The Value of a Versatile Delivery System

NPSA Single Site Operator Issue





NPSA Single Site Operator Issue – Plain Text Version:

The Value of a Versatile Delivery System

Portable storage operators have options when it comes to delivery.  Transporting storage units — whether they are ocean containers or portable storage and moving containers, is not as complicated as you might expect. Some of the methods for moving containers from one location to another are manual, and some are automated — it’s up to you. For businesses who offer a variety of storage units, wouldn’t it be great to find a safe transportation system that is both convenient and cost effective?

Lucky for us, recent advancements in technology and materials have made delivery systems more streamlined and turnkey. These heavy-duty storage containers have most likely just made a long sea journey, and now you just have to consider how to transport them on land. Portable storage operators will typically use a rollback tow truck, a semi-trailer truck, or a Mule delivery system. All are great options, and the key is to choose the one that is right for your operation. Here, we will explore different transportation systems and dive into why sometimes, less is more. The end goal in each case is to deliver your storage units safely and securely — in an uncomplicated way.

Rollback tow trucks are a popular option for a lot of operators. They have a moveable platform where a portable storage or moving container sits quite nicely. The vehicle has a hydraulic tilt bed that raises up or down, so that the container slides off the back and onto the ground. When the truck pulls forward, the container will settle onto its new location. There are some things to consider with a rollback, however; 1) This does not work well for transporting items that need to stay upright.  2) A lot of room is required in front of, behind and overhead the truck for appropriate maneuverability. 3) No crane or forklift is needed, although you will need that equipment if you plan to stack containers.

Semi-trailer or flatbed tractor trailer trucks work well when the container you are transporting is too large for a rollback, such as a 40 ft ocean container. This type of delivery system has the ability to keep belongings safe and secure, while providing greater maneuverability for the larger ocean containers. A major challenge is the size of this type of delivery system, which requires more space when storing and when transporting.  There also exists the potential of driving the truck over curbs, driveways and sidewalks due to the size of the trailer. When you want to unload a storage container from a semi-trailer, you will need to do some figuring, as you’ll need a loading dock, crane, side-loader or heavy forklift.

If you don’t want to invest in a fleet of trucks or trailers or spend money on multiple delivery systems, you might consider a Mule by Cardinal Manufacturing. A Mule is simple, forklift-like piece of equipment that functions with a wireless remote control. Here is a system that allows quick and easy transportation for ocean containers and portable storage and moving containers — without a forklift or extra heavy-duty machinery. When using a Mule, the storage unit will be safe and upright during the entire delivery process, including the loading and unloading.

Combined with a set of hand-crank dolly wheels and trailer or chassis, a Mule, “will put you in control of deliveries.” You could pick up and move a 40 ft ocean container with the same delivery system as you use to move a residential portable storage and moving container. It has a “wheelbarrow effect” with arms that stabilize the container and swivel wheels that allow the mule to maneuver in and out of tight spaces. The operator of the Mule’s belly remote control device has a 360-degree view at all times. They also have the ability to make 90-degree turns to put ocean containers or portable storage and moving containers practically anywhere, such as into an area the size of a parking space. The Mule delivery system is a viable option for operators who offer a variety of containers.

Whether you choose to use a rollback, semi-trailer or Mule – or mix it up, your portable storage business has good options for the safe transportation of your storage containers.  Based upon your type of operation, the space at your facility, and your budget, you may choose to rent or own your equipment. And, since more and more portable storage operators are offering a variety of container types and sizes–including ocean and portable storage and moving to their customers, it is advantageous to simplify and consolidate your delivery equipment.

Boxwell is the leading provider of portable containers and relocatable self-storage units for businesses within the storage industry. Each storage solution is fully customizable, expertly crafted with cutting edge materials and has the fastest assembly available. Headquartered in Boulder, CO, Boxwell works with each client to ensure they have the most convenient and cost-effective delivery options available. Check out or call (303) 317-5850 for more information.



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