If you’re struggling to close your newly delivered or loaded shipping container, the chances are the cargo doors have racked. This means that the doors aren’t aligned properly because the container isn’t sitting flat, or one end has dipped when it’s been loaded.
If your container doors wont shut, it’s likely that the base isn’t completely flat causing the front of the container to slope in one direction whilst the rear slopes in another. This causes the container to twist making the door opening form a diamond shape instead of being rectangular, preventing the locking bars from operating. Racked containers are a common problem but very easy to solve.
To prevent your cargo doors from racking, ensure that the grounds are level prior to the arrival of your delivery driver. We recommend that containers aren’t sited directly onto grass or soft surfaces as the unit will sink. You should site your container on something sturdy like a hardcore or concrete base, concrete slabs or timber railway sleepers. Your container only needs to be supported in the four corners, even when loaded. Always make sure to check the doors open and close properly before the delivery driver unhooks his chains and packs up to leave site.
To solve the problem of racked cargo doors, firstly you need to shut the doors as best you can then have a look at the top and bottom to see where they meet or overlap – you may need to stand a few metres back to see this. One door will be sitting lower than the other so this is the side that needs to be altered. When you lift the lower side up, the cargo doors and opening will return to their rectangular shape allowing the doors to close properly. The aim is to lift the lower corner and pack it with steel or timber shims to hold it in the correct position. If this corner is difficult to access or lift, you can lift the diagonally opposite corner at the front wall of the container, it will have the same effect. The container will likely only need to be raised 10mm to 30mm.
If you need any further information or assistance with your cargo doors, contact our container experts today.