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Flat rack shipping container used as bridge?

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  • Flat rack shipping container used as bridge?

    I'm exploring my options on putting in a new bridge. I have a wood 8'x 30' bridge and its getting old. I need @ 8'x 40'.

    I could build with wood again but I'm leaning toward steel set on concrete ecology blocks.

    RxR flat car I was told $15-30,000.00 installed. Heavy, but beyond what I really need.

    I'm looking at a Flat Rack shipping container. Would be within the capacity of equipment I already have to install it, bull dozer, winches etc.
    Weigh between 11,000-12,000 lbs. The 40' ones run about $4,500 delivered with a PT deck. I would install guard railing.

    I can't find anything other than a gross weight rating of @85,000-99,000lbs. I would assume that is uniform loading. I would use it with my tractor and cat, which is the heaviest @8,500lbs over 8' long tracks.

    Has anyone here done this? Any comments, issues or complaints?
    Thanks,
    Abner
    Last edited by Abner; 08-15-2017, 08:48 PM.

  • #2
    A used flat bed trailer in 45 or 48 ft length would do quite well would be cheap and most likely need a bed replaced. I've seen several like that in my home aera.

    Dave

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    • #3
      They would be fairly narrow, about 8' wide.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sewingmachine View Post
        A used flat bed trailer in 45 or 48 ft length would do quite well would be cheap and most likely need a bed replaced. I've seen several like that in my home aera.

        Dave
        Yep, when they get used (abused?) to the point of needing everything that moves replaced in order to make them roadworthy again, they go relatively cheap.
        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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        • #5
          use 2 & have 16'wide.
          "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
          world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
          country, in easy stages."
          ~ James Madison

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Abner View Post
            I'm exploring my options on putting in a new bridge. ..................
            What's under the bridge? Much flowing water?

            At my prior place I had a hurricane overflow the creek and wash out the driveway. Put in two 30" diameter plastic culvert tubes and covered with several (don't remember how many, maybe 4?) dump truck loads of crusher run to span about 25 feet. After I sold the place and the next owner let it settle for a while he had asphalt paved over the top.

            Just another option.

            Steve

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sewingmachine View Post
              A used flat bed trailer in 45 or 48 ft length would do quite well would be cheap and most likely need a bed replaced. I've seen several like that in my home aera.

              Dave
              I looked at this option as well. Found one at a salvage operation near me but were good enough to repair ($8500.00). I know nothing about values of rear axles, etc. Getting a frame delivered and unloaded adds more questions. I agree that I think they would work. A heavy equipment hauler figured if I was patient I might get one for <$1,000. Warned about rusted out frames but that would be an issue with flat racks as well. For the other $3,500 I could hire a lot of help unloading and setting in place.

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              • #8
                We recently had an old wooden bridge replaced on our property, as much as we would have loved a railroad car due to logging activity it was too expensive. We ended up using two 5 foot culverts packed in place with wind rock ( small limestone, soil cement, and dirt ) with a safety culvert about 100 feet ahead and above the two main culverts.
                It only washed out once during a hurricane because we had not yet cleaned the limbs from the front of it in a while. Still it only took 5-6 loads of windrock to fix. Was much cheaper than a bridge , about 10k if I remember

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SteveF View Post
                  What's under the bridge? Much flowing water?

                  At my prior place I had a hurricane overflow the creek and wash out the driveway. Put in two 30" diameter plastic culvert tubes and covered with several (don't remember how many, maybe 4?) dump truck loads of crusher run to span about 25 feet. After I sold the place and the next owner let it settle for a while he had asphalt paved over the top.

                  Just another option.

                  Steve
                  Class 1 fish water (Salmon/Steelhead spawning stream). The powers that be are having a hissy fit over culverts, taking them out and putting in "fish friendly" structures instead. Got one down the road, less than a 2' drop into a deep pool, they want zero drop. :/ Looks like they are waiting until it needs replacing before removing. Like a fish never encounters a 2' drop, ugh, anyway....but I don't have the depth for a culvert either so it's not an option

                  40' gets me out of the high water mark with the concrete block abutments. Looking at online pictures/videos they have shipped 44,000lb track hoes on a shipping flat rack. Don't know if they come in different capacities - another question. Looks like they have stake pockets built in which would make guard rail installation a snap. The ends would need to come off, too bad scrap prices are in the crapper.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by akajun View Post
                    We recently had an old wooden bridge replaced on our property, as much as we would have loved a railroad car due to logging activity it was too expensive. We ended up using two 5 foot culverts packed in place with wind rock ( small limestone, soil cement, and dirt ) with a safety culvert about 100 feet ahead and above the two main culverts.
                    It only washed out once during a hurricane because we had not yet cleaned the limbs from the front of it in a while. Still it only took 5-6 loads of windrock to fix. Was much cheaper than a bridge , about 10k if I remember
                    Down the road is a 7' culvert for a smaller side stream than the one I need to span. During flood stage it is marginal. I just don't have the depth to use culverts. I could use multiple smaller culverts if it was only water. The logs and assorted tree stumps move every winter, some are quite large-3-4' in diameter. Also the fishery people want large woody debris in the stream. For these reasons I see culverts as a non option. I get it. It would be much easier construction wise.

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                    • #11
                      There is always a low water bridge. Especially if you have a wide shallow watercourse. They do not block up with debris, they do not obstruct the stream, they just work.

                      The only thing is to be sure to put in an "apron" on the upstream side, so water cannot get under. A friend had one about 10'wide and 25' across, but did not have an apron. lasted 30 years. But when 5" of rain fell in a short time, that river picked up the 10 x 12' x 5" + thick slabs and they are now 50 yards downstream. The replacement will have an apron......
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

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                      • #12
                        There's a "low water bridge" on one of the side roads about a mile from here. Ok when it's dry or near dry. It's impassable after a rain. And it doesn't take much rain and the rain doesn't have to fall there. Most of the water comes off the fields up stream. I feel sorry for the folks that live down that road. They're usually stuck in or out for a couple of days. A 2-3" rain will close the road for a week or more. And forget it if we get the occasional 10-13" rain.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                          There's a "low water bridge" on one of the side roads about a mile from here. Ok when it's dry or near dry. It's impassable after a rain. And it doesn't take much rain and the rain doesn't have to fall there. Most of the water comes off the fields up stream. I feel sorry for the folks that live down that road. They're usually stuck in or out for a couple of days. A 2-3" rain will close the road for a week or more. And forget it if we get the occasional 10-13" rain.
                          They sand up too. We had one we had to cross on a regular basis. IF it floods and the water does not drop fast enough to wash it off you have to clear it off before you can use it.

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                          • #14
                            My friend has NEVER HAD any sand problem. I've never seen a grain of sand on it. there is always an inch or so of water flowing, the sand has no chance.

                            Heavy rains? Creek comes up for a short time, and then is back to something reasonable. If there is anything worse, the road will be covered, and impassable anyway.

                            If your area has extended floods, then of course it is not practical. But for folks not having your type floods, it is a good, working , trouble free solution.
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

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                            • #15
                              I'm inclined to think if you want a bridge, build a bridge as opposed to railroad cars and suchlike, slab either side, 4 girders and a deck possibly open flooring deck, you'd need to get load calcs done, deflection and so on but I'd have a guess it would probably be a bit cheaper.
                              I have put a bridge in place once, it was a Bailey bridge all frames pins and bolts, ex army thing, I got dragged into it as I have a crane license, but you can certainly slide girders across with the cat, I've done that by chaining under the blade an stuffing some 8" pipe under, teeter totter style (see saw over here, odd thing English)
                              Either way hope you get it sorted, actually sounds like a fun project.
                              Mark

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