QUESTION: Tim, we are concerned about the size of our crate. Right now, we are looking to construct an 8’x6’x5′ crate (5 foot height) instead of the suggested 8’x6’x4′ crate to accommodate our toboggan’s size.
ANSWER: Download the PDF: GNCTR-2016-crate-dimensions.pdf
The suggested dims were 8L x 4W x 6 to 8′ high, not 8x6x4’H. Don’t let the dims interfere with a winning design. After all, one sled was over dimensional that i shipped in 2012 and it turned out to be the overall winner. In 2013, another oversize crate (mostly display) was too big, however, and delayed loading and unloading for all other teams. It should have been shipped in 2 separate, more manageable crates. I loved riding down Mount Seymour in it, though. TWO SMALL 8X4X6’h CRATES ARE THE SAME COST AS 1 HUGE 16X4X6’High crate because the total dimensions inside the truck are the same as one massive crate, but two smaller crates are easier to load and unload.
There are sound reasons why I suggested those crate dimensions though. One is to reduce your team’s costs, not only for shipping, but storage and other possible ways. Here they are:
If longer than 8′, you can’t unload if a dock is unavailable, and if no fork lift or pump truck is in the van, you either need a lot of muscle or tie it to a tree and drive away to take it out. Also, have fun getting it back into the truck after the Tech Ex or Race.
Note that 8 trucks will be used for GNCTR local events. If crates are the recommended size we have the option of loading them into trailers sideways, or endways, or from the side of flatbed trucks in a slushy Ski hill parking lot if we need to. Also, at the recommended dimensions, we can get 12 crates into a single truck, so only 2 trucks were required to each event. One year there were 18 units and the previous GNCTR we had 19 crates, but had there been 24, or 18 oversized crates, the ones that were oversize could force the Committee to purchase 4 more trucks (1 more to the Tech Ex, 1 more from the Tech Ex, a 3rd to the Race and a 4th extra trailer after the Race. If that were to occur, that extra cost of 4 trucks would be billed back to your teams by the Committee.
Width: If 4’wide, we can put 2 side by side in an 8 foot wide trailer. If one crate is wider than 4′, another crate can’t fit beside it in a truck, doubling the space required inside the trailer, and could possibly lead to the Committee requiring extra trucks that they didn’t budget for, so they would be forced to charge back the extra cost to your team.
Finally, storage is cheap at the recommended size, but over-length OR over-wide units would cost the Committee double for 2 spots on the warehouse floor instead of one. If one sled is both over long and WIDER THAN 4′, the Committee has to pay for 4 spots then claw back that extra cost to your team.
So in summary, a little extra cost to ship an oversize crate is one thing, but the unbudgeted team money that might impact the committee funds for warehousing and trucking to the events could possibly be an unexpected cost teams don’t plan for.