How do you install a job site storage container?

Have you ever shown up at a job site only to find all the copper has been stripped from your makeshift security shed? If you have, you’re not alone. The FBI has called copper theft a threat to critical U.S. infrastructure. Theft is a serious risk on construction sites. The high value of construction equipment, tools and supplies makes them a prime target for thieves. And the difficulty of properly securing items on an open construction site only adds to the problem. This is where installing a job site storage container can make a world of difference.

The cost of not being secure

It’s hard to calculate an exact cost for these types of thefts—from equipment to time lost—but the estimated annual value of items stolen from construction job sites is between $300 million and $1 billion according to video monitoring company Stealth Monitoring. Around 25 percent of stolen equipment is never recovered. That’s a huge loss to your project in both time and resources.

This is a costly problem, but it has a simple solution. On-site storage containers provide you with a secure and organized place to store equipment and materials. They provide peace of mind at your job site.

You may already be using temporary fencing, and that’s a great first line of defense to boost site security. But it is just one measure. Storage containers provide a weather-proof, durable, and mobile storage solution for your construction site. They can be locked, and they are difficult to break into.

Often, just having a locked metal container is all that’s needed to deter a thief looking for an easy snatch-and-grab job. Stash your copper, tools, and smaller pieces of equipment in a storage containers, securely lock it at the end of the day, and you add a layer of protection to your job site.

Types of construction storage containers

When choosing the right storage container, you have three basic options to choose from. These include:

  • Standard storage containers – Storage containers that can be opened on both sides. They provide weatherproof storage for construction equipment and supplies. You can also install technology like video cameras or WiFi hotspots inside if you are using a computer system on the job site. You can rent sizes from small 10-foot containers up to large 40-foot containers.
  • Office containers – Office containers are small mobile offices inside a storage container. They’ve had doors and windows cut into them, they offer no-frills workspace, and they can be air conditioned.
  • Office storage combination containers – These containers combine office units with storage for one-size-fits-all solution.

Prepare your job site for delivery

Before your construction storage container is delivered, make sure the site is properly prepared to receive it. You will need a flat, fairly level area that is larger than the width and length of the container. There has to be enough room to safely access the storage unit without interfering with the construction itself. And there must be enough room for the doors to swing all the way open on either side.

Keep in mind, the delivery truck will need access to the site. Make sure the delivery driver will have clear access to the site to deliver your storage container. You may need to coordinate with them on the best route to the job site. Are you working in a remote area—or a heavily populated urban area? We specialize in working with you to make sure you and the delivery driver have all the information needed for a smooth delivery.

Consider container blocks

An additional consideration is whether to place the container on blocks. If your job site is not flat, blocks can help keep the storage unit level. Also, if the job site is wet or you expect wet weather while you’re working, blocks can help prevent water seepage and moisture problems.

Though the containers are weatherproof, if they sit on wet ground for too long the dampness can sweat through the flooring and into the container. This causes damage to everything inside. We can help you figure out your options to help prevent this from happening.

Finally, if you place a container on blocks it helps stop animals from digging underneath and nesting below the container. Keep in mind that placing the container on blocks will increase the height of the step into the container. Make sure to have the right sized step and use good quality blocks—make sure they aren’t cracked or misshapen—so they don’t break or rot and send your container crashing to the ground.

Additional site security

Your storage container in and of itself is a great security measure, but you can also add additional security. Some additions to consider include:

  • High-security lockboxes
  • Heavy-duty padlocks
  • Temporary fence rentals to add fencing around the container
  • Alarm system
  • Video cameras
  • Crossbar locks

No matter which security measures you choose, a mobile storage container will help keep your equipment, materials and overall job site secure. And your tools and materials will be much more likely to be there when you return each morning.

ZTERS bundles services like storage containers, temporary fencing, portable toilets and office trailers to make your site management simple. One call. One invoice. Give us a call to get a free quote on storage containers or a full bundle of job site services.

waste advice from ZTERS

Ask Angela: What goes into temporary fencing rental fees?

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Site Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Hi, Angela. I was pricing temporary fencing for a construction project. It seems like fencing rental is priced kind of high, in my opinion. Can’t you just put up a few panels and call it a day? Why is temporary fencing so expensive?

Angela: Thanks for asking this question. A lot of people don’t understand everything that goes into installing temporary fencing. Fencing rentals can be expensive for a number of reasons, including (but not limited to):

  • Labor costs—it takes time to load fencing on a truck, drive to a location, set up, break down, and then, of course, there’s removal and offloading it at the yard.

