Friday, June 26, 2015

Top Story

These shipping containers lift themselves onto trucks

Look out crane operators—there’s a new container in town. This new box can sprout legs and lift itself onto a truck flatbed without any additional aid.

Using four hydraulic legs, the SL-tainer shipping container can lift itself high enough for a truck and trailer to back up underneath without the need for a crane. When the legs are folded out in the lift position, the Canadian company reports the clearance width is approximately 10.25 feet, allowing regular flatbed trucks to comfortably reverse between the legs and load the container.

The heavy-duty legs then fold neatly back into the container's frame when it rests on the truck flatbed. The SL-tainer uses a self-leveling safety mechanism that keeps goods from being damaged. The legs can lift the box to a height about 5 feet 3 inches, plenty of clearance for a truck flatbed but not quite high enough to reach the hull of a cargo ship. So large port cranes can rest easy, they'll still be needed to unload ships and stack containers for a while yet.

Small businesses receiving just one container have to hire an expensive crane, costing at least a few hundred dollars, just to lift the box off the truck. Excalibur Shelters, the makers of the SL-tainer, estimates that it costs just $1 each time to shift the container on and off a truck. That's the cost of the electricity for the 15-minute operation. The SL-trainer is powered externally either from the truck or a portable power generator it calls the Power Pack, which has a 9 KW motor, 2-speed hydraulic system.

To check out the SL-tainer in action:

For more of the Tech Times story:

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