Because the tractor and trailer weigh in excess of 30,000 lb. most drivers will not drive off of a road or paved surface. In considering the resting location for a container, if your location is any distance from a well-packed road or driveway, it is best to discuss this with the trucking company delivering the container prior to scheduling the delivery. Issues such as slope, amount of moisture in the ground and driver experience all need to be considered before any off road delivery is attempted.
Surface Under the Container:
Containers are designed to be supported at each of the 4 corners. Supports or piers at the mid length of a 40 foot container will be of no benefit in normal applications. The ends can be supported with a concrete footing, railroad ties, asphalt or a bed of gravel. Although it is possible to land the container directly on the ground with no support, the best site is one that provides suitable stability to keep the container level with adequate drainage. Furthermore, an uneven site can cause the doors to bind (see ‘Door Alignment' below)
Because the container slides off the back of the trailer, you will need more than 80 feet of space in front of the location where the container is to be landed. Some delivery companies operate a 2 axle bobtail that, for delivery of a 20' container, will require 40 feet of turn space.
Because the container will be delivered on a slide off trailer make sure you have at lease 14 feet of overhead clearance on the road to the delivery site and 20 feet of overhead clearance at the location where the truck will tilt the container to slide it off. This means all trees and overhead wires must be out of the way!
Occasionally after a container is delivered the doors may be difficult to close. Because the container weights 5,000 lb. or more there will be some settling and it is possible that the doors will be difficult to operate. If this occurs the container can be straightened by lifting the low or settled corner and inserting some material that will re-support the corner and return the door to proper alignment. Lifting of the subsided corner can be done with a simple hydraulic jack, ‘Johnson Bar' or small forklift.
Check with your local building department prior to purchasing a container. Most jurisdictions consider a storage container a temporary structure and therefore exempt from the standards for a "built in place" building. Also if there is impact on your neighbors, talk to them first, before the container is delivered!