017 12:34:02




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 09:26:19  
And when you are done using it at one location you pick it up and move it to where you need it next. And you can move it loaded. We use them all the time on job sites now. We used to use semi trailers but the thieves have destroyed all the doors on van bodies (try buying used doors - $700 each).



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Ken Macfarlane

02-17-2017 10:47:57




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to drussell, 02-17-2017 09:26:19  
I wish I could get a container that cheap. They are all about 4000$ each here. 3000$ will get a damaged one. 2000$ one of the open top ones.

The 20 ft ones are usually more expensive than the 40 ft because regular rollback tow trucks can shift the short ones around.



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jm.

02-17-2017 12:04:10




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 02-17-2017 10:47:57  
Ken I do not know where you are located but here the container market has tanked. Actually more containers than there are buyers. He quoted a 8X20 for $1500 , I can buy 8 X 40 for $1700.00 Containers are great for farm storage. Watch the internet for buys. Be advised there are now companies making what looks like a shipping container and marketing them but they are made of lighter material and paint is not a durable . Most true ocen containers are painted with rust proof paint.

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Ken Macfarlane

02-17-2017 12:17:05




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to jm., 02-17-2017 12:04:10  
I'm in eastern Canada with one smaller port within an hour drive another major port about 3.5 hours away. Major freight rail line runs about 2 hours drive away, it seems like a few people have locked down all the contracts to obtain containers as the price is very consistent.

10 years ago you could get them cheap, now I can buy 2 or 3 old van trailers for the price of a container but the roofs aren't as reliable.

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jm.

02-17-2017 14:12:20




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 Re: Truck Container in lieu of building a building in reply to Ken Macfarlane, 02-17-2017 12:17:05  
Location is one important consideration. I am miles from a port right in the center of the nation but containers are railed in from both coast and lots of them end up empty and would have to be trained back to port.



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