Collapsible vs. non-collapsible flat rack containers: What you need to know

An empty flat rack container

When you need to transport equipment to and from site, you’ve got some choices to make. Particularly when it’s irregular-shaped or over-sized equipment.

This is where flat rack containers are your best friend. Made from a heavy-duty base, these 40-foot containers only feature sides on the front and back of the rack. There are no walls down the length of them, meaning there’s nothing constraining the shape or size of your cargo.

A flat rack container is ideal when you’re transporting cargo with unique dimensions. So more than just transporting crates or pallets; think pieces of machinery, like cranes, or building materials, or larger plant.

There are two key types of flat rack containers that you’ll consider: collapsible flat rack containers, and non-collapsible flat rack containers.

We’re going to look at the two, discuss their benefits, and help you determine which is best for your next project.

Collapsible flat rack containers

Collapsible flat rack containers do just what the name suggests. They feature hinged walls at both the front and back of the rack, which can be folded down or detached when they’re not being used to keep your cargo in place.

More flexible handling

A collapsible flat rack container provides you with more flexibility, both in use and in storage.

You can lower the front or back walls for easy loading and unloading of cargo. You can choose to keep the walls up for added support for your loads, or you can remove them entirely for larger pieces of plant and equipment.

In fact, a collapsible flat rack container imposes no real capacity limitations. As long as your equipment and cargo meets the container’s payload specifications, you can effectively load them with as much as you need.

A wider variety of uses

With the removable nature of their front and rear wall, collapsible flat rack containers can take much larger loads than their non-collapsible counterpart. This allows you to transport larger, more irregular-shaped equipment to and from site.

Easy to stack and transport

As the two sides can be folded down, or even detached, you can store them far more easily than a non-collapsible flat rack.

With the walls removed, you can stack them on top of each other, providing easier storage when they’re not in use. You can stack up to four collapsible flat racks in the same footprint as one non-collapsible flat rack, making them a more efficient long-term hire option.

Given their ability to be stacked, this makes them ultra convenient to transport. You can move more of them in one load, saving you big on transport costs.

Non-collapsible flat rack containers

Non-collapsible flat rack containers, or fixed-end flat racks, are much the same as collapsible ones. The big difference is that their two walls are rigid.

Perform better in harsh weather

As the sides of a non collapsible flat rack container are firmly fixed in place, it provides a much more robust and durable rack. You don’t have to worry about adverse weather or strong winds damaging the sides—they’re not going anywhere.

A more heavy-duty option

The strength of their design makes non-collapsible flat rack containers much less resistant to damage. With their robust base and fixed sides, this makes them a stronger-wearing and more reliable option. You can strap down heavier loads, safe in the knowledge that there’s no chance of the walls somehow coming loose.

Which flat rack container should you choose?

Flat rack containers are the ideal tool when you need to ship items that don’t fit in a standard shipping container. So the flat rack that you choose depends on what you’re transporting, your specific cargo needs, and how you want the loading and unloading process to go.

Collapsible flat rack containers are ideal if:

  • You’ve got larger loads that won’t fit the standard 40-foot length. Simply lower the walls and you’re ready to go.
  • You want a container option with more flexibility.
  • You’re going to be storing them on-site or in a depot for a long period of time, and want to save space.

Non-collapsible flat racks are perfect when:

  • You need to transport a heavier load, and want more strength and stability in transit.
  • You want peace of mind that your rack will stand up to any weather event.

It’s important that you consider the type and weight of your cargo, handling requirements, and transportation costs first.

Then when you’re ready, contact the specialists at your nearest Rentco, or give us a call on 08 9353 9999. We can help you determine which flat rack container will suit your needs best, and work out a plan for safe, secure, and affordable container hire.