Author Topic: Shipping container  (Read 1114 times)

Offline Thunderhawkburner

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Shipping container
« on: July 24, 2018, 09:49:05 AM »
Hello all!

TLDR How much weight will the top of a shipping container support? Not the corners, mid top. (lbs per square foot?)



I'm hoping someone here knows a lot about shipping containers.

We finally got our 20' shipping container for event storage. It will be filled with camping equipment and shade structures. We are not allowed to modify the outside of the container in any way. We want to put a temporary deck with railings on top for views of the sunrise, sunset and Black Rock City in general.

I am thinking of sheets of 1/2 or 5/8 plywood laid on top for a smooth ish surface and then 2x4s for railings. All to be disassembled and stored inside. I am wondering how big I can make the deck as I'd rather not have 20 people up there and buckle the top. I will also not build a proper 16" on center framed deck as it will only be used for one week out of the year. Thats a lot of work for one week.

I have been searching for specs on this but the websites only include in empty and cargo weights.

My gut feeling is two sheets of plywood making an 8x8 area allowing eight to ten people will be fine but... or is the answer no it won't take any real weight no matter the distribution, and I axe my whole idea.

Thanks in advance!
TH



Offline Stwood

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2018, 01:00:49 PM »
I cannot tell you how much it will hold on weight up there. No idea.

*If* I was to do something like that, I'd be looking into putting some channel iron or an I-beam inside, up against the roof.

Offline Redman

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2018, 04:20:27 PM »
I would suggest you do an internet search on stacking shipping containers or similar. I know this isn't your question but it may yield some information. Further notice on the container the corners and in the center outside edges. There should be re-enforced areas there to take the weight of stacked containers. That may be of some help to you.

Offline Thunderhawkburner

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2018, 05:24:59 PM »
@ Stwood  Yes I have thought about that. Some sort of adjustable post with a beam, even just a 4 x 4. might just do that.

@ Redman  I have looked around quite a bit but all the stacking info is about the weight bearing of the ends and corners and of course that is not the info I need. Thanks for the idea though, I will look some more though to be sure I'm not missing something.

A new concept is to build small 2' platform sections and saddle them across the outside beams and not touch the corrugated top. Hmmm more thinking required...

Offline Stwood

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2018, 06:37:18 PM »
Hmmm....2'x8' platforms that saddle the sides. Yea, I like that.

Hey on the inside, research basement jacks. Cheap and easy.
4x4 post 20'? long, supported by 3 basement jacks.

Offline armymars

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 09:39:25 AM »
  Now that I had my coffee I was thinking. If I load a container with two tons of goods and I load it on top of another container, is not the floor of the container supporting the weight of the load and isn't there a gap between the containers so they can run the straps to load and unload the said container. It seems to me the load of the container is supported by the floor. The corners support stacking and isn't the roof made of the same steel, the same way.
  Please pick me apart if I'm wrong. I've watched on tiny homes where they put a deck on top of a home made from a shipping container.

Offline Redman

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Offline armymars

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 05:24:49 PM »
  Good info Redman.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 08:38:29 PM »
The container floor has I-beams under, where the roof has none.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2018, 12:03:00 PM »
The container floor has I-beams under, where the roof has none.

hmmm.. then one can bury it upside down?

Offline Stwood

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2018, 01:00:24 PM »
Hmmmm. Very possible

Offline idelphic

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2018, 01:48:48 PM »
It is possible to direct bury a shipping container.  but it HAS to be done in the proper manner.  Take a look at the ARK and ARK II (https://inhabitat.com/man-buries-42-school-buses-to-build-north-americas-largest-nuclear-fallout-shelter/)

He used School Buses - so nothing compared to the steel and design of a shipping container.  The key thing is to build bracing to support the roof and walls while you back fill / pour concrete - And I would pour at least a 6" thick wall / roof.

Once and only once the concrete has set - 1-2 months or so, would I remove the bracing. 

Offline Stwood

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2018, 02:57:30 PM »
 8)

Concrete cures at 28 days

Offline Thunderhawkburner

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2018, 09:00:09 PM »
I really appreciate the comments and ideas! As it happens a friend found this website and sent it to me.  The answer is somewhere in the third paragraph.


http://www.residentialshippingcontainerprimer.com/ISO%20Shipping%20Containers%20and%20Building%20Code%20Requirements%20


And the answer is... (drumroll) 330 lbs per sq foot. Now I know all containers are made differently but hey this is close enough for government work.

Thanks everyone!

Offline Greekman

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2018, 12:54:20 AM »
BTW, there is at least one podcast on containers

Offline armymars

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2018, 10:30:21 AM »
Thunderhawk,
  I know I don't weigh that much, but I think I need to loose some weight.  Grin ;D ;D

Offline DDJ

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2018, 10:52:41 AM »
Just a note, I did not have time to view the stuff on the ARKs, but school busses are designed with the rounder roof which would product an extremely strong vaulted ceiling.  That shape was used to prevent busses from collapsing on a roll over.  The flat top and sharp edges of the container will not distribute the load.  The edges of the containers are build with heavier steel to mover the stresses down the skins between not so much.

If you have to take down and put up the deck watch the weight and number of people expected to be available, assuming no mechanical lift aids.

just my 4 cents (2 cents 2 topics)

Offline Carl

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Re: Shipping container
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2018, 12:31:10 PM »
  As you said "we are not to modify the container in any way" , I kind of take it some law or ordnance prevents such. I would also say that a deck,that is built attached to such a container,is a modification and so I suggest you build a free standing DECK over,but not structurally dependent on the container...like a carport. This will add protection to the container though a dozen people on top of a container might not be a safety issue with rails about the container...they can support a lot of weight,but mostly on the walls and corners as they are not built with much strength in their structure.