Shipping Crate

Hey everybody. I am kinda confused about this shipping crate stuff. Can you only make the crate out of wood, or can you make it out of 80/20 or Lexan or other materials?

And do any of you have a good material to make the box out of or some plans and drawings. I would greatly appreciate it :smiley:

as long as the crate holds up from shipment to the competition then its good. just make sure it wont fall apart or someting!!
see our crate is just a big yellow box with stuff.

Huh, that’s not how I read it:

6.3.2 Crate Specifications
When you build your crate, remember to consider the weight of your materials. For instance, if 3/8” or ½”
plywood is sturdy enough, why use the much heavier ¾” product? Build it with more than one shipment
and/or season in mind.
All Crates must:
• NEW: Comply with the Wood Materials Regulations above if the crate ships into the U.S.
• Weigh 400 pounds or less in order to avoid drayage overage charges
• Be sturdily built to prevent damage to your equipment
Have plywood construction to ensure stacking capability during transport
• “Sit” on 2 pieces of 4" by 4" lumber, spaced at least 28" apart so it can be moved by a forklift.
• Have a footprint no greater than 4’ by 4’ and be no taller than 5’10" (70") high. This maximum
includes the 4" by 4" lumber mentioned above.
• Be capable of being moved by a forklift

I am just quoting the rules here but it seems like you cannot, in fact, make it out of whatever you want. Again, read the rules closely. They are your friend.

You may be right…I was basing my post on history…but that rule pretty much negates it. Thank you!

I believe the intent of the plywood requirement is to meet the requirements of shipping companies. While a crate made of diamond plate or 80/20 and lexan may look cool I don’t think the freight companies care so much about looks as they do sturdiness. Wood crates have been the standard for centuries.

This question was posted on the FIRST Q&A and was answered that other materials can be used.

Q: Our crate is built with aluminum structure with aluminum diamond plates sides. It is stackable and easily able to support 600#. We have used this crate for many years. Do we have to change it to plywood per rule 6.3.2?
A: No.

http://forums.usfirst.org/showthread.php?t=498

Hmmm, well isn’t that a contradiction. I guess I stand corrected. However, our crate is plywood and will stay that way to be safe. I have also seen a contradiction on shipping vs. bringing batteries to the competition. The rules clearly state that the crate must include the robot and the two batteries in the 2006 KoP but one of the questions on the Q&A seems to allow teams to not ship the batteries with the robot and just bring them with them.

6.3.5 Required Crate Contents
Teams must include the robot and the two batteries. Carefully and completely follow all instructions above listed in the “Battery Packaging“ section…

Q) Bringing batteries to events with the teams?
Will teams be permitted to bring the 12V batteries with them to events, as opposed to shipping them in the crate, as was done last season?

A) Yes, but be aware of shipping requirements on airlines.

http://forums.usfirst.org/showthread.php?t=284

Sometimes, I dunno what to believe!

I think that would mean that you must ship two…but can bring others instead of shipping them

That is definitely one way to interpret the Q&A, however, to be perfectly clear a better answer would have been “You must ship 2 but may bring any extra with you…”. My question would then be why? If you can bring extra batteries but must ship 2 then what is the real point? All teams seem to have the right to either buy extra batteries or use old ones from previous years so what is the point of having to comply with the federal battery shipping regulations (special box inside the crate, extra labeling, etc.) when we can just bring them with us?

If you look through last year’s Q&A, the “do we have to ship two batteries” question was posed to the committee and the answered (I’m paraphrasing here), “No, if you’re driving to an event you can bring the batteries with you, and don’t have to ship them.”

I wonder if that still stands for this year.