Habitable Containers
18 July 2014
Prefabricated buildings and the developing world
5 August 2014

On the Road: Transporting Modular Buildings & Containers

One thing about modular buildings that saves time, energy and money is that they are constructed and assembled off-site in a factory. Getting them from factory to site means lots of big lorries and trucks and police escorts…how exciting! Containers, large and cumbersome by nature, need similar transport to get them from a to b. This blog takes a look at the journey from factory or vendor to location.

Setting Off

The guys and girls roll up in their seriously impressive and heavy weight rides. They ensure the buildings are level, locked and safely loaded onto the lorries using cranes and winches.

Sometimes, buildings and containers can be double stacked, and stairs and landings can be constructed to reduce the need for extra craneage. To save space, or for routes where headroom is restricted, load can be ‘skated’; that is, creating a Russian doll effect of building inside building.

Once all is set up for transport, the papers are signed to show that the customer or vendor is happy with the load and then the wheels start to roll.

On the Road

Two of the most popular types of lorries for transporting modular builds and containers are Rigid and Artic Lorries. The rigid lorry is multi-purpose and highly manoeuvrable – with a single front axle and rear steering axle creating a maximum turning circle to get you round those tight corners. As great as it is, power steering alone here might not do the job!

Artic lorries are used for the most challenging of loads. They are, to quote one of their distributors, ‘true power houses’. Trailers extend to accommodate the longest, widest and heaviest of loads and come with cranes to move the loads at their destination.

With these abnormal loads, escort is sometimes necessary, whether it’s a private company or the police. This can mean flashing lights and, yes, a bit of traffic build up behind you…and there’s always that pesky driver who decides to pull in between load and escort.


Quite often, sites need some preparation before a container or modular build can be unloaded. There may be some groundwork such as drainage or foundations which will have to be completed to make any unload appropriate. The site will have to have been cleared alongside the access, and sometimes ramps have to be laid for ease of approach. Temporary roads are sometimes required, so that the large vehicles can get to the site.


Any good lift planning service will do all the necessary safety checks to make sure nothing has become unsettled during transit. The larger types of lorry come with a crane, but sometimes you’ll need a separate crane at the site to meet the load if the lorry doesn’t have a crane. The beauty of the pre-fab is that after the unload and initial securing on the building at the final location, there’s not an awful lot to do, because the vast majority of construction and assembly has already occurred off-site. So when you wave goodbye to your drivers, you can start moving in!

Whether you need to get your modular build or container across town or across the country, speak to Reds10 about how we can help make the journey as smooth and stress free as possible for you.

Images: CSFast FellAppalachian

Ready to discuss your next project?

Get In Touch

We use cookies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalised content and targeted ads, to analyse our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. By browsing our website, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.
Read more