Shipping Crate Height Change for 2018

Just a quick note as a PSA that it looks like they lowered the max height of shipping crates this year from 70" in 2017 to a maximum height of 60" in 2018.

Need to go check our crate we used prior years and make sure we aren’t too tall.

Sorry if I missed a prior thread on this, but I did not see one.


One more detail that needs your attention:

You are required to have two 4" X 4" rails underneath it to allow the use of a forklift or pallet jack to move it.
Nowhere in the documents does it say if that 4" is included in the 60" maximum height. So, consider it carefully!

From the linked 2018 document:

Not be taller than 60” high. This is for ALL teams this year. Crates that are taller than that run the risk of being turned on their side for shipping.

The document also says at the top that teams should build their crate to withstand shipping, not to mention ensuring the robot is secure inside the crate. But I really hope no teams arrive at Champs to find their robot smashed inside the crate because they used a prior year crate that was too high it was shipped on it’s side

So 55" robots can’t fit in the shipping crate this year?

Don’t be silly, 60" is a bigger than 55". Why would a robot not fit? :wink:

55 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 3 1/2 = 59 1/2

No sweat!

We forgot to take the wheels off of our robot when we bagged it at Vegas.


60" is from bottom to top. So it includes the 4x4 runners and anything else.

This is going to be extremely taxing on teams overall - particularly teams qualifying for CMP late (at later regionals or DCMP).

  1. This is probably obvious to everyone, but 55" robots in a 60" crate? The minimum stackup of faily weak 1/2" plywood (top) 1/2" plywood (bottom), 4" lumber and 55" robot = exactly 60". Disassembling your robot to get in a crate will add nothing but strife for teams trying to get inspected and practice match ready Wednesday afternoon.

  2. Many teams have crates already. These crates are likely >60". Meaning, teams need to invest more time/money into a crate they use 1 time per year to update it.

Rough call for teams.


4" lumber is only 3.5" you know…

Yes, it’s another fun shipping situation. Hopefully we’ll have to deal with it.

I guess we are taking our wheels off after our event next week.


We will be using the same crate as we did in 2015/2017. Ours is actually 63" tall and we never had any issues with FEDEX about it. We didnt take any chance tought and secured our robot inside in case of a crate flip. It will be shipped this week. If anything goes wrong I’ll keep you informed.

Whoa now, it says 4". Don’t go jumping to conclusions that standard 3.5" (or 4x4 lumber) is what is being specified! :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m not jumping to conclusions, I’ve been observing pallets for 40 years. They use 4x4 lumber skids, which are 3.5" tall.

It was worse in 2015. Robots could be 78" tall in TRANSPORT CONFIGURATION, but had to be much shorter (~62" tall IIRC) after accounting for palette, crate wall, and packing foam to be transported by crate. We had to take ours apart to go to CMP, fitting the welded lift frame in diagonally and most of the rest at the bottom.

I think my attempt at sarcasm failed.

Sounds like a fun hobby :stuck_out_tongue:

No, the sarcasm worked fine…

but we don’t want to scare folks who don’t know about crates ::safety::

I like to observe stuff, I learn a lot. Some of it is occasionally useful. Most is not.

I checked the shipping guide for FedEx and they still say the max height for pallet type shipping is 70 inches. I wonder if this change was forced by a venue(Cobo?). I can’t think of any reason why. I assume that FedEx doesn’t really save money with the 10 inches less, cause they still can’t be double-stacked in a trailer.

I hope Frank says something about it, I’d be interested to hear why they made a seemingly useless change this year.

That was my point though - if you don’t know that 4x4 lumber means 3.5"x3.5" actually measured wood…you might see someone trying to shave down a bigger piece of wood, or doing something else goofy.