Shipping Tools

Hello all! This is our second time going to nationals, and I have a question that someone out there might be able to answer. The first year we had few tools and we just took them on the plane as luggage. This year we have a tool cart and a lot more tools. How do teams with a large assortment of tools and equipment get their stuff to nationals? Do they send it by truck and have it delivered to the stadium? To the hotel? Please help!!!

I know that we had the opportunity to ship an extra crate. Do we just make another crate and have it delivered to the drayage area along with our robot. our robot crate has already been sent.

Please let us know asap!!

In the past when we flew to nationals, we put our cart (dissasembled) in the crate with our robot and took the tools in tool chests as checked luggage. We wiretied them shut but good, and made sure that there were students/adults with one bag that could check a toolbox too. I think we used one actual toolbox, and two or three of the boxes that the kit of parts came in.

Check with the airline that you are flying with for their rules on checked luggage. If you are taking a bus, then load up the bus.

As for shiping an additional crate, look through section 11 of the manual. It should be in there, but this computer dosn’t have acrobat so I can’t check.

Good luck at the championship!


We pack as much as we can in the crate with the robot. We even made shelves in the crate to support the stuff so it doesn’t rest on the robot. As far as I know we’ve never shipped our tools on the plane, although you can do it but like Wetzel said above check thier policies and the drayage companies policies before hand. Since you’ve already sent your robot crate you could either make a second for truck freight or find out the requierments for shipping by plane. You could even ship the tools by UPS, FEDEX, DHL, ect. depending on whether you have a crate or large box (I don’t know what you’re planning on taking), although you might want to get price quotes before doing that.


I know that some teams ship two crates. Back when the championship was at EPCOT we joked about taking our tools out on the grounds of WDW and burying them in the sand somewhere - cause it would be cheaper than shipping them back and forth every year.

We have a trailer full that we take to all of our competitions. Inside it we bring our tool cart/work table, robot cart/sound system, extra table for sponsors literature, then a heap of extra tools, including drill press, coldsaw, belt/disc sander… We also have a grill, helium tank, chairs and more.

Last year we contracted to have it driven to Houston, but for Orlando and Atlanta, we drive it ourself.

I’d offer to bring some stuff down for you, but since you are in Phoenix, it wouldn’t help you much.

Good luck anyways. If you need to borrow some tools when you get there, find us, 548, and we will be glad to give you a hand.

Please read the following restrictions and adhere to them in order to promote an orderly, safe, pleasant, and exciting competition. As a group, we all should honor agreements with the venue and help promote the spirit of good partnership.
Do not bring helium tanks.

That is directly from the manual… Please leave your helium tanks home, they can cause a threat to everyone and are very dangerous if improperly used.

Shipping a second crate thru FIRST is expensive and I think you have the drayage charges also.

We ship many tools in our crate, and like someone above, we have made shelves and even front covers that we screw on to them to keep the stuff on the shelf during shipping. I have seen a few robots that got crushed by things falling on tem during shipping.

We also take some on the plane. Drills, hammers, wrenches and such we just put into our checked luggage. Our controls went to Phoenix last week in a large plastic tub.

The other option is to ship a box to your hotel. Make sure you talk to the hotel and that they agree. On the address label, put your name, “Hotel Guest, Checking In xxxxxx” and then the hotel name and address.

I have not done that with robot parts but have done that often for work items that I could not take with me on an airplane.

The other thing to remember, lots of team in Atlanta will have tools and most are willing to share. If we can help you out, don’t hesitate to ask.

For one, we never bring it into the venue, stays outside for balloons, and it is never improperly used.

our team packs 2 crates. one with the robot and another with most of the tools. additional tools are intermingled depending upon the weight of each crate. for the crate that has most of the tools, we have a tool box in there, with standoffs so it can be mounted, a side of the crate swings out, stands on legs to give us another work surface,there is a vice mounted to the side which a lot of teams like to use now and then,and a little cabinet thing that is good storage and when mounted vertically, holds cans of handy little bottles of things like wd 40, circut coolant, lithium grease, and other things…