Depending on the length of fencing, a crew of at least two to six installers, on average, is needed for any site. These installers are paid an hourly wage for drive time and the time it takes to actually install the fencing.

Prevailing wage (or government jobs) in most states are higher than installers would typically make elsewhere. And when installers do these jobs, they have to be paid according to a prevailing wage pay standard.

Most places have a minimum dollar amount, which means the installers get paid a set minimum amount for any job. They receive that set rate even if a project comes in at less than that minimum amount.

Additional fees for fencing often include:

  • Hand carry fee—this is a per-panel cost for sites where the installers have to carry panel fencing more than four to six feet. This usually happens when they can’t get the truck closer to the designated fence line.
  • Damages—this fee can be as small as a few dollars for a missing or broken part, or as large as a few hundred dollars if a fence panel has to be replaced. It depends on the damage done to the fence. Ask your broker or hauler for a list of damage fees when you’re ordering your fencing.

Screening is also an additional cost, and there are situations where screening isn’t recommended. This is another place where it’s useful to ask your broker whether screening is really necessary for your project. Sometimes it adds an extra layer of security. Other times it can be left off.

At ZTERS, we offer a six-month minimum rental. Fencing can be removed at any time, but typically with any temporary fencing the initial rental will be six months. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but it is on a site-by-site basis. We help you calculate how long you’ll need your fencing, and we work to find fencing that fits your budget.

One other note about fencing: military discounts. While we don’t offer a military discount, per se, we do work with local vendors to make sure that temporary fencing for military installments are as convenient and cost effective as possible. We know sometimes these projects can be a big challenge, so if you need temporary fencing for a military project, give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.

I hope that answered your question about the cost of renting temporary fencing. If you ever need help or have more questions, give us a call! We’re glad to help.

Planning an outdoor wedding? Here are your portable toilet options

Outdoor weddings are a great way to experience natural spaces as you celebrate your union. Planning an outdoor wedding sometimes takes a little more effort than a traditional indoor event, especially when it comes to scheduling logistics like portable toilets. Even if the outdoor venue has some toilet facilities, they may not be sufficient for all your guests. Thinking about a remote location like a beach or campground? As wedding destinations become increasingly remote, toilet facilities may not be available at all. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, here’s what you need to know about your outdoor portable toilet options.

Porta potties for outdoor weddings

When shopping for portable toilet rentals, you have two basic size options. Standard portable toilets stand around 91 inches high and are 44 inches wide and 48 inches deep from the outside. Inside, standard units have a depth of 21 inches and a width of 42 inches. (The toilet tank takes up part of the porta potty space.) This can be pretty cramped, particularity for wedding guests and brides in flowing gowns.

Toilets that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, are deeper and wider. They have a width and depth of 77 inches each. The additional space provides added floor space, making the toilets large enough for someone in a wheelchair to maneuver.

How many portable toilets for a crowd?

When choosing the toilets for your wedding, you need to ensure you have both the right type of toilets and the right number. Most wedding planners recommend one toilet per 25 guests, especially if there’s an open bar. (For obvious reasons!) For a wedding anticipating 150 guests, plan for three to four stalls for women and three stalls for men. However, adding more toilets will improve the comfort of your guests.

In addition, consider adding at least one ADA-compliant toilet. The additional floor space will be helpful to guests with young children, older family members and other guests who may have mobility needs, and even the bride yourself with your gown and its added layers. The larger restroom space will create a better overall experience for your guests and your bridal party.

If your location has access to water and electricity, you may be able to rent a restroom trailer with sinks and stalls. At ZTERS, we work with brides and wedding planners to find the right portable toilets for your location and the time of year when you’ll be getting married.

How far in advance should you rent?

In warmer months of the year, portable toilet rental is in high demand. Many summer brides are surprised to learn that the company they chose for portable toilet rental has run out of available toilets, especially the high-demand ADA-complaint models. If your wedding falls on a week when your community has several outdoor events or large festivals, you will have even more trouble finding available toilets.

Plan to book your toilets two to three months in advance. If you have your date and location reserved earlier than that, go ahead and start calling to make those toilet reservations. Fall brides should also be aware October is usually the busiest month for renting portable toilets. With all those hay rides, pumpkin patches, and outdoor haunted houses, toilet rentals can be hard to come by.

Portable toilet rental may not be the most glamorous part of your outdoor wedding, but it is one of the most important factors. It’s also the easiest to forget. Make portable toilets a main part of your wedding planning to ensure the entire day goes off without a hitch. We schedule toilet rentals nationwide, 365 days a year. Give us a call to help find the right toilets for your wedding